The Places You Will Go...

Have you ever opened your eyes and thought...


How did I get here?


My birthday is in a little over a month...and I’ll be 34 and I can’t help but do that annual musing about whether or not I’m where I want to be.


Because I thought that by now


I wouldn’t still feel I had something to prove in a sport I’ve been doing and largely excelling at for over twenty years.


I thought by now I’d own a home and that I’d have a sizable nest egg for those inevitable “rainy days”


I thought for sure I’d be married to my imperfect-yet-perfect-for-me love of my life, who’d have a decent paying job- who some how convinced me to take a season off to have his (our) child.


Making me the mother of a five year old.


But somehow I’m here with none of those things.


And yet...


Wait...before we get to yet.


Have you ever said or claimed to have wanted something but you secretly or maybe not-so-secretly felt you didn’t actually deserve to get it?


The idea of your dream life is lovely but there’s a part of you that thinks “who am I, to have THAT?”


And maybe it’s because of things you’ve done, or your upbringing, or something else that you feel undeserving.


I had a breakthrough a couple weeks ago surrounding something like this.


I remember saying that I want to prove to myself that I can bounce back after all of the drama that’s taken place for me both on and off the track over the last three years, but that a part of me would begrudgingly accept if I didn’t because a part of me blames myself for being here in the first place.


There’s something freeing in saying your fears out loud. First, they immediately become less scary. And two, they are often exposed for the ridiculous thinking they are born from.


But in my case, as is for most of us...we DO play a part in what happens to us. And this is a controversial and slippery slope and I know some of us will be triggered in


Three


Two 


One


But hear me out. Looking back (because hindsight is always 20/20) I can see dozens of flash points where had I acted differently I wouldn’t be here.


And this isn’t the “if I had a time machine I’d go back and change x so that it would change y” situation...


This is an, “I absolutely knew better and ignored the signs” situation.


And yet...


I don’t have the life I thought I’d have at this age.


But I am everything I want to be.


Because life never goes as planned.


And for me, the only time I feel like I’m truly living is when my plans have actually gone to shit, and now I need to scramble, rally the troops, find a detour...


And I learn in those moments what’s in my arsenal.


And how equipped I am.


To tackle most anything.


But the reality is...you’ll never know this about yourself until things fall apart.


My victories have almost always validated what I already knew.


My losses shone a light on things I didn’t.


Like London World Championships in 2017 when I learned I wasn’t Wonder Woman, but that I could get pretty damn close.


Or like in Hungary when I jumped off the right foot and jumped 5.37 with no previous training or reps on that side knowing it would cost me.


And it did. 


50% of my appearance fee...


a spot in the London diamond league.


Why is it so easy to convince ourselves we deserve the bad?


Why is it so hard to believe that we are deserving of good?


Why do we have to dig so deep for that belief?


I learned that there’s this well of strength I can tap into...


No...it’s more like trying to access a water source hidden deep within a cave...


And you’ve just had to navigate down an uneven rocky corridor...and then side shuffle through a fissure...then crawl on your hands and knees through one more pass because the ceiling is so low...


And then you find this glowing pool of water. And it’s agitated by a river that breaks through the earth’s surface maybe miles away. But you walk to the edge, and you lean over and see clear to the bottom of this pool, and it’s impossible to know if it’s twelve or twelve hundred feet deep. 


But it has a gravitational pull...and that glow...


god that glow.


And you feel like you can draw on it...


This ancient pool. Enlightened by some unseen source.


When I dig deep this most accurately depicts how far down I must go.


And how much power I draw on.


How everything thing I’ve ever been through has actually prepared me in some way for these new moments.


You don’t need to be ashamed of your history.


Your empire is built on the stone of your failings


The marble of your victories


The strength of your resilience.


I’ve come so far from being the girl who plotted taking her own life


With pills


A rope


A train.


And in some ways I’m dealing with far worse things now than I was then.


And yet,


I raise my face to the sun every morning and say


Hello


I’m here.


And I’m ready

and willing

to see all the places…

And how far…

I will go.