Monday, December 22, 2008


So I've been talking about it on here briefly, and writing some about the dilemmas I am facing with regard to my athletic career. So what's going on?

I watched the Ironman World Championships on NBC a few weeks ago, and I thought I might get a sense of where I'm at when I watched that. I enjoyed the broadcast, but honestly, it didn't make me feel all excited to get out on my bike, to go run, or even enjoy a swim. I really just didn't feel like I wanted to go out and train. I wanted to race, that's for sure! But to be truly wanting to race well, you have to want to train, and train well, on a daily basis.

A few weeks ago, I talked about how I felt I was tired of getting 7th-8th. I feel like I have reaped the rewards of that in the past, and to continue to work at the same level and have the same results would be disappointing, and unfulfilling. I knew that it was either time to step-up my commitment, or step back. Stepping back is much easier to figure out, but stepping up is more challenging. To step up you must figure out where you are weak, and look to challenge those weaknesses. One weakness was that training mostly alone was allowing me to be soft, and I needed to find a group where opportunities would be better. I looked for opportunities to find a group to work with on a semi-frequent basis, and tried to determine if this was really possible given my commitments and other responsibilities.

In the end, it's just been very hard. I don't feel I have the mental desire and willingness to sacrifice like I have in the past. It is because of this I am stepping away from racing. This is not to say I am "retiring", because that's not the case. I am simply saying that at this point I don't feel the desire to train day in, day out, and go for the goals I have normally had regularly. How long will this last? Who knows? It could be a few weeks, few months, or even a few years. I'm not worried about that part right now.

I do not feel a lack of desire in my life in general, quite the contrary. In fact, I feel strong and have more desire in many other aspects of my life. Honestly, since stopping training, I've seen my relationship with my wife elevate to an even higher level, and I feel much happier about that. It's been something which has probably affected my motivation level for another season, given that our relationship has improved so much. (For those of you wondering, it will be our 2 year anniversary soon, and I got her an AWESOME gift for the ocassion. I will reveal that in another post, but trust me, it's good!)

I have also seen my opportunities for writing and coaching increase which I am really excited about. If you've followed my coaching blog, you've noticed how much I've been writing and the things I've been doing. You've probably also seen the new training plans I've launched, which incorporate iPod videos. I came to realize recently that if I spent much of my training time doing my coaching and writing, I probably would have made a lot more money. In this economy, prize money is staying the same, so it is basically going down. Meanwhile, travel expenses continue to go up. Sponsorships are more cut-throat and dwindling. In terms of economics, racing professionally is a poor business decision for my family and me at this time.

I don't know when the desire to train and get back to racing will return, but I'm not worried about it. At this point, I'm hoping to focus on being more of a coach and author, and taking advantage of the current home prices and securing my family's future.

I will still keep this blog updated, but my main focus will be my coaching blog. Check it out, and let me know your thoughts as the year goes on.

Once I get the desire again to put in the daily grind to be the best athlete I can be, I'll be sure to post it here. In the meantime, I'll be focusing that energy in areas with a better return on my time and investment.

I'm excited in my life, just not about training and racing anymore. Stay tuned for more...



Sue said...

Well, I must say you were the 1st blog that I started reading and have gotten hooked along the way with your insight to the sport, trials, and tribulations.. It was grand meeting you in CDA last yr and seeing my mug on your blog was, well cool...Thanks for letting us follow your journey and if you are ever up in this beautiful city called CDA, perhaps we would run into each other again. I wish you the best as always...

barndog said...

We would all be so fortunate to have .001 of the success you have had racing, for that I'm sure your grateful. The world of training and racing is an enormous paradox, so big yet so small. There is more to life than racing (say it isn't so) Good luck with everything.
enjoying the coaching blog!