A friend brought to light the other day that my blog has left my readers and followers with a bit of a cliffhanger. I took this great risk and pulled myself up from a place where I was established to start a new life in a new place I’ve always dreamed of living. My athletic capabilities were questionable with the new diagnosis on my knee and I had to come to terms this summer with the fact that I wasn’t sure if could run for the rest of my life as I always pictured.
I suppose it is time to tie up some of these dangly knots! This won’t be one of my more though-provoking posts, but it hopefully is the stop-go necessary for me to proceed with writing the way I like to write..
Let’s talk first about what I so jokingly call, Rumspringa. If you’ve never heard of the term “Rumspringa,” let me spring it to life for you. In Amish culture, there is a period of time where adolescent Amish boys and girls are allowed to do all things non-Amish. They can drink alcohol, they can use the iIternet, they can drive cars, and generally fool around. They are given the opportunity to experience other parts of life outside of their culture while still living at home with their Amish parents. At the end of their Rumspringa they can make the decision to keep living their alternative life or be indoctrinated into the Amish church. Most of the time, due to their upbringings they end up deciding to return to the church. I think this in large part because they are given the liberty to step away for a while. They can lay out all of their options without being forced one way or another. More often than not we end up choosing our paths in life based on the experiences we’ve already had and the ways we’ve been brought up. We stick to what we know.
When I first moved to Boulder I decided to keep my mind open to new activities and ideas. I was 3 months out of shape, which I’d consider my longest lay-off from endurance training in 8 years. While I had some level of base fitness, I was not even close to being “fit” by my standards. I wanted to take very small steps to get back to shape. If I woke up and didn’t feel like working out, I wouldn’t. If a friend wanted to go hiking I’d nix my run and do that instead because it was social and something I wouldn’t normally do when I’m locked into my triathlon training regimen. Being in a new town and not knowing many people, this was particularly important to me. Like when someone wanted to go out on a Tuesday night and frolic all over Pearl Street, I’d go all in. With no real race goals on the horizon, I gave myself the liberty to act impulsively and not worry about missed sessions and getting out of my routine. I suppose this is what most normal 27-year olds do. But for those who have known me for a long time, it’s not my normal.
Going back to training, I can finally say am finally back into my groove. Despite a fairly horrific knee prognosis last year, with much thanks to a taping method called McConnell taping and a new training group through the Boulder Track Club I’m actually running… a lot! My run coach, Kathy Butler does a great job of accounting for my triathlon training while keeping in check where I’m coming from after a fairly long lay-off from running + adapting to altitude. It is a different style of training from what I’ve historically done and I dig it. It gets at one of the area I believe I’m the weakest at and really plays into the strength aspect of training at altitude. I’ve also joined one of the iconic triathlon gyms in Boulder to help get me motivated on the swim again and am embracing the KickR this winter through fun outlets like Zwift.
To summarize the last 4 months let’s put it this way: I’m thrilled with my decision to make a move to Colorado. Boulder is the right place for me to be right now in my life and I’m surrounded with like-minded, talented, beautiful people. My next year racing will be a big test in what my body can really handle and to see if I’m still cut out for professionally pursuing my passion.
I hope to write more moving forward. The last few months included of a lot of changes that I had to process. I wasn’t sure how to fully express them and I didn’t want to elaborate on them too much without talking myself into circles. I think I’ve written this post 3 times already but was never fully satisfied with what I wrote. I’m not even particularly satisfied with this post but I need to write something so I can get on with the other things I want to write about…. Like racing! But I’ll save that for another post.