Friday, July 18, 2014

The Shift...training for labor

With my due date being just a few weeks away, I have seen drastic changes in my body. My belly is now resting on my thighs comfortably also known as "lightening" and it takes a whole lot more work to keep my body upright. Thank goodness for the back exercises I have been doing to keep my back strong for this exact moment (when I have become belly heavy). My pelvic bones are definitely experiencing the magic of the relaxin hormone. It now aches a bit to go faster than a shuffle pace, so I don't push it and I walk/shuffle my way through some cardio days. Days like those I feel like mentally I am running, when in reality... well, in reality, my husband is walking leisurely next to me, so that should say what my reality looks like. Although there have been random days where I felt like my lil bud has shifted allowing my pelvic region relief. But now I am sure that where the baby has placed itself, it's there for the long haul. SO now... NOW... I am officially slooooooow. It's crazy just what a difference the position of the baby can make.

My "training" has shifted from keeping up with runs, to training for my main event this year, NO... not the 800 meters... LABOR!!! Think about it, people train for marathons, Ironman's, 10k's, you name it, but when it comes to the most crazy physically demanding transformation a body will go through, people don't really consider training for it!? Labor is an athletic event, it is not only emotionally demanding, but it is highly physically demanding.

Many women have been able to run everyday up until their due date. I, however have had to modify my routine a bit in the last week, and it includes less running... My training bud really needs to pull his/her own weight here, especially because we are gaining half a pound each week! Instead of maintaining a running regimen I have devised a plan to keep up high intensity cardio workouts, using the ElliptiGO, but modifying it's use by putting it on a stationary trainer. I also incorporated hill walk/shuffles either outdoors or on my treadmill. Additionally I included weight and strength circuits, swimming and hikes... and kegel exercises.
Above is the ElliptiGO (Google it!) It's awesome, can't wait to take this baby for a spin off of the stationary trainer post  delivery!
Louis and I headed for a swim

While I know you can only plan so much with these sort of things, I still think it is important to make a plan and to adjust accordingly and as neccesary. Here is my plan on how I plan to stay physically fit for labor.


Not to be neglected are the amazing people that I get body work from. My PT, Nina Patterson at SOL PT and Cyrus Poitier at Elite Pro Sports Massage. I see these two once a week to keep my body in line and operating as efficiently as possible. With my changing body, my team of specialists also help me to detect any imbalances I might be creating.

My goals in preparation for my little one's arrival are;
1. To maintain cardiovascular strength to endure labor more easily ( I said more easily)
2. To maintain strength in my abdominal and leg muscles. As I understand the transverse abdominis muscles and obliques help push the baby out and many women rely on varying squatting positions to help facilitate the baby's entrance in a more comfortable manner.
3. To practice waves of intervals, as I know that when women go through labor contractions come in waves and I feel like interval training can help prepare me mentally for that. It's  not the same pain, but mentally I feel like it will help me understand my responses to physical demands.
4. To continue working as a team with my BFF. Mine just happens to be my husband Louis, but I think that everyone needs someone to support them physically, mentally or otherwise. I understand every situation is different, but if you can find a friend or a loved one that can share a dream or help you through life's journeys, you will find yourself grateful. Humans are innately social we are most often better off with support to help us through the most demanding events of our life.

I am certainly happy to have my husband supporting me and helping get through these workouts in such a very fun and bonding way!
 Here is the my other training buddy/husband/ man of many hats, Louis, crushing it on treadmill and waiting for me to take my spot beside him on the ElliptiGO! He's easy on the eyes too... ; )

KEEP BLOOMING,
             Alysia Montaño, The Flying Flower



Saturday, July 5, 2014

SO...That just happened.

           
Wow! It's been a little over one week since  I "raced" while 8 months pregnant at USA Track and Field National Championships. And what an exhilarating week it has been! I've received so much positive feedback, so many touching stories, and such an out-pouring of loving messages from people all over the world! I can not express my gratitude to have been contacted and supported by so many awesome people!


