Monday, October 3, 2011

Sometimes the Hardest Thing and the Right Thing are the Same

I don't know a witty or eloquent way to ease into the big news, so I'm just going to say it: Jordan and I are moving. To Boston. Very, very soon. For those of you we haven't told in person, I apologize for this mass notification. I know from reading a book on social media for a book club that I'm now unable to attend that sharing the news in this way might be perceived as impersonal or inconsiderate, but there's just no other way to guarantee that you'll all start planning our going away party together at the same time.

As you might expect, this change has come about as a result of opportunities presented to us by Karhu North America (KNA). Several events fell into place in such a way that enabled KNA to award me a promotion while also offering Jordan an opportunity in sales and product development. Both of these positions necessitate us living near Beverly, a North Shore suburb of Boston, where the KNA corporate office is located. For me, I knew from day one of accepting a position with the company that all roads pointed north if I wanted to advance. Neither Jordan nor I expected it to happen right now, or in such a way that would allow him to be so directly involved. To help architect this footwear brand and hopefully grow it to the potential that Jordan and I both see in the near future--well, it's an opportunity that can't be ignored. Though we've known about this and wanted to share it with you for several weeks, we had to hold back out of respect that I'm sure many of you business professionals can understand. Not only is the news now out, but the first stage of our multi-phase moving process (which involves two cars, a very uncooperative kitty cat, a houseful of running shoes and at least two 16+ hour drives) will actually begin this weekend after Army 10 Miler. We'll be back and forth a time or two after that, but will likely be gone for good at the end of the month.

As with any major life decision, this one involves an element of risk. I was just thinking on an easy run this evening about all the unpredictable paths that my life has traversed to this point. Many of them shared that common element: uncertainty. Almost exactly seven years ago, I was just a young and inexperienced 22-year-old with little insight into the direction my life should follow. I slowly developed a passion for both the sport and industry of running, was offered my first "real" job as a tech rep for Mizuno, and embarked for the city of Atlanta sight unseen without knowing a single person there. And yet without taking that leap of faith, I doubt I'd be here today, able to say without a hint of regret that I've turned that first tech rep position into a blossoming career. Another unpredictable and equally life-changing opportunity came my way three years later via my then-coach Jeff Gaudette. I still remember cradling the phone to my ear and listening uncomprehendingly as he basically said, "How would you like to quit your job, move to Charlotte and run track as a graduate student for this small private school called Queens University?" The idea was so ludicrous, so unfathomable that I had no choice but to acquiesce. Had Jeff not believed in me, and had I not taken a chance on myself, I would've never gone on to become a multiple time All-American and most certainly would not have possessed the courage to attempt qualifying for the Olympic Trials, much less actually done it. Those decisions and others like them have been filled with uncertainty but ultimately transformed my life in amazing, rewarding ways.

Of course, the saddest part for both Jordan and me is the people we will be leaving behind. I could write volumes about the relationships we've developed over the past few years in Charlotte, but suffice it to say that if you're reading this then you've been part of our journey in some way. I heard once that there are three types of friendships in this life and, though admittedly cheesy, that sentiment has stuck with me. The first kind of friendship is there for a season. Some of the friends we've made here are just that, friends who are present for this season in our lives. Maybe they were just peripheral friendships or maybe they were a result of proximity, but for whatever reason these ties will gradually weaken and fade as time passes. Other friendships exist for a reason. Whether that reason was attending Queens, working at Run For Your Life, joining CRC or any number of other circumstances, for whatever reason these friendships were made possible during our time here. Some of them might wane, but others have been strengthened over time to the point that they will accompany me no matter where I travel. And finally, the third type of friendships are there for a lifetime. These, of course, are the ones that make me most sorrowful at the prospect of moving. And yet, paradoxically, knowing that I'm leaving these friendships also offers me comfort, because I know that a few thousand measly miles can't even begin to erode the bonds that we've created. You know who you are, and I hope you know how much you mean to me. To both of us.

I could go on and talk about the Charlotte running community, about CRC, about lazy Sundays at the pool, about early morning group runs and nights at Common Market, but I'm trying not to get too emotional just yet. Instead I would just like to say thank you to everyone who has played a role in our lives during our time in Charlotte. No matter where our life leads, we will carry part of you with us.


Anonymous said...

How can the city of Boston be so kind to me one second and so cruel the next? I got my little 'confirmation of acceptance' letter about 2 hours ago and loved the city. Now I hate it for stealing 2 of my favorite running friends away. But it sounds like a great opportunity and I am sure this is just one more step towards great things from you and Jordan. You guys better come hang out with the Charlotte gang and me on Patriots' Day!

The Un-Retired Runner said...

I know I don't know either of you all that well, but I can honestly say this running community will miss you. I wish you both the best and I look forward to keeping up with you via this blog and Facebook! Happy Trails, Meagan!