The Pain of Being an Elite Athlete and a Woman.
I like to think of myself as a fairly optimistic and strong-willed person, but I have days of sadness, stress, and pain, just like everyone else. Behind the positive quotes, affirmations, and meditations lies a girl just trying to do her best. I write this with welled-up eyes and a deep tightness in my chest because as I train for my second Olympic Games during a worldwide pandemic, I feel like I'm about to break.
Just a moment to feel the wind, to feel the breath, to feel life.
Always running, even though I don't like running. Trying to get ahead. Ahead of the game, ahead of myself. Running so fast I don't know what I'm running towards.
Streams of light flutter through the cracks of makeshift cardboard blinds and hit me at the center of my face. I shift around the cold cement below me and tug on the torn-up sleeves of my shirt and pretend that they provide warmth. My eyelashes bind together as I work hard to sluggishly open my eyes. The sun says good morning as the light slowly makes its way down my body, warming every inch on its way down. This is my favorite time of the day. It's the only time of the day that I can be present. The only time that my circumstances don't fester in my mind, creating a chain reaction of disappointment and misinterpreted reality. The only time that I feel good enough just as I am. I think it's the consistency of the sun rising every morning and laying her warm hands on my body as if to say, "you are seen, and you are loved." The moment is short, but it's the closest thing to perfection that I have come across in this life.
Grow in Confidence
When I think of what confidence looks like, my mind first goes to the pretty, skinny, mean girl protagonist of an early 2000 chick flick movie. Usually surrounded by at least two other stunningly attractive friends, these beautiful bullies seem to get away with whatever they want. Arriving at school in their squeaky clean convertibles with no hair on their head out of place as if they're immune to the effects of wind. They strut through the halls with their heads held high, and a permanent smirk planted on their faces as the other 99% of the school population freeze to stare with jaws dropped, and eyes open wide.
How I Made the Olympic Games at 18.
Today is July 31st, 2020. I am currently in Louisiana, U.S.A, and we are in the middle of a pandemic. What better time than now to reflect. Here is my first written account of my journey to the Olympic Games.
Five Things I learned During COVID-19
I’m going to start by saying I am incredibly blessed to have been healthy during this time and don’t know anyone who has died from the virus. My heart goes out to all of those who were affected in this way.