With 2018 behind, the year I turned 40, it is w/ sweet reminiscence that I announce my retirement from M21+ traditional orienteering sport. It's been a tremendous ~10 yrs of nat'l & int'l competition, and as I look back I can smile big knowing I not only accomplished my goals but also exceeded them, even despite having to overcome huge trials, not the least of which were competing against great athletes often younger and/or more experienced than me (coming short more often than succeeding in that), juggling full time work, grad school, and family/community/faith priorities, not competing on the Sabbath, handling intense travel schedules to attend competitions, nationals, etc, seemingly endless amounts of training, MANY failures and mistakes and what-ifs, and perhaps most difficult was overcoming two terrible injuries and a surgery. Despite all those challenges I pushed through, bounced back, persisted, and ultimately prevailed. When I started this sport my main goal besides the most important goal of having fun was to get selected to a team to represent USA in an int'l competition. I did it not just once, but 3 times, achieved a #30 American citz male nat'l ranking one year in M21+, and finally got my long-sought goal of scoring 70 or greater on a M21 course twice, and even scored a Bronze medal at a World ARDF (Radio-O) Championship last Sept! All the travel also took me to majestic scenery, off trails, that hardly anyone else ever ventures off the beaten path to see, and I had the privilege of meeting and competing with or against some of the most amazing orienteers and athletes ever! I even got to shake hands with Iranian military athletes and run around in the woods in Sweden w/ militaries from all over the world! I can only smile big as I look back. Of course I will miss it and part of me will always long for that high-level of competition and reaching even higher milestones, but greater priorities and goals beckon. With my son now in Cub Scouts, growing fast, getting stronger, time out of school limited, and my daughter close behind, I will be reallocating much of my time to be spent w/ my treasured children as they grow up. This will also help me spend more time with Becca (who seriously doubts I am actually going to retire from anything, lol), my community, the church, and some of my other interests and goals. I thank God, my supportive family, my doctors and trainers, the MANY course setters/event directors/volunteers who made all the races possible over the years, and everyone who aided and mentored me in this journey along the way for all these warm memories and treasured experiences. Although I am retiring from M21+ *traditional* orienteering, I will still continue to orienteer recreationally and in my age category on occasion, I will continue my involvement w/ Team USA in *radio* orienteering (ARDF) and perhaps military team if they need it since they're much less time commitment, and I will continue giving back to orienteering, teaching navigation, and going w/ my family to local events from time to time. So the sport will still always be a happy part of my life...it just won't be near the intense focus and time commitment it used to be. The time has come to find my way to the next checkpoint in life...my needle is pointing me in a new direction, and I'm trusting that compass of life that has never failed to lead me in the right direction when I've followed it. Off I go to the next, "full speed, no mistakes," I hope.