Like so many things in life, there are going to be some naysayers. While it is disappointing to know that there are still misinformed people who think that exercising while pregnant is harmful to the baby, my experience has been extremely positive. I did my homework. I consulted with my doctors, sought advice from many exercise professionals, and spoke to tons of women who have exercised during their pregnancies. The overall consensus from my medical/professional team was, "GO BABY GO!" Or should I say, "GO MAMA GO," since this Mama is carrying the weight for the both of us!"


But my goal here isn't to focus on the very few negative comments out there, especially since they have been heavily outweighed by the positive. My goal is to share some of my personal experience, with the hopes that it might teach some about the benefits of exercising during pregnancy.



 So here it goes;

A QUICK OVERVIEW OF MY FITNESS JOURNEY:
 Before my pregnancy, I generally exercised at a very intense level. I am an Olympic athlete who consistently ranks amongst the top 800 meter runners in the world.


I was always training my body to push the limits, and then surpass them. This was done all in the hopes of getting fractions of a second better to compete in a race where the slimmest of margins mean victory or defeat. I trained to reach superior fitness levels for my event. It is a life I am used  to, and a life I've learned to love! Contrast that with my life during pregnancy. I simply could not train at a very intense level. That didn't mean that I couldn't amp up the difficulty, I just couldn't be as aggressive as I was used to. In my world when I say "very intense," I mean all out 11's on a scale of 1-10! Throughout my pregnancy, I was still challenging myself physically, but my intensity  was modified and taken down a few notches. The first thing you learn when you are pregnant and pursuing fitness is that no matter how hard you try, you literally WILL NOT BE ABLE TO TRAIN AT THE SAME INTENSITY. It's like your body has an automatic "no go zone", not to mention all those loose and stretched ligaments prohibit your body from any snap that might have been there beforehand. I must exclaim that the body is truly remarkable! It is made to adapt to its conditions.

On average,  I ran about 5 days a week during my pregnancy until I reached about 24 weeks. Around this time I began to "pop out" and could feel a little bit of discomfort with the changes to my body. However, almost as quickly as my body changed, this amazing biological machine adapted to the excess weight and I was able to maintain a fitness routine. It was a modified routine, but a routine nonetheless. I was able to balance my fitness and body adjustments by cutting a day of training out, and ensuring I gave myself at least one day of NO RUNNING in between my run days.

Many weeks, my pregnancy fitness regimen looked like this:
SUNDAY: Run then Sunday Funday
MONDAY: Easy weight routine
TUESDAY: Run
WEDNESDAY: OFF
THURSDAY: Run
FRIDAY: Easy weight routine
SATURDAY: Run


When I was planning to get pregnant, I had set a goal of trying to run until my 30th week of pregnancy, body and health permitting. By week 28, I was still feeling relatively good. I only say relatively because how good does any pregnant woman feel with third trimester fatigue, hormones pumping through the body and carrying a baby who uses their bladder as their personal squeeze toy!? Seriously, my baby would sometimes use my pelvis as a custom hammock, and this isn't to mention constantly satisfying the ravenous hunger beast with random food cravings! Even so, so many new changes were happening while entering the third trimester that I decided to take a rest week to relax, adapt, and then see if I could keep going. Instead of running, I went for hikes and ran only twice that week. Whelp, that rest week really worked and I felt rejuvenated enough to continue my runs for the following 2 weeks!

By week 30, I felt GREAT!!! Again, as great as any pregnant woman who has put on 22 plus pounds and counting! I thought about how good I was feeling emotionally and physically and about how well my pregnancy was progressing. I thought about how grateful I was that I realized early on my secret to dealing with the uncomfortable parts of being pregnant, and how to feel revitalized when I felt low on energy. The secret was simple: the days that I was able RUN or EXERCISE AT ALL, I FELT AN AMAZING BOOST OF ENERGY IN MY MIND BODY AND SPIRIT. It has been incredible to see how different I felt on days when I had been exercising compared to days when I had not. While rest is really important, the blood flow and keeping my heart rate up has made my pregnancy nearly (I said nearly) a breeze!

