Inspiration & Motivation

Reflecting on 11 Years: A Journey of Blogging, Connection, and Change

Matt Orlando
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When I started this website around 11 years ago, it was something that consumed a lot of my time. I spent time thinking about what to write. I spent hours trying to figure out how to gain an audience. I put together giveaways and contests. I built a social media following, while not extraordinary, was, I think, fairly impressive. It gave me an outlet to the thoughts in my head, and a way to have conversations (albeit mainly one-sided) with people across the world.

Time has a way of changing things though…and 11 years is a long time, especially in the world of blogging. I have lived in multiple houses since then. My family has grown from 3 to 5 (plus a pretty cute puppy). Through long COVID or just bad luck I developed ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia. I now work 100% fully remote doing a job I love for a company whose culture lines up incredibly well with my life goals. I cannot really exercise anymore (though I’m trying) due to my conditions, which at times can be difficult to deal with. My love for the sport hasn’t died…my love for my family is stronger than ever. But my love for doing this…well, for different reasons in different ways it has waned. Like I said, time has a way of changing things.

I was mindlessly scrolling when inspiration hit me, however. I wondered…what of all the connections I made over those 11 years? I “met” many people through social media, and, for a brief moment in this eternal life, shared in their stories. I interviewed a lot of people along the way: Olympians like Meb Keflezighi and Des Linden; an entire series with Kara Goucher; the running legend Bart Yasso; ultramarathon man himself Dean Karnazes. I highlighted the stories of several of my blog and social media followers. I even did a few podcasts and was published along the way. So many stories, so many wonderful people. And I wonder…how are they doing now?

I was but a small moment in their lives…many may not even remember me or the conversations we had. And that’s ok. I firmly believe that everyone, except a special few, only comes into your lives for a brief (or not so brief) moment, fulfilling a need or teaching a lesson that you may not have even realized at the time. I am grateful for those connections, grateful for the privilege of having known them. And I hope that wherever they are now, whatever life has brought their way, that they are doing well. And I hope that they know, no matter the journey, no matter how far our small time together is behind them, that they are remembered and there’s always a welcoming ear ready to listen again.