It hasn’t been a secret that Rebekah and I have loved Grand Junction, CO ever since arriving here. Over the past few months, we have been attempting to figure out what our lives will look like after my travel nurse contract here is over in mid January. Rebekah began applying for jobs in the area a few months back, and recently accepted a position with the Colorado OADC and is to be focused in Mesa County. Meaning that we will be making Grand Junction our home soon!
While that took care of what Rebekah would be doing, we were still unsure of what my plans would be. I have been enjoying where I work now, and there are also a number of other facilities in the area that I was potentially interested in. Ideally, I wanted to find something that would allow me to not only have a good schedule for training, but to actually be able to spend more time with my family. Which also brought up the subject of what Charleigh would do if both of us were working.
While I had certainly thought about it before, the idea of not working as a nurse started to become more prominent of a possibility. Rebekah and I have joked about me being a stay-at-home dad/pro triathlete since before we even had Charleigh. But now the opportunity has arisen to make that possibility a reality. And while I am very nervous about making the jump, I’m super excited to spend more time with Charleigh as she grows, while simultaneously chasing my athletic dreams!
So now to answer what I imagine will be the most common questions.
How can you afford this?
We have been able to manage alright so far over the past couple years of only me working, and for the most part this will simply be a switch of roles. The goal down the road would of course be for me to make racing and training more profitable, which isn’t unrealistic given my improvements over the past few years. But if I’m not able to bring home the metaphorical bacon (as opposed to the literal bacon from Rooted Gypsy Farms), then I will just have to depend on my sugar-momma Rebekah.
Don’t you still own a house in South Carolina?
Yep. After my contract here is over we will be looking to sell our house back in Lexington. We’ve already been keeping an eye on houses here in Grand Junction, and if the finances are looking good, then we’ll be looking to settle into one in the coming months. In the meantime, I will continue to be the only Professional Triathlete to actually currently live in an RV full-time. (bunch of posers out there)
Won’t you get bored?
I hear parenting is a pretty full-time job. And training to race IRONMAN’s Professionally isn’t exactly a walk in the park. So I doubt it.
How long will you do this?
Anywhere from a few months to 20+ years I suppose. I enjoy working as a nurse, and fully expect to return to it. At this point I don’t know when, but will mainly be dictated by finances and just how life pans out down the road.
Will you continue to breast feed?
Trust me, I’ve tried. But Charleigh wasn’t too interested in my nipples.
Is that all?
I’m glad you asked, that is not all. I’ll still have Coach Jesse Vondracek of Top Step Training making sure I continue to train smart and not immediately over-cook myself. But I am also making a couple of changes leading into 2020 that I expect will help my racing even more. I have recently started working with Adam Ford of Ridgeline Fitness here in Grand Junction on a personalized strength routine. Strength training has been the first thing to be cut in my extremely busy life. Adding it back in routinely with someone knowledgeable physically at my side will aid both in my training consistency and performance on race day.
Another big change will come in the form of my swim training. Swimming well in IRONMAN and 70.3’s is only getting more and more important every year, and I don’t like the idea of getting left behind as soon as the cannon goes off. That’s why I’ll be working with Mickey Wender, the Head Coach of the Swim and Triathlon teams at Colorado Mesa University to further improve my swim. His accolades as a swim coach are astonishing, and he has been a genuinely great guy to speak with so far. I also look forward to helping the CMU triathlon team develop as I’m able, and to eventually take that Division II National Title from Queen’s University!
So with all of that I suppose you could say that I’m now going All In. On being a Dad. And on being a true Professional Triathlete.