Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Big Fish

The last couple of days I’ve had the opportunity to reach out and share my story to people in the community. For starters, let me just say how cool it is that people actually care. This is another bonus about living in Tucson (in case you are actually keeping count)…here you can be a big fish. In Los Angeles the pond is so big all you can hope for is guppy status.

Last night, myself, as well as a few other athletes that train in the Tucson area, were guests at an event hosted by Johnson & Johnson, a sponsor of the United States Olympic Committee. These people work incredibly hard in their profession and they are passionate about what they do. I have to admit that I was a bit unsure at first. Here is this group of people that live in a world I know absolutely nothing about – the workforce. And they probably know nothing about my world either, but they seemed to appreciate it and were honored that we were there. We were able to share a bit of our journey and I believe they found it to be uplifting and inspiring. Then this afternoon I went and spoke to a group of high school kids. Kids that age make me nervous. I remember how I was in my teenage years…truly uninterested in just about everything anybody had to say. Luckily for me, I had no rotten tomatoes thrown my way.

I find it a lot easier to share on my blog than to share in person. For starters, this blog is simply a peek into my life and entirely a personal choice on whether or not you deem it interesting and appealing enough to read each day. When I go to events representing myself I am sometimes struck by this feeling of inadequacy. What is so important about me? Especially when it’s people not exactly familiar in an area I can claim moderate success in. I suppose if I’m talking to a girl who has jumped 18 feet in the long jump they might find it kind of cool that I’ve jumped over 4 feet further. But someone who’s area of interest and knowledge in no way overlaps mine... well that’s when I begin to feel my ‘coolness’ factor is lacking. Right now, all I can claim to be is a person aspiring to do big things. And if that’s not enough, if their interests do happen to be in line with my own, well then I just feel like my accomplishments thus far are insufficient.

Please know that I don’t say all this in an attempt to sound self-deprecating. Anyone who knows me, knows how hard the last 6 years have been for me and how much more I expect out of myself. I truly believe the best is yet to come and I hold on to that belief wholeheartedly. I am no good at “bragging” about myself, as my friends will also attest to, and I also get extremely embarrassed if they try to. (Of course this only relates to all things track related) I do realize that success is relative. It is humbling to know that my successes are considered great to some people but in my own mind, my expectations are so high that I have a hard time seeing my past accomplishments as such. Besides, there has got to be an expiration date on some things and I am starting to feel as if anything related to college is almost prehistoric.

So no, I’m not a big deal yet. But I hope to be and I hope that when that day comes I am able to embrace it and rule the ponds both big and small.


Anonymous said...

For people who sets there sights extreamly high sometimes they don't reflect on what they have done so far. You have some amazing accomplishments under your belt at such a young age. Anyone with dreams and high goals respect that, even if they have different professions.

Eb the Celeb said...

I feel you on the being able to open up more on your blog than in person. I am so not the emotional, tell all my feeling type of person.

You will soon rule the ponds... I believe it!

kludge said...

You're kidding, right? Probably 50 people in the world over a 6 year period who can even hope to compete at your level. No other sport can boast that, much less "the workforce". I am a professor, been so for 8 years. Honestly, cool for dinner parties and perhaps to talk to neighbors, but after the "when, where, and what", it's pretty boring. But a track athlete..., European travel, sponsorships, photo shoots, parties with Jerry Rice,... even the cover of Sports Illustrated, as I am told. Way cool. Just keep doing what you do... and blog for the rest of us to enjoy ;)

anonymousnupe said...

You're a bigger deal than you think, but it's reassuring that you have not bought into your own hype. Humility, especially in your field of endeavor, is a rare, but precious, commodity.

melanie said...

hahaha! i love it because right at the moment you said your friends would attest to you being no good at bragging, i was like, wait WHAT?! and just in the nick of time, the addendum, "when it comes to track." i am seriously laughing out loud right now! you brag just for having been the one who picked a good restaurant at happy hour. :o)