First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of my journey to date. Thank you to family, friends, teammates and members of my inner team (my coach, sports psych, chiropractors, massage therapists), for their unwavering support and encouragement. Unfortunately, my Road to Rio did not end the way I had hoped. I am feeling such a wide range of emotions at the moment that I am finding it difficult to put yesterday’s experience into perspective. It will undoubtedly take me a few days to process everything. But I do know that once I’ve had a chance to do that, I’ll do what “we athletes” do best when we fall short of our goals: pick ourselves up and carry on because giving up is simply not an option.
A lot has happened in the last 6 months that I have not formally announced. I needed time to process and adjust to the changes that have taken place. In January, I had the opportunity to attend a training camp in Los Angeles with some of the best athletes in the world. My time there proved to be extremely valuable and I was invited to come back and train in preparation for the Olympic Trials. Although it was a tough decision to make, in the end it was an opportunity I just couldn’t afford to pass up.
Saying it’s been easy would be a lie. I’ve been challenged physically like never before. Workouts are longer and much more demanding. Emotionally, I’ve had to deal with all that comes with making the decision to move to a new country without my usual support system, in the space of a week. My resilience and mental toughness have been tested on numerous occasions. However, each hurdle I have overcome has made me a better athlete. In the short time I’ve been in Los Angeles, I already feel that I’ve grown exponentially, on and off the track. Although today I have a heavy heart, I know that this is the beginning of a new chapter in my journey as an athlete. There are more teams to be made next year and I’m excited to see the hurdler that I will become after a full year of training with my new coach and my teammates.
Thank you to all of you who have accompanied me on my journey to Rio and who will continue to support me in the months and years ahead. Thank you to my parents for allowing me to pursue my dream. Thank you to my coach for giving me this amazing opportunity to train alongside the best hurdlers in the world. Thank you to my past and new teammates for pushing me and encouraging me. Thank you to my sponsors who continue to alleviate a lot of the external stressors so I can devote myself to my craft.
Congratulations to all of my friends who will be representing their country at the Olympics next month!