I'm about 6 weeks away from being able to compete again. I am left with so many memories of these past two years; both happy and sad ones. I am also full of many emotions for the year(s) to come. I'd like to take a little bit of time and thank some people for helping me get through these times.
My mom: My mom is my rock. When I told her I wasn't going to compete for these two years, she wanted to hug me through the phone and cried with me. She knows who I am and what kind of person I am. She reminds me of my good qualities and reminds me when I am being neglectful. We share everything together and I know a lot of what she does in her life is to help support me financially and emotionally. I literally wouldn't make it week to week without her.
My Coach: Tim (in case you didn't know his name) was instantly excited about working with me and gave me so much hope and comfort. He never judged me once and made me feel at home. He helped me with a place to stay, find a job, get connected with good people and helps me if I ever am in need. He reminds me all the time that I am a special athlete and to not take it for granted. He tells me I can do anything and he is looking forward to getting this year started off right. We're hoping he'll be by my side at the Olympics.
My Hammer Coach/Teammate: When I was in Arizona, my friend's coach told me if I ever wanted to throw, I could stop by. The day after I was no longer training with my old weightlifting coach, I showed up to practice. This was a few weeks out from the World Championships and he seemed a little suspicious as to why I was there when I should be training for lifting but, let me do my thing. He quickly gained my trust and I enjoyed every minute of relearning how to throw hammer and lift with them to stay in some kind of shape during my transition. He listened to me, pushed me, gave me space, allowed have a "bad days" where I cried on the bench, made me laugh and was someone I could complain about things to. My teammate Meagan was just as influential. We had dinner nights, bonded Yelping, throwing things, and had fun training together and pushing each other. I had fun complaining with her to. Hey, sometimes you just need it.
Crossfit Crew: I was always welcome to come and train over at Crossfit Crew. Coach Dairus is a Godly man and I appreciate him and his gym for opening themselves up to me. I can remember dragging my barbell with me everywhere and over there twice a week. That poor thing! It was nice to be in a positive environment where everyone cares about you and wants to just get better. Sean (hammer coach) and Meagan would do clinics there once a month. I also got to train side by side with Meagan again so that was always a positive
My Current Teammates: They push me to stay competitive and in shape when I feel like I can't or occasionally don't want to. They help me coach the kids. They encourage me to live my life to its fullest and to accomplish all I can within my power. I had one teammate help run a meet for me so I could fund raise, I have a couple who are trying to help get me back in school again, I have one who has let me do a couple of clinics through his gym, and I have a lot of people just plain cheering me on. All of this is goof for morale.
My job: I work at Home Depot. Although, they do not have the Olympic partnership anymore, my coworkers and managers have been very great to me. I love my job, my coworkers, and managers, They really work with me when my training schedule changes and help correct me when I make mistakes.
Substitute families: First, let me mention, I have a lot of best friends. I just kind of collect them. Strange as that may be. I love them so dearly and they helped me more than I can ever hope to repay. When I was in Arizona, I quickly became best friends with Danielle. I went to her house all the time. Her mom always made sure I never left hungry of empty handed. I was always treated like another member of the family. At some point she and I lived with her grandma and she let me stay there for very cheap. My best friend Ciera and I at first did not get along but after our second time being subjected to each other, we got along swimmingly. Eventually she got married to this super cool guy and I got along with him super great. Anywho, I became a sister to her and an Auntie to all four of their crazy, beautiful children. After things went down at my old gym, they let me stay with them rent free so I could save up for Texas and continue pursuing my dreams. Here in Tx, I became good friends with Nate and I get to spend time with his family as well. His mom always feeds me always saying something like, "It has protein in it!" We watch movies, do scripture study, eat gummy rocks, and play lots of games together. This Sunday I went over there and spent Father's Day with them. It helped ease some of the sadness I had from not being able to share it with my own dad. I have lived very far away from home since I graduated high school and I often don't get to see my family. I go years between seeing people. I miss them and I miss a lot. Sometimes it can feel pretty lonely and isolating.
Financial supporters: There are too many to name but, I have had people buy me stuff off of my Amazon wish list, donate to my Gofundme campaign, donated to my pay pal, helped with gas money or food money, etc. I am really thankful. I am sorry to burden you guys. I wish I were more financially stable and independent so I wouldn't need help but, lo, that is the position I am in. I still need to pay off my fines, manage every day finances, pay for competitions, etc. but, it's all working out for the best.
USA Weightlifting: I have been in contact with USA Weightlifting and have been doing my very best to stay on top of things, be communicative, etc. They have been doing a good job being non-partial and helping me stay on track and working with me along the way.
My old coach: Joe is a fantastic coach. The level of intensity and discipline he brings as a coach is not often matched, We learned and grew a lot together, Sadly, we had to move on from each other because of the circumstances. but, I am truly thankful for all he did for me. Yes, we butted heads a lot, yes, I could be a stubborn diva, but we accomplished a lot in a short period of time and more than many could ever even hope for. We made a great team. I wish him the best with his athletes and look forward too seeing how well my old teammates do in competitions.
Pursuing an Olympic dream is a difficult task. This has been made even harder by the nature of my sport as well as some decisions I made as well decisions were made for me but, through everyone's help, I have learned and gained so much. I am a blessed woman. I reflect a lot on all of this and at times it brings me to tears. Thanks so much! I can't wait to actually tell you about non-sentimental things and talk about weights in Part 2!