The Road to Rio Ends Here.
Just wanted to give an update for all that have been following me this year. I am blessed to have had personal improvements in both the 100m sprints as well as set a new American Record for the long jump. Not every track meet is your best meet, and unfortunately my worst meet of the year happened to be at Paralympic Trials.
When team announcement rolled around today, I had a pretty good clue that the likelihood of me making this team was slim. It’s been a good year but my numbers this weekend just didn’t add up. And that’s okay! To be honest, my ego is bruised, I’m a little embarrassed and I know I’m about to have some serious Team USA gear FOMO from this year; but I am not broken by this. There are amazing athletes on this team, and there were amazing athletes who also were not selected.
I’m so incredibly lucky to be surrounded by people who not only believe in me daily, they challenge me to grow and also reassure me that my value does not rest in my athletic performances. I had A LOT of personal things transpire this year that I have had to put on the self to get through the competition season. As much as I am an athlete, I am a daughter, sister, girlfriend, friend, counselor, and mentor just as much. My summer isn’t ruined, it just changed directions and now I have some serious tending to do for my life garden as it has been a little neglected.
Don’t worry- my track career is stronger than ever, the past few months my training has shown the most improvement and consistency than ever before. A lousy meet won’t stop this steady progression! I only started running 5 years ago as a supplement to pole vault so I know there are plenty more dues to be paid. As I had a lot of personal and familial things go down; the title of “Paralympian” became less shiny and exciting. Honestly, it almost felt obligatory as I felt I was abandoning those in my life who were hurting that could have relied on me. Going into any Games shouldn’t feel like a daunting task- and it was almost at that point for me.
I am lucky that since 2013, I have had top 5 finishes buying at least half a slot in each event for the following international competitions. I leave this weekend now a 4x Long Jump National Champion and 100m Silver Medalist. Unfortunately, it isn’t place finishes that secure spots on the team. I still have a track meet this upcoming weekend and plan to close out the season then to tend to my family and friends. (So friends in LA- I will be at Angel City Games at UCLA)
I am lucky that I have been put in an environment where I can grow in almost each moment. Every day I train is a gift; and I really do enjoy it and the people I’m around. I’m not going anywhere in this weird track world so don’t miss me too long! It’s almost time for a little fun with Amp Camp and cleaning up some odds and ends back home after that.
Congrats to the 2016 Team USA. Do us proud down south!
Best wishes for you! I still value the time you took in Lincoln, NE a year ago and the time you took to run around the track with me. It was a very memorable experience and continue to be motivated to run every week. Keep up the positive thoughts and values.