1 Month In Arizona

Hello all! It’s been about a month since my last post and I have successfully made the move to Phoenix, Arizona and began working. It’s been quite the month and I have learned a lot about the area and experienced many new things while I have been here so far. I could probably write for hours about everything that has happened, but to save time and your boredom I will break it down into


While many of you may think that I came to Phoenix and abandoned my wife and dogs to pursue riding a bicycle fast, I am actually here working as a travel nurse in the Operating Room. You may not get this impression when looking at my Facebook, but due to privacy concerns and your own well-being, I abstain from posting frequently about work. Trust me, you probably don’t want to know about that abscess case I was a part of, or all about my newfound knowledge of the world of cystoscopy.


Shortly after arriving in Phoenix I was excited and ready to work in my new Operating Room in Sun City. Unfortunately, I learned that they were not quite ready for me as my background check had not yet been completed by the hospital. This caused my start date to be postponed by about a week. While it was nice to get a week to explore the Phoenix area, I rather would have begun working. Nevertheless, I did eventually start working and am getting into the flow well in my new workplace. While I still fumble around to find some equipment (Operating Rooms have a million different supplies) I find that things are going relatively well and that I will enjoy working with my evening coworkers!


The first week or two in Phoenix consisted of a lot of time off resulting in me exploring many parts of the greater Phoenix area by foot or bicycle. Before coming to Phoenix I learned of a swim group called the Phoenix Swim Club which is located a mere 4.5 miles away from where I am staying by bicycle. The pool is gorgeous and is 25-yard x 50-meters in size. There are 3 different practice times a day with coaches on deck for every one. This has been great for my consistency and motivation in swimming and I am already noticing significant drops in my times after just a few weeks. I’m definitely excited to see what a full 3 months will do with my swim progression!

Never get tired of that view.

My main mode of transportation while I have been here has been by bicycle. This includes to and from work which is around 20 miles each way depending on where I am leaving from. The path is 95% along a trail running alongside the canal which has many underpasses along the way. This means I only have to cross 1-2 roads on my entire route until I get within a mile or two of the hospital. Some parts are a bit bumpy and technical but it has really helped with my bike handling and allowed me to ride a good bit more than I typically would on days that I work. Whether it is super easy or if I decide to throw some sprints in, I’m sure this extra time on the bike will pay off in the future. Not to mention the days I have off and the intense group rides that abound in this area.

This is Toby.

My running distance has taken a bit of a backseat while here. Instead of focusing on speed for the these few months, I have been adventuring onto very technical trails and TONS of elevation. There is no lack of hills in and around me right now. To find inclines with 20% grades I only need to travel a couple miles from my front door before I reach the Phoenix Mountain Preserves containing the popular Piestewa Peak among other notable mountains.


Shortly I will be writing a new post showing what a normal work day schedule is like for me here from waking up to getting to bed past midnight when I arrive home.

Also, in the next few days, I will be applying for a first-year pro triathlete scholarship being offered by athlete Jesse Thomas. I’ve never met him but have read many of the things he has written and he seems to be a genuinely nice guy as shown by this initiative he has taken. If you think I’m worthy to be a recipient of his scholarship you should definitely comment on his Facebook page!



Training for long distance endurance events can be tough mentally by itself. Add in being over 2,000 miles away from your family and friends and the mental aspect of the sport can take on a whole new meaning. Some days come easy and finding motivation is not a problem at all. Other days are a different story. This is nothing new and these ups and downs are a part of the training that any endurance athlete can tell you about. In fact, it doesn’t take a hardcore athlete at all to tell you that this is a common part of life.

I talk with Rebekah every day and have made some new acquaintances while here which has helped me mentally immensely. The majority of my time, whether training or not, is spent alone with my own thoughts. This is not necessarily bad, and I think it is beneficial in finding the reasons for doing what you are doing sometimes. It is easy to immerse yourself in social media and other tasks of minimal importance to distract yourself from other more meaningful thoughts. So when I say that I am learning a lot while on this 3-month adventure, it is not just about nursing or living in Arizona, it is about myself as well.

That being said, I am very much looking forward to Rebekah coming to visit in a couple weeks so we can go adventuring together!

And of course, I miss these two!

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