Sunday, December 29, 2013

My Year Of Epic Shit

Along the route of a marathon, there will be seemingly no end of people holding signs of encouragement and support. From the more banal "You can do it!" to bad puns like "Your feet hurt because you're kicking asphalt!" to pop culture references about Chuck Norris, the Force or zombies. One sign that's cropped up in recent years, and a personal favorite of mine, says simply: "DO EPIC SHIT!" (You can't not write it in all caps.) It has connotations of accomplishing more than you thought yourself capable of, but with more than a few doses of both casualness and confidence. And in only three short words. It's a command, strictly speaking, but one that's so broad that as to be interpreted in any number of ways. It's "Do great things" but writ large and with attitude. It's "Just do it" but with a sense of scale and without the marketing baggage.

DO EPIC SHIT!

At the beginning of this year, I was living by myself in southwest Ohio. I packed up all my stuff, sold my house, drove 300 miles up to Chicago where the S.O. and I bought a place together. I had to call in more than a few favors at the day job to swing that, and I wound up ruffling a few feathers nonetheless but it was ultimately a gamble that paid off.

I then went on to run the Chicago Marathon. It was only my second marathon ever, but one where I saw a couple DO EPIC SHIT signs as I ran through the streets of the windy city. It was my slowest race to date, but I had been to a funeral in Wisconsin the day before and didn't get home until around 1:00 in the morning.

Then there was the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum Grand Opening Festival of Cartoon Art. While not reaching nearly the size and scope of comics related events like Comic-Con International, it was significantly more epic in terms of importance. It's not the first museum of cartoon art, nor is the library collection new, and the festival has been going on for decades but this particular collection of materials at this particular time in this particular venue with these particular attendees? Wow.

Lastly, the S.O. that I mentioned earlier now has a shiny engagement ring on her finger. We've talked about the subject of marriage for a while now, but I think the ring makes our engagement official. In the few weeks that she's had the ring, we've managed to nail down a date with a specific venue (that includes food and beverages), she's got her dress, and we're about 90% done with the guest list. Still plenty to do, but we've got a lot of the biggies out of the way already.

About 15% of Americans move each year, and only 12% of those moved to another state. Only 1/2% of people complete a marathon. The Billy Ireland event was unique. And, while engagements aren't exactly uncommon, the average American gets married only has one, maybe two, weddings in their lifetime. These were all things that stand far outside the range of "typical" or "usual." These were all things that were big leaps for me on multiple levels. And while they're only four items on this list, they're all pretty big and noteworthy. Epic, you might say. And, for as much as I had a fantastic year in 2012, this year has been even better.

All because I took some running advice to try to be better than I am.

DO. EPIC. SHIT.

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