“What are you doing after you graduate?” Why do I hate that question? Why is is it impossible to believe that I could be running after I graduate? It always amazes me that the people who watch me train and work every day yet still doubt me.
Another reason I cannot stand that question is that I honestly do not know. I don’t know what will happen when I graduate. I don’t know what jobs are out there when I graduate. I don’t know how my track career will be when I graduate. I honestly question if I will even graduate.
I love how people tell me to “live in the moment” yet constantly bombard me with questions about what I am doing a year from now when I don’t even know what will happen next week.
There is not much that I know, except for now, and I can say with confidence, despite doubt, fear, anxiety and anger, I know this is where I am meant to be. This moment as I am typing waiting for Coach T to come to his office. This moment with hamstring, quad and knee pain. This moment of finals with one straight forward final left to go. All of this colliding into one moment I am immersed in. This is where I am meant to be. Of course, a moment with God solidified this.
This is week 4 of training with Coach Terrelonge. Since the switch I have ran in 3 meets. I ran in Connecticut where I ran 55 for the 400. I ran in New Jersey where I ran 55. I also spent my money to go to Florida where I ran. . . 50 effing 5. But it’s the trip to Florida that made me realize it was all going to be okay. At this meet I realized 3 things: I look fast, I attract attention, I have more to give in track.
I ran at the NTC Sprint Series in Clermont FL, a track meet for sprinters only. The longest distance was the 400m. The track was beautiful. Soft yet bouncy. Lines clearly marked and painted. But that was it. There was no stadium. No big building. It was just a track in a valley, literally. When you drive to NTC, you go down this winding downhill road to this track. It was the place for runners. Beautiful sun and warmth, elite runners of all calibers from Olympians to newbies like me. It was the place for trackheads and trackheads only, and I loved it. I embraced it all.
As I walked to the bathroom, these coaches stopped and asked about my time and my event. It seems like nothing, but I was far from them. It wasn’t until I realized I was here at a meet for champions becoming legends and I was running in this meet. Just my presence at the track meant something. Here I was dressed in bright Nike at a meet people are using to qualify for Olympic trials for their countries. Just that alone made me look like a champion without any context.
It was interesting being this no name young girl alone on the track surrounded by these well seasoned athletes, yet I felt in place. It was a place where I had no choice but to know what I was doing from warm up to racing to cooling down. Although, my time was not great, my poise and confidence getting to the starting line showed my maturity in the sport. My clean execution of the race showed all of the things I have been working on with Coach T. My consistency shows a drop in time is coming.
I am excited for the rest of the season. I know I am in solid position to progress and hit a breakthrough.