My Dreams, My Sweat, My Tears My Way!
As I look back on my collegiate career I would say it’s been one amazing journey that I will never forget. I have been so blessed to meet so many strangers, whom I now call friends. Many of these friends have helped me with my struggles and refuse to give up on me. To have coaches and parents that don’t only just coach, but inspire me as an athlete and a person. God has been so good to me and has given me memories and friendships that will last lifetime. Thank you to all the Parents, Coaches, Teachers, and Teammates for all your help you have given.” If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” (Isaac Newton)
While my college running career was coming to an end, I still knew I had some unfinished business with running to take care of. My desire to reach my highest potential, my love for the sport, and the people involved in the sport has always kept the fire burning in me. The transition from college to the work working world, or as some calls it “the real world”, can be very stress fully time for young adults. For me it was a choice of deciding if I wanted to pursue my dream through my running goals, or do what’s expected of me and “get a real job”. As graduation approached it seemed like for the first time in my life I only had one plan. I had applied to a few running clubs, but I had no idea how everything was going turn out. It was way too uncertain for my me, as coach Green likes to Says I am a very “particular girl”. I knew I wanted to keep running and keep chasing my running dreams, but I did not know how to pursue this. One thing I did know was to keep believing that God had plan for my life and dreams.
I was also very lucky to have been surrounded by the friends and the family I have. These people loved me and help make my transition easier. They made me realize I will be able to pursue my running dreams because the fact that they never gave up on me. My last track season turned out to be somewhat of a rough patch as my college season came to an end, but I had some great people who encouraged me even on the days I gave up on myself. Most of my inspiration came from friends and family such as my high school coach, Patrick Hennes and his wife Beth. I’m so grateful to have had these people in my life.
I graduated this past spring from Grand View University with Degree in Health Promotion. I made a big decision to move 18 hours from all my family and friends to see how far my growing potential as a runner can come. Now looking at this tough decision, I am glad I took this great opportunity that God has given me. He not only has given me a chance to grow as a runner, but also as a person. He has given me chance to put my heart and Soul into something I am so passionate about. On this journey I feel so blessed by how much support I am getting from my friends, family, and former coaches from the Grand View and Des Moines community.
On July 28 I joined a team in The Woodlands Texas called, Team Green Running. This club is a USATF club racing team sponsored by Adidas that is based out of Woodlands Texas, which is just North of Houston. Why join Team Green? I feel like in the past 8 years I have done only what is comfortable. I never really have tested my limits outside of comfort zone. I figured it’s a great chance to figure out myself as a person.
While visiting the Woodlands in early July, I it was a place I could enjoy my running. One thing I can recall was how beautiful the area was and the many inspiring trails around the city. The name really fits it the town because it’s covered with woods. I also really enjoyed Coach Green and his philosophy on training. With this came his “old school values” and of commodore and hard work, this was exactly what I was looking for. His coaching background is also very impressive. He has coached for 30 years as the head track and cross country coach at the Woodlands high school and has won 16 State Championships with multiple individual State Titles. He has also been selected as a head coach of two USA National teams. This has led to him given many motivation speech to clinics around the United States. Before starting Team Green Adidas, Coach Green was the meet director of the NXN South Cross Country meets.
With organizing speed camps for the past 20 years, he has seen it all and knows how to develop talented teams. At this level it’s really important to make sure I am pushed, but also knowing when too much is too much. It’s important to work with a coach who believes in their athletes and are willing to go the extra mile for their athletes. The post colligate running World it’s not about glamor, but commitment and sacrifice which is very critical when done in the right environment.
So far the transition has been interesting. Everything is different and it is almost like being freshman in college again. Learning to live in a new place and willing to do all the little things that make big difference. Little things like getting more sleep eating right. These days I am trying to do all the necessary things, so I can achieve my max potential and possibly reaching the impossible. At this level everyone is doing the same thing as me I am nothing special. The only thing that separates me from people around me is the willingness to do all the little things to be great and knowing how hard and far I have to push myself to reach my potential. Also turning all the negatives into positives and being grateful for all the little things on daily bases. I am not only interested in what I am doing , but committed and accepting these changes by pushing my body even when it’s inconvenient and mentally taxing.
These days I am taken things day by day and when things start to get a little lonely and hard, I remind myself why I am doing this. I am not doing this because I have to; I am doing it because I love it. I have running goals I would like to accomplish and just seeing some of the Iowa natives compete in this summer’s Olympics has made me want it even more. I aspire to be that runner someday that motivates others. I have dreams of making the USA team someday being an Olympian. I’m going to chase after this dream as long as I can and no one is going to stop me. After all I have put all my dreams, sweat, and tears into it. Even if I don’t achieve these goals I know I gave it my best effort. I did it on my own terms and I will prosper as a growing person if these setbacks occur. One day I will look back on this and be satisfied that I gave it my all.
After all “Winners are not people who never fail, but people who never quit” -Girlfomparis Tumbr. I refuse to suffer the pain of regret. Most people can be great at anything, but their fear ends up getting in the way of their goal. Even though my life revolves around running right now, I am in constant search for churches and people with the community to partner with so I help out those in need. When we reach out to others that is when we gain greater appreciation for our own lives. I know that I am only here because some cared enough to reach out to help me. I have people in my life that refuse to give up on me even when I did myself. They always remind me that no matter how far I have to go, it is nothing compared to how far I have come.
I am blessed to have people who reached out and encouraged me and that will continue to do so. At the end of the day my life’s mission is to empower and inspire others. To touch as many hearts as possible in such a way that reflects my own values and beliefs. I hope to do this through optimisms and joy and to make sure those I come in contact with are touched in positive way. In return they will be able to offer their love and compassion to others they meet, creating a reaction. I hope to live a life of a humanitarian. As I make my mark on this world I hope to have the love and support of my love ones through the guidance of God, where all things are possible.
If I can affect one person’s life through coaching or mentoring, I will be happy. If I can change one person’s life, hopefully they will do the same to others in need. At times when things get tough and I feel like I am reaching my breaking point, I go back and think of all the reasons why I love running. I know God will finish his work though me because he promises in his verse in Philippines 1:6 “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
On hard days I just need to remember to look deep down for the strength, passion, and patience that has got me this far. These days I am fueled not only by my accomplishments, but also my biggest setbacks. I will keep working hard to become the person God wants me to grow into and continue to find faith through his guidance.