With all of the benefits I was feeling by continuing to keep this body moving, it made sense for me to keep going as long as I was able to run, and my health care providers continued to give me the thumbs up! I'd reached my goal of running until week 30, which as a side note is why I feel like it is important to set goals. I felt so happy to know that I had made it to my 30th week! Around this time I assessed how I felt about running at the USA Track and Field National Championships that were just 4 weeks away. My husband Louis and I had discussed this idea of running in the meet a while back, but didn't want to force it. Honestly, we weren't even sure if it were going to be a real possibility. We really felt it was important to listen to my body, and let it be the defining factor on whether this would be feasible. By the time the deadline to enter came around,  I was in really good physical and mental condition, and that fiery desire to compete was getting HOT! Additionally, I had the qualifying time and I was the defending champion 5 times over.

Lastly, I was fed up. I had it with the people that really did not understand exercising while pregnant. I felt like this would be a really good way to show people what it looked like. Not only that,  I wanted people to see that  professional women often continue their careers even while pregnant, and I could do so also even in my line of work. There were so many reasons TO RUN! I thought to myself, I've been running this entire time and the pace I would run would be less rigorous than my training, and much shorter. I literally just needed to assess if I could easily run faster than 2 minutes for 1 lap to ensure I wouldn't get lapped in a two-lap race. I could do that easily... SO, I entered. I started tapering as my race approached.

Here is what my pregnancy taper looks like:
WEDNESDAY:(the week prior): OFF traveled back from Eugene, OR
THURSDAY: 5x5sets of a 30 second run w/ 30- 60 seconds rest on WOODWAY treadmill @9.0-9.5 w/3.0 incline with 2 minutes rest in between sets.
FRIDAY: Easy 30 minute swim.
SATURDAY: 4 mile run
SUNDAY: Easy 2mile walk and WORLD CUP!!!
MONDAY: 35 minute stationary ElliptiGO
TUESDAY: OFF
WEDNESDAY: travel and PRE- RACE 2 mile walk!
THURSDAY: RACE DAY

The morning of the race I got up for my usual breakfast . All the inspiration I needed to go forth and prosper came by watching the USA Men's Soccer team make it out of the GROUP OF DEATH!!!
 I went for a walk to get my blood flowing, especially since those guys had me and my baby super hyper! Following that, I went back to the hotel to get rest and some chow. Gotta fuel myself and this baby, so I'll take a hot sandwich (not a deli sandwich) EXTRA PROTEIN PLEASE! (Looks down at the belly and rubs it as ordering).

I killed my lunch in a matter of seconds and then patiently waited in the hotel room before heading to the stadium to compete. When I arrived at the stadium, I ran into some familiar faces. People who noticed me started to ask, "are you really going to run?" I simply smiled and replied back "how are you?" (nice change of subject, right?)

PREP TIME:
 Generally I warm up about one hour before my race. This time, I knew I wasn't going to do the whole kit and caboodle because frankly, for the pace I was running, it wasn't necessary. The main things I needed to focus on before completing the two-lapper were warming my loosey goosey relaxin' hormone havin' muscles, and making sure I stretched those bad boys well. No one has ever looked good getting a cramp, especially not an eight-month pregnant lady! I'm sure I looked ridiculous doing a light jog to the staging area where athletes get their hip/lane numbers. After checking in, I jogged back to the warm up area, ran a few 100 meter strides. I then sat and stretched while watching the other runners complete various exercises my pre-pregnant body would have loved to participate in. I couldn't help but smile though. I was so happy to just BE THERE and to share this love and this passion for this sport with my baby. I am pretty sure my baby felt all of the good vibes because as I sat there before the final call for my race, I felt my sweet little one bumping and kicking. I imagined my baby was warming up with me, and it felt so amazing to be there in that moment and have my baby responding to all of my belly rubs.
         
