I took a big risk when I moved to Boulder last autumn. I had no job, no friends, and no clue what was going to happen. Most people would not have done this. I had an idea and a dream of how I hoped it would work out. As we all know, however, sometimes things do not turn out how you had envisioned. Oftentimes this provides us with a learning experience. Oftentimes this learning experience is a valuable one. Oftentimes this learning experience hurts.
It has been made clear in the past that in order to thrive, I need to be around my loved ones. Last time I left home (early college), I struggled with being away from them. When I moved back to Rochester, I had the best two years of my life. Obviously, leaving home again to take this chance on Boulder was a prospect that I was excited about, but there was some apprehension there. I know that I have something special that not everybody has. My friends and family are the most supportive people in the world, and each and every success I have is because of them. I have a very defined sense of where home is. I have given it a year here in Boulder, and it has not become home. When I came out here I had an idea of what I hoped it would be like, and what I would accomplish. It has turned out differently than I had hoped.
I knew that I would face challenges while I was out here, and I have. I met every challenge and rose to every occasion. I grew a lot, and always rallied, no matter what the situation. However, for the most part, it has felt like a series of falling into holes and climbing out of them. There have not been too many true highlights. I have been surviving, rather than thriving. I have not been happy, and I cannot try to convince myself otherwise anymore.
I have made the decision to move back to Rochester. Back home. At this point in time, it is the best decision. I moved to Boulder for the training, but honestly I think I can train just as well, if not better, in Rochester. I know that winters are rough, but it is not anything I am not used to (I handled 23 of those winters). You have to be happy in order to progress with your training. I have my support system there, and great training partners that I trust through and through. As my Boulder roommate (who has been an awesome big brother figure to me this whole time) put it, "you do not become fast by living in Boulder, you become fast by working your ass off." At the moment, I honestly think that I can work harder in a situation where I am around my loved ones, where the support is tangible and accessible.
Boulder will always be here. It is indeed a beautiful place and a fantastic location in which to train. Dozens and dozens of elite athletes cannot be wrong. For now, though, at this point in time, it is not the right place. Perhaps in a couple years I may be able to return. For now, in terms of work, training, and general happiness (which should always be priority number one, along with health), I need to be in my city, with my friends and family. I gave this a real honest shot. I gave it a full year. Everyone I have talked to in the last 24 hours has stressed that I should not see this as failure, or capitulation. It is simply something that I tried and it did not work out. I do not see it as a failure, but I am extremely disappointed that my original vision did not become realized. It is over now. I roll on, like I always do. Onto the next chapter. A few weeks after I get home the leaves will be changing, and the fresh, cool air of autumn in Upstate New York will again fill my lungs as I run through the forest. Just like I did in High school. Just like I did in college.