Priorities are a funny thing.
At any given time, they are the thing that’s regarded as more important than another. They’re the things that you choose to dedicate your limited time to. Priorities are pieces of your time that are considered most valuable. But then they change.
For a long time, racing was near the top of that list. And while it still ranks up there, how I treat it has shifted and I am more than ok with this, even when I get the question that us athletes just love to ask, “What are you training for?”
Allow me to pause for a moment. That question is seemingly so benign, but can be subtly uncomfortable. When asked by certain people, it can feel like competitive pressure to come out with the biggest, most badass response.
A race across the country using only your eyelashes!
A mission to Mars. Unassisted. With no navigation. And all you can eat is leftover robot parts you find in the red sand. Or dirt. Or whatever is on Mars. Good luck, you masochist!
Maybe this question was aggressive. Or maybe it was all in my own head and I was placing self-imposed pressure upon myself. I’m betting it’s most likely the latter.
I’m surrounded by incredibly talented athletes that conquer the seemingly impossible with grit and grace, then live to tell the tale on social media. I’ve never been competitive with the individual per se, but rather in awe. I just started to feel like I needed an equally badass answer.
In the midst of trying to maintain my training, a long-distance relationship with my husband, new jobs, and some other heavy happenings, life gave me a gool ol’ fashioned reality check. Years passed and subtly — or abruptly — priorities changed.
All of a sudden, “What are you training for?” stopped weighing so heavily on me. Running was, and still is, a big part of my life, but so is living life.
So here’s where we are: outside of a few fun runs, I haven’t raced since April 2015. But I did move back to California, started a new job, got promoted, DNS’d a marathon, traveled to Spain, had the best trip of my life in New Zealand, ran new trails, toyed with HIIT training, gotten back into yoga, rebuilt old relationships, spent time with my new nieces and nephews, found a best friend, joined a dodgeball league, made a great group of new friends, and so much more.
I will never say goodbye to racing, but the difference is that I don’t need to race every other month. Instead, I’m intentional about my time, priorities, and am leaving room for life.
So, you’re probably wondering, “What you are training for?”
Don’t worry. I welcome the question because the answer is simple and totally ok: nothing at the moment. I’m working on building my mileage back up and getting the most out of the summer. We’ll see what happens in the meantime.