No longer. I was still training. I was still a skill games athlete. In my head I was like, maybe they’ll shuffle it again, and I’ll get an in. Who knew? I knew nothing. I had chatted with Kaillie a bunch. She lives in California.
It was a whole time in my life, even with COVID being as crazy as it was, I knew that I was ready to leave Boston. I was ready to transition my life a bit. I was working with a coach, Justin Cotler. He was also Kari Pearce’s coach. He made the move from New York City to Las Vegas and took Kari with him.
I thought, if I’m going to give this CrossFit thing a couple more years, I might as well go train under my coach’s eye next to Kari Pearce. You can’t beat that. That was the plan. I started that plan at the beginning of the summer. That was like, “OK, at the end of the summer that’s going to be I move my life out west.”
It was the bobsled conversation was always in the back of my mind. It was, maybe I’ll get out to Vegas. I’ll drive the three hours to where Kaillie lives. I’ll train with her. I’ll push with her, and see if I like the training, and that kind of thing. I was leaving Boston on a Sunday.
It was Friday in August, 36 hours before I was getting in my U-Haul truck to drive across the country, and Kaillie called me. She said, “Do you have a place out in Vegas yet?” As you look back, it’s everything happens for a reason.
I told her my lease fell through. It was a crazy lease but that’s a whole other side conversation. [laughs] I’m not signing this lease, and she’s like, “Well, they have a bed for you at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York.”
With COVID all the question marks of quarantines and that thing are happening. She’s like, “You can go out to Vegas and then get to Lake Placid, but you might have to have a longer quarantine. If you’re in I’m suggesting on the East Coast and then waiting it out to see when you can get up to Lake Placid.”
That night was a Friday night. I remember calling my mom, my mom was flying to Boston the next day to help me pack up my apartment. I didn’t know what to do. I felt what is God or the universe? What is happening? I had a phone call with one of the coaches. They said something like, used some kind of analogy like, “Life is a surfboard, and all these opportunities are going by you and you can decide to hop on one, or decide to let it pass you by. There’s no right or wrong answer to that.”
For me, I felt CrossFit’s not necessarily going anywhere. I’m getting older, but I can always do CrossFit. The chance to try out for an Olympic team will continue to come around. Instead of driving across the country, I drove my U-Haul truck down to Philadelphia, where I’m originally from, I got a storage unit. I have a bunch of stuff in storage, staying at my mom’s house who watches my dog when I’m away for bobsled, and I dove all in. [laughs]