the end

written by the husband, Juan.

Only a few hours left of 2013 and what a year it has been.  Sadly, Rachel’s aunt passed away unexpectedly yesterday.  Rae originally was planning her usual year in review through pictures (you can check out last year’s here.)  However, after noticing what I was working on today, she asked if I would share my year-end review on her blog.  How can I say no to a gimpy woman with only one working arm?!

I wanted to take a few moments to highlight some of the awesomeness that took place this year for the Martinez family and then share what I am committing to for this new year of 2014.  In 12 short months we have experienced more change than any one person could plan!   Though it’s been a year full of a lot of change, we are thankful we are in it as a family and thankful for our God who leads and guides us every step!

So here we go:

1. Rae and I celebrated 8 years of marriage and enjoying another year of life with our wild and sweet Veldalita.

IMG_7179beach lover even in winter

2. Rae completed her second official half marathon in March of 2013, only 3 months after completing the Dallas Marathon! She kicked butt!

IMG_1858Rae ran with her friend Nancy

3. While having a dream job with Team World Vision and enjoying life in the amazing NYC area, the time came where we felt our next assignment was going to the last frontier.

IMG_7116saying goodbye to “La Casa Nueva”

4. We drove over 5000 miles across the continent starting out in Long Island, NY and visiting family and friends along the way in several different states. We made our new home in Alaska, joining a stellar group of people at Church on the Rock AK.


IMG_0939Velda colored in each state as we drove through; we have a separate map for Canada

IMG_8883our new home state

5. I fooled everyone at my new job! They still think I know what I am doing as the Media Director.

6. Velda became the youngest person at 5 years old to hike to the legendary “bush cabin”.  I love to hear how most adults who attempt the hike cry like babies and complain of how hard it is.  Here is a little girl who kicked some butt and survived a hike with Mike.  (You can see more pictures from our hike here.)

20130717-023824.jpgVelda, Mike and Asher the dog

7. It took 3 years, tons of early morning trainings, lots of work (I did the math and it was over 500 training hours for 2013) plus the invaluable support from my family, undergoing major surgery with the end result of loosing some organs and a full recovery, I was able to train while moving across the continent and complete one of my life dreams … Completing the official Ironman distance (140.6 miles: 2.4 swimming, 112 biking and 26.2 running in 13 hours & 13 minutes) and therefore owning the title “Ironman” and bragging rights for life. (Rae is stilling bugging me about a blog post for the Ironman!)


8. Six weeks post Ironman I PR (personal record) on the marathon distance. It was my loneliest marathon!


8. I went on a real hunt deep into the Alaskan wilderness. Because I was not an ‘official’ resident of Alaska at the time, I could not shoot any animal but I did help fix the kill and pack it out … about 13 miles. As well, both Rae and I (with the guidance of our friends Luke and Cindy) butchered the meat off the legs and into portions that fit in our freezer.


9. For the first time in my life I was awarded MVP by author and celebrity Couch Jenny.  Follow the link to read more about her experience, but really my award!!  I had the chance to escape Alaska and travel to Oregon to help the Team World Vision team there participate in the largest relay race in the world, “Hood to Coast”.  I think something like 70 people fundraised over $400K for water projects in Africa.  This kind of stuff “fills my cup”.

10.  My in-law’s (Rae’s parents) came to visit us in Alaska.  Their first time to the last frontier!  We had a few other first timer’s to Alaska and we sure do enjoy showing them this vast and beautiful land!


10. Rae and I were asked to bring some marriage wisdom to our congregation.  So we did with our first “Marriage Moment”… OLE!

marriage momentremember to ‘really try’

11. Veldalita received her first award at school: athlete student of the month!

IMG_0005from V’s first day of school of first grade

12.  Rae broke her arm.  First time breaking a bone in her life.  (Insert her sad, pouty face.)

13. We experience our lowest Alaskan temp so far: -26F.  I realized winters in NYC are not as bad as most New Yorker’s complain about.

14. I think often about my family in Colombia (mom, brother, sister…etc).  It’s been too long since the last time we visited and hopefully soon we will be able to visit again!  Also, Colombia qualified for the World Cup after 16 years!!!  MATALO!


So there you have it.  There was much missed and not mentioned but this is what comes to my mind when I reflect back upon this year.  Looking forward, here are a few goals:

1.  I am deleting Facebook from my cellphone.

2.  I’ve a stack of books (I think 13) in my office desk.  The goal is to read them all by the time we hit 2015

3.  Rae and I are recruiting lots of people and fundraising a ton of money to supply clean water to those without in Africa through Team World Vision.  Want to run with us?


2 thoughts on “the end

  1. Great to read and see that you guys are doing great, praying that our Lord would continue to use you in great and mighty ways in this 2014. I love to read your updates on the blog it keeps us connected, even though we are so far away. Love you brother, the Cortes family

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