Retirement is not for the weak! Laugh, cry, and live with us through the world of "running" a small business in a small, southern town...
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Welcome to the adventure! Follow us along as we navigate or "run" through this thing called life! Our weekly exploits ("The Weekly Adventure" tab) hope to provide some humor, inspiration or assurance that you are not alone as you face the ups and downs of life!
This is where it all began: In September 2016, Mike made the decision to retire from Merck Pharmaceuticals after 25 years...whoa! What do we do now? First on the agenda was a month long RV trip through some of the US's running Mecca’s! This had been in the works for about 2 years…yep, constant planning, dreaming, and daily (yes, daily for about 24 months) evaluation of proposed stops and routes! You can read all about our journey under the tab "RV Adventure 2016" and I hope it inspires you to not wait for the perfect time in life, but to just get our there and live! And really, why should we leave the kids an inheritance...it so much more fun to just spend it now!
After the RV adventure Mike returned home as a SAHD (stay-at-home dad, minus the kids at home!) and became very unenthused about everyday life as I continued to work full-time! Grocery shopping, errand running, laundry just didn’t seem to fulfill him and in his words "I just don’t like doing that stuff, Sonya. It just doesn’t make me happy". Well, I thought, thank goodness, because I wanted to keep those jobs anyway...they make me really happy!
So, Mike began to research his passion, what he had been mulling over in his head for a few years...owning a running store. He prayed, he researched and he even went to work part-time at our local Fleet Feet. Then it happened...in one phone call life forever changed. The opportunity opened to be the owner of a small running store in Monroe, LA - where most of my family resides! Mike felt as though the message couldn't be clearer that this is where God wanted us to be for the next chapter (actually it may be more accurate to say the next "book" in a series of books!). I was still a little fuzzy on the clarity of the message and asked God to please speak clearer and louder because it was asking me to give up my home that I love, dear friends, my running community, my church family and my job of 16 years. When I really thought about it, it actually seemed very unclear! Mike was determined and really felt strongly that we were being called to make a difference, to be with family and to jump off the "treadmill" of life and just truly live everyday with a bigger purpose.
Mike moved on February 25, 2017 to Monroe, LA and I stayed in Florida to sell our home and transition out of my job. This road brought many tears, trials and threatened divorce, but created a strength in the two of us that could not have been found elsewhere. Unfortunately the road was extra rocky as we lived apart and still dealt with the darkness of addiction with our daughter, knowing this move would leave her to deal with those demons alone (don't get too sad here because it allowed us not to enable anymore and to finally allow God to take over).
And here we are... owners of Fleet Feet Monroe. Did it all end up "perfect"? Oh, absolutely not! Life is not perfect (read “Our Story” and you will see just how imperfect, but yet God constructed). You just must learn to weather the storm and have the appropriate gear! Is there joy with this move (don’t confuse joy with being happy. Joy is something you have in your heart always, no matter the circumstances)? Yes. Mike wakes up everyday and his heart is overwhelmed with doing what he is passionate about and knowing that he is making a difference in the lives of others daily. My joy is still in the developmental phase, but blessings are all around no matter where I call home - I just need to keep reminding myself! I know God has plans for us in Monroe and I can’t wait to look back and thank God for what he has done and how great of a plan he had for us from the beginning. I must not cling to the life in Florida, but cherish what God allowed for those 16 years. I now will cling to expectations of what lies ahead-
"Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." John 13:7
We love having you follow us on this journey, with ups, downs, laughs and hopefully some inspiration along the way!