Friday, May 18, 2012

THE OLYMPIC DREAM

When I was a little girl I have always dreamed about being in the Olympics.  I never cared what sport . . . swimming or running.  I would've taken anything.  Every four years I sat glued to the television imagining myself standing on the podium while the American Anthem played and the flags lowered.  It was always emotional.  The world's greatest athletes were assembled together competing against one other.  It was always so inspiring!

 

When I started racing in off-road triathlons as a professional, I was one step closer to that Olympic dream.  The sport was not yet part of the Olympics was road triathlon just made its debut. It was only a matter of time!

 

Then I got cancer and told I would never run again.  My dream had been crushed.  Not only would I never compete in the Olympics but I would never compete as a pro again.  It is hard to describe the emotional battle inside of me.  I knew God had a greater plan but I was so sad.

 

One day Courtney was talking on the phone to Bob Babbit (Challenged Athletes Foundation) and the first thing he said was Paralympics. When Courtney relayed the message to me my eyes lit up.  The dream wasn't over . . . just a little different . . . even better!

 

10 years ago I won my first pro race on a small island called Saipan.  8 years ago I won my first World Championship.  4 years ago I learned to walk again.  1 year ago I got back on the bike.  This year I am racing to make the Paralympic cycling team to compete in London.  Over the last decade so much has happened.  You never know where you will be at any point in life so enjoy the ride!

 

One thing has always been abundantly clear . . . God has always been there.  At times I have been hanging on to my faith for dear life because everything else has fallen apart.  Wherever I end up, whether it is Leadville or London, I know I will be where I am supposed to be.  I'm just along for the ride!

2 comments:

Brandee Ambrosia said...

Incredible! I first met you in '03/'04 - I had seen you race which was an inspiration and further I was impressed with your taking charge by making a difference with "Jamie's Race for Research" . Then came your own diagnosis. I lost track of you during your battle and after racing. Today, while cleaning out my office, I came across a signed photo-card of yours! The perfect excuse to digress from cleaning... I just had to try and find your latest status. Wow - to find this!!!

Congratulations on your journey into Motherhood and now an Olympian. You continue to inspire!

Cara said...

Was so glad to read this update and also the one in Triathlete. As a fellow sarcoma survivor, I wondered many times after hearing about your diagnosis how you were doing. Cheering for you from Kansas!