Never Alone

As my birthday went on, I realized I was surrounded by an overwhelming amount of love, support and well wishes from family and friends around the world.  Over 150 fb messages, countless texts, cute snap chats and Instagram posts, I would be lying if I said it didn’t make me slightly emotional but in a good way.

As a single, now 31 year old man, it is very easy to feel lonely and alone at night. No one to share your daily activities with, no one to eat dinner with or lay around quietly watching tv. Naturally you also miss the idea of the passion two people in a relationship share and the intimacy however I think the idea of them just being there is the part that I miss most.

I am genuinely envious of my “taken” friends. They are so lucky to have someone to call their own, someone who smiles the minute they see them, someone who hugs them in a meaningful way and someone who would do anything to ensure their happiness. They get to have someone to share a life with and I thinks that the greatest feeling one can have.

Well last night, I didn’t feel alone. I couldn’t believe how many people reached out to me. And more than that, how many sincere heartwarming messages I received from my heated of friends. 

I got to spend my day laughing hysterically with my best friend Sarah! It’s almost pathetic how hard we laugh at each other’s comments and jokes. I don’t even think other people find us funny.  There’s no judgement with her, I am fully accepted,  flaws and all which is refreshing because I can just BE!

Or the phone call I got from Nick, the man I credit for bringing me back to life a few years ago when I was at my lowest. It was so nice to receive a phone call! It felt like 1999 again when people didn’t text or Facebook each other. There was a purity to that call, to that effort.

I got to shoot the shit with Mike and Chris and Teresa. Just play catch up and laugh at nonsense and talk about how bright the future looks. I also got to be toasted by my favorite restaurant staff which to be honest feels more like friends than anything else. Those bonds, those conversations, those moments are very real to me.

My friend Vincent made me cry! Even all the way from Florida, that amazing soul manages to reach out to me and make me smile. He reminds me how grand a person can become. Then there’s my athletes Matt, Sydney, and Emily who expressed my impact on their life for the world to see. It was so touching to read their words, to know that played a part I shaping those beautiful people. You too Kyle 😉

Don’t worry, I didn’t forget my fam jam! My amazing parents that have unconditional love and support and to whom I can do no wrong, even when I make life choices they can’t wrap their heads around. My sisters who don’t hide their feelings about lookin up to me despite being the youngest. My godmother who just connects with me deeper than most aunts can with their nephews and my grams who at 83(?) still sends me a card with money and kind words. I cry everytime I get one and smile everytime I look at her cookie jar. 

I can’t forget the best friend I’ve had my whole life! I don’t get to see her or speak to her nearly as much as I should but I always feel connected, you can’t shake what we have and seeing her message pop up reminds me of every amazing moment our childhood had. We will be like this till the day we die. She may not be blood but I sure feel like we are. I love you Nat.

And my soulmate Thiago, all the way in Brazil sent me a message that shook me to my core. Ever have someone you’ve known for so little time see right through you and just know you? It is a sensation beyond what can be expressed with words. Our bond is one that cannot be compared to anything else I know. His voice lifts me up no matter how low I am. His belief in me helps erase any doubts I may have for myself. And his genuine love reassures me that I will get everything I deserve in life. He made what was already a great day feel unbeatable. I think he is my guardian angel.

So I came home to my cats, no sexy man to light up when I opened the door, no one to kiss me goodnight but I certainly didn’t feel alone. I was wrapped head to toe in love… And well that is just fabulous!

Den XO

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Maybe we don’t get to have it all

I’ve been reading up a lot lately on peak athletic performances and championship winning athletes and one thing has become very clear. None of them managed to have the greatest successes while balancing sport, career and a relationship. It’s made me really start to question, can we truly have it all?

I mean obviously you can right? But can you have them all at the same time. All the amazing athletes I know only have 2 out of 3 while achieving their sporting goals. Is it due to a lot of time? Are there really not enough hours in a day?

Being an international athlete is a full time job. People train 15-30 hours a week, watch their diet, alter their social outings and rest as much as possible to avoid burn out.

A full time job is 30-40 hrs a week plus your commute, potential extra work at home to prep unless of course you are just getting established in your field, in which case, you work double time to ensure you make a great impression. This career will be pay your mortgage after all.

Relationships have no off switch, no punch out clock and no set hours for “practice”. You have your commitments to your family, your new commitments to their family and of course the commitment to a lack of selfishness. It’s a full time job in itself! A rewarding one no doubt but a full time job.

With each item requiring  such large amounts of time, such intensity and such dedication. It’s no wonder the people who I see trying to balance all 3 struggle on at least one, and it’s usually the sporting career. Work and relationships are emotionally and mentally exhausting. That doesn’t leave you with a lot of strength to focus on sport, especially not international level.

