It's been years and years (and years and years) since I was an athlete in high school, but there are some things I still remember vividly. I didn't know much of anything about the sport of track and field outside my very small bubble. I knew nobody who competed in college (and certainly not a professional) and all I was worried about was how to do the least amount of work at practice and win on Thursdays. Over the years I developed an appreciation for what I was doing and knowledge that would help me accomplish bigger and better goals. But I know that there are things I could have learned a lot sooner and goals I probably would have achieved a lot faster if I had just been better informed and knew a little more.
Yesterday I spent my afternoon talking with a local high school track team here in San Diego. One of my college teammates is the head coach and he asked me to come speak to his team and share my knowledge. I have no problem getting up in front of a group of people and giving a speech on all the important aspects of being a good athlete. I can talk all day about motivation, confidence, developing a good work ethic, etc, etc. And I suppose I did touch on those things a bit. But mostly I just let them ask me questions. Any questions they could think of. I remember being exactly where they are and all the stuff I just didn't know because there was really nobody to ask.
What workout do I hate doing the most?
Do I have a boyfriend and how do I balance my social life?
Do I ever cry after I don't do well?
What if your coach thinks you can do something you don't think you can?
What if you don't get along with your coach?
Do I eat well?
Is lifting going to make your arms all buff?
When did I know I wanted to be a professional?
How do I prepare for a meet?
After the first person was brave enough to speak up, the questions kept coming and coming. And I appreciated their curiosity and desire to know. I think back at all the things I didn't know back then and wish someone would have came by to drop just a little bit of knowledge on me. So, if you are a high schooler (or not) and you have a question, now is your time to ask. Fire away..