Lately I’ve been spending time to reflect on my career. I recently had an interview with TV 8, a local news channel in Eagle County Colorado. The interviewer asked, “what was my best accomplishment”? So many things rush to your mind as you are stretched for time on live television. You don’t want to delay or bore the audience. I genuinely couldn’t think of 1 specific moment that was the “BEST”. In reality, as my career has carried on I have accomplished a major goal followed by another. In essence, every athlete’s best moment is a series of accomplishments and not just a single performance. A better question may be to ask what is the most recent accomplishment you are most proud of. This led to pondering the beginning of my Professional Athletic career and trying to remember and appreciate the long road to where I’ve arrived. The people I’ve met, the foods I’ve tried and the mountains I’ve come across…They all bring about a sense of happiness. Most of all, the people you meet that become like family. There are 2 races in particular that have become a staple in my racing calendar.
Mt. Washington Road Race and The Mountain Games. Both events promote adventure and mountain related challenges. Mt. Washington is a steep road hill climb averaging 12% while my favorite event at the Mountain Games starts around 8,000 feet and climbs over 10,000 before descending back to an energizing finish line! Years ago when I began my career I came across some wonderful people. I was fresh out of college, no money, no direction in terms of racing. I was fortunate enough to be housed by some locals in Colorado, giving me the opportunity to race my first Mountain Games. Mind was blown watching all the different mountain sports taking place at the Games. Sports at the time, I had never seen, not even on television! Dog competitions, mountain biking, paddle boarding, mud runs.. Many more.
Fell in love with the 10k at these games and even more with my now friends for over 7 years who first helped me out, thank you Jamie and Andy! Also, world renowned climber and local Ellen Miller (Also staff on the World Mountain Running Team) who helped me connect the link in the first place, THANK YOU! Merely racing is great, but the friendships we make along the way bring meaning and purpose to specific goals and challenges I’ve personally sought after. This year was special as I was able to win my 3rd consecutive title at the Games! I always say anyone can win once. Might even get lucky and win again. Then, you get a bull’s-eye on your back so the third time you attempt a consecutive victory you will be tested and it truly will be a charm if you pull it off!
My first tours at the Games were great experiences, but never quite took the Gold. Reaching the finish line for a 3-Peat was all the sweeter as I thought back on my experiences and the miles it took to get to this point. Reflection is a beautiful thing I believe we forget to do as we get caught up with the hustle and bustle of life. Reflecting on the journey is a special reality that allows us all to admire our personal history and respect future goals!
Topped off the weekend with a nice run in with Super Frenchie AKA Matthias Giraud. Also a Merrell ambassador and super athletic fella with accomplishments ranging from base jumping to professional skiing. Hoping to catch him in action sometime. Surely to be an entertaining venture!
Until next time, long may your journey be!