I’m in Reno now. Las Vegas next week. All told I’ll be away for 10 days. It’s kind of bittersweet.
I’m in Reno for the USATF Annual meeting and Vegas National Podium Project. I really like traveling and I’m going to get the chance to see some of my good friends and visit one of my favorite places (Vegas). All the while, it’s been a long time since I’ve hit the road and after a jet-setting spring and summer I was enjoying being a homebody. In fact, until today it had been about 4 months since I’d gotten on to a plane. That’s easily the longest I’d gone in the past 5 years. My last year at West Point, it seemed like I was gone every weekend. If it wasn’t a track meet where we travelled by bus (or sometimes plane) and were gone for 3 days, it was a business trip for consulting, coaching, or research. Many times it was both in the same weekend – catching a redeye from whatever city our meet was in to the West Coast for HPC work and then catching a redeye back to NY so I could be in on time for work on Monday. This meant that I was away from my wife and daughter a lot. A LOT. In fact, I missed about 1 month of the first 3 months of my daughter’s life because I was on the road. That was an eye-opener…especially when I was often too busy with business obligations even when I was at home to spend much time with the fam. I was often coming home from work at USMA late in the evening only to eat dinner and then do HPC business work for 4-6 hours a night.
It made me think that I needed to make a career change- either stick with collegiate coaching or focus on HPC. While both had pluses and minuses one of the many factors that pushed me towards pursuing HPC full-time was that it would allow me to spend more time with Cate and Eva. It’s worked. Now that I’m self-employed I’ve gotten to see my family every day for the last 4 months and spend a lot more time with my daughter. Even though I’m not making as much as I was while I was working at West Point and doing HPC, I’m making enough to ‘get by’ and have made a tradeoff that I have yet to regret.
So while it’s nice to leave the rural country abode I currently call home, this extended trip is a nice reminder of one of the many reasons pursuing HPC full time was the right move at the right time.