In the final staging area, as the race officials were taking the athletes to the track, runners popped fuel chomps and various different gels, GU's and energy products. I am sure I was the only one who was eating a full on sandwich just before heading out and an oat bar immediately following. (Eating for two). I continued to hydrate as I waited to be called out, but since my baby loves to push on my bladder, I wondered silently, "am I going to be the pregnant lady that has to pull over to the side of the track to pee?" Luckily I was able to do a final bathroom run before I took my lane... The rest is HISTORY, literally.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
http://www.usatf.tv/gprofile.php?mgroup_id=45365&do=videos&video_id=119804



AND FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE HERE IS A POST RACE INTERVIEW:
http://youtu.be/iAWbYLWOjK8

Much love,
              Alysia Montaño AKA The Flying Flower AKA The Pregnant Runner
             #KEEPBLOOMING
                                   

Monday, February 3, 2014

What's up 2014!!!!

2013... Old news.... What I left behind.
1. Companies that did not fit my brand (namely my former shoe sponsor and RedBull)
2. The Olympic hangover
3.  Training Alone

2014... New news... What I picked up!
1. Companies that fit my brand and that I truly believe in, that stand behind me 100 percent the same way I stand behind them. (This started in 2013, but you get the picture.)
2. A new desire and passion
3. A new training partner

Last year had its fill of emotions, and what a journey of emotions that was, but I am excited to leave that all behind. In case you are not sure what the Olympic hangover is, it is more of a mental thing. With the huge build up and pressure that goes into an Olympics. It is very hard to stay ON mentally post Olympics and stay physically healthy. I went through a roller coaster of mental hardship last year post Olympics, with all of my physical ailments and the emotional fight, of what we all know very much about, with my former sponsor and wanting to leave, it was a trying year for me. Not to mention I had now spent 5 years training alone. My wishes for the next year was to ONLY partner with companies that truly fit my brand. Create an environment where training/running could and would be fun again, and to acquire training partners.

SO FAR;
I have made some changes with those who I am partnering with. Redbull and I are no longer together and that was a hard decision for me. I thank Redbull for all of their support, but I am excited for the opportunities ahead of me.  When I originally signed with Redbull, I was really excited for the marketing opportunities that their company would provide. They do a lot of really cool media stunts, and I was happy for the opportunities that might come in that department. Somewhere along the way though, the message became confused. Instead of focusing on the athletic side of things, and the preparation involved in becoming a world class athlete, the message shifted to focus on consuming the product as a means of success. For me, I was extremely conflicted about saying I consumed the product before training or races because I didn't and I did not want the message to be confused as an explanation for why I ran the way I do. I am a firm believer that hard work, and a healthy balanced lifestyle focused on organic and "green" dietary choices are the key to success. I know that people can be influenced and I never wanted for people to think there are short cuts and more importantly that I take short cuts. One day I saw a magazine I was featured in and they explained that I drink Redbull before races. For the reasons above, I was mortified, and that is when I knew that I wanted/ needed to pursue other partnerships. Although I respect them and cannot thank them enough for the many opportunities, I could not go through with what I perceived to be deception. Feeling confused as to what I should do, I asked for change in the direction of our marketing, but they couldn't give me that change. SO with long and hard thought, we split officially just after I did a show on the Discovery Channel and here I am....

GOOD NEWS HERE:
I have been working very hard these last few months,
I have partnered with Women's Sports Foundation and Safe Kids World-Wide as an ambassador... and there are a few other great and positive companies I believe in that I would love to get an opportunity to work with, we are "talking", so hopefully I will have updates for you soon.

Other affiliates...
1. NYAC (The New York Athletic Club). I am so honored to announce that I am the newest team member of the New York Athletic Club. New York is where I got my beginnings, I mean the slightest inkling of my being takes root in Queens, New York, where I was born and lived through my early years. A place that will always be with me in my heart and place where my family and I visit often. New York serves as a reminder, as do many other places for me, of where I come from and where I am now.
2. Mountain Professional Services Group AKA MountPSG, MountainPSG or MPSG- This a marketing and  talent agency, that I began working with in 2013 that has helped me make these vital transitions in my career and brand. They are a company that not only services and caters to "getting me into track meets", but they help look out for opportunities that interest me off the track as well, which has been a huge NEED for me.

