Emiley Stroud is an adventurous mama and military wife. This is her story:
For as long as I can remember, I thought about what was next — how hard I was going to have to work to get from here to there and if I could only just make this one thing happen, then I would be happy… Then I could slow down and enjoy things. It was an insane way to live and I ended up missing out on a lot because of it. By the time I graduated college, I had worked for a few of the biggest names in sports, a newspaper in a top ten market and got a job right out of school — something most people dream about. A few years into it, I got burnt out. I lost my passion and myself. All the years I spent climbing a ladder that was leading me further and further away from who I was.
About that time, I got married and my husband deployed for the 4th time. I didn’t know how to handle the stress of him being in another war torn country, on the other side of the world for 7 months with barely any communication. I needed an outlet for all the worry that came along with being an infantryman’s wife. I needed a way to deal with not being able to talk to him or know whether or not he was ok.
Running became that thing for me – it was my outlet, my way of coping and, I believe, the one thing that really kept me sane through it all. It also gave me a lot of time to think — about my husband, about my family and about how my passions had shifted. I realized that there was more to life than a 9-5 and decided to leave my career and the life I had built for myself in Arizona to move to 29 Palms, CA.
What people assumed would be my biggest struggle — no corporate offices or big time jobs — turned into just the thing I needed. 29 Palms is about as no frills as it gets and in the time I was there, I was able to unbecome everything Arizona had made me into. I found my way back to me.
I ran a lot. Hiked a lot and spent as much time with my husband as I could. I started to realize that THINGS didn’t matter. As long as my husband was safe and my family was healthy, I didn’t need much else.
We’ve since been through two more deployments, the workups that went along with them,had our first child and moved to a place that’s even more remote and secluded than 29 Palms. This time in Coleville, CA where we’ve been able to explore all of what the Eastern Sierras have to offer. I’ve been doing a lot of running, a LOT of hiking and spending as much time with my son, my dog and my husband as possible.
I’m working again, but my life is much more balanced. My passion is back and I’m sure as heck not going to miss out on anything anymore.