Hey! Just wanted to write an intro incase you don’t know who I am. I’m Joel. I grew up in a small town in Illinois with 3 younger siblings playing just about every sport you can imagine and every video game they made. I’m more on the shy side, and if it wasn’t for my outgoing younger sister, I probably wouldn’t have joined any sports, made many friends or ever left the house so a huge shoutout to her! I would’ve been 100% content watching reruns of ‘Bill Nye the Science Guy’ on PBS all day every day, but I’m so glad she pushed me out of my bubble. I had a passion for learning how things worked (especially tech) and obsessed over the science and math behind them. I later decided to take those curiosities to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where I lived and studied to become an electrical engineer and up until when you’re reading this has been my profession.
To decompress from the stress of an engineering job, I found comfort in being outdoors. I trained for and ran in several marathons until overuse injuries got the best of me. Nowadays I’m an avid CrossFitter and love the community feel to supplement the health and fitness lifestyle. I love kayaking and incase you haven’t guessed- hiking! and have been just about everywhere you can adventure to in Southeastern Wisconsin.
Just your average Midwestern 29 year old male. And I say average with certainty as from my perspective, nothing unexpected or ‘out there’ has ever really happened to me. I’ve never been around any major violence or war. No political intrigue, or survived helicopter crash. No great romance or loss of love, at least not really. But my life, at least from my own perspective has been filled with drama as has everyone’s at some point, right?
When Katie, one of the most spirited, strong, and incredible women in my life passed on from this world it just about broke me. I took so long in processing it and didn’t know what to do with myself. Even though she had Cystic Fibrosis that wasn’t supposed to happen, not in the middle of her story. It’s not supposed to work like that. When you’re young, you think you’re invincible and that you can do anything and there’s always tomorrow to tell someone you love them, to go after your dreams, and write the rest of your story. But her passing made me realize that sometimes you don’t get tomorrow and you need to write your story today. I was really negative toward myself for a while in accepting that while coming to some realizations.
I realized her story is only done if I let it be done. I can do things in her honor and memory and she will live on through them. So, with this journey, I intend to pickup the torch and carry it for her as far as my legs will take me - to the end of the line, or until the chances are spent. I’ll give it everything I have for her and the others like my cousin Nina still fighting CF every day. I truly believe we can make a difference together and that thought will keep me pushing ahead.
Thanks for checking in and listening. No matter what you’re doing, no matter who you’re with I hope today is an amazing day for you and that you’re writing your story today, not tomorrow. I’ll see you on the trail and don’t forget to tell someone they’re important to you today!
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