I moved to Missoula 13 years ago - I was 20 years old, wandering around a bit aimlessly and wasn’t sure what direction my life would take me. You could definitely say I was looking for a fresh start. Within the first few weeks of moving to Montana I met my best friend, the love of my life, and the most positive influence on whom I’ve become today: Chris Corbin. Together we have been on an incredible journey.
Since 2001 I have studied Exercise Science at the University of Montana, worked at a coffee shop, learned to fly-fish, joined the club triathlon team, worked in Alaska, welcomed Madison to the family, did my first Ironman, got married, bought a house & made a home, developed a career as a professional athlete, traveled all over the world, formed a handful of friendships that will last a lifetime. All the while, the community of Missoula has endlessly supported my endeavors and provided me with countless miles of roads to ride, stories to tell, mountain trails to run, overnight adventures, lazy days rowing down the river, tasty eats, plenty of good beers, memorable moments with some of my favorite training partners and challenged me in ways I didn’t think possible.
In October of this year, I got an itch for some new challenges. I’m not one to live life in the past - I’ve always believed you have to continue to look forward, however, I had this feeling in my gut that its time for a change. One thing you can’t deny is a gut instinct. The last thing I want is to look back in 5 years and wonder “What if….”
And so, tomorrow, we are loading up a truck and moving back to where I grew up: Bend, Oregon.
People keep asking “What about Montana Made” - The truth is, I am still Montana Made - it’s where I rode my first road bike, it’s where I learned how to flip turn in the pool, it’s where I learned the tough-gritty-enduring work ethic required to succeed in Ironman. I competed in my first triathlon (a sprint distance in Kalispell) in Montana, it’s where I joined the University of Montana Tri Team and we collected a slew of titles, it’s where I learned about Ironman, it’s where I got my cowboy hat tradition from: Team Stampede. None of these great qualities or stories will change with a new training base.
I am leaving behind memories of a lifetime but I am super happy to see where the next chapter takes us! I’ve always had a sense of adventure and I am looking forward to embracing the Bend endurance community, learning new things, exploring new training venues, being closer to my family, and spending time with new (and old) friends & training partners.
Thanks for following along. Next stop: Oregon!
“I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana it is love. And it’s difficult to analyze love when you’re in it.” ― John Steinbeck