"You Are Never Strong Enough That You Don't Need Help"
December 20, 2013
Remember when I first started this blog? I was very reluctant because in my head I thought, “I’m not a good enough athlete to have a blog. No one wants to follow my journey”. When I realized how self-defeating that thought was, I started the blog and have since realized how much support and encouragement I have from other people. Whether it’s people I’ve known all my life or people I have never met, I have received a plethora of support from those who have read this blog, and I am so incredibly grateful.
Athletics Ontario recently launched their Adopt an Athlete program. This program allows track and field athletes in Ontario to create a fundraising page and receive donations to help offset the many costs that come with being an amateur athlete. When I first was made aware of this opportunity, I thought the same thing I did about starting a blog. “Why would people want to help me?”. Then I thought back to starting my blog. I was terrified but I went for it, and it ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
So here I am. The truth is, I could really use some help. Being a student-athlete trying to make it to the next level is proving to be very challenging – there’s simply not enough hours in the day for me to work to support myself. I am currently not financially supported by Athletics Canada, and the athletic scholarship that I receive from the university covers soley about 70% of my tuition costs. Last season, due to financial constraints I was not able to travel around to compete in high-caliber competitions when i was trying to qualify for the world unviersity games. Most of the meets I competed in were held here at my training facility in London, competing only against my training partner and a few high school girls on a Sunday morning. This was not conducive to me jumping further than I ever have before and getting onto that world university games team. I was disappointed to fall short of that goal and miss out on the opportunity of a life time but I am determined to not make the same mistake twice – and this is where I could use your help.
I would like to jump in some highly competitive meets in the United States this spring and summer. I truly believe that this is where I will jump what I am capable of. I am a competitor, and if you throw me into a meet with women jumping one meter further than me, good things are going to happen. I am very confident in this. My goal this summer is to medal at the NACAC Under-23 Championships which are being held in Kamloops. The standard to make this team is further than my current personal best, but I know that if I can compete with the best of the best, I will undoubtedly jump far enough to get onto the team.
I have added a menu to my website. Under DONATE, you will find my fundraising page. The main goal, of course, is to receive some financial assistance and be able to accomplish my goals in 2014 and beyond. What’s more though, is that I hope that by people sharing my link with others, more and more people will learn about my story. At the end of the day, regardless of what I accomplish in track and field, my ultimate goal is to inspire others to work hard at the person that they want to be, regardless of what they have been through. I hope that by my story getting out there I can reach more and more people and make a difference in this world. If you are able to help me in any way, you can donate at https://fundraise.athleticsontario.ca/e/carolineehrhardt. If you are not able to donate at this time, I ask if you could please share this link, along with the link to my blog, with others. I thank you for your support and encouragement, as it fuels me and makes me more determined than ever to accomplish my goals.