Is the key to achieving your athletic goals to hold off on some of your other ones? Does limiting your tasks and scope increase performance and personal achievement? In my experience, it does. 

My most successful friends in sport, business and relationships all have one thing in common. They only ever focused on crushing 2 out of the 3 at a time. 

I know I want it all, however I also know I will never settle for being mediocre… At anything. 

Den XO

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Maybe goodbye isn’t so sad after all

I’ve been thinking a lot about goodbyes lately…

I always grew up thinking that goodbye was such a sad word. I mean in movies people are usually sad when they say it whether it’s to a friend before a move, a relationship they just ended or a loved one in death. 

I’m realizing now that goodbye can and should be applied to lifestyle changes as well. It’s difficult to move on to new challenges and realities you hadn’t envisioned. 

However it can also be a positive thing.

I never thought I’d say this but as the day I get to say goodbye to Judas forever approaches, I become happier and happier. I look forward to that day because I feel that I will be finally eliminating my life of toxins and negativity. Although my feelings for him have sunk like the titanic, his miserable presence still stops me from fully shinning. It’s just like a parasite that sucks away your smile and positive energy. I always assumed I would be devastated to no longer have him in my life but now I look forward to the fact that although he impacted my future, he won’t physically get to be apart of it and its successes. Saying goodbye will be incredibly empowering and inspiring for me. 

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Eventually the clouds part…

I was once told the most valuable thing for me to learn to do would be to see my problems as storm clouds. You see whether a light drizzle or a hurricane, all storms eventually pass. The only way to get stuck in a storm is to continue to chase after it. If you just stood still, it would eventually pass you and the sun would shine again.

I can honestly say that my sun is shinning. It took me almost a year to fully understand that metaphor and how to apply it however now I’m crushing it.

When you let the storm run its course and pass, you discover some amazing opportunities and paths that were blocked off to you by the negativity of the storm. 

While my path is not yet complete, I can tell you that everyday I feel like a new brick is laid down and my ultimate destiny becomes stronger and brighter. 

I thought the storm of 7 months ago was the end of my world. I’m so excited that it’s turned out to be my beginning. 

Let your storms pass my friends, and then shine brighter than you ever thought possible. It feels fantastic.

Den XO

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McBuff

Enter bachelor number 3

McBuff is HOT! This man is all muscle and he knows his bod is rocking. Definitely the hottest of the men in my life at the moment.

He is in the service industry and let me assure you he is good at what he does. This well kept man has a low bullshit tolerance and a laugh that could steal anyone’s attention. It is simply captivating.

I was set up with McBuff by a friend of mine who just wanted to see two “great guys” end up together. Drinks and apps turned into a nearly 5 hour date where the topics were boundary less and the laughs constant. I found it very friend like at first however with each passing day since the date I’ve found myself more intrigued to know more about this beautiful man. It’s rare that we go 24 hours without speaking and not just a quick “hey how was your day” kind of thing.

I like how he takes care of his body and understands my obsession with fitness. I like the fact that he wasn’t afraid to open the “X Files” and be open to all topics of conversation. People often chose to be insanely private or on their best behaviour when getting to know a new potential suitor. It felt like we were just ourselves. Most of all, I like the face he made when he laughed! It was just so genuine, adorable and attractive. He is completely different from Super Mario and from Prada yet it all works.

You just can’t fake conversation like this. It’s too fun and it’s so natural.

He had everything I could ask for in a man. All we need o figure out is where we stand on the chemistry scale. Are we fireworks, sparks or a match that just won’t take. To be continued I suppose…

Den XO

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Clean

When relationships end they often leave a set of scars. Some of them are shallow while others are incredibly deep and take forever to heal, if they ever do. Taylor Swift has a great song on her album “1989” about the break up and healing process that I can’t help but identify strongly with: “Clean”

Its been nearly two months since my final battle with Judas. I’ll never forget that night. The yelling, the crying, the pain, the disbelief and most of all the realization that the person I was looking at was simply a mere shade of who I was hoping he was.

“The drought was the very worst. When the flowers that we’d grown together died of thirst”

The build up for the break up was terrible. I felt like I was in the desert and I was dying of thirst. Thirst for affection, commitment, honesty and most of all trust. It was exhausting trying to find an ounce of proof or hope that he was being real and that we were making it work. That all changed on December 8th.

“The rain came pouring down. When I was drowning that’s when I could finally breath.”

