Open a window to the past and look through to see 10-year-old me. I’m wearing a coonskin cap and running around hunting imaginary animals with a replica flintlock rifle. Adventurers and explorers — Kit Carson, Meriweather Lewis and William Clark, Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett — are my heroes. Why did I want to be like them so badly that I copied their clothing and pretended to set fur traps? They represented a desire to explore I felt deep in my soul. They all pushed westward in search of new things. “Go west young man.”
At 30 years old, I’ve spent my entire life living in DeRidder and Shreveport Louisiana, and College Station, Fort Worth, and Arlington Texas.
It’s slightly scary, but I’m making a big move and satisfying my inner desire to head west.
I’m moving to San Diego.
I have accepted a position working for a new Fleet Feet running specialty store that will open at the end of this month. Goodbye to Shreveport, and hello to the west coast.
I know it’s not the true west I grew up desiring. Starbucks sit across the street from other Starbucks. Traffic is massively frustrating daily. If I wear a coonskin cap and pretend to discover new canyons across the street from shopping centers, San Diegans will stare.
Maybe my rudimentary map-making skills and wild-west-wannabe style aren’t required in today’s Google maps world, but I’m going to explore anyway.
I will wind through area trails and rugged landscape. I will climb peaks, bound across streams, and discover many new (to me) areas. My soul will be full of elation.
Just look at the running activity on Garmin Connect for that area. It is incredible, and the running options are endless. The year-round weather report is beautiful, and a simple image search for San Diego running trails nearly made me cry with joy.
My move is sudden, and I didn’t seriously consider leaving Shreveport so soon until last week. But when I did look, each door opened unexpectedly and quickly. Everything fell in place in a way that I know this is right.
Shreveport was never my destined longtime home. No matter what, I was set to leave at some point in the next year. The timeline is simply playing out in fast forward.
I will miss the people here greatly, especially everyone in the running community. I became a real runner here on the streets of South Highlands. Chasing after many incredible athletes and runners made me a better. This community will always have a special place in my heart.
I’m sad to leave so many who have influenced my life for the past four years. But I’m confident this is right.
I don’t know what my future will look like, but I’m excited to chase after it. Working at Fleet Feet (the first one in the San Diego area) is a great opportunity, and I will get to help build a run specialty store and community from the very bottom. As part of my job description, I will head up training groups and group runs, which fits in perfectly with my passion for coaching and helping others achieve goals.
Oregon trail was my favorite game growing up, and I remember fantasizing about pushing west. I wanted to load up in Independence, Missouri, and travel into the setting sun.
Now I’m doing it.
Only my wagon is a Nissan Xterra, I won’t have to ford any rivers, and hopefully I can reach the ocean without dying of dysentery or cholera.