I feel like my training leading up to the Games was almost as the best it could have been. I was injury free and hit PR's. I was upgraded to first class so I acclimated well. My training there went according to plan. My warm ups were perfectly timed and My attempts were chosen wisely by my coach. I made a couple of rookie mistakes costing me at least one personal record in the clean and jerk but at the end of the day, my best training total would have moved my up by just one place. I couldn't have asked much more out of the situation that was given to me.
Warming up in the back was not as different as I anticipated. I thought it was going to feel more intense and the cameras were going to be in your face. I hardly noticed the cameras were there and I felt like I was just warming up for competition like I had for any previous meet. My only recommendation would be to have the same platforms in the back that we would be competing on. In the back, we were warming up on this plastic/rubber type of material only to compete on a wood surface.
We had good food to eat. Nice rooms to sleep in. Free transportation. I made new friends and got closer to old friends. I toured around England learned a lot and I spent quality time with my family.
I was hesitant to participate in closing ceremonies because of how awful I felt after Opening. The shoes we wore were terrible. They were painful and unsupported. My ankles felt like I had twisted them up to two days afterwards and my back was hurting. I was also not looking forward to wearing a dress for hours. I like dresses but, with my "champion thighs" (inside joke) I chafe a lot and it's a very unpleasant time. Well, my mom was there and there were rumors of the Spice Girls performing. I have a;ways wanted to see them perform so I figured this could my only chance to ever seem them so I decided to take it.
The ceremonies were a lot of fun just a big jumble of concert music and celebrities. It had everything I would have wanted to see. I enjoyed Rio's presentation as well. During/after the ceremonies I started tearing up. I walked over to Kendrick and Holley and said, "We're at the Olympics! Now it's over..." The magnitude of what I was competing in finally hit me. I was in awe and amazement of the whole situation and genuinely sad to leave. I was so proud to represent all of you and do well for me and my coach.
I've been competing for 4 years now and usually, there are two-three national level competitions and two-three international competitions a year. Over the past four years I have gotten only about 16-24 competitions under my belt. Most other athletes have way more experience coming in. I think I have done well considering my lack of experience. I loved competing and I want to do it again. I am injury free and excited. I think I have one more quad in me. I want to earn medals at the world championships and the next olympics. I want to break the american/pan american records.
This time around, I know what to expect. The knowledge and experience obtained over the past four years almost makes the next four years daunting. I know the hard work and sacrifices that need to be made. I know all of the drama I have to go through. I feel like my National Governing Body (NGB) does not give me/team mates the support (financial or moral) I/we need or the recognition for my/our accomplishments I/we deserve. It's chaotic, unorganized, unfair, and inconsistent. Is that something I want to be a part of for . another four years? Obviously, my opinion as well as my coaches are all that matter truly to me at the end of the day but the sad state our NGB is in, deters me from wanting to participate or encourage others to participate. I will continue lifting because I love it and I have dreams and goals I want to accomplish and will not let their madness let me stop my career early. I can only say there needs to be a major overhaul in leadership and policy to make the next four years and the rest of the future a much more enjoyable and successful experience for all of us.
Thank you all so much for support. With the financial and moral support I have gotten from everyone, it has lifted my heart. The support means my efforts haven't gone unnoticed and enables me to train better. If I train better, I compete better. If I compete better, more doors open for me making my future brighter and hopefully, I will do something amazing with my life and make it all worth it.
I am hoping and wanting to work with an agent and receive more sponsorships. If that all works out, I want to travel to participate in international training camps as well as a grand prix or two and compete more so I am more experienced and prepared for 2016. I think I'll spend a semester of my time also getting back into school or maybe get in a little work experience. Maybe I'll even go on a date or two...