2016 has been a crazy whirlwind of a year. I began the year with a move back to the mothership after living in Thailand for the majority of 2014 and 2015. I started a job as an Emergency Room scribe, thinking I wanted to apply to medical school. After backpacking and teaching English in rural Thailand, a career in medicine seemed logical, sane, and esteemed; I’d be following the path that my two surgeon grandparents paved so inspiringly.
Summer rolled around and I found myself completely disheartened at the prospect of intense school for another decade. I re-fell in love with my homestate of Colorado and was healthier (running and mind-wise) than I’d ever been, especially compared to what should’ve been ‘my prime’ at Princeton. I was welcomed into a community of crazy trail runners, Rocky Mountain Runners and the Salomon Run Club, both of Boulder, and made best friends for life. My path wasn’t medical school. What is my path? I don’t know. But I think I’m on some sweet best-version of it.
By taking risks, rewards can follow. Not always, and depending on the magnitude of the risk, the consequences could be way worse than any possible reward. This being said, I took a risk this summer to drop out of Organic Chemistry II, to cease my medical career dreams, and to devote more of my time and energy to training. I took a risk by running my first 100-miler without a run longer than 32 miles leading into it (although I’d run a 50-miler in Thailand in 2014…not terribly helpful). I followed my gut during the Leadville 100 and ended up having a pretty great day.
Since then, I’ve raced more (winning The North Face Park City half marathon Sep 26 and placing 6th at the USA Trail Marathon Champs in Moab Nov 5), trained more, tried to rest more than ever (I’m dealing with anemia and hypothyroidism, likely related to being a Celiac), and spent time with some pretty incredible people. Talweg Creative followed me around for 9 days, shooting a flick for REI’s #optoutside campaign. I went to The North Face’s global athlete summit in Moab, brushing shoulders with my idols, from Rob Krar to Rory Bosio, to Conrad Anker to Renan Ozturk (all of whom I now call teammates)!
I’ve never been more inspired and I don’t have a typical job. I tutor to pay for food and gas, work for my 89 and 94-year-old retired CU professor roommates and write for various blogs (The Feed, Hint Water) Instead of daydreaming in a cubicle, I daydream wherever I want.
One 50-miler to Go
Is this a wrap for 2016? Far from it. I have a 50 mile race in 6 days, informally regarded as the 50-mile World Championships, hosted by The North Face in Marin County, CA.
It’s a fast, non-technical course: my speciality. Do I feel awesome? Not exactly. I’m tired from the year and unsure of why I’m still anemic, and I’m ready to take a break from structured training (even though, yes, I coach myself). But am I stoked? OF COURSE I AM. If I have one goal for the rest of my life, let alone for TNF50, it’s too exude perpetual, relentless stoke. HERE WE GOOOOOOOOOO.