I started doing triathlons and after experiencing good results and fast success, I jumped all in. I set goals and made big life decisions in order to pursue my dreams. I set high bars for myself--win a national championship, earn a spot on the USA National team, make the Olympic team...to name a few. I surrounded myself with an unbelievable support team--mentors, coaches, sponsors, local families who loved and cared for me on my quest to turn my dreams into reality.
Although I didn't accomplish everything on my list (goal-wise), I did compete as a professional athlete; I was invited out to train at the Olympic Training Center twice; and I won a national age group title in 2011 (not to mention all the training miles I logged!!!). I lived out my motto: I'd rather dream big and get a piece of it than dream small and get all of it. -- I dreamed BIG. I went for it. I didn't leave anything to chance. I put myself out there and I got a piece of it.
I struggled, prayed and asked God for clarity on next steps--what should I do? Rehab and come back? Will a return to the pro ranks jeopardize my long term health? Will it affect my quality of life down the road if I continue to push my body? What are my chances of achieving my goals given my situation? -- BIG questions that involved crying, getting quiet and some serious internal wrestling and turmoil. But as it says in James 1:5:
If anyone lacks wisdom, let her ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to her.
I ran after my athletic goals with gusto and intensity. I sacrificed my body, relationships and at many times my own sanity to chase after my dreams. Don't get me wrong--I'm grateful for the experiences and people I've met through sport--I can't imagine my life any differently, but it's time for a NEW season. It's time to dust off my other goals and begin to live life outside of the competitive sport arena. It's time to readjust my priorities--recalibrate in a way. So at 27 years old, I can say, I'm retiring and "graduating" on to another chapter.
Thank you to everyone who has helped me through this process and journey. Your kind words, hugs and encouragement have been huge energy boosters. Thank you! :)
On that note, I'm off to new horizons and uncharted territory!
Let's buckle up and get this show on the road!