Sunday, August 24, 2014

Training and Racing is the easy part...

I have been living the ultimate athlete life for the past two and a half weeks! A month ago I asked Brian if I could take a little road trip after our friend's wedding in Crested Butte, CO. I decided to go to Truckee, CA (one of my all-time favorite places to train) and stay with my uncle Kelly and his wife Fran. Kelly and Fran got married last year in Truckee and Brian and I came out for the wedding and got a great taste of all that Truckee had to offer. Brian helped me book a ticket and I was on my way!

The weather the past two weeks has been amazing! I have hardly seen a cloud in the sky! Perfect temperatures and perfect humidity paired with incredible mountains, perfect roads and amazing trail running have made this trip a huge success.

The past two weeks have been a huge boost to my training and I am excited about heading into the Lake Placid Camp tomorrow feeling so good. I have an early flight but look forward to maybe getting to the Olympic Training Center for dinner!!! The OTC can get old but when you are there for two weeks a year it seems amazing everyday! I am once again grateful that Brian is letting me travel for such a long time while he is home working and taking care of the dog and house.

Training is on track and I am excited to be starting on the World Cup this fall...but it is incredible to realize that these two factors are only a part of the equation for success.

In this past year I have had both parents flirting dangerously close to death. My mom had two strokes during her massive surgery to remove a cancerous growth from her abdomen last summer. I spent two and a half weeks with her in Pittsburgh while she was in the ICU. I trained every morning early, went in to be with her, then trained late every night. Two weeks ago I learned that now my father also has cancer. His is stage IV and he has been through a tremendous regime of intense Chemo and Radiation. Like last year with my mom I will be heading down to Queens to be with him and take care of him after my camp in Lake Placid.

With so much uncertainty about my parent's future I am left thinking long and hard during my workouts about what this all means and how it affects my life. I have come to the conclusion that life can be short, hard and filled with uncertainty but when someone lives with passion there is never a moment lost.

I have decided not to dwell too long on death but rather focus on life. I am giving it my all this year and look forward to helping my parents by leading by example. I now realize that the training and the racing are the easy part of what I do. The harder part is finding the strength and will to push through difficult times and obstacles and really show how tough we are.

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