Month In Review: What the Feb(ruary) happened?

Alrighty folks, we’re through two full months of 2018 and I’m not sure how that’s possible. New Year’s Eve feels like it was yesterday!

The time has been flying by and I guess the only silver lining is we’re one step closer to 1/20/21… (I’ll pause for a second to let you think it through.)

Anyways, February was just as hectic as the previous month, minus a road trip, and as I’ve tried to do for this year, it consisted of some inner reflections, continued efforts to branch out and form new relationships, and definitely not enough reading.

The month was full of embarking on cool experiences and enjoying the people you do them with. That’s key. Find people who make you happy and then do stuff – any sort of stuff – that brings about a smile.

Now, to the highlights!

The Run

Last weekend I completed the Mesa-Phoenix Half Marathon which was my fourth of its kind overall and second this year. I sadly did not PR like I wanted to – off by three seconds – but my body held up and I was really pleased considering my training was a shell of what I’d like it to be.


The race started bright and early! at 6am which meant that I was up at 3am, uggh. At start time it was somewhere between 34 and 38 degrees, so for this Arizona boy, not ideal temperatures. With this, and my somewhat tender Achilles coming in, I started off pretty casually.


running 1.jpg
Trying not to trip


At approximately the three-mile mark I realized that ‘oh boy’ I was running really slow (like an 8:45 pace) so I picked it up (8:08 pace over the final 10K) a bit but those first three or so miles eventually kept me from PRing (and the calf cramp at the end that had me swearing like a sailor coming down the home stretch…sorry everyone.)

Post race. Post food.

Other than the early start, it was a great race with perfect weather and I’m ready for next year’s race. This is likely my final race until fall of 2018 but I’ll still be super active with plenty of hiking trips planned out!

My splits

The Clean Up

Keepin’ It Wild

This spring, I’ve joined Keep It Wild, an Arizona based outdoors organization as a Wild Keeper to, you guessed it, keep it wild. The organization holds clean ups, hikes, and whatever else “to promote responsible and awesome outdoor recreation.”

On February 10, over 400 people gathered at South Mountain to clean up trash resulting in over 11,500 pounds of trash being collected. Seeing the sheer magnitude of people and trash bags was inspiring but also alarming. While other people focused on the big items, I went glass hunting, and holy smokes there was a lot of glass throughout the area.

Loading trash into the trucks

It’s depressing, though not surprising, that people would go out into the desert to drink, and then smash bottles. If you do participate in this, please stop. If you haven’t/don’t, keep up the excellent work.

Keep It Wild will be holding another clean up on March 10 at the Beardsley Boulder Pile (never been there so I’ll be surprised as well) and if you’d like to join, let me know or sign up here.

One of the trash piles at Keep it Wild

The Work Trip

February began in Sin City with a work summit that saw me spend Tuesday afternoon through Friday lunch completely and totally inside. To say it was a mind warp would be an understatement and when I finally got a chance to venture outside it was as if angels appeared out of nowhere and all started singing hallelujah all at once… until I realized half the people in Vegas smoke and its gross and dirty.  Can you tell I’m not a big fan of Las Vegas? I have no plans to go back anytime soon.


The Wild Weekend

The weekend I got back from Vegas was Super Bowl Weekend which, for us Arizona people, means the Waste Management Open (formerly the Phoenix Open) as well. After a less than ideal length of sleep,  I peeled myself out of bed and started shenanigans with friends before hopping onto a party bus enroute to the golf fiesta. (I skipped over all the partying like my adult-in-training mentors suggested.)

Not a lot of golf watching at the Open

Once inside, I, like so many others, proceeded to get lost from my friends. Luckily, I happened to find people I sort of knew who also lost friends, and we all made the best of it. (People person power.)

View at Fremont Saddle

Then on Sunday before the game kicked off, I decided I needed a day to myself after being cooped up inside all week and mashed together with people at the Open. I went out to the Superstitions and the Peralta Trail to Fremont Saddle which was glorious and let my inner introvert recover and recharge.

The Travel Westward

My grandparents came into town for two weeks to get out of the Ohio winter and it was great to see them! My grandma just turned 80 and my grandpa is still rocking along at 83. They also celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary with most of the family in town. Both are a huge inspiration to me and are always there to lend a hand or give wisdom (and there’s a lot of wisdom combined there). I’ve begun to realize that we can’t take our grandparents for granted anymore as they keep getting older and to spend as much time with them when you can.

Dad + Grandparents

The Pod Tours America

Mom and Dad at Pod Tours America

Hey guys, have I told you about Pod Save America yet? Haha.

I went to see Pod Tours America with my parents and buddy Will when they came to Phoenix in the middle of February. Their humorous take on politics and culture in today’s world was amazing and it’s no secret I want to hang out with them (especially Dan and talk “Trusting the process”). Anyways, subscribe to the pod and your life will be better for it.

Will and I at Pod Tours America

The Laughter

My parents, a friend, and I went to a comedy show two weekends ago to see headliner Matt Iseman, the winner of the most recent Celebrity Apprentice and host of American Ninja Warrior. It was amazing. He along with the previous acts had us and the entire room dying of laughter. If you can see him live, go do it. It’s worth every penny.

Family + Steven at the Comedy Show

The Next Adventure

March will be full of taking next steps – quite literally. I’ll begin training for my Grand Canyon expeditions in April which means hiking will become one of my focuses along with my other daily workouts. Plus, I’ve got a little surprise coming that will hopefully brighten and illuminate – hint hint – ya’lls day.

Besides that, hop in, buckle up, and let’s keep this party going!

Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.


You can follow along for the journey on Facebook and Instagram or shoot me any questions and comments about places to go. And don’t forget to sign up to get notified when new blogs come out. Click the “Follow Me” button at the bottom right and enter your email address.