It is easy to write a blog when things are going well, especially when you achieve goals and supercede doubt. However, that is not the case when you have fallen short of expectations. Not only is this disappointing to those that have invested time, money, and effort into you but is even more disappointing to yourself particularly when you know that you are capable of so much more.
I began this season eager to have an opportunity to join USA Triathon’s coveted Collegiate Recruitment resident program. A program I could have only dreamed to be a part of. A program incomparable to any other in the realm of triathlon. A program that has produced many of the top women triathletes in the world. Gwen Jorgensen, Katie Hursey, Summer Cook, Kirsten Kasper, and Renee Tomlin, are all products of this program. These incredible women were brought into the sport due to their history of stellar swimming and speedy running. Each have achieved phenomenal success in the sport of triathlon.
…it takes 6 months to build a Rolls-Royce and just 13 hours to build a Toyota. And I am not a Toyota.
And so my 2016 season began, logging time and distance, strength and fatigue, rehab and pre-hab, recovery and sleep. The program is formatted to be a “no excuses” setting and provides invaluable resources needed to succeed. Proceeded by the legacy of phenomenal athletes, this brought even higher expectations and a lot of self doubt. However, there never has been a challenge too great for me to tackle. This little swimmer turned triathlete was ready to take on the impossible…or so I thought.
For the first time in my life, I was fully committed to a single objective. There were no more distractions to my athletic pursuits. No more late nights spent in my architecture studio peeling crusted tacky glue from my finger tips. No more mornings sneaking out long before sunrise to squeeze in a swim workout before a full day of classes and work. No more sacrificing sleep and recovery to fit many demands into one small day. No more required obligations aside from training and recovering. It was a dream come true: the life of a professional athlete.
This was supposed to be my year. The year I completely devoted myself to my professional athletic career; the year I improved and produced results. But that never happened. Instead I raced, and fell short of expectations. Other’s belief in me as an athlete dwindled. My belief in myself even disappeared.
Race after race, result after result, I was unable to achieve the goals that had been set for me. As an athlete when race results do not coincide with training ability, then what are you left with? Endless hours, miles, and effort that seems wasted. Results are black and white and not sugar coated nor topped with a cherry. In sports, you either win or lose. Thus far, I have lost.
This is not an uplifting blog, but it is real life. And it is one of those moments in my athletic career where I have been knocked down time and time again, and have yet to stand squarely on my own two feet. I would like to think that cheesy quotes about failure making us stronger are actually pertinent to real life. I would like to hope that all stories of triumph are preceded by countless stories of failure after failure, and knockouts to the ground. And I continue to pretend that right now I am in the midst of it all, and these experiences will be the driving force to later success.
Until then, I will only store the words of my nay sayers as fuel for the future. Going forward, I will note the small victories as part of the process to becoming a better athlete. I will cherish the experience gained racing at the absolute highest level of triathlon while representing my country. I will regain focus on my personal goals and achievements instead of the numerical goals set forth by others. I will value all of the friendships and experiences garnered throughout my journeys near and far. I will respect all of those that have and continue to strive to be the best that they can be. I will be patient and trust the process. And I will remind myself that it takes 6 months to build a Rolls-Royce and just 13 hours to build a Toyota. And I am not a Toyota.
The gratitude I have toward those that believe in me every single day keeps me going, especially when I have self-doubt. After all, we are our own biggest critics. I would like to extend a sincere thank you to everyone at USA Triathlon that has put time, effort, and belief into me as an athlete. Thank you sponsors for allowing me to pursue my dreams with products that I love dearly, including Skechers Performance, Blue Seventy, VIMMIA active wear, Team Psycho, and so many more. Without the camaraderie of my speedy teammates and the patience of my Coach Jarrod Evans, I could have never fathomed getting through the toughest of training days and more. For that I thank my crew. Lastly, I’d like to thank my family and friends who cheer me on from afar while trying to understand the sport of Triathlon.