I’m currently tucked away in a car on my way to Idaho. For guess what? A nordic race. Confused? You and me both.
What happened exactly? It’s a question I’ve been asked a lot recently, and one I hope to answer for all of you now.
After trials back in December I was left with the devastating decision of “What am I going to do now!?” Biathlon has an unforgiving race season of two strikes and you’re out. Out of Europe… and into…what?
With my team, coaching staff, and seemingly, the entire race circuit over in Europe I was emotionally overwhelmed with nothing to fall back on.
After spending much of last winter sick and on a steady stream of medication it has been frustrating to be faced with what seems to be such a dead end of a race season knowing I’m physically capable of so much more. Hungry to be better. *Enter – further banging my head against a wall.
As January approached it was suggested I head to Northern Maine to finish the race season out under the watchful eye of Maine Winter Sports Center. (Yes I’m 22 and need constant supervision) Instead of feeling like an opportunity I felt like an elderly women being pushed out on an ice-flow to die in solitude. Burnout was on the horizon, and more than that, something I was not ready for. Not yet.
I’ve been called uncommitted. Disobedient. Unfocused. I prefer professionally rouge. Or perhaps charmingly unconventional. This isn’t me quitting. This is me fighting. Fighting for my place in this sport, for the longevity of my athletic career, and for my own wellbeing.
Instead of going East. I packed up my belongings and headed West… and then further West. I’ve found a little nitch in Bozeman. A happy place, in an awesome home, surrounded by some of the most incredible people, and it feels good.
I’ve got some of the best mountains as a playground. I’ve got snow and blue bird “Big Sky Country” days. And yes, I even have my rifle… and 4000 rounds of ammunition…
I’d be lying if I told you I know what I’m doing or what the future holds, and I’m steadily growing ok with that. For now the sun is setting on Idaho and I’m well on my way to couch surfing through the Boulder Mountain Tour this weekend (Thanks Kev)! On Saturday I’ll be doing my first nordic race in over two years and on Sunday I’ll find out if I get to go to Bulgaria, for European Championships, at the end of the month. Big things ahead? I sure think so.
Until then I’ll be accepting deposits of crossed fingers and good vibes.