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  • Writer's pictureThe Useless Runner

Good Bye, Pete.

Updated: Jan 23, 2021

Good riddance ~ Expression. "To be pleased that someone has left or that something has gone."

This is a hard post to write, because of what it represents about my life, about everything I have gone through since I was a kid, and how I approached a phase of my life that taught me more than anything I could imagine, and how one single person can change your life forever.

Make no mistake, I am not a victim in this, nor I will pretend this to be a sob story about failure. I am proud of what I have gone through, about trying really hard to help someone, and share this in hope that somewhere, someone will find it helpful to write their own story.

Today I am going to tell you about Pete*.

Pete was the kind of guy who always had an excuse for everything. He justified his actions by blaming others and was not really aware of how his own life would evolve. Even though he was nothing like me, we were good friends, we were actually great friends. We would hang out a lot together, mostly chilling and not doing much.

Pete was not much of a sporty person, he had no concept about health or being active, so he rarely went out with me for a bike ride or even a walk. I have known Pete for a very long time, and got used to the fact he preferred to do different things to what I wanted to do, and that was fine by me. That is what friends are for after all, Right?.

As I struggled with weight and was trying real hard to be healthy, to move more, and find some sort of balance (any kind of balance to be fair), Pete was not at all bothered, and did not really show a lot of support. This did not make me mad or annoyed. I did hope that he would be a bit more supportive of my situation, as he could see first hand how I struggled to even walk around the block or riding my bike. I had always helped him with all of his problems and life situations, so it was a bit surprising that he would not try and at least show some interest in what I was doing.

I tried to get Pete to go for a ride, or just for a walk, but he did not want to. I tried many times, I even talked to his friends to see if they would like to get together, but he was not bothered.

I remember talking to my wife about it. How can I motivate Pete to be a bit more active. My wife has always been very direct when talking and saying things as she sees them. 'Don't bother', just do your thing, the rest will follow.

As I became more active, and had a bit more balance in my life, Pete and I lost touch for a while, and only talked a bit here and there. We would meet a few more times, but I felt at the time that we had lost that friendship, that bond that we used to have. He had changed his ways and was having some troubles at home, but did not really want to talk about them much. On the other hand, I was having a lot of positive changes in my life, I was feeling better, my daughters were growing up, and I was having more time to spend with them. Finally I was in a good place. Pete wasn't.

I did not want to give up on my friend. I tried my best.

Slowly I started to realize that Pete was a whole different person, that he did not want my help. He preferred to live his life in a way that was going against everything I stood for. He continued to revolve in a never ending spiral, shutting himself down from the world, and not listening to anything I had to say.

He was a good friend, a true friend. But there was nothing else I could do.

I had to let Pete go, for good.

I remember that day clearly, it was the 5th of September 2016. I was walking down the road to my house when I last saw Pete. He was walking towards me with his head down, hands in his pockets, hoodie on.

He raised his head, looked at me in the eyes for about 3 seconds and carried on walking bumping his shoulder against mine, moving me out of the way.

He did not say anything.

I looked back, and quietly watched him walk away. I wanted to say something. I wanted to tell him that everything was going to be OK, even though I knew deep down that it would not be. I wanted to tell him that there was hope for him in life, and that whatever situation he was facing, he could pull through, he could survive, he could be better. I wanted to thank him for being there for me, as a friend, as someone who understood everything I went through, all my struggles, and all my victories.

I did not say anything to him. I had one last look at him and quietly said: 'Good bye, Pete'.

I never heard from him again, and I hope that wherever he is, he is at peace.

The world is full of people like Pete. People who think that this one thing makes them a failure, or not as successful as they wanted to be, and that no matter how hard they try, there is no way out. That 'one thing' can be anything. Being stressed, unhealthy, overweight, selfish, any of those things can bring you down and make you feel like there is nowhere to go.

My message to you?. Do not let these things define you. Work on marginal improvements, day by day, little by little. Find your peace, find your north, and slowly do that 'one thing' that makes you a little bit better than you were yesterday, even if that just means walking around the block.

You see, Pete thought it was OK living his life the way he did. He did not know any better. He had to meet people along the way to understand that things can improve, that doing little things always helps in the long run.

Things like walking one day, then walk some more the day after. Things like going out for a run. Things like eating better. Things like involving your kids in your daily activities, and teach them about how the world works. Things like swimming again after 25 years. Things like riding your bike for hours to end. Things like learning from those around you, and understanding different points of view, and taking all the good that it brings to your life. Things like discipline. Things like good habits.

I could go on forever.

We all have a friend like Pete, and at some point we all have to let him go, because hanging on to him eventually will slow us down.

I let Pete go, not because I had to, but because I wanted to. He is gone, and I hope to never see him again. I do not want to.

I guess at this point you kind of understand who Pete was, and what he represents in my life.

Let your Pete go, is not worth it.

Thanks for reading.

*This concept was originally created by someone else in their own blog. Unfortunately I am not able to find the original post. If I do, I will link it in the future.

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