So much about being an athlete seems to revolve around a selfish need to constantly be focusing on yourself! You have to train well, sleep well, eat well, etc...and your biggest advocate is YOU!!! The Olympic Games are the pinnacle event for all athletes in their lifetime! The experience is nothing less than magical and the memories are worth every bit of effort and sacrifice along the way!
How could something in an athlete's career ever top their trip to the Olympic Games? In 2010 when I was named to the Olympic Team I wasn't sure there was anything greater I could achieve athletically! I soon realized I was completely wrong! Qualifying for the Olympics was a huge goal of mine and a huge accomplishment after many years of dedicated hard work, but when I reached Vancouver and began the process of getting "outfitted" for the Games I realized there was so much more than just being an Olympian. At opening presentation we, the athletes, were asked what we wanted our "Olympic Legacy" to be. We kept these words to ourselves but mine still sits on the card by my beside. I suppose many could use performance or process goals, pleasing coaches or loved ones or even the ability to meet as many new people as possible in the two weeks of the Games. I thought long and hard about why I had spent so many years chasing my goals and committing myself to such a lofty dream.
I soon realized it really wasn't about me. Sure I had spent a good portion of my life focusing on me and how my training, racing and recovery was going, but at the end of the day I realized that Olympics or not it was more about the achievement of everyone in my life up until that point! I realized it was just the beginning of the opportunity to motivate and inspire others!
In 2010 my husband Brian was beyond excited for me to compete in the Games. He called and checked in everyday, he followed the live feeds and sent motivating messages and photos to my email. He was an incredible support network for me and he made my whole experience absolutely awesome! Fast forward four years and there have been numerous school visits, clinics, lessons and mentoring moments. I loved being a part of all of them! I absolutely LOVE sharing my passion and drive with all those I meet! I Love the concept of challenging yourself and aiming high with your expectations, of putting yourself on the line when there is a similar chance you could loose as there is you could win!
Brian exemplified all that I could ever hope for! He saw my success and realized if I could do it he could too! After working with so many youths, as a part of In-the-Arena, and hoping that you are successful at planting a seed of inspiration for them to chase their own dreams, I am so proud that perhaps the most inspired person was the one I shared almost everyday with for the past 4 years!!!
Brian qualified and was officially named to the 2014 US Olympic Team last Wednesday! I am beyond proud and I am more excited for him than I ever was for myself! He has been so dedicated and thorough with his training, so dialed and precise with his equipment and most of all so humble and gracious of his achievements and success! Watching his progress over the past 4 years has been an honor to be a part of!
I wish I could be there with him when he enters the greatest sporting arena of all time, but he knows I will be there in spirit and love!
Best of Luck to Brian and all the In-the-Arena athletes who will be competing in Sochi! I am so honored to be a part of such a wonderful group of athletes and people!