|Forest Nature Preserve in Tiffin, OH|
Many cite the cliché Frost poem indicating that they ‘took the road less traveled’ or maybe even the classic Jay Z line that they ‘came to the fork in the road and went straight’. However, I do not believe that I have made it to that divergence in the yellow wood. Since the start of 2012, my life path has wavered and taken many offshoots.
|Climbing Hill at Raccoon Creek|
Most of these offshoots were well worn and some of them not trails at all. As I reflect on everything I have been fortunate enough to experience in my life thus far, I do not think there is a divergence in life paths at all, simply an interconnected network of roads that inevitably bring you back to the start.
|Apryle & I at Coe Lake in Berea, OH|
Since 2012, I have lived with 32 different roommates, in ten different cities, in four different states, worked for five different companies, graduated with two bachelor degrees and one doctorate. I have completed two hundred-mile races, one hundred-kilometer race, four fifty-mile races, one sixty-kilometer race, and three fifty-kilometer races.
|Raccoon Creek State Park, PA|
I have lived out of a van, spent weeks in a tent, showered in mountain streams, ran on knife edge switchbacks and was even attacked by a adolescent buck during rut. I have formed lasting friendships, while trying to keep old ones alive. I have experienced heartbreaking failure and have been elated with success.
|Apryle & I at Graduation|
Although, I am no closer to knowing who I want to become, I am certain I have found the person that I want to spend the rest of my life with and because of that (and years of hard work) I believe the other pieces of my life will simply fall into place.
|Boy Who Cried Wolf (Myself, C Genet, Z Gase)|
With all that said, I would like to continue on this post highlighting my most recent life transition – from Zach Szablewski of Austin, TX to Dr. Zach Szablewski of Seattle, WA. My last post highlighted the fall season and one of my proudest moments, winning the Franklin Mountain 50K.
|Graduation (Dr Rice, Eddie Stevenson,
Victor Carrasco, Myself, and Rufus Palomero)
There was no time for rest after the race, because after returning to Austin, I had a crucial exam to take and then I was off on a plane to visit my family for the latter half of November back in Northern Ohio. Apryle and I arrived in my one of my former places of residence, Berea and ran on some of the old trails that I practiced on in college. Then she parted for Harrisburg while I headed back to Tiffin.
|Christmas Trees at Molyets|
My time in Tiffin was relaxing and productive, I put in some solid miles with my dad and my good friend Craig Genet and I even helped out my old boss Ed string up some Christmas trees in the greenhouse. Craig and I ran the Turkey Waddle in Carey, OH, a 2 mile relay race where we took first in our age group. My family and I also got a chance to check out Apryle and I’s wedding venue at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania. Apryle and I put in a short trail run and were inspired to plan a day after wedding 19 mile trail run.
|Last Georgetown Loop (Myself,
Anthony Jacobs,and Seth West)
We took to the air once more in a trip back down to Austin to finish up my final days at school. I was fortunate enough to pass the remainder of my exams and thus receive my diploma on December 11th. It was a solid last week and a half in Austin. Apryle and I met up with my old landlords, Will and Gayathri and we hiked in McKinney Falls State Park. We ran one last Lake Georgetown Loop with Anthony and Seth. I put in some miles at Hill of Life with Seth and dad biked some miles alongside me the day before graduation.
|McKinney Falls State Park with Apryle,
Gayathri, Will, Reggie and Abbey
Our time in Austin wrapped up with the graduation ceremony and a dinner date with my landlord Nancy. It was a fitting end to the long and arduous journey through physical therapy school. I am so glad that I was able to celebrate the occasion with my incredibly supportive parents and fiancé Apryle.
|My Family at Graduation|
Stay tuned for the road trip post next week.