Hey guys! It’s been a minute. I’ve been meaning to post more… but then life happened for me this summer. But we’re back now! (Hopefully more consistently for the rest of 2019).
I’ve been having these split-second realizations about myself lately and it’s a beautiful thing.
In a session a few weeks ago, my therapist pointed out to me how I have a tendency to have an “all or nothing” mindset with a lot of situations in my life. I listened thoroughly but it didn’t really click until earlier today when I was at work just thinking my life away.
If you keep up with track and field (or just sports in general), then you know that next year is a big year for a lot of professional athletes: The 2020 Olympic games.
This will sound crazy but back in 2016 when I was just entering the track world, I had really high aspirations for “coming out of nowhere” and competing for Team USA in 2020– or at least make it to the Olympic trials for that year. I subconsciously knew that no one could just “accidentally” become an Olympian but for me to demand the best out of myself, I viewed the situation as “2020 Olympics or bust.” Granted, 2020 isn’t here yet… but I need to be realistic.
Anyways, between 2016 and now, I’ve formed several good relationships with professional track athletes thanks to the power of social media. In general, it’s good to be around likeminded people– pursuing the same goal, hard working, etc.. Not every professional track athlete will be able to qualify for the Olympic games but due to the fact that my mentors and friends are all on one #Tokyo2020 mindset, it’s hard for me not to adopt that mindset too.
I mean, I already set extremely high standards for myself because I demand excellence… I often get stopped in stores because of comments such as, “you just look like a runner!!” or “you just have the legs, I mean just look at those calves and hamstrings!!” These kind, yet oblivious, strangers always add on something along the lines of, “keep up the good work and I’ll see you at the Olympics” (because they’re usually the type of people that think track and field is just an every 4-year sport like there’s no world championships or general meets in between). But those comments have been lingering in the back of my head for awhile now. I look like I should be here or there to the average person, but I’m not.
It can be a tough pill to swallow but what’s for my mentors and friends in this sport might not be for me and vice versa. We’re all different people with different backgrounds and different circumstances.
Because they’re professionals, their weeks are literally based off of hours of training on and off the track… you know since it’s their actual job. But I’m not in that position right now. I’m practically an unofficial student-athlete so I don’t have the resources and treatment from my university like actual student-athletes do, I’m in my last year of undergrad which means these last few semesters I have to take hella classes for me to graduate in December 2020, and I’ve had to increase my hours at work.
I say all of that to say that I’m simply doing the best I can right now and that’s okay. Fall semester starts for me next week and these first few weeks will be a trial run with my schedule with classes, work, and training. In this season of life, I’ve realized that I might not have time to train 6 days a week every single week. Not because I’m lazy or that I’m making excuses. I just have a bunch on my plate and if I try to act like track is a life and death thing for me (as if I was already signed to some imaginary contract), I’ll go crazy again.
I don’t need the “Olympics or bust” mindset to compete in this beautiful yet painful sport. If I could show up and make it to 2020 or 2024 or so on, that would be great. But having an “all or nothing” mindset can be dangerous because it doesn’t allow you to see the possibilities and blessings within that gray area of the unknowing. I could still have a much improved season for this upcoming season, meet some more inspirational people, and still be doing “the damn thing” with more awareness. I’m not a bust. I’m not a failure. And neither are you.
I can still support my friends and mentors on their road to Tokyo for next year and still be proud of where I’m at in my journey. I don’t have to look down on myself just because I’m not competing with the best right now.
I’m still here… fighting, putting forth my best efforts every day and that is more than enough.