I’m up here in Crested Butte. I just had an awesome day skiing big pow, jumping off cliffs and being totally engrossed in the moment. The 20 days on the chair lift since November have given me ample time to think. I believe the most important thing about all the skiing this off season is that it has reignited a sense of gratitude and passion to be doing what I am: Professional sport. Towards the end of 2018, I started to think about triathlon almost purely from a monetary standpoint—and at that, I of course, saw the time I was putting into it as a failure (despite it being a fact that in most fields it takes a few years). My hourly wage if computed would be far less then the minimum, and I’m still living in my parent’s basement. However, after taking a step back I have realized it has not been a failure--for one, I improved drastically in 2018. While is no guarantee that I will one day be able to make decent money in triathlon, it is worth a shot. What do I have to lose? And even if it hasn’t been financially lucrative, I can honestly say that if I had a choice to do whatever I could with my time, that the last year would have looked exactly the way it did. That’s living (to me) and means its worth pursuing.
I want to talk a bit more about making decisions rationally or based on feeling. I think it would be hard for anyone to go into professional triathlon if thinking purely from a rational standpoint (especially when you have a college degree). The way I try to look at it rationally is that it’s an incredibly high reward if you can make a full career out of it. That is if you like being 100% focused on bettering yourself in a sport, love long grueling days, travel, and living like a monk. All of which I do. In terms of risk you could say it is high risk as in the chances of making it big time are incredibly low. However, after further inspection the risk seems relatively low. My life is not at stake, I’m not putting anyone else in danger, I’m not accumulating massive amounts of debt and I’m not unhappy. The only risk is that in a few years I will have to acknowledge that its not gonna happen and start at the beginning in another career.
While deciding to pursue triathlon from the heart is obvious. Let me put it this way, if I were not to give it my all I would be sitting around for the rest of my life wondering if I had what it took. I would far rather put it all on the line and fail then not put it on the line at all and never know (and perhaps tell myself I could have done it but that it’s too risky). Plus, I have loved every day of the journey. I believe it has made me a better, stronger man, it has taught me what real work and commitment is. And it has led to me meeting amazing people including my girlfriend.
Much of this might seem obvious, however being a young man I have felt pressure from society to get a move on with my life. To do something substantial and to set myself up for the future. I also got led astray a bit in the off season. All year people my age wondered when I would go out and party and just let loose. I told them the off season and believed that the off season--when I didn’t have structure and have to train 6 hours a day--would be the best time of the year. It was the worst—by far. When committed to my own path I always felt every minute was spent well, was always fulfilled, and never felt lonely. In the off season I felt lonely, unworthy, and found myself wondering what to do with myself. Following your own path is the only real way to live life.
It took me a bit to come around but going into 2019 I am trying to find more of a balance between judging triathlon from a financial standpoint and from an emotional standpoint. I realize I am on the verge of becoming good enough to at least move out of my parent’s basement 😊! So that’s the goal; to continue to be process oriented and enjoy every step (if I don’t enjoy it then I ought to do something else) and at the same time give it my absolute all and go as fast as I can!
Thanks for reading and let me know what you think!
My blog is a collection of topics including training, nutrition, sponsorships, and becoming the best man I can be. In addition, I write about my spiritual realizations that are intrinsic to the sport of triathlon.