Naturally, I was highly recommended to hit the ground running when it came to post retirement paths. Since, I hate being told what to do (even when it's good advice sometimes) and I can only put 100% into one goal at a time I did not exactly have a whole career waiting for me after my long biathlon life wrapped up. Figuring out what I wanted and or could do was the closest thing to a plan. I had the impression that this ordeal would take a while (for a number of reasons) and within that time span I would be able to fully take in the last 16 years and leave is conclusively in the back of my mind. Events did not pan out this way. Within a few days I had a job lined up and a place to move into before the end of April! Here's what happened and hasn't happened yet.
When the dust had settled after my semi vacation in Bozeman, MT I immediately took to the spring skiing in the mornings. This was one of the better years for skiing on the crust. Crust skiing is the gold standard for XC skiing and I'll always look forward to every spring that it's available. That was the mornings, the afternoons had at least some attention on the new life front. The details of how I was going to make it happen were still up the air. The goal was to find a spot where I could work and make enough to move out of the rents house. Then, grind out that day to day life until I felt like moving on to something more ambitions. The attempt to make it as an athlete proved chaotic and inconsistent. I was not in the mood for something stressful and was willing to pursue something boring and repetitive if it meant having dependability in my life for change. Thanks to some good friends I was able to find a nice place to call home and job that fits within those parameters. The last week at the house in Stockholm was a busy one. Between packing, skiing and a 24 hour trip to DC I didn't have much time to think.
Somehow, enough of the shenanigans came together to for me to make it to work on time the following Monday morning. I currently work at a landscaping company based out of Saco, ME. I'm not the most mechanically inclined and can't back up a trailer to save my life, but tedious manual labor is second nature. If there was every a generalization that northern Mainers are the go to employees to work their asses off then I'm doing my part to keep that generalization in tact. My arms are always covered in scrapes from rose bushes and my farmers tan is back in full force. The real draw back is the 45 minute drive each way. Audio books help alleviate this otherwise wasted time.
Don't bother trying to find me. The address will not show up on google maps which by 2018 standards means I'm as good as invisible. Living quarters is the basement of an old friends place. With the walls and ceiling recently redone with pine it looks and smells like a lovely sauna in here. Plus I added xmass lights and a window plant to say I contributed. At night I can hear the loons and the chickens keep us supplied with plenty of fresh eggs. The drive to most anywhere is at least 20 minutes. Downtown Portland is 45 minutes away. That's about the distance that I want it at. Close enough to try a new restaurant whenever I feel like it, but far enough so that I'm not living near a city in any form.
Nothing is perfect. The truck is running fine for now, but the long drives are not helping it's 200,000+ miles. The traffic is horrendous compared to driving up north. Despite not having any obligation to train nor having to pack up and leave every two weeks I still don't have all that much free time on my hands. I've removed more ticks than I care to count already. I've spent a night in the hospital since I've moved here but that's another story. I could go on, but these are all first world problems and everything is actually more under control than it was a year ago which is what I was hoping for all along.
Once an athlete always an athlete. Not sure where that came from, but it's proved true for me thus far. I did some hard running intervals last week. I squeezed in a three hour run this weekend to see how my legs held up should I chose to do the longer event this coming weekend at Pineland Farms. The truth is I have yet to fully think over the previous career as an aspiring athlete. This didn't fully hit home until I had to send a official letter of retirement to USADA. I hovered over the send button for a few minutes before I was able to do it. The details on that will have to wait for another update. This is here to let you know just where and what exactly I'm doing, should you have wondered.