MY THIRD COMMONWEALTH GAMES! I loved it so much the first two times, I’m going back for thirds! Delhi 2010 to Glasgow 2014 to Gold Coast 2018!
First of all, special thanks to Coach Jim, Matt and my parents who have endured this journey with me and who will also be celebrating their third commonwealth games as my best support crew.
If anybody would have told me when I was on my way to compete for Scotland in Delhi that it would be my first of THREE commonwealth games teams, I would have laughed and said, “NO WAY.” Partly because at 24 (oh, the youthfulness ), I definitely didn’t envision myself still charging barriers at 32. And I definitely didn’t think I’d steeplechase faster in my 30s than I did in my 20s. But, as I’ve progressed, I’ve realized age is a tiny factor in a complex system (i.e., staying injury free, continuing to improve, enjoying the process, balancing life on and off the track) of improving and continuing to compete on a world stage.
The key to my journey was finding stability and a sustainable way to run 80-miles a week, compete in Europe in the summer, and live a (somewhat) normal life. Sustainability around track has allowed me to continue to get a little bit better each year and reach new targets that seemed light years away for me in my 20s. I definitely have Coach Jim, my parents, and my husband for helping me gain confidence in MY journey and keep belief in myself.
My journey looks different to many runners. I don’t go to altitude training, I don’t have a big team of elite runners to train with every day, and my days are not always built around my training. However, I have reached an age where I realize that all of that doesn’t determine my performances on the track. I run best when I’m happy and productive off of the track, which means finding time for my family and my work. I used to get anxious when I saw my competitors at altitude training for large blocks of time, or training with other elite people to constantly test their limits. Then I realized I would have quit the sport a long time ago if I did that because I would have been unhappy and unfulfilled.
My journey is not my competitors journey. I am an individual and I love the road that I have paved in running. I think too many people think there is “one way” to be a professional runner. But really, if you look around, there are many people, like me, training alone or with whoever will join them, chipping away at big dreams, making strides off of the track, and smiling on the way.
So, with all of that, CAN YOU BELIEVE I MADE MY THIRD TEAM!