“It’s all about the journey, not the outcome.” – Carl Lewis
Over the past four years I have given my very best to become an Olympic Athlete. Along with training to become an Olympian I was also committed to be a ‘gold medalist’ in school and in the workplace. This journey was challenging and pushed me far outside of my comfort zone. However as a result, I have seen much success along the way. I was able to complete my master’s degree with honors, traveled to over 20 countries, and had the most amazing internship experience with The Adecco Group’s global team, supporting the IOC and IPC Athlete Career Programmes.
As I bring this four-year Olympic cycle to a close, I am reflecting upon and converting all I have learned as an elite athlete, student, and employee into how I move forward with my life. On the track, I remember my first professional race in Beijing, China. I lined up against some well-known veterans including Justin Gatlin, Doc Patton, Mike Rogers and a few others for the 100 meter dash. I was terribly nervous being a rookie in my first race. I gave that race everything I had and ended up running my fastest race ever. I finished 6th overall with a time of 10.13. Even though that was my best time ever, it only got me to 6th place. That one race made me realize that whenever a new cycle comes you may have to be a rookie again but with being a rookie comes a large opportunity to learn and grow. Over the years I learned more from my coach and from my competitors and improved each year I raced since then.
While I was competing I was also completing my master’s degree online and working. Many times I would have to email my work in early since I would be travelling for competition. I would come back to the hotel from running in a meet and complete my studies that night before travelling again the next morning to another country for a meet. For some track meets I would get less than a 24-hours’ notice to travel from the USA to as far as Africa! It was essential that I became a master of time management and needed to be disciplined to complete my work. One thing that helped me was when I focused on the overall goal which was to complete my degree and build my career while driving for excellence in sports.
Interning with The Adecco Group over the past two years has been one of the most rewarding yet challenging opportunities I have experienced in the workplace. I have grown exponentially in professional development from being challenged to produce the greatest work I can deliver. My experience in Lima, Peru while working on the IOC ACP Forum was one of my greatest gains. I was a part of a team that worked tirelessly to pull together an amazing event. The harder they worked around me, the more motivated I became to commit all that I had for the team to be successful. I accepted any open responsibilities to be completed; no matter how challenging it was, since I knew that it would contribute to the team’s success. This pushed me far outside of my comfort zone but from that experience I progressed in abundance. Now whenever faced with a new workplace challenge, I think about my success in Peru and confidently accept that challenge knowing the results will be development and success!
It’s been a great four years where I learned so much from my experiences and also about myself personally. It has taken me to both very high and low points but it’s about the journey not the outcome. I want to thank the teams at The Adecco Group, the IOC and the IPC for allowing me to have this amazing opportunity. The experience I have gained is invaluable and I will cherish the memories for a lifetime. Also thank you to everyone who has supported me both on and off the track including my family, friends, sponsors, and everyone else. During my lowest points you all kept me motivated to give the very best that I have. As I move through this next phase I plan to continue to share my story and be an inspiration to those around me. I also reflect on the past years and have asked myself if I tried to do too much which impacted my performance on the track; and the answer is always no. I know I achieved my physical best performance, the balance allowed me to maintain balance overall, and collectively all of the activities positioned me to pursue my next step in life.
Thank you to all who have been part of these early steps in my life’s journey.