Chasing Down a Dream: Locking In (Part One)
I want to share with you a small glimpse into my journey. It involves a decision to commit to an idea bigger than I can fully understand, something just outside my reach, something I’m prepared to do everything I can to reach.
Four years ago, in 2012, I ran in my first Olympic Trials. I spent the year training with a group that was gunning after making the Canadian Team. I was privileged enough to witness the highs and lows, see what kind of commitment it took to be world class, and saw what made or broke people.
I was able to feed off of the energy from the year without taking on the pressures and stress of having to make it. Through it, I was able to run fast and learn so much. I carried this with me through the following four years, getting more disciplined and focused year after year. It was a learning curve, discovering how much more I could do. The scariest thing I remember was sitting down and putting out the seemingly obvious question – “How exactly do I make the Olympics? What do I have to do?”.
It was more than just ‘work hard.’ I knew that. I was set on drawing out as bulletproof a plan as possible. This plan evolved every year as I learned more from those around me who knew what it takes to be successful in this sport and hold tight to my love and passion for it as well. It involved a new level of commitment, one that reached outside my hard work on the track itself.
My lifestyle had to change. As someone who gravitates to taking on multiple tasks and being social, that can increase anxiety and burnout. I had to tailor my plan to myself as an individual to give myself the best chance of success.
This year, as I wrote about in my personal blog, my main goal was to put myself in the best position to make the 2016 Olympic Team. This branched off onto a series of subcategories, one being to make the team, others involving categories of my mental approach, lifestyle approach, physical factors, etc.
Identifying these things as a measurable and definitive way of reaching my goal was terrifyingly real. It made me more vulnerable to my goal than ever. It gave me a thrill to know that I was actually going to do everything I could to make it happen. It shifts the conversation into action, it gives you a fair shot of actually seeing through a dream. This way of thinking is only the beginning of further ‘goal digging,’ a stepping stone to being where I want to be as there is always more I can do.
The conscious decision to make a dream a reality takes bravery, discipline, and meticulous planning. If you want it bad enough, it is ever so worth it to do what it takes to make it happen.