Road to Rio
On Thursday June 30th at just after 10:30am I crossed the finish line of Olympic Trials earning my 30th National Title and securing my ticket to Rio to represent Team USA in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games! The journey to achieve this has taken endless hours of training, financial sacrifices, unwavering faith and belief that this was not only possible but worth every moment of blood, sweat, tears of joy and unfortunate disappointment. That it was worth every penny spent on sneakers, plane tickets, and gym passes. That it was worth delaying my pursuit of science and long term career goals in order to compete while still in my athletic prime for the chance to achieve my full potential in athletics.
I can honestly say moments like this week make it worth every second and every cent! There is one more step on my 2016 Road to Rio! But in life it's the journey not the destination and without my amazing support system of family and friends none of this would be possible or worth it! What made my 2012 London experience so special was the fact that my entire family was there to share in that day and cheer me on as I lived my dream and raced my heart out at the Olympics! Hearing their cheers, seeing their faces, feeding off their positive energy propelled me forward to not only a personal best time but a stellar finish!
This time around due to logistical issues and the huge financial cost associated with travel to Rio getting the whole family there to watch me race live is not possible. However, I am hoping to be able to send three people who have been instrumental in helping me since day one!
My Mom, Sue, who has always supported my every dream and goal. Who has always placed the happiness and wishes of others before her's. Who has helped mold me into the woman I am today. Growing up she drove me to every practice and meet regardless of how close or how far. She was the one who made every meal and washed every uniform and sports bra. She is the one who will selflessly give up her ticket to cheer me on live if we can not raise enough money to send her, my sister and my husband because she has been and always will be the one to place others needs and wants above her own!
My youngest sister Katie: who I like to call my biggest fan because from day one in her life she has always looked up to me, believed in me, and has been ecstatic for every joy that has come my way. It was only natural that she would take up racing walking herself! She too now shares Olympic dreams and aspirations. This is an experience of a lifetime for her to build on her own success while sharing in mine!
My husband Joey who has been my rock, my partner, my soulmate. He has supported every dream I've chosen to pursue even if it meant he'd have to make personal sacrifices for rewards only I'd get to experience. He encouraged me to forge on during the toughest most trying times when I balanced training with graduate school. Without him neither my Ph.D. nor my Olympic Berths would be possible.
As I have said over and over it takes a village and I sure am blessed to have an amazing village of support. I would love more than anything to fly an entire plane down of people to cheer me on and share in the moment of a dream come true. While that is not possible I am hoping to send these three very dear people down to help share in my hard earned moment of a dream come true.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for any and all help! Life is not necessarily about what we do but who we do it with that matters most. I am hoping to be able to share my Olympic Dream with my Mom, sister, and husband! All donations will go to directly paying for airfare, cab expenses, and lodging in Rio for the three of them. Thank you, thank you, thank you again!