Life and Thoughts
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
By Langston Hughes
The link to my post trials interview with runnerspace
Four years is a long time to wait for anything. After 2008 in China, I thought long and hard about what I wanted the next four years to mean. I didn’t want to just make an Olympic team and I didn’t want to feel the disappointment of getting to the big show and under performing. Making the team was the greatest feeling I’ve ever felt and only fueled my desire for more.
Up until that point, every major life decision had been influenced by track: where I went to school, what I ate, where I lived, where I worked, everything I did. I didn’t see a reason for it to stop, I had had a lot of success. So, I continued to put track first.
2009 was a good year for me the following year. I had a PR and successful summer trip in Europe, compeiting against some of the top talent in the world and still competing well. Maybe even beating a few of them along the way making me feel like I was finally finding my throw. However, as my coach’s health became in question, and he was unable to continue to work with me, I needed to find a new situation.
2010 there was a lot of new: new state, new training, new philosphies to try to adopt. I threw everything I had into the hammer and left nothing for myself… but the gamble didn’t work. I was miserable outside of track, inside, and my throwing was suffering.
It was a set back throwing, physically, and yes, mentally. Feeling so strong, putting so much in to be knocked down so far was a blow. I felt lost, but I needed it. I needed to learn the importance of taking care of myself outside of track in order to move forward on the field. I was ignoring that part too long, saying that being unhappy was okay as long as I was throwing far.
2011 was my chance to find myself again. I returned home to CSU to where I first picked up the hammer. Coach Bedard knew he would play more mentor and counselor than anything, but happily accepted me back. It was apparent immediately, I needed to fix a lot of things off the track before it would get better on.
It was a hard year to say the least. It was worse than starting over because I wasn’t starting level, but digging myself out of a hole. I was learning to compete again, learning to believe in myself, and trying to get the pieces of my life outside of track together. Instead of building, I was rebuilding.
This year was getting back on my feet, shaking off the dust and preparing to fly. Where I felt like I should have continued building from such a successful 2009 and be gearing up for winning trials and trying for a medal, this year was about finding my stride, my throw, and making the team.
It was a hard year, but I think I finally found a balance around January. I had a new job that allowed for training and actually paid enough that my biggest stress wasn’t which bill to pay and which could wait and I was happy in my regular human life. lol With the support of my club, NYAC, and a grant from America for Gold, there felt like there was a real chance again.
My training the last few weeks and my competitions were finally coming together. I was consistent and every throw teetered on the edge of breaking through. My missed throws were quickly becoming better than my best the previous years… I just needed more time.
Suddenly four years turns into a few weeks, to a few days, to a few minutes.
I know I had no reason to be as optomistic as I was, but I believed with everything inside that I would show up and not only PR but finally be the thrower I knew I was, not just make the team but fight for the American Record and be one of the top throwers in the world.
It had been hard to swallow the defeat and preceived failures of previous years, watching others grow while I dug to get back on my feet.
Even until my last throw that landed in the net, I felt like every throw was going to be the one, the throw I had waited for years for was going to come.
It’s hard not making the team again, not living up to what I felt I could and should. However, in 2008, I didn’t want to just make the team and this year it would have been like that.
I still think I’m a 75m thrower, it’s like I’m on the crest of greatness and at any moment I will finally get over the hump and it will happen. I still love hammer throw, I still love going out there every day and trying to figure it out, to be better.
It’s just hard waiting another four years for the chance.