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Embarking on an Adventure
Greetings, triathlon community.
I wanted to take a moment to formerly introduce myself, as most of you are likely unsure who I am. My name is Chad Hall and I have spent the majority of my life as a competitive runner. I grew up in a small mountain town in southern California called Big Bear Lake. While most kids I grew up with complained about not having the amenities of a large city, I thrived in the loneliness of our little mountain town. As a distance runner, I found an indescribable peace of mind whenever we ran on our rolling single-track trails. We were fortunate to have the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) run along the outskirts of town. The PCT runs from Mexico to Canada, venturing through some of the most beautiful parts of California, Oregon and Washington. Running on such an epic trail, I felt connected to the adventurous spirit of those who would dare to take on such a momentous challenge by hiking the whole thing. The expedition takes at least three to four months. The hours I had spent on those same paths made me feel like a nomad whose greatest joy in life was the exhilaration of cresting a peak and finding myself in the great expanse. Or the feeling of the air cooling as the sun finishes setting over the horizon. I truly believe that growing up in the mountains and on the trail shaped my perception of happiness, joy and fulfillment. I’ve been in search of a true adventure ever since. Nothing excites me more than to say that I’ve finally found mine in the sport of triathlon.I’ve been amazingly blessed to be able to work with USA Triathlon’s Collegiate Recruitment Program (CRP) as well as Team Psycho over the past months. I’m amazed every day by the opportunity I’ve been given and can’t help the overwhelming feeling that this path was predestined as if the trail was blazed long ago.
My path began with my dad. He coached me throughout my high school running career. He competed in the Ironman World Championships when I was in the fourth grade. I realized my talent as a runner when I won my first cross country race in a course record time and soon won state championships as well as the Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships my senior year. In the midst of my success, my dad still maintained a posture that I could be an amazing triathlete.
With great success come great expectations, which, in the case of my college career, led to letdowns. I fell short of what I still believe to be my true capabilities. After graduating from college, the thought of pursuing triathlon began to grow. That same idea was reiterated by an extremely knowledgeable chiropractor I had worked with in past years. With the encouragement of two people for which I have enormous respect, I decided to send an email to Barb Lindquist, the manager of the CRP program. I expected a short response with vague advice, but the response was the complete opposite. Within a month, my car was packed and I was driving to Boulder, Colo., to begin this journey with months of intense swim immersion. This led to being part of the CRP resident program in Scottsdale, Ariz. I arrived not knowing what would happen. Each time a metaphorical door opened, I walked through it and the trail has only become clearer. The potential that my father first saw in me hasn’t yet been realized, but has been confirmed by all my incredible coaches and mentors within the triathlon community. That belief was put to the test when I placed second in my first ever triathlon on April 13 at the Lifetime Marquee Sprint Triathlon in Tempe, Ariz. I will next be looking to earn my elite card in the Elite Development Race in Monroe, Wash., June 22.
It takes faith to keep pressing into the unknown and trusting your path is leading where you’re trying to go. But this is what the adventurous spirit is all about, never truly knowing your destination and realizing that the true beauty of life is in the trail you choose and the people and places you see along the way.
What is your adventure?