Monday, January 23, 2017

Chasing Dreams to Colorado

A couple of years ago, I gave a speech in which I challenged 300 of my friends and coworkers to ask "why not?" and to move forward and live their dreams. Since that day, I've felt like I needed to keep that momentum going in my own life, to continuously push forward and challenge myself, whether it was taking a new position at work or setting big goals in triathlon. When you start to challenge yourself that way all the time, it's really interesting where that kind of mindset will take you.

Last September, Trent and I took a weekend trip to Keystone, Colorado, to ride our bikes up some mountains. Before the plane to Denver had left the ground, we were talking about how awesome it would be to live in Colorado. How cool would it be to train in the beautiful mountains all the time? By the time we arrived back in San Antonio three days later, we had a plan for making it happen.

In mid-September we started sending resumes to Colorado to see where one might stick. We were driving home from Ironman Louisville a month later when we got the first exciting email, "please call to schedule a phone interview." A month after that, while Trent was out for a training ride in Phoenix two days before Ironman Arizona, I received the magical phone call with an offer for a position at a great company here in Denver.

I don't think it's a coincidence that these big things happened around Ironman events. The Ironman motto is "anything is possible." After you've cross an Ironman finish line, you start to believe it. To get to that line, you have to have strength of body and mind. You put in the training and hard work towards a goal. On race day, you push through pain and doubt to accomplish something that feels huge and meaningful, and you understand that you made it possible through will and dedication. Like so many others, Ironman's great gift to me is that I started believing that I can do whatever I put my mind to. The events of the past few months are more proof to me that this is true.

Things started moving fast after Ironman Arizona. We had to get ready to move, sell the house, give notice at work. It was hard to leave a company where I've worked for almost 10 years and made so many friends. It was hard to leave San Antonio, where I've lived for 20+ years since college; hard to leave friends and family behind, even though I know we'll be back to visit. I cried in my car driving past Kerrville on I-10, looking towards my parents' house and at landmarks and roads where Shelly and I began our triathlon days.

Then of course, I started looking forward, and although we've only been here one month, what a month it has been! We had a fairytale white Christmas in Winter Park with Trent's boys, we've ridden our bikes through Red Rocks, gone running on snowy trails only minutes from our front door, been downhill skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating. I'm looking forward to so many adventures to come!

Christmas in Winter Park
Trent has always dreamed of living here in Colorado. For me, it wasn't just, "I need to be in the mountains." I don't think I would have been able to move somewhere that I didn't have a personal connection, and it just happens that I have so many wonderful ones here. Whiting, my amazing swimmy friend that I met at a triathlon camp 2 years ago, and have kept in touch with. Naomi, my bff from high school, who moved here with her husband years ago. And of course, the heart of our triathlon team, Big Sexy Racing - Erika and Chris McDonald live just down the road in Boulder, and so do several of our awesome teammates. The world seems smaller and smaller when you realize how many people you're connected to, near and far.

Back in a swim lane together again with Whiting and some new friends!
Naomi and I picked up right where we left off over 20 years ago in high school in Lafayette, LA.
There is a saying, "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." I'm so grateful that I've learned the lesson that it's never too late to do the things you want to do, to live the life you want to live. You can allow yourself to get stuck in the every day; you can make excuses, or you can make a decision to do something. Whatever it is, choose it, and then jump in with both feet and see what happens. Plant your tree.

As always, I'm honored that you're reading this. Thank you for your encouragement and well wishes, and I wish the best to you as well, my amazing friends and family. Happy New Year!