My name is Michael Ubaldini and I like to believe I have two homes - Pennsylvania and Arizona. I grew up in Northeastern PA, Clarks Summit to be exact, and went to college in Philadelphia. I’ve spent almost 20 years living in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas and it is certainly home. However, I have had the great fortune to share almost a decade of my life living in the Phoenix, AZ area. This is where “my family” started. During my first stint in the Valley of the Sun I was able to meet my wife, Robin. Here, we started our family and after a few years our daughters, Isabella & Alaina were born. We have since moved cross-country twice and are now settled back in AZ where things all started. These three women in my life are what drives me each day.
The mission with Time on the Trails is a combination of that journey, my love for trail running, the outdoors, the mountains, helping people, and serving others through life. This vision that was formed by my wife, Robin, who planted the seed. Since 2010 I’ve been on an incredible journey of growth, personal development & transition that was birthed from so many of the mistakes, failures & poor decisions. I spent much time blaming others for my circumstances, passing judgment on others and myself, and living in comparison that brought me to depression, sadness, anger and almost suicide. My wife and daughters have been my inspiration through those dark moments. Much of that time I spent lost, but still found enough awareness in myself to realize there is something much bigger than me to live for. That began this road to transition and change that I will forever be traveling. Failure and mistakes continue daily. I embarrass myself (sometimes my girls 😬) but I’ve learned how to not let my thoughts and circumstances control who I am. I’ve been fortunate to attract, meet, connect with, and learn from remarkable mentors and leaders that have shared their principles on life. I continue to study these principles, implement them into my life and share them with others. I believe we are all given talents and treasures at birth that are meant to be shared. So many leave this life too early without sharing their gifts, living up to their potential, and having a lasting impact on others. We are all meant to serve one another, and we are each other’s greatest asset. It took me 40 years to realize what I was put here to do and now I am on another journey to fulfill this mission.
In 2012 I started competing in ultra-endurance events; basically, running around the mountains for a weekend, doing specific events and tasks, carrying heavy stuff with a 40 lbs. pack strapped to my back. In preparation for these events, I trained in the mountains, hiking, and running. This is when I was introduced to trail running and not long after, ultra-trail marathons. In 2015 I competed in my first 50k and my love for the sport (i.e. addiction) has grown resulting in a few 100-milers & 100k’s, several 50-milers and many 50k’s. When my family and I relocated to the Phoenix area in July 2018 I began taking full advantage of the vast mountains and trail systems throughout the valley, as well as up and down I-17. I have always had a passion for helping others; initially it was coaching wrestling, many years ago, and has since moved to mentoring and leading folks as it relates to life and the struggles we all deal with daily. Volunteering in schools, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, the Phoenix Park Steward Program, and other organizations have given me real life experience in many of the challenges we all face. These transition directly to health, wellness, and fitness. We get so wrapped up in the result, whether that is walking a mile or running a 100-mile ultramarathon. We don’t concentrate on the journey and the process. We take for granted those small moments we GET to experience that lead up to that ultimate mission, even though, most of us never reach that pinnacle – that result. We get lost in our performance & results, not ever realizing that we are so much further from when we started. We are better, we are different, we have grown from that first step we took on the journey.