World Champion Triathlete
January 2017

Hey everyone,

It's been a while! Normally I'm writing these updates to tell you all about the miles I've logged. This update follows that pattern, but the majority of my miles over the past month haven't been spent swimming, biking, and running. Last week, my dad and I drove across the United States, traveling 2,985 miles from Poway, California, to my hometown of Wildwood Crest, New Jersey. We toured the Grand Canyon, explored American history in Dallas, and listened to music at a Nashville honkytonk. We even picked some spots where I'd take off with my bike and rendezvous with my dad and the car a few hours later. 

Over the past few years, I had routinely returned to California in late November. This year, I decided to postpone a month so I could spend some more time closer to home. Then, late December came and I still wasn't excited about getting on the plane. I was looking at a return to southern California, replete with sunshine, a great coach, and some of the best training partners in the world, but I wasn't excited about it. I felt constraint instead of opportunity. After talking with family, friends, and trusted mentors, I've made the difficult decision to leave my coach and training group of the past 5 years. It's been my privilege to train with Paulo and The Triathlon Squad, but continuing in that setup does not align with my priorities moving forward. 

In order to achieve a large goal, one needs to make decisions that align with one's priorities. Those decisions, then, lead to situations where one has the ability to work towards his/her desired outcome. Understanding this simple lesson is both the reason I was successful training with The Triathlon Squad and the reason I needed to leave. 

I love setting and working towards goals that are just big enough for people to think I'm crazy. These goals need to be aligned with the things I value, or I will not have the courage, grit, or conviction to pursue them with the prerequisite vigor. I'm in the process of establishing goals for myself moving forward, and those new goals will continue to align with my priorities. In 2016, I loved qualifying for the Olympics, winning Escape From Alcatraz, and racing on Highbourne Cay. I also loved the feelings I had when individuals told me that my actions and/or words motivated them to create positive change in their own lives. I want more of all of this, and I'm using this time to decide how to best position myself in pursuing these goals for 2017 and beyond.

"And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about." 

- John Steinbeck, East of Eden
Photo Album
I like to think this cotton dreams of growing up to become a Wildwood Boardwalk T-Shirt (somewhere in Texas)

A relic from Route 66 (Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona)

Happy to have had Dad join me for the trip (photo: DJ Penny)

Dad and I admiring the power of what happens when you combine the right circumstances with concentrated effort over a long period of time (Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona)

Had some fun chatting with the UC Berkley Tri Team (Oceanside, CA)  

Conspiracy theorizing atop the grassy knoll (Dallas, TX)

Excited to check out some live country music (Nashville, TN)

The Act of Setting and Pursuing  a Goal Changes Us - especially if it's a big one
Interview with M.O.V.E.! 

"It's a matter of acknowledging that something is important to us, and then structuring our work towards that imagined future. Whether it's working for something 10 years or 10 hours in the future, goals empower us to take action."

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