I’ve been a Colorado boy my entire life. One year ago, if you would have told me I would ever leave Aspen, I would have said you were crazy. If you told me I would leave to chase a girl to a major metropolitan area, I would have laughed in your face. It’s amazing how quickly things can change.
I’m moving to the Bay Area next month, not only to chase girl, but also to chase a dream. For the last three years I’ve been a proud employee of The Little Nell Hotel and the Aspen Skiing Company. The opportunities, experiences, and friendships I’ve gained during my tenure are truly invaluable and will survive long after my final day at the office. Last Thursday I quit my job in order to focus full time on running. I realize I only have one chance to make this work, so I intend to take full advantage of the opportunity.
While I’m obviously very excited about the direction my life is heading, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t also very nervous. I turn 27 later this month and I’ve never lived more than a four hour drive from my mom and dad. I’m leaving behind a very comfortable, career oriented job that pays me well and supports my passions. I’m leaving a small town with many friends, in favor of a big city of strangers. I’m leaving elevation, I’m leaving familiarity and I’m leaving home. All these things have weighed heavily on me, but my current emotion is one of overwhelming stoke. Change, like Ultrarunning, is inherently uncomfortable. Maybe this discomfort is exactly what I need.
I’ve always admired my older brother, Jason, who makes his living as a yoga instructor. He spends his life practicing his passion and makes a good living in the process. He’s worked hard to get to where he is, but it’s always been a labor of love – something which, I’m sure, doesn’t really feel like work. Meanwhile, I’ve been sweating at the Hotel, working fifty hour weeks, while simultaneously trying to train to race at a high level. When I started at The Little Nell, running was simply a hobby that absolutely took a backseat to my career. Over the last few years though, the power of my experiences on the trail has transformed this hobby into a devoted lifestyle that can no longer take a backseat to anything. Like Jason, I want my passion to be the focal point of my life. I must do this now or I’ll regret it forever.
It just so happened that Jason was experiencing his own restlessness, and was compelled to move to the Bay Area himself just couple weeks ago. He arrived just in time to drop all his belongings at the house we’ll share, and drive to Yosemite for a ten day silent Vipassana meditation, which he completed on Sunday. It will be great to have him out there, and to share this transitional period of our lives together.
One of the things I’m most looking forward to is the chance to fall in with the vibrant San Francisco running community. I look forward to training with all my talented friends that call the area home, and to meeting many new friends along the way. I’m really looking forward to racing the Miwok 100k in May as my official baptism to the local trail system that will be my training grounds for the foreseeable future. I also intend to get out to the Sierras for many long days, including a heavy training camp, in preparation for the Big Dance. In short, I’m just very excited to explore a lot Northern California on foot. It is truly a hotbed of running talent and opportunity.
Finally, I’d just like to say that, without the unbelievable support I receive from Pearl Izumi, this endeavor would be a complete impossibility. The confidence they have in me is truly humbling and inspires me to be the best athlete and person I possibly can. I can’t believe how fortunate I am.
I guess I should mention that I won’t be a total gypsy though. While training will be my focus, I will also have a job that I’m equally excited about. It just became official so I’ll address it further in a future post. For now its time to tie up loose ends, work my notice, and train like a machine. Change is good. Life is good. Fire it up.