It was intense. I went home so angry! My world had officially caved in on me and I had no clue what was happening. I felt so overwhelmed and yet as the sky turned black and the storm hit, I felt free. I feel like I lost 160lbs that night. By the time morning came, I felt lighter, stronger and happier. You don’t realize how exhausting it is to be the only person fighting for something. You don’t realize how toxic something has become while you are still submerged in it. When I woke up and I was no longer upset, I new I was already starting to heal.

“So I punched a whole in the roof. Let the flood carry away all my pictures of you.”

I had to tackle one cut at a time till I felt whole again. First I deleted every picture of he and I on social media. Those pictures used to represent great memories however now all I saw was a liar, a manipulator and a cheat. Erasing them was easy.

While the thoughts of him had started to fade, I still found I had too many reminders and he came into my mind all too often. I had to take it further. I had to ensure he couldn’t just enter my life again when he wanted. I needed to break my cycle. I blocked him and his girlfriend on social media. I wanted the freedom to post whatever I wanted and know they couldn’t just click a few times and find it. Through conversation I had found out that he unfriended me because he found my pictures attractive and that he was uncomfortable by them. It was just another mixed message. I want to be with her but you turn me on… STOP! I wanted him to be unable to access anything with my face in it.

Lastly, I blocked his number from being able to message me. No longer was I going to be potentially distracted by his cries for attention, his confused desires or his indecision as to how important I was in his life. I felt empowered.

“And by morning gone was any trace of you. I think I am finally clean.”

Everyday got easier. Everyday seemed brighter. Finally I woke up one morning and realized he hadn’t crossed my mind in over a day. That same day I saw him and felt nothing. It was like all the bullshit, the pain, the feelings and desire had been completely washed away. I felt like I was alive again for the first time in almost 4.5 years. That hold he had on me had vanished.

“Now that I’m clean I’m never gonna risk it.”

I’ve taken every step to ensure I can’t slip again including acceptance. Acceptance that I am better than that relationship, that low level of appreciation and that quality of a partner.

I feel like I’m finally clean and it feels fantastic.

Den XO

Ps. If you haven’t heard the new T Swift you really should give it a try. She truly is a star and she is incredibly relatable in life experiences.

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Prada

Ugh my all time favourite word. Doesn’t it just roll off your tongue? It has such a rich, sophisticate, strong and did I mention rich sound to it. I firmly believe everyone needs a little Prada in their life.

My Mr. Prada is a good man. He is intelligent, handsome, sophisticated and very calm. A lawyer by day and a nice guy by night, this isn’t the first time we have started the relationship tug of war. A few years ago, we dated for a bit until I ended it. We never got serious because I knew that pursuing him fully could potentially end in marriage and at that point in my life I simply wasn’t ready. I was still mentally hung up on Judas and so I looked for any flaws in everyone I dated. His flaw: he was too nice… I realize that sounds crazy to you, believe me it now also sounds crazy to say it. I had become so used to a dramatic relationship that I forgot a good relationship is nearly always drama free.

Fast forward almost 2 years and out of no where a text from him asking me how I am doing and telling me I was still looking great! I guess he saw a pic f me somewhere on facebook. I was shocked to hear from him but also happy. He truly is one of those genuine nice guys that has somehow not been snatched up yet. A message from him was nice, a compliment was even better 🙂

We flirted for a few weeks, exchanged holiday as well as new years wishes. And luckily our lives slowed down enough to meet up again. It was like no time had passed at all. Our dinner conversation was filled with quick witted banter, constant flirting and some suggestive comments. Most importantly though, it was filled with laughs. I was my diva, high maintenance self and he just called me out on my shit and made fun of me for it. It wasn’t insulting, it was refreshing. A man that finds my quirks obnoxious and yet wants to hear more about them.

We hung out at his place, watched a movie and just talked, laughed and clearly got close. It was so easy! On paper he isn’t the physical man I picture myself with for life. Instead of a jock, he is a nerd, rather than the life of the party, he has a quiet confidence and where toughness and aggression would normally show, he is sensitive and soft. He does however share my same vision in regards to lifestyle (loves Prada), deal breakers and friendship. Brands are not shunned, they are fun! Trips aren’t too expensive, they are necessary, a nice meal can be found in a 5 star restaurant or in your home and a fun night can be at a bar or playing games with friends. He doesn’t take himself too seriously and laughs quite a bit at himself. It is an attractive quality no doubt.

Maybe we didn’t have fireworks or kisses that gave me goosebumps but we have chemistry on every level not just the physical. He is clear on where he is in life, what he wants and where I fit into the picture and so am I. There’s no games, no pulling teeth and no guessing. The best way to describe it is comfortable. I could just be.

I guess time will only tell whether I become his Gabrielle Solice. All I know is, the more I think about it, the more I want to. And let’s be honest, I would make one hot desperate husband.

Den XO

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