A few weeks ago I was talking with a former teammate who hasn’t lost the desire to continue training though she’s been out of college a few years and overcoming some injuries. We discussed how lonely it is without a team to push you, how hard it is on your body, time, and wallet, and we also discussed how hard it is to motivate yourself at this at what feels like alone… With all these things seemingly against you, we also spoke about those who discourage us to continue as well. Yes, with all the things pointing at you to stop, there are also people in our lives who care for us very much or feel they have our best interest at heart who tell us to give it up.
Walking away and giving from your dream or goal because it gets hard is almost as easy as never chasing it in the first place. It’s comfortable. It’s safe. There is less disappointment as if forfeit or not trying is somehow better than failure. Maybe they think telling you it’s okay to give in is helping you. Maybe they walked away from something. Maybe they don’t want you to go through the heartache.
But whatever it is, no matter how well someone is meaning, it makes it hard. Sometimes it can feel like the world is against you and the last thing you need is someone you love, respect, or know to tell you give in too.
Yet, the naysayers are few are far between. In fact, over the last six years that I’ve been competing professionally and training, I’ve met some amazing people. People who don’t have to say or do anything and find it in themselves to do so. I’ve made amazing friendships, had great conversations, read emails, comments, messages, letters, or donations/support. Some from people wanting to get into the sport, some master throwers, some friends, some parents of kids in the sports, some people from other sports, some people who are just fans, and there are those who fate just seemed to connect us through a random picture, chance meeting, blog, or word of mouth.
Sometimes I’ll have a hard day at practice, meet, or just an off day and someone will say something and it turns it around. It doesn’t have to be much, but it’s always nice. I’ve gotten letters from girls in high school who say they want to be like me, or a random message from a fan asking me to go one more year that I’m a joy to watch. There is support from coaches, clubs, organizations, other athletes, former athletes, friends, the list goes on and on of those who take time out of their day to pass on a kind word, or act, or deed.
I guess as I’m moving into the start of my 2012 season and preparing for the Olympics, I would like to start it with a blog to those individuals and groups out there who support us, help us, encourage us. It does mean something, it does help. Every letter, message, act of kindness, donation, even the smallest chat makes a difference. This season is a big one and it only comes every four years. As someone who’s been at this for a few years now, I can honestly say no success happens alone. So thank you.
2012 Olympic here we come!