On healing.

Six weeks ago my life changed forever. I lost a relationship that I thought would be my last. I wasn’t clear on the why or the how, but the pain of the loss was palpable. I needed to do anything in my power to begin healing. As is my way, I took to diversion first. I ran. I ran until I couldn’t run anymore. I started teaching P90X at the gym again. Buoyed by that success, I began to look for more ways to challenge myself. I chose MMA – mixed martial arts. Finally I had found something endlessly complex and challenging, that success wasn’t just a matter of being the fastest or the strongest – it was about strategy and nuance. The pain from my loss became pushed aside by my schedule – up at 5 am, teaching at 6, working until 5pm, running, MMA, returning home at 9pm – just in time to eat and crash asleep.

But avoidance has a way of catching up.

During a wrestling session, my leg was pinned under my opponent during a roll. Something gave. I immediately stopped the fight and tried to stand. My knee felt weak and tenuous. I tried to rotate it slightly and a shock of pain ran the length of my leg.

I was crushed. No more running, no more MMA, no more life.

I went home with a bag of ice and tried my hardest to feel sorry for myself. I became despondent. I had lost my outlet, any chance of healing.

Or so I thought.

With my physical life removed, I was forced to examine the life I had been ignoring, to begin processing my loss, my life.

I realized that healing physically is precisely like healing emotionally. You must avoid the activities that can cause reinjury, you must treat your pain gently, and look to other ways to strengthen.

I began playing my guitar again, something which had fallen to the wayside with both injuries. I reached out to friends and family members. I doubled my efforts to give back to my community. Instead of hiding, of stagnating, I decided to grow, just in other ways, to strengthen other aspects of me that were weak.

I’m a considerable distance from being healed. Sometimes, I wonder if I’ll ever be whole, but I at least have a path now. And each day that passes I’m able to process, gain insight and heal.

And that, in itself, is life-changing.

Sell Lest Tea Ill.

Turns out I didn’t fall off the planet.

I’m back, after a life-altering visit to another hemisphere.

Was it life-altering in a good or bad way?

It seems you can’t change what people do to you, but you can control how it affects you.

So, good or bad, it’s really up to me.

That, in summary, is the beauty of life.



Seems like in all the excitement I’ve forgotten to update.

I could go in many directions – profuse apologies for not updating, prodigious promises of future updates, or I could simply do the most obvious thing; update and take it from there.

How are you? I’m well, thanks.

My new job is going swimmingly. A steep learning curve, to be sure, but without challenges, I wouldn’t feel alive. Spring is getting springulated and I have taken it upon myself to get outside more. I realized that taking three classes and holding down three jobs and trying to train for athletic endeavors was proving to be too much.

So, as is with running as in life, I’m taking things step by step.

I’m rather excited about what the future holds.

enD of aN erA.

Today is my last day as official KPBSD Webmaster.

After no small amount on consideration, I will be taking a new position with the Borough IT Department.

Thank you to each and every one of you. This last year with KPBSD has been filled with wonderful challenges, learning experiences, and of course amazing friendships.

My departure is decidedly bittersweet.

Please stay in touch.

– Mike Crawford

Untie Tilled.

It’s strange how thoughts can be overwhelming at times. Perspective, it seems, is the most reasonable way to combat this.

Recently I read a friend’s thoughtful and insightful blog post, about how she was feeling down and going to visit a friend. She knew that her friend would be able to pull her from her funk. She then began to ponder this, and decided that it wasn’t quite right for someone else to hold the key to her happiness. Instead of dwelling on herself, she realized she was in control of her happiness, and made changes as she saw fit. I agree with her, in that it’s not right to let someone else control the way you feel. You are in control.

In the past, I’d try to look within myself to diagnose problems. If I was feeling down, I would wonder what I could do for myself to make me feel better.

Turns out, this is a terrible way to approach malaise.

The answer, it appears, is reaching outside of yourself, and helping others.

Serendipitously, others needing help are most always within reach.

Instead of being mired in your own thoughts, take a second to help another. One nice gesture, a thoughtful comment, or even something more involved, like volunteering for the community. There are so many wonderful organizations that need help everyday. It doesn’t need to be a huge time commitment – you can do this on a lunch hour.

Sometimes, this is so wildly successful at making one feel better that the very act of volunteering and helping others borders on a selfish act. But if you are indeed helping people, invariably it’s a win-win.