I'm Back to the Sport I Love. Now What?

I'm Back to the Sport I Love. Now What?

Finding a way to reach the finish line physically, mentally, and socially healthy.

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Running is a brutal sport. It can deplete your energy levels, create a looming sense of dread about the next race or workout, and break your body down, muscle by muscle, bone by bone. But it is also an incredible sport. The feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction at the conclusion of a race or workout are second to none other. For myself, I find it a constant balancing act of stress and recovery, of finding the perfect combination of hard work and rest so I can perform up to my and everyone else's expectations. But it's not necessarily a chore. I love it. And when it works out, when I accomplish things that I've never before thought possible, it vanquishes my doubts about the process.

But this fall, the scales tipped the balance into a place I wasn't expecting.

Before Emory, I had some previous injury issues, but I brushed these off as I jumped into the weeks of training. For a time, everything was going exactly how I wanted it to. I was training well, crushing workouts, taking my fitness to places it hadn't been before, and enjoying it all. So when I suffered a right hip avulsion fracture, it was devastating.

Being sidelined for a month is always worse than it sounds. Especially on a college team, where most of your friends come from, it is extremely challenging trying to maintain a feeling of belonging. I'd look for any semblance of normality wherever I could.

But this isn't about my struggles during the injury.

It's about the future.

See, it would be easy for me to jump right back into the normal routine I had before. But common sense tells me that would be foolhardy and irrespective of my prior history. I could take it easy for a while, but that goes against my inner desire to crush it with my teammates.

Besides finding the perfect balance, this situation presented an opportunity to reevaluate my goals and motivations. Coming in, I guess I had an idealized vision of what college running would be like. But between the 60-mile weeks and lift sessions, I pushed the envelope a little too far.

I saw the not-so-pretty side of college athletics for a while. The part with a backdrop of medical appointments, x-ray machines, and constant therapy sessions. And my experience with it makes me want to avoid it in the future as much as possible.

When faced with adversity, it is easy to let it creep up on you until it takes hold and doesn't let go. Adversity is something I usually enjoy facing because I am usually able to face it and overcome it. Tests, relationship issues, personal strife; I find these to be things that I face constantly yet am able to resolve. But with running, it is so different. Ever since I've known that running is something I love and am able to succeed at, it has been a devastating experience whenever it's been stripped away. I seclude myself from all things running, unable to live with myself being unable to keep up with all of my teammates and competitors. And while that speaks to my competitiveness and true joy for the sport, it is an extremely unhealthy way to deal with it.

Something should change this time around. With my years of competing flying by so fast, it's exigent to enjoy running unconditionally. That means even if I'm too injured to run. That means always being there for my teammates. It means putting in the work on my own time to keep up, and it means continuing to build the community we have.

And as I think about my next move, I realize that this will be my new future for the sport I love.

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To The Girl Who Isn't Graduating On Time, It Won't Feel Any Less Amazing When You Do

Graduating is something to be proud of no matter how long it takes you.

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To the girl who isn't graduating college "on time,"

I promise, you will get there eventually, and you will walk across that graduation stage with the biggest smile on your face.

You may have a different journey than the people you grew up with, and that is OKAY. You may have some twists and turns along the way, a few too many major changes, a life change, you may have taken most of a semester off to try to figure your life out, and you're doing the best you can.

Your family and your friends don't think less of you or your accomplishments, they are proud of your determination to get your degree.

They are proud of the woman you are becoming. They don't think of you as a failure or as someone any less awesome than you are. You're getting your degree, you're making moves towards your dreams and the life that you have always wanted, so please stop beating yourself up while you see people graduating college on time and getting a job or buying a car.

Your time will come, you just keep doing what you need to do in order to get on that graduation stage.

Your path is set out for you, and you will get there with time but also with patience. The place you're at right now is where you are supposed to be. You are going to thrive and you are going to be the best version of you when you graduate and start looking for a company that you will be proud to work for. Don't look on social media and feel less than, because at least you're still working towards your degree that you are finally passionate about. You will be prepared. You will be ready once the time comes and you cross the stage, move away, and start your journey in whatever field you're going into.

Don't question yourself, and be confident in your abilities.

With love,

A girl who isn't graduating on time

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To Those Who Feel The Need To Tear Down Others, Take A Seat

You have no right to hurt others because you don’t agree with them.

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I recently wrote a super controversial article, which I'm honestly very proud of. In the comment section, there were plenty of people criticizing me because of what I believe in, mainly because they didn't believe in the same thing as I put out there.

I would just like everyone to know that the people that write for this amazing company are just that — people. They are real, they have opinions, and they have feelings. There is nothing different about them than you. Would you like someone commenting hate on your Facebook post or anything like that? No, no you wouldn't. When you comment rude things on something that someone worked long and hard on, you are just being rude and inconsiderate of their feelings.

If you just go to the comments to leave a rude comment, you can write it down on a piece of paper and throw it away. You're being a bully. These writers more than likely will go to the comment section, just like I did, and will be hurt by your arrogant, inappropriate comments.

Ever heard of if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all.

If you don't agree with me that's fine, but that doesn't give you the right to deliberately go and try and tear me or anyone else down. You're just being rude and you have no reason to be, all I did was write an article on something I believe in.

Also, don't let anyone rude enough to do this tear you down or diminish your self-worth. There are people out there who are still kind and caring, don't listen to the negativity this world brings. Just keep doing what makes you happy, because in the end, that's all that really matters.

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