Thursday, March 22, 2012

Reflections... On a real mess...the abridged version

Looking back on the past few years of my life I've experienced many changes. Some good, some bad.
I've been contemplating writing another blog post for some time now. I feel strongly that people air their dirty laundry too often via social media and It's been tough for me to bring myself to write a personal post instead of just a race report or blurb about a cool run or hike.
I've heard many rumors of what people "think" or "know" about me. Let me make it clear I do not care if you do or do not like me. I would just prefer that you make a decision based on the truth. So here it is to the best of my recollection:
Contrary to popular belief I am not independently wealthy, I do come from a privileged background and attended private and boarding schools growing up. I was a real handful growing up and made my parents lives a living hell! I didn't do this because I was a bad kid, I realize now I did it because I despise authority and would do everything in my powers to rebel. I was expelled from multiple schools and ended up dropping out of high school my senior year because I wanted to be a farmer.
Farming( hay farming specifically) was something I had grown to love since acquiring a summer job on the farm next door to my home when I was fourteen. But there was another reason, farming was exactly the opposite direction in life my parents had hoped that I would head.
Fast forward..... After a failed attempt at UNH to earn a Forestry degree I found myself a partner in an LLC called Silver Maple Farm where I managed to carve out a life for myself far different than my education and sports background had presumably dictated. I was well overweight, smoking cigarettes, driving truck and struggling to find "who I was". So I did what I thought at the time was a good idea, I found a girl that seemed to be able to stand my many idiosyncrasies dated her for a few years and we got married.
With the stresses of being self employed and constantly battle with bouts of severe depression our relationship struggled, to say the least. So we did what we thought was the right move, we had our first child, a beautiful baby girl we called Zoe.(sensing a pattern here?)
Things were great for a while. I really enjoyed my new role as dad and had a blast taking care of my family.
In November 07' I had grown tired of being very overweight and simply reminiscing about the Varsity soccer days and fast Super Giant Slalom races just wasn't enough to keep me happy, I wanted to move again. I talked my new wife at the time , Corinne, into heading up to my fathers condo at Waterville Valley for the weekend after going to the Sandwich Fair and watch Zoe while I went and hiked the Osceolas. These were the mountains I'd told her so many stories about climbing when I was a kid summering in WV.
The hike was the most uncomfortable and humiliating physical experience I ever had and I wanted more! I declared I was going to continue hiking through the winter and make the effort to get in shape. She hesitantly agreed and I was heading up to the whites just about every Saturday all winter. By mid winter Corinne was pregnant with our second child Hannah and my absence one day per week was becoming a problem. (you get the idea)
Fast forward.... The following August, Hannah was born and I had been attempting to run now for about a month. I did not know how to run easy I only knew how I used to run when I was a teen before i put the weight on and started smoking cigarettes. I started on a short loop that was mostly on a private road so people in cars couldn't see my extra 80 lbs of flab jiggling as they drove by.
After getting some nasty shin splints sorted out I was looking to run further (2 or 3 miles) I discovered Beaver Brook which had over 30 miles of trails right close by to the house and I also chose what everyone said was an unreasonable goal for myself. Racing in the Wapack 21 miler the following May. So, I became obsessed, training, hiking, dieting. By Christmas I weighed in at 190 lbs down 40 lbs altogether and by race day I toed the line at 166 lbs and with a couple nagging overuse injuries. During the winter Corinne and I had grown apart and I really struggled balancing family and training, But I was determined that I would NEVER return to my former state and forged on. By this time I had been doing some running in the Whites and Found myself at home there.(everyone knows this part of the story)
Corinne and I had grown apart and struggled to keep the marriage together and in July 09' one month before Hannahs first birthday I told Corrine I was leaving. I moved in with a group of guys, some of which were my employees, and really lived it up with my new found freedom. I stayed the course with my training and still continued to see the girls regularly.
I was lost and did not know what I was going to do with my life from that point forward I ended up selling Silver Maple Farm and its equipment that fall and Moving up to a apartment in Campton while working as a snowmaker at Waterville the hours were tough and corinne was very upset with me and I struggled to get down and visit with the girls regularly. I was truly running from my problems.
Soon I was to make one of the worst decisions of my adult life, one I'm sure I will regret for my entire life. I gave up my parental rights and agreed to monthly phone calls being my only contact with the girls. Even then I struggled to make regular contact and Corinne was becoming very frustrated with me. I was searching for something just not sure what. I moved around, working different jobs and always paying my child support on time.
It was at the Virgil Crest Ultra in September 10' that I met somebody that would change my life forever. Kristina and I were both at the tail end of relationships and to make a long story short we ended up moving in together down in CT where she lived in December. Come spring I ha convinced her to move back to NH with me Because I had realized I desperately wanted to become a part of my daughters lives again. We both found jobs, made the move and I've resumed my monthly phone calls.
The calls are tough, it's been so long since I've seen the girls and I barely even know since she was only a year and a half old the last time I saw her. As you might guess, talking to 4 and 5 year old girls you barely know and who don't really know you except for what their mother tells them, tends to be a very short one sided phone conversation. I'm going to continue to be persistent and hopefully someday their mother will see that I'm serious about being a father again and slowly let me back into their lives. I'm truly excited about that..


  1. Thanks for sharing Ryan. It must have been quite liberating for you to write this. My advice: Don't give up. There's nothing more frustratingly satisfying than being a parent. Good luck on your quest.

  2. Sorry you've been through all this, and felt the need to clarify things. At the very least, it helped dispel some rumors I had heard.

    Best wishes with your girls and future endeavors.

  3. I am proud to be your girlfriend. Only a real man faces the truth as well as you did today. For someone who says they don't know how to write you brought tears to my eyes. I love you.