As much as I should be in bed right now, I wanted to quickly jot my thoughts down before this day is over. I want to document the way that I feel so that if I ever get to a low point in my athletic career, I can remember this feeling and why I should persevere. I jumped over 10m in triple jump when I was 14. Over 11m when I was 15, over 12m when I was 16. When I was 17, I jumped 12.81m, so I thought for sure that it wouldn’t be long before I was over 13m. Well, 4 years later, I am shaking my head at the naivety of my 17 year old self for thinking that it would be easy.
There has been many times in these 4 years where I have seriously questioned myself and my choice to pursue this dream. It is hard to understand the frustration of training your butt off day in and day out, only to improve a mere centimetre per year, without actually experiencing it. All I can say is that it is really, really hard, and it takes a whole lot of love for what you do to not walk away from it. As personal as this is, I want to share an excerpt from a journal entry that I wrote on February 10th of this year as I was going through a pretty tough time:
“This is mentally and physically exhausting. Meet after meet it’s the same f****** story. What is wrong with me? What more can I do? I truly believe that I am doing all that I can to get to the next level. I have been for 4 years now, but nothing is happening. It’s like I’m stuck. I’m chained up, and I’m thrashing and flailing and trying so hard to take a step forward but something stronger than me has a firm hold and is determined to keep me stuck in one spot no matter how hard I try. I don’t know how much longer I can keep fighting and to be honest, I’m not even sure if I even want to keep fighting, especially when there’s no sure guarantee that one day these chains will break and I’ll be free to move forwards.”
Tonight wasn’t just a triumph because I finally broke through the 13m mark. I still have a long way to go so it is nothing for me to get too excited about. It is a triumph because I finally have cold hard PROOF that I am moving in the right direction and that my efforts are paying off. It is only going to be a snowball effect from here – things are just going to keep getting better, especially because my confidence is now through the roof. Patience really is just as important as hard work, and I feel so terrible for all the times my dad and coaches told me to “just stay patient!” and I gave them a death stare. They were right. SUCCESS IS INEVITABLE AS LONG AS YOU’RE WILLING TO HAVE THE PATIENCE TO SEE THOSE RESULTS THROUGH!
So, this is my note to myself: If I ever feel like giving up, remember how tonight felt. The relief of hitting a big jump and getting a white flag. The joy of seeing the huge smile on my coach’s face. The feeling of the weight of the world being lifted off of my shoulders after seeing the # I have been dreaming about for years on the measuring tape. A nice little fist pump and a celebratory hug. A smile that will probably be on my face for a long time…
Today was a good day, but I still have work to do and I need to ride this wave into this weekend so I can hit my FISU standard. One step at a time, baby!
PATIENCE, PERSISTENCE, AND DAMN HARD WORK! THAT’S WHAT IT TAKES!