My Through Story
My senior year at Duke, I switched my main event from the 400m to the 800m basically halfway through the year. I hadn't started with the intention of switching. I hadn't started the indoor season with the intention of having an 800 focus. I opened up with an 800- stressed out of my mind to try something new- but seeing it as some over-distance-training for my usual events and willing to give it a one time try.
Coming off of a disappointing junior year, I was more motivated then ever to finish my career at Duke on a positive note. But never in a million years would I have guessed I'd race the 800m instead of the 400m at ACCs, PR by multiple seconds in each round, place second, qualify for NCAAs, and ultimately become a professional 800m runner with a personal best of 2 flat!
When another season came and went and I hadn't run times near my best, I began to doubt myself- 'WHY on Earth did I think trying to be a professional 800 runner would work?', doubt my training- 'WHY did I move to a new city and change my lifestyle and many aspects of my training?', and doubt my future- 'WHY should I keep doing this at all?'
With these questions and the start of the new season came a lot of reflection. My truth about the seemingly wild jump from sprinter to mid-distance? It was easy.
Yes, I was working hard as a runner, but that wasn't anything new. When you work hard for 6 years at something (in my case sprints and the 400), and it then takes you just a year and a half to exceed that success in something else, it feels almost...easy.
Seeing this success drop off the following season was disheartening. Trying new workouts, seeing slower race times, my mind constantly drifted to these questions.
Now, I'm recreating my internal narrative of the discouraging outcomes of last season. Setbacks after success aren't failures. Its just part of the process. The only way through is realizing that you aren't always going to see immediate improvements or run the best races. Through taking lessons and strength from each step you take.
I'm choosing to continue to push ahead, see past my insecurities, and create a mindset and lifestyle that allow me to become the best that I can be.
There are no shortcuts for continued success. The only way is through setbacks. The only way is through trusting the process. Through accepting that it isn't going to be easy.
The only way is through.