Anything can happen on any given day.
Moving to Colorado has been a dream come true while simultaneously presenting me with new obstacles each day. I love the mountains, the fresh air, the beautiful places to run, and the small town where we live. However, I do not love the perpetual rejection I’ve faced since moving, the dead end job searches, and the conversation I recently had with a high school athletic director who told me that my coaching qualifications and experience did not matter. All of these things [collectively] have crushed a piece of my soul. It has been a challenge, but they say you have to take the good with the bad. The last few weeks of May were without a doubt on the list of the top 10 worst periods of my life. Aside from loving where I live things kept getting worse and worse, but then I woke up one day and things started to change.
I can’t pinpoint what happened exactly. I woke up one day and a new opportunity presented itself, and then another the next day, and another the day after that. This has continued for the last week and a half. I got to a point a week ago where I thought, “wow this is really incredible”. I was happy and I was content and then more opportunities and possibilities presented themselves.
A few weeks ago I was looking at things the wrong way. I began to realize that the ideas I had were not broad enough. Once I had this epiphany I began to explore every possibility and opportunity that I could. I was tired of constant rejection but I truly had nothing to lose so I just started to make bold moves. I began to explore opportunities that I felt were impossible and unrealistic, and let me tell you they have not all been impossible or unrealistic. I am sitting here amazed at how many of the things I believed to be unrealistic are continuing to develop each day.
When that athletic director hired a less qualified and less experienced man and told me my qualifications and experience didn’t matter something snapped inside of me. I’ve never been so angry before in my life! I knew what he said wasn’t factual and I knew it wasn’t logical, yet it still upset me. In that moment he may have crushed my dreams, but in the moments following that he empowered me. I was ENRAGED! It was one man’s poorly calculated decision that gave me the strength to find confidence in my ability. One man’s poorly calculated decision gave me the courage I needed to start my own coaching business. I know I am a good coach and one man’s poorly calculated decision wasn’t going to convince me otherwise. So, I am now the proud owner of GOALden Peak Performance.
I started a local running club in my town with a few friends because I believe that surrounding myself with like-minded people is the best and most beneficial source of encouragement. The turnout has been incredible!! I ran Boston and I ran Ragnar Zion, but I have not been running much since. My iron was low for quite a while and I’ve been having some other issues as a result of having had mono in college. Believe it or not the mono virus is always in your body and can cause issues many years later. This has been frustrating and discouraging. Creating this small town running group has helped me not focus on these issues and it has been a source of encouragement the last two weeks. I’ve been slowly easing myself back into training and knowing I have a group to run with on Mondays has made this process more fun.
I began to feel much more confident at the beginning of the month when I FINALLY found a job. Not being able to find any kind of work has been the biggest challenge I’ve faced in a long time. Every single job I applied to over a 3 month period rejected me and it slowly started to chip away at my self-esteem. I’ve been lucky that I haven’t had to work, but I still desperately wanted a job. I feel much more productive and I have a greater sense of self worth when I have a job. Although in the past I’ve often wished I didn’t have to work, I find that I am the kind of person who needs at least a part time job if not a full time job and a few other side jobs. Obviously, my work ethic isn’t an issue. I just need things to do and with my workload for graduate school lessening daily I was going crazy sitting in the house alone with no direction or purpose for my day to day life. Once I found a job I felt much calmer, I’ve been happier, and since I have a source of income again I no longer have to window shop online!
I have been actively working on a masters thesis for over 2 years that addresses the underrepresentation of women in collegiate coaching. I’ll spare you the details, but if you are interested send me an email and I’ll be happy to talk about this for as long as you would like! [TheRoadLessRunBlog@gmail.com] I am finally in the data collection phase of my research and I have been receiving so much positive feedback from female coaches. Seeing something I have put so much time and energy into actualize right in front of me has been life changing. I began this part of my project at the worst possible time in my career and it has provided me with the hope that I needed. I needed to believe that one day things will change and whether my project is a catalyst for change or not it has certainly changed me. I’ve done nothing but advocate for women in sports for the past 2+ years and I will not stop. Having a connection to a cause and knowing that my efforts have a purpose has kept me motivated even when I feel like giving up.
The last month has led me to this conclusion: I have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Rather than feeling like I have nothing to lose I feel like I have everything to gain.