I’m going to RIO. I’m going to fricken RIO!!! I really am at a loss for words and emotions even. To be very honest, back in December when I felt my knee give way, a huge part of me– the very experienced, logical part me– felt my second Olympic dream slip away. In an instant everything had changed. In that moment I didn’t see the silver lining, hell no I didn’t, I just sat on the sidelines as teammates gave their condolences, trainers telling me there was enough time, Jill telling me there was enough time, me thinking “thanks everyone but it’s December and I can do simple math.”
This feels so special to me, deep down in my heart. I don’t need to talk about hard work and all that, everyone works hard. Every player that made the team and every player that didn’t make the team have absolutely worked their butts off this whole year. My work was different, but work none the less. It is special because of all the factors that had to line up. Due to some luck on my side, because of the way I heal, because of a million different reasons that I am able to make this team. It is most special because of everyone who has supported me, but a few people I just have to talk about.
Brent George. I don’t even know where to start with this man. First of all thank you for being there for me, everyday, for the last 7+ months or so. For understanding what my body and my newly constructed knee needed. The ocean of knowledge you have, the way you pushed me and held me up at the same time. Your humor and candor, and of course, the infamous living room sized PT clinic where your true talent in this field shone bright. From the first meeting I trusted you and that was that. Maybe more important than the physical work, was what I needed mentally. If I needed to talk something through with you, our physical therapy turned into just plain ole therapy with out missing a beat. I know this does not say it all, nor does it need to, but I wanted to let you know how appreciative and thankful I am to have met you, and now consider you a good friend. I love you Brent, we are going to RIO!
Ben Dragavon. It’s so hard to explain the role you have had in my rehab. You were my rehab. When I think about this process and the last 7+ months, we did this rehab along with Brent. Everyday. HAHA, whether you wanted to or not, you were basically rehabbing from an ACL, also! You came to doctors appointments, bought me coffee, demanded I buy you kombucha, you approached my rehab holistically and with such compassion, energy, relentlessness, and joy. I have cried with you, cussed you out, built big fat muscles, learned everyday, and have truly enjoyed every session we have had together. You are much more than any one title or label to me. I needed you Ben, and you were always there. For that, a thank you doesn’t even begin to cut it. I love you Ben, we are going to RIO!
Dawn Scott. I know at times it was hard for you, being that you couldn’t just show up at my door, make my shakes for me, ride in your car around the track as I ran lap after lap, but some how you managed. Haha! It is no secret how much you mean to me and have meant to the success of my career. This injury was no different. Checking in with PTs, calling me everyday, sending me programs, information, encouraging texts, and just generally never believing anything other than a full recovery, especially in time for The Games. This was just one more step in this incredible journey that we have been on for so many years. I can never thank you enough. I love you Dawn. We are going to RIO!
My boo, Sera. Everything. You were everything, all the time, for 7+ months. You held me together, babe. Without even a blink of an eye you held me all together. From the first moment getting wheeled off the plane from Hawaii, to helping me pee after surgery, cooking basically every meal (even when I got healthy I somehow forgot to pick up my end of things haha oops) to telling me not to be stupid and take things slow, to getting my butt out on that track for early morning runs, to being so sweet when I was down and frustrated and pissed off, and just showing me love everyday. I know this hasn’t been easy on you either, there has been so much sacrifice from you during this rehab process and for the chance to make it back, and I can’t really ever thank you enough. Lucky for you, ya put a ring on it so you’re gonna have me trying for the rest of my life! I love you so much Sera, we did it!
To everyone else. My family, my friends, teammates, coaches, and the rest of my people– you know who you are– who have been with me, unwavering, supportive, and honest with me for these last 7+ months. In my heart this feels like a massive group effort and I will carry all that love and support with me to RIO. I love you guys, we are going to RIO.
Remember the time in ninth grade when we learned about the different parts of the brain? You probably don’t because we never went to school to together or maybe because we were only meant to pass each other by, two strangers in a packed hallway not long enough to share a memory. I meant to put today in a song but my pen keeps slipping off- the medulla is the part of the brain that is responsible for involuntary actions say, breathing. Every time my lungs deflate and remain in a state of contraction I trace the line between my neck and the bottom on my head and tap the way I would on a broken television. I like to pretend to hold your hand, the dab of your skin against my own-sometimes when I hold someone’s hand I count the number of days that I predict I’ll lose them within. This morning the silent beat of my heart broke the ordinary cycle of days, where I wake up to the sound of an alarm clock, rapid and irregular-you see I meant to put today in a song but I’ve never known a way to tie the ends and beginnings of my sentences together.
I’ve been feeling pretty awful because for the past three weeks or so, I haven’t hit the gym as hard as I normally do. I got thrown out of my routine because I had to babysit, then I had work, then I had a wedding to go to. Then I let my nutrition slip. Which is probably the biggest part. And one of the biggest reasons I wanted to do this side by side comparison.
It’s hard to feel determined when you just feel so stumped and stuck. But I feel so stumped and stuck because I’m comparing myself to last summer. Last summer I wasn’t taking 7 credits and I wasn’t doing anything else but bartending a few nights a week so I had a lot more time.
But it is my fault. I just had to remind myself that if I slip it’s better to cover the little ground I lost. If I keep at this rate, even if I lose the weight really slowly I will eventually get stronger and healthier. But usually when I’m feeling this discouraged, I let myself backtrack to the beginning.
So long story short I’m still trying to figure out how to have a healthy and loving relationship with this body of mine that does so much for me. I miss what being able to do what I know it was capable but I haven’t been putting the work in this far to et those results.
I still have about a month before I move into the dorms again and my only real goal is to either be down to 200 or back in the 190s if possible. It’ll take a lot of cracking down but my classes finish this week.
Lured into cage-like promises, “forever and ever”s
Slipping through parted lips, fingerprints tattooed on my
Distance… makes the heart grow
Bitter. Forgotten. Wintry.
Icy at the height of the solstice;
Night descended on the longest day of the year
And as days wither, recoil, diminish,
I am left with a red-streaked calendar.
Soon Soon Soon
No more pretending, my love,
Trapped between mountains (I will be)
And you; shackle-free in the plains.
you never let me forget that i was your biggest mistake; m.h.