Sometimes You have to follow your heart. And sometimes, you have to take a break from life to realize that your unhappy. Montenegro was a wake-up call. I laughed, I made people laugh, I smiled, I made new friends, saw new places, and relaxed. I realized that working a full time job, coaching on the weekends, training all week, and trying to have a social life wasn’t a balancing act, it was a recipe for disaster. A sleep-deprived, bitter, sick, disaster. It was my disaster and I was returning to it.
I came home sick (again), tired, and unmotivated. I struggled in the office, I craved sugar like the word Paleo never existed, I was uninspired at the gym, and the hard pack made me want to hit snooze on Saturday mornings instead of coach. It was one hell of a rut. If I continuously feel like trading in barbells and skis for ice cream (hello dairy-filled self-sabotage) and cocktails, something is definitely up. It took an ego-bruising confrontation to shake me out of it.
No one likes to hear their blowing it. Even when you know you are slacking, it’s not a pleasant conversation. Little did I know as I lapped the block wondering what the hell I was doing and if I trying to get myself fired, my boss was thinking the same thing. She took me aside and asked me if I wanted to give 110% to Spy Hop, the same way that I give myself to skiing and to Crossfit. It was an easy answer. No.
I wish it wasn’t so easy. I work for a wonderful organization that teaches youth media skills I wish I had, and encourages them to find their voice and follow their dreams. On paper, it’s perfect, but in reality? It’s not my dream. My dream is to be outside, in the mountains playing. I want to feel the fresh air, suck in frosty winter mornings, and challenge my body. I want to help others get stronger so that they can play harder.I want to learn more about the human body, what it can do, where it can go, how to fuel it best. But instead I was sitting inside, writing grants to help youth follow their dreams while my dream was squeezed in on the weekends. I missed my dreams, my freedom, my adventures, and yet I felt guilty. Spy Hop needs me, we’re a team, I can’t just bail. But what does that guilt cost?
This same conversation gave me an out. I didn’t have to be guilty. I wasn’t letting down the team. I don’t have to stay. My boss told me stories about being my age and moving from NYC to Salt Lake with less than a grand in her pocket, dreaming of being a dancer, stories of doing what I should be doing at 24. I have no mortgage, no familial ties to Salt Lake, I have no real responsibilities. This is my time to take risks, to travel, to be broke, and to relish in it. For the ski industry, I’m pretty Type A. I make lists of things I need to make lists of. I thrive on schedule, order, and a packed schedule. I want to do it all and I believed that I could. In the past year I truly tried to do it all and what did I learn? I don’t really want to. It’s ok to let-go, to be reckless, to live pay-check to pay-check and to have no idea what you’re doing next month. I don’t want to do that forever, but for right now? I can’t wait.
I gave Spy Hop my notice a month ago and today is my last day. I bought a plane ticket to Chamonix to climb and ski with Crystal and Brian, applied for the mentorship at Mountain Athlete in Jackson Hole, sublet my apartment, and put a down payment on a fully furnished room in Jackson. Life is crazy, you just sometimes have to stop resisting it to laugh a little bit. Go ahead, follow your dreams.