The last couple of months have seen a pretty huge change in direction. Anyone who knows me, knows I don't really like change. I love routine: I would do the exact same things at the exact same time everyday, like a little drone, if it were an option. Which more or less sums up the majority of my day to day life. I know I know, I really live life on the edge.
There aren't a ton of inevitable things in life, but there are a couple: a good example would be death for instance, and another is change. It happens, but it can sure be uncomfortable. And in the last few weeks a pretty significant crossroads presented itself: keep doing what you're doing, because it's comfortable and safe, and yet has come to lack a certain...something that I can't really quite put my finger on, or go full-bore in some other direction, because the option has been placed in front of me.
Let me digress for a second. I get it, this is social media and for that reason life is supposed to be presented through rose-colored glasses with only the most brilliant highlights, because we are all in a contest to show whose life is the greatest. Duh. And while it is important and encouraging to express the accomplishments and the good fortune that comes our way, it's obviously not the whole story. The last year for example, in spite of my attempts at finding the humor in everything, has been the most discouraging year I have ever experienced. Granted, my problems are all First World ones, and I've got a whole lot more to be grateful for than not. But in summary, running more or less bit the dust for now (I write this sitting here in a boot for the second time in a year), work and life in general went in a direction I didn't really anticipate, important relationships fizzled out, and ultimately the time seemed right to move on. I would say the time seemed right for a "growth opportunity," but that's all anyone has said to me for the last month and if I hear that phrase one more time I'm going to backhand someone.
Enter: Hoka One One. Let's backtrack, since I'm sure this is getting hard to follow.
I've spent a while working for Boulder Running Company (er, sorry, I mean, Jackrabbit Sports), like, pretty much since I graduated. When a friend of mine moved on from her Tech Rep position with Hoka fairly recently, I decided to throw my name in the hat. I had kind of kept my ear to the ground for a tech rep job for a while now, but, reverting back to my love of routine, I didn't really do anything about it because I wanted to train, I wanted to get better, I wanted to compete, every new season I thought this could finally be the season with no setbacks if I just keep working at it, and my easy-peezy job at BRC accommodated all of those things quite nicely. On top of that, I didn't really want to apply to just any brand out there, I wanted it to be for a brand whose success I actually cared about contributing to. With the interview process that comes with those jobs, it would be sort of tough to just flub your way through them and present fake interest in any brand's line of products. And facing reality, there hadn't been a ton of training or competing going on for the last year, more like a bunch of PT and cross training, so the timing seemed solid because I wouldn't normally try anything new if I was focused on trying to run well.
Why Hoka? Shameless plug here, but because it was the only shoe that I could train in for nearly the entirety 2014 without feeling like my plantar was ripping right off my calcaneus, which feels about as good as it sounds. So I credit the vast majority of last year's mountain season to them, and I developed kind of an affinity for those goofy looking clown shoes that at first I swore I'd never run in and thought Johnny Halberstadt was on crack for being obsessed with (bless his heart) and bringing into BRC five years ago. But, in spite of fluffing through all my mileage in them, I still wound up in a boot by the end of last year. But to be fair, that's because while Hoka can help a lot of things, they can't really help stupid decisions, I'm still a believer. So, that's why Hoka.
Long story and a million interviews later, I got the job, which I was so pumped about, but there was a caveat in that it was not entirely the job I had applied for. Rather than getting the territory I had my heart set on, they decided to relocate me to...SURPRISE! Texas. Obviously this created an existential crisis in my mind, I can't believe they're asking me to alter my entire life! What is this?! Um, excuse me Mr. Hiring Manager Man sir, but are you crazy? Well, as Hoka's slogan says, "Crazy Does," so yeah I guess so.
I can't lie, the job I'm really excited for, the turning point I'm excited about, the potential for a lot of new open doors I'm excited about, a bit of change I'm excited about, but the Texas part I'm a little salty about. I was a little...territorial, you might say...over the Rocky Mountain territory. Sometimes I can't really tell if I'm having to convince myself that this is a good idea and really what I want, or if my gut is telling me not to go with it, or if I'm just nervous because it's something really different, I don't really know. But it was hard to say no. And until then, I didn't realize just how much truth there is to "it's who you know" when it comes to getting jobs that you really want. But then, I don't think there is really anything to lose by trying something new, and I shouldn't knock it till I try it. Who knows, I could love it, or I could be back in six months, or even three, or get cold feet altogether, or fail the background check and get fired before I'm really hired, but there's only one way to find out.
So all of these meandering thoughts are to say, while I know that running will come back around one day, as one of my favorite runners, Pheobe Wright says, "A watched pot never boils, and a watched injury never heals!" If one thing's not going how you want it to and you've exhausted all options, may as well work on something else till the tide turns again. The stars have aligned in such a way over the last year or so that I've decided that for the sake of my sanity, perspective, and for the sake long-term benefit in life and--in a roundabout way--running, that running needs to have a different priority on the totem pole of Things I'm Obsessed With for a while. There will be plenty more mountains to run up and plenty more races to run and by no means am I giving up on any goals, just letting them take a breather.
Simon Gutierrez, who I go to more for mental therapy than physical, although he does not know this (or maybe he does), informed me that, "Pikes Peak will still be here when you come back." It better be.