Waiting for My Stars to Align: The Pursuit of Greatness
0.08 seconds. The difference between being champion and 6th place. I was ready for the magic. I was ready for everything to come together. I was ready for my moment, the one I have been dreaming of. But this wasn't my time.
A little over a year ago, I was crying after every single race, wondering what was wrong with me. Wondering why I wasn't fast anymore; wondering why no matter how hard I trained I just could not do anything "right." I was wondering why I was even bothering to do this anymore.I was struggling to break 14 seconds when I had run half a second faster just the year before. I was incredibly unhappy. I considered the idea of quitting altogether. But deep down, I still believed that I was capable of being great.
This season I have made it my mission to be that greatness I saw for myself and what I knew I was capable of. I told myself I was no longer training to just be able to compete, I was training to win. As I settled back into London and the season began I was quickly back to running like myself. I was quickly running faster than I had ever run. I regained my confidence and I began believing in that greatness for myself more than I had ever done before.
I came into these National Championships believing myself capable of being at the top. I made it through the semis pretty easily. When it came time for the final I was ready to run fast, feeling quick and strong throughout my warm up. I felt confident on the line and excited to run with some of my favourite competitors out there. But sometimes the stars don't always align exactly when you plan them to. I didn't get the best start. The race was tight and I had to fight my way back into the race. In the end, it was the closest race I have ever been a part of. I finished 6th, 0.08 seconds from 1st place with gold through bronze all tying, separated by thousands of a second. With a strong headwind, the times weren't what any of us expected; no consolations this time around.
I truly believe I was capable of being at the top. I didn't run my race. I finished below what I know I am capable of. I am disappointed in myself and extremely frustrated. But this is sport. There is nothing else to do but move on to the next race. After my race, Vickie asked me to put this this last year perspective and to think about how far I have come and how much I have been able to accomplish in just the last year. I honestly haven't thought about this past year as a whole (or even the last two years). At this moment, doing so makes me a little emotional. I have worked so hard this past year to get myself to where I am right now, looking to break down that 13 second barrier and compete on that world stage with the best of the best. I know I am right on that edge and I am hungrier for it more than ever before.
Tokyo 2020 is now less than 1 year away. I still believe that greatness is in me. This season isn't finished quite yet. I know there is more in the tank. I still believe there's a faster race left in me this season. There's still that fire burning in me. I'm still chasing down that greatness. I may not be the most patient of people, but I do believe that my time is coming. I'm waiting for my stars to align.