After finding peace in my situation and being o.k. with either outcome I received an email that ended the waiting game. The woman who had been injured informed me that she would not be racing at the Trials. I knew how hard this decision must have been for her. While it was a very difficult decision for her, she felt that those that were healthy and ready to race should be allowed the opportunity to run. Wow. That was impressive. It was a bitter sweet situation to be in because obviously I was ecstatic to be able to race yet my heart went out to the injured runner. She worked very hard to get a spot in the Trials and now that dream for her had come to an end while allowing my dream of racing to come true.
After hearing the news I called my parents and let them know that I should be in. It isn’t a guarantee until I see my name with the words “accepted” after it but I am in the top 24 and the woman’s track and field chair informed me they would be taking 24 to the Trials. My dad was thrilled and told me he never said a word about my thinking I was out. He told me he knew all along that I would get in. He just had that feeling.
John was happy to hear the news and pretty much had the same feelings as my dad. They had the faith when mine waivered. I received this text from John, “Why do you run? Remember life is the content not the context. I run because I love to run. Now it would be a blast to run in the context of the Olympic Trials but the content is still simply running. So if I get bumped from the Trials the context is different but life’s content is still there and there’s real joy to be had in that.”
I now have a renewed energy and feel very blessed yet ready to compete. My training has been going great and for the first time at a Championship meet I feel I am coming into it peaking at the right moment. I am not afraid of my competition or intimidated that this is the Olympic Trials. This is yet another chance for me to do my best and lay my heart out on the track. This is a reward for all the days and hours of practice I have put into getting to this meet. I ran my first 5k in the 4th grade and every day and every year since has been shaping and preparing me for this race.
I was looking at some of my old blogs and came across one that applies exactly to this situation. I wrote it February 2nd, 2011 and it had nothing to do with not making it into a big meet or running a PR or anything. It was just my thoughts about running and it still holds true today and probably will forever.
“Running is a lot like life. There will be hard times, ups and downs, but it’s up to you with how you deal with those challenges. You can give in when the going gets tough or believe in yourself and believe that there are no limitations to what you can do.
Often times when I train for months at a time for a big race and then run the race, I find myself reflecting more on the training leading up to the race. Experiencing joy after a successful finish but feeling more proud of the months of preparation that brought me the results. To me, the reward lies in the journey itself. The beauty about running is you can reap these benefits at any point in your life. So it's never too late to start.”
So when people ask me why I run? I could list hundreds upon hundreds of reasons why but it is a gift and I wouldn't be the person I am today without it. As Steve Prefontaine once said, "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." And I intend to leave it all out there on the track Monday evening.