Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fan Club President

As most of my blog readers know, I train down in San Diego at the Olympic Training Center. What some of you may not know is that I also trained down here in 2006, left for a couple years, and then moved back last year. A lot of athletes who train down here are resident athletes, meaning they live and train onsite. In 2006 I was one of those resident athletes, until they kicked me offsite and I could only use the facilities for training. The reason I was no longer able to be a resident athlete, was because I didn’t fit the criteria in place that determined which athletes possessed the potential to make teams and win medals.

During the years in between when I was elsewhere training, I didn’t have any major improvements that would blow the socks off anybody. In fact, I spent 2008 away from competition with a bad knee and a dismal outlook for the future. When I asked to be re-admitted to the resident program last year, it was only by luck (aka the grace of God) that they even took me. I still didn’t fit any of the “criteria” that was in place for athletes to be there and my age was against me. But luckily the USOC, who was in charge of the program last year, was not as strict as USATF in following the criteria from three years earlier and I was given another chance to prove myself.

Today I happened to be reminded of the improbable circumstances that brought me back to San Diego to train again. The program is being given back to USATF, and more than likely new “criteria” will be put in place. As a finalist at the last World Championships, I hope that I have proven myself and that my spot is no longer in jeopardy. I trust that they will see me as an athlete with the potential to make the medal stand the next time around. After all, this is the ultimate goal of a program such as this. They pour money into our development, and they want to see results. A few years back, I was deemed an athlete that wasn’t worth of the money because I more than likely was not ever going to produce results capable of earning a spot on a team and a medal. At that point it seemed as if my best years were behind me.

It’s ok that they didn’t believe. Perhaps, statistically speaking, they shouldn’t have. But I wanted to share this with all of you to show that there will be times in life when “others” might not think you have what it takes. They might consider your dreams to be too big and your aspirations just a tad too lofty. And that’s ok. Because at the end of the day, it really boils down to what you believe and what you have decided you are capable of. I never came back to the training center to just play in sand for a few more years and put off getting a real job. I knew there was more. And today, I still know there is more. And even if I am the only member of my fan club, I will continue to be my #1 fan and biggest believer. It’s not up to anyone else to take that position and I can’t rely on what others may think I am capable of. Sometimes you have to believe when no one else does.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer. 29:11

15 comments:

Bianca said...

Yes!!! I'm the first comment :)

I love you and I'm so proud of you following your dreams. You're a fabulous woman and I trust God DOES have a plan for you ;)

Diandra Ann said...

I'm in your fan club! I agree with Bi... BIG BIG plans! You're going to do awesome!

Kiajeen said...

Great blog Bri!

E.M.H. said...

Let those who do not support you or who try to knock your dreams be a source of motivation for you!!!! As long as you have faith and you believe in yourself you will be good and will keep advancing toward your goal!!!!! There will always be naysayers and haters...they have too much time on their hands if you ask me :-)

Marissa Rodriguez said...

This is such an awesome post! I think you're fabulous and I'm sure you'll continue to do great things! I totally get what you mean about others not believing in you or what you're doing, I hate the feeling, but thanks for the reminder that what matters is what I believe I'm capable of doing and the fact that I know there's more! Thanks!

anonymousnupe said...

So are the accomodations nice? I keep picturing a dormitory-style setting, but it's gotta be slightly more posh than that, right? I mean, y'all are grown, and it's long-term livin', right?

Anonymous said...

u don't mind wearing your heart on your sleeve do you?
"Give it t' me...the wild fire.
Take it from me... the wild fire."
Edmond

Dust said...

Speechless! So real & inspirational. Nothing to say but Thank you.

Bianca said...

It's me again. Here's a comment just to tell you I love you :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks a million for sharing. Your story is the essence of performance. You should get into politics (lobbying) with your writing skills and experience. It's a shame the USATF and other organizations don't know more about development. Hence, the reason we are getting crushed in High Performance athletics. You are proof that we have plenty of talent (and you have more to let out). Just poor support and little incentive for coaches to keep it real and not play into the system.

Keep sharing in your blog. I try not to give advice unless asked. Though, you really write professionally if you're not doing so already.

Jasmine said...

If you're the president of your fan club, can I run against you for the chance at being president??!?!? ;)

Jon Lustig said...

Aw, I'm glad I waited to read this, now I get to be happy at the end of the day. This is such a great lesson for believing in yourself, because there will always come a time when you are the only one who does. When you got shuffled out 3 years ago, I was pretty stunned by the idea that being 3rd at nationals the year before apparently wasn't enough to keep you there. When you announced last year that you had been re-admitted, I didn't much care how or why it happened. I was so happy for you, and I was sure that if you could fully compete then you would make the most of your good fortune, and you did. It's such a great example for everyone who has setbacks or doubts, and I know there's still more to come.

Bubba said...

If things don't go as planned, there is always the OTC "casting couch"...........w*nk!

If you'd like to practice, let me know. :)!

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Anonymous said...

Hey are you a professional journalist? This article is very well written, as compared to most other blogs i saw today….
anyhow thanks for the good read!