After my amazing experience in Boulder Colorado, I was ready to keep the good vibes and adventure going. Off to Santa Fe New Mexico for some green chile and reconnecting with my cousin Dustin. I haven’t seen Dustin since I was 6 years old, so I had no idea how well we would get along. Driving to NM was my longest drive of the trip, it was a whopping 8 hours.
As I was driving, thoughts drifted in and out of my mind, I didn’t latch onto any of them. They just came and went. It was actually very nice, for the first time I was truly relaxed on the road. Overthinking is a constant thing for me, every thought I have I try to dissect. Letting all of these thoughts just fall away was a freeing experience. Driving was the only thing that I was doing, no music, no talking, no deep thinking. The hours and miles seemed to just melt away. I just blinked and was as the doorstep of my long lost cousin Dustin!
Pulling up to his house gave me butterflies in my stomach. Would we get along? Would this be awkward? Nope! We instantly started to talk as if we saw each other on a daily basis. He was blown away seeing me! I was no longer the quiet 6 year old boy that he once knew and he wasn’t the awkward prepubescent 12 year old that I remembered. We hugged each other and instantly started to reminisce about walking to get mcdonalds, playing hide and seek in the basement and stories about my older brothers that I had never heard. Friends will come and go but at the end of the day family will always be there. Spending time with Dustin made that hit home. After hours of talking and sharing joints, it was time for bed! Tomorrow was all about exploring!
I woke up early, and was itching to go for a run. All I wanted to do was get away from people even my cousin. I do not know why I get this way, but when I do the only cure is a long trail run. Finding an isolated trail was my main goal, luckily in New Mexico there are plenty of them to be found. Putting on my running pack, filling up my water bottles and setting my gps watch was my first step to calming my nerves. After I had set up all of my gear it was off to a local trail. Pulling up to the trail gave me 100% instant relief, there was not a person in sight! Slowly I began to run, one foot in front of the other, my smile growing with each step! My body and mind were fully in the moment. I felt every step, as an individual movement, every step brought me more joy. The feeling of my feet sinking into the soft red sand, the connection I had to nature at that given moment was something I wont forget anytime soon. Once again all felt right for me.
Exercise is key to my overall happiness. Without exercise I think I would be a very depressed person, and definitely not the person I am today. Anytime life isnt going my way I always turn to it. Being able to have that one thing that I can always rely on is something that I feel extremely fortunate to have. Hopefully everyone can find something that can always make them feel better in life.
After my run I headed back to Dustin’s house. When I arrived we started to talk about our lives and what we were doing with them. Oce you get me talking about my business and passions there is no shutting me up. Speaking to him about how well a plant based diet has worked for me along with daily exercise seemed to really resonate with Dustin. Slowly he began to ask more questions. Our conversation covered habit change, diet, exercise, mindfulness practices. Everything we talked about seemed to be exactly what he needed. After our very long discussion Dustin told me that we was going to give a 100% plant based diet a try. Hearing this made me very happy! My goal isn’t to convert people to the life I live, my goal is to just share what I am passionate about with the world. Seeing that I had an impact on im was fantastic.
My stay in New Mexico was short lived, but proved to be extremely meaningful. Reconnecting with my cousin and helping him to take the first steps to improving his physical and mental health was a wonderful thing. I never expected to have such an impact on someone on this trip. Slowly I have accumulated moments that won’t leave my head for a lifetime.
You never know who you are going to help just by being you! Don’t underestimate the power you have, share yourself with the world and good things will happen! Back on the road… off to Arizona!