Pursue Your Own Path | Carrie Jesse

Every year, my husband Paul runs a 100-mile ultramarathon. (Sometimes he runs more than one, but that’s a story for another time.)

Leading up to this annual 100 miler, he tends to take off in his truck for a few weeks. He’s built a sleeping platform in the bed of his truck, so he lives on the road and gets some final training in before his race.

He has a flexible job situation, and he can work from pretty much anywhere. My job is not as flexible, so I stay at home while he’s on the road.

Last Friday, he left for this annual road trip. First stop, Silverton. And then, he’ll make his way north with a destination of British Columbia for the Fat Dog 120. This year, I will be meeting him for a weekend in Silverton. And then two weeks after that, I’ll fly up and meet him in British Columbia.

As excited as I am for the trip up north, it was hard to see him go. It’s tough before he leaves, and it’s tough while he’s gone.

So why let him go? Why not ask him to stay (dare I say make him stay) and train here in Colorado? And then leave together before his race.

Well, for many reasons. Mostly it’s because I’ve imagined who Paul would be if he never went on these adventures. And the person that I see in such scenarios is not my husband.

I’m married to someone who’s found something that makes him truly happy. (and it’s not just me)

He takes this time to live on the road, out of his truck, for himself. But not in a selfish way. It’s not to create some persona, or to post cool stories on Instagram, or to shove this lifestyle in my face or anyone else’s face. He’s not selfish. Far from it. That’s the last word I’d ever use to describe my husband.

He does this because it’s something that makes him genuinely happy — and holding him back from these experiences? Well, that would be selfish.

Even when he leaves, he finds ways to support and encourage me. I mean, he even washed the dishes before he left for this trip. Plus, I know that if (and when) our roles were reversed, he’d never tell me not to go or to stay back.

Paul finds purpose and meaning in all of his adventures; even when that purpose is simply to enjoy time outside. He motivates me to pursue things because of their inherent value and nothing more. He’s a walking example of what it’s like to say, “I want to do this thing, and the only reason I want to… is because it’s worth it to me.”

He pushes me to grow. But not to follow in his footsteps, but to pursue my own path.