Monday, May 20, 2013

In Transition

Last week, I joined the millions of Americans who are out of work. Despite an exemplary year-end employee review, in which I was called a "rising star," and a merit-based pay increase, my position and other positions were eliminated as part of a larger "reorganization" of the department in which I worked. There's a lot more I could say about this situation, but I'll stop here and just point out that being out of work is fairly difficult for an overachiever like me who's been told at many points in my career that I'm valued, needed and fundamental to the success of the organization.

So, with that, my job search is under way! I'm looking for a job that allows me to actually put my expertise with communications and fundraising to work. Many people use unemployment as an excuse to "have fun," reevaluate their life, reconnect with old friends and/or family, feel sorry for themselves, read, travel, etc.? Me? I don't see this as "FUNemployment." There's no fun in being unemployed. So, I'm using this bout of unemployment to...find a job. I owe it to my family to get back to work ASAP.

That said, when I'm not applying for positions, I can often be found on nearby mountain trails. Last week I put together some solid running numbers: 80 miles, over 12 hours and 10,500 feet of climbing. Never before had I really tracked my climbing numbers, but last week I was determined to surpass 10,000 vertical feet. I hit Mount Falcon, Deer Creek Canyon, Castlewood Canyon and Green Mountain in Lakewood. It's worth noting that I barely escaped being bitten by a vicious adult rattlesnake at Castlewood Canyon on Monday.

This week, I'm gunning for 12,000-15,000 feet of climbing. That will require a huge chunk of vertical gain, which I expect to take with an outing or two to Pikes Peak. Last I heard, the Barr Trail is runnable up to A-Frame, with the situation improving almost by the day. Running up to A-Frame will get me about 5,000 feet of vertical.

Last time I was unemployed was March 2007. During that time, I signed up for my first 100 and trained harder than ever before. I got into super shape and did really well in that first 100, held in August of 2007. That period of insane training set in motion a few really good years. This time around, I fully intend to be back to work very soon, and that will mean some sacrifices in terms of how I hoped to train for Leadville this summer. Starting a new job, I won't have any vacation time. So, with that, the Friday excursions to Leadville that I'd planned for this summer won't happen. The weekends will be when I hit the big vertical. Between now and when I'm back to work, though, I fully intend to get in some serious climbing, because I believe in my hearts of hearts that what separates the haves and have-nots at Leadville is the amount of time spent on mountain trails.

One thing I learned last week is that the guys and gals with daily access to the mountains have a huge advantage over those of who live in Parker. As the week wore on, I noticed myself getting stronger on the climbs. I have no doubt that, if I had ready access to the mountains, I could perform quite well at Leadville. I will continue to hit the mountain trails three to five times a week until I'm back to work.