Yesterday, fresh back from my big race and big victory in Baja I gave my employer my two weeks notice. At 30 years old, I'm quitting my job after 7 years as a software test engineer at Microsoft to try and become a professional endurance athlete. Am I crazy? Probably. Am I scared? Yes. But what scares me more is not chasing a dream while I have a chance. I'd say 99% of people work a job because it pays the bills, not because they give a rats ass about it. I think most are scared to leave the comfort zone. I am scared to leave the comfort zone. The chances of me succeeding are slim, however I am compelled to try. I know of a hand full of adventure racers who are paid salaries to race. Most are ex-world champion athletes in other sports. Although I won my share of drinking contests in college I can not claim any sort of similar accolades - although the 1997 Boot-a-Minute Championship title I won with Geoff Fiedler was pretty impressive - I challenge you to find another 140 pounder who can put back that much Natural Light. But I digress.. For this to work many things have to happen. I have to stay healthy. I have to continue to win, with my team and as a solo athlete. This is the only way to further the relationships with the sponsors. Basic economics really, when I run out of the money I've saved and there is still no sponsorship money - the dream dies.
There was a time when the geek in me was in heaven at Microsoft. I was learning all this cool technology and it was very exciting. The resources to learn at this company are second to none. However in recent years that fire has faded as another one has taken it's place. And so on Dec 27th, 2005 I leave Microsoft to pursue my athletic career.
Wish me luck, I'll need it.
“Visions are worth fighting for. Why spend your life making someone else’s dreams?” Orson Welles