traveling

Making Moves

 

It is Monday afternoon, a workday. The weekend is over. I am sitting in a coffee shop. The chatter of people around me is soothing. Put me in a library and I am distracted by the eerie quite, but put me in a coffee shop and the background noise allows me to focus. I can get lost in my work. A coffee shop is where I wrote my 350-page dissertation. I would arrive around 7:30 in the morning and stay until lunchtime when I would go for a run. Then I would come back around 2:00 in the afternoon and stay just past dinnertime.

In all the moments that I found myself in a coffee shop, writing, I only became distracted once, and that was to watch the Boston marathon. Immediately following the finish I was inspired, no propelled, to go for a run. Needless to say, I didn’t get much done that day.

Here I am again, in a coffee shop, where I do my best thinking and writing. I am writing to you about what’s next for me. My last blog outlined my experience as a free agent. Although I am mostly optimistic and excited about what’s ahead, I am also nervous with anticipation. All this anxiety makes me ask irrational questions that I don’t know the answers to like “What does my future hold?” and “What place is the best place?”

I have known about my situation for about 3 months, which left me actively searching for a new coach for about 2 months. I called everyone I knew for advice that I wasn’t going to follow. “What would you do if you were me?” I would plead. I learned that people have strong opinions. Even though I knew I wasn’t going to follow any one person’s advice, I wanted to know their ideas, thoughts, and opportunities. I wanted to know the criteria they would use to make a decision. Talking to people is the best way I solve problems. So I talked.

Word got out that I was searching for a new place to train. I was blessed with some amazing opportunities. I found myself in the best scenario possible. Every team, coach, and track was a good option. But this also made the decision one of the more challenging decisions I have ever had to make. Fortunately, I was not alone in the decision process. Every thought about what I was going to do next year was filtered through Daniel. Although I didn’t think it was possible, I fell in love with Daniel even more throughout the process.

I’m moving to California. No, I am moving to Texas. No, I am staying in Eugene. I tried to imagine myself in each place. I listened to my feelings. I created a 15-column spread sheet. Then I distracted myself. I jumped off cliffs. I swam in lakes. I went on epic road trips. Ultimately, I told myself that sometimes you just have to take risks and figure it out on the way down.

photo

So here it is, my risk. I am moving from one OTC to another. I will be training in Chula Vista with Joaquim Cruz and his team at the Olympic Training Center. Eugene will always have a piece of my heart, which makes the move even harder. I am thankful for the support and hospitality of the Eugene community, and can’t wait to be back competing at Hayward Field. I do not know what the future holds but I am looking forward to finding my stride in San Diego.

Thanks for reading!

Eugene to Rio has Officially Begun

 

The part of my blog titled, “Eugene to Rio,” has officially begun.

I have relocated to Eugene to run for Nike’s Oregon Track Club Elite (OTCE), work at the University of Oregon, and launch ZAMboost in the Pacific North West region.

The first OTCe practice started 2 days ago. I am surrounded by an amazing, fast, hard working, and talented group of young women. And wouldn’t expect anything less.

Finally, the move is beginning to feel real. I received my University of Oregon employee ID number, yesterday.  I am fortunate to be a part of a spirited research team of smart, beautiful women who are truly an inspiration to me. Being surrounded by all these strong women will be a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I am taking it all in. And hopefully I can get some guest bloggers soon.

The 2,000 miles from Missouri to Eugene was quite the haul, literally. See Photo Galleries and Videos for more!

I wrote the remaining portion of this blog while I was on the road. This was my first road trip that encompassed more than 1 full day of travel.  In fact, this road trip took 6 days, altogether. Anyone who has been in a car with someone for that long knows that it is imperative to stay mindful and that you will learn a lot. Let’s recap on what I learned while traveling with Daniel Quigley.

1. Applesauce needs to stay in the cooler or it will end up warm and runny.

Dan spilled applesauce all down his shirt. So he had to drive without one.

Dan after spilling applesauce on his shirt.

2. When in Yellow Stone Park…

A. Wild fires are no big deal to the forest rangers so I need to calm down.

B. Tents are not fire resistant.

C. The earth is alive and well. This park is beautiful!

3. Sunsets while driving in the middle of nowhere NEVER get old.

4. Wyoming spend their summers fixing roads and winters closing roads. Gravel highways are no fun for a moving truck.

5. Remember to travel with a roll of toilet paper. Rest stops are scarce in the Wild West.

6. Driving a moving truck can be scary when…

A. Getting passed.

B. Turing Right.

C. Driving over bridges in Colorado. When was the last time Colorado made their bridges the same level as the roads?

D. Starting at sea level, winding up 8,000 feet, and then when you get to the top of this mountain realizing you have to go down. So asking Dan to drive down for you while you close your eyes and pray.

 

I feel like Dan and I were a couple of pioneers flocking West in search for gold, but in our case, instead of gold, we are running for the mecca of all professional running groups.  Dan has a job teaching engineering courses at Lane Community College and I have a job researching at the University of Oregon.  Together we will be working on launching ZAMboost in the Eugene and Portland areas so make sure you keep up with new locations and promotional events on my website or ZAMboost’s website. Especially for the upcoming cold and flu season.

Thanks for reading, Shannon