So it’s been over a year now since interviewing my first guest for this podcast and since then, we’ve had 23 guests on, each with a two-part series because I realized in my second interview that we needed more time for a guest to tell their story and then have them delve into the wide array of sobriety and running they’ve experienced. Of the 23 guests, we’ve had people from all walks of life: from health care professionals, to artists, attorneys and tradesmen, to the corporate world – which is absolutely fitting, to know that we “are people who would not normally mix,” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 17) but are united for a common purpose – to stay sober and to grow in our sober lives by being of maximum service to God and to others.
As for me, I want more than anything to say thank you to the guests we’ve had on so far. These folks have taken the time to respond to me initially on blind faith, then speak to me informally to get to know each other a bit, and then do a two-part series in which they have to think and speak very much on the spot as I fire what I can only imagine are fairly random questions at times – a tall order for sure, given that these guests are all balancing family, work, recovery, running, and whatever else they can “pack into the stream of life” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 86). And I can say unequivocally, that every single guest has been supremely gracious and generous and that each of them has added tremendously to my recovery and my running life. You have all been so patient with my stumbling and bumbling, oh yes, and my ego of course, that it fills my heart to brimming at times when I think of it. You have all made such great impressions on me that I think of you often and send prayers your way for your well-being and joy.
I think that in the future some time, I would like to re-visit with each and every guest in podcast form, to catch up and see what changes in sobriety and running have taken place – what a great way to show that this program and way of life actually works. Willem P. also suggested that I take the “hot seat” someday and although I initially said “no way,” maybe it’s only fair that I do, to see what it’s like on the other side of the mic and to lay myself open like you have all so bravely done. As Dr. Bob said, “I spend a great deal of time passing on what I learned to others who want and need it badly. I do it for four reasons: 1. Sense of duty. 2. It is a pleasure. 3. Because in so doing I am paying my debt to the man who took time to pass it on to me. 4. Because every time I do it I take out a little more insurance for myself against a possible slip” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 193). Kudos to all of you, who have shared on the podcast in that same spirit.
Here are some of the most important things I’ve learned from you this past year, which has really made a significant difference in my daily life:
1. Not to take myself so damned seriously.
2. Admit and accept my character defects, ask for them to be removed, and move on.
3. Be more present for my loved ones, like, really present, and in the Now.
4. Take more risks, in running and in life.
5. The Promises do and will come true, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, if I work for them.
6. Meeting you in person is like meeting a long lost friend and now I can’t wait to meet more of you.
7. I’m really just a garden variety drunk with a story that’s not very unique but not boring either.
8. There is such a big world out there, with many of us on this road of sobriety and running and all of us have amazing stories to tell.
9. I’m not alone anymore.
10. “DO NOT FUCK THIS UP!” – Willem P.
So to those of you out there listening and to those of you who I’ve interviewed, once again, thank you, and “keep trudging that road of Happy Destiny and may God keep you and bless you – until then.”