• Joy SpearChief-Morris

The Next Chapter

If you had told me 10 years ago that this is where track would take me, I would not have believed it.

I have been a lover of sport for my entire life. From the time my parents put in me in figure skating lessons and soccer at the age of the three to chasing down an Olympic dream nearly 25 years later. Sport has been so much a part of my life that I cannot separate it from any part of my own history. It is therefore a weird, wonderful, exciting, and scary feeling to think of life beyond sport.


I first discovered track and field during sports days in elementary school. After winning a provincial title in the 100m in grade 10, I began to think about being a track athlete in university. That dream was realized, first by attending UBC, and then through my career at Western University.


Being a Western Mustang changed my life. I never truly felt part of a team before, even when playing team sports, but at Western I became part of family where I felt I truly belonged. I set records, won provincial and national medals, I was named Western’s graduating athlete of the year, and received national accolades and recognitions of my achievements. But more importantly, I fostered a love for track and for running, and a passion for sport that I hadn’t known before. I decided to pursue this love and passion outside of university and make a go at the Olympic team.


I moved to California to pursue running full time with the dream of being an Olympic athlete. I to become my best I had to leave, only to discover less than a year later that my best was waiting for me back in London. I moved back to London where I had my support system, my team, and I achieved my best results on the track.

In my short career, I have competed on two national teams and made an international final. I made three senior national finals in the 100mH and even managed to be ranked 2nd in Canada in the 60mH. I have travelled the world and become friends with amazing, strong, and wonderful competitors. I have struggled, overcome, and found myself along the way. I gave it my all and while I didn’t accomplish the ultimate goal, I know that I have had an amazing career to be proud of.


Besides the numbers, the personal bests, the celebrations, and even the sacrifices and heartbreaks, what I will take away from this sport is more than what I accomplished on the track. What I will cherish are the lifelong friendships I made, the mentors I met and admired, the beautiful places I was able to see, the lessons I learned about myself and about life, and the lasting memories made with the people who were a part of this journey the whole way through.


Now it’s time for me to say goodbye to this sport and start the next chapter of my life. I didn’t have the last season I wanted, and that is something I will grieve for awhile, but I am proud of putting my all into the process. I have no regrets. I will miss what this sport means to me and how big a part of my life it has become. I will miss it more than words can describe. But I know that when the love for something is no longer enough to sustain you in the other aspects of your life, when its no longer a love that is bringing you to the track each day, it is time to move on. I am excited for this next chapter in my life. It is time for me to take what I have learned from this sport, and who I have become, and become who I am meant to be outside of sport.


To my family who has supported me this whole journey, thank you for your endless belief in me. Thank you for always being my pillars to stand on. Thank you for the countless times you flew across the country to watch me race. Thank you to my family and friends for watching those live streams and cheering my name. Thank you to Western University and London Western Track and Field Club for giving me a place to belong and a place for me to grow.


Thank you to my coaches: to Derrick, thank you for being there throughout this incredible journey - I would not be where I am without you. To Vickie, thank you for never ceasing to give up on me, your endless belief and positivity, and for helping me achieve my goals. To Lieja, thank you for coming into this program when we needed you and for your incredible kindness and tough love. To Harry thank you for your part in making me the successful hurdler I became. To Jen Scott and Aaron Stout, thank you for your support at the very beginning of this journey and for believing I could be something great. To the rest of my team: to Lisa, thank you for being more than a nutritionist and becoming a true friend. To Natascha, thank you for helping me find my strength in myself, to see my failures as victories and to help me become the person I am inside and outside of sport. To Evan, Juliana, Chris and all those at Modern Health and Performance thank you for being so much more than physical therapists, chiropractors, and massage therapists all these years.


To anyone else I may have missed, thank you for your support and for being there for me these past ten years. I am truly grateful.


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High School Provincial Championships 2012.

High School Provincial Championships 2012 with Jen Scott, high school coach.

NAIA National Championships 2014 with Derrick.

Competing for Team Canada in the 100m at NACAC U23 Championships 2014.

Western Mustangs Track and Field Team at Training Camp.

4x200m Relay OUA Championships 2016. PC: Edwin Tam.

4x200m Relay at CIS Championships 2016.

CIS Banquet with the relay girls 2016.

Rio Olympic Trials in Edmonton 2016.

Hurdle Crew 2017.

Hurdling at Western with Harry.

After setting the Western record in the 60mH at OUA Championships 2017.

My last USPORTS Championship in Edmonton with mom and dad.

My poster hanging in Thompson Arena.

Western's Female Graduating Athlete of the Year 2017 with Harry, Vickie, and Derrick

LWTF Training Group 2017.

Training in Santa Barbara California 2017.

Canadian Nationals 2018.

Team Canada Sprints, Hurdles, and Multis Crew at FISU World University Games 2019.

FISU World University Games 100mH 2019. PC: Mathieu Belanger

World Athletics Trials 2019 with Vickie.

Montreal Athletics Classic 2019. PC: Jules Baril.

My last race: Montreal Athletics Classic, June 29 2021.

My last race: Montreal Athletics Classic, June 29 2021.

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