LASTLY....
I have a new training partner...
How it's been going-
We started working together in November, and in the beginning we did not know each other very well, but my new bud kept making its presence known. Around our 1st month together I started to notice this relationship was going to have a very strong bond.
My new training bud challenges me in new ways that I had never experienced ever before. In the beginning months I quickly found a new level of exhaustion that would have me laid out after our morning sessions. My training bud was going HAM on my energy levels. This new addition to the team had me breathless on mere 30 minute runs, and was getting me dropped on any sort of tempo paced run. Here we are going on our 4th month training together and things are turning around, I have a new desire and love and my energy that was nearly non-existent has returned and then some. I FEEL SO ALIVE with my new training buddy and I couldn't have asked for a better buddy!

MEET BUD MONTAÑO (12 weeks)
CHILLIN' LIKE A BOSS (arms behind the head!)

First Public Appearance scheduled at a hospital in Berkeley, somewhere around August 13, 2014

Love,
   Alysia Montaño
#KEEPBLOOMING




Thursday, January 2, 2014

So the world knows...

Professional track and field athletes want to be with a company that fully supports them as people and will treat that person with dignity and respect. Many of these athletes are not dropped, but chose to go to a company that they could stand behind and support 100 percent. A company they could feel proud representing. I am one of those athletes that wanted to represent a company I believe exhibited ethics. That company for me is Asics. Many others have had amicable splits with their former so they could sleep at night knowing they have been true and honest to who they are and future generations. Nick Symmonds, Lauren Fleshman and myself are just a few athletes who took a stand to help better our sport. 

     

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tis the season.

What I love most about the holidays is the reminder for people to be giving, thinking less of themselves and more of others. I certainly don't think that this is the only time of year that you should give to others, but if you need a reminder to carry you into the New Year, than this time of year is the perfect time to jolt the giving into action.

Today on the this Tuesday afternoon I will be headed to Sliver Pizzeria in Berkeley, www.sliverpizzeria.com.


First off, I love Sliver Pizzeria for its year round giving nature and of course it's amazing pizza. Sliver is unique in it's kind because they are a pizzeria whose mission statement is as follows:
" To use the freshest and finest quality ingredients on our pizza as a means to promoting human health and empowering the fight against human trafficking around the world."
How could you not get on board with this company!


Meet Willy (above.)
What I am doing to help them out:
Today December 3, 2013 from 2-5pm, I will be volunteering to make pizza pies with the help of the expert himself and the owner, Willy Perez. Hopefully I prove to be a good pizza maker. What makes today even more special is that we will be hand delivering the pizza to the Boys and Girls Club of Oakland. I grew up going to the Boys and Girls Club, where my dad headed the Sports program before I, myself worked there as one of my first jobs in High School. This is very near and dear to my heart. TIME TO GO MAKE SOME PIZZA!

I will update with photos and maybe a recap after the event!
HOPE TO SEE ANYONE WHO IS LOCAL!!




Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas BOOM!


               Thanksgiving has passed and December has finally arrived. In our normal fashion, my husband and I were up first thing on the morning of December 1st retrieving our Christmas boxes from the attic. Accompanying our hustle to set up our house in to an acceptable Winter Wonderland was Pandoras Holiday Station to which I am singing at the top of my lungs. With Holiday music blaring my mood is at the top end of joyful. I am a holiday freak, and I like for all of the holidays to stay in their lane,  I have to admit I was some what disappointed with the über early Christmas shelving displays at select stores, mainly because I like the build up to the Christmas BOOM! Regardless, we kept our Christmas decorations sealed up until we felt was appropriate, we wanted to let Thanksgiving have it's time too. This year we were going to celebrate Chanukah (Hanukkah) , but with leaving town and all, we couldn't get those decorations up since Chanukah and Thanksgiving shared time this year, next year!

Here is how we set up our home thus far, this will be about a week long ordeal! 

It's just the beginning!

 Dinner table is set up… (trying not to be anal about messing it up for 25 days will be a challenge!)

 Time to let her loose!

Free Willamina!
Isn't she lovely?! 

Now to dress her, she's naked! Sorry for the indecent exposure.



Saturday, November 30, 2013

The teacher learns more in the process of teaching…

Next up...

 
Congratulations to all!

Today was the High School Footlocker Cross Country NE Regionals also powered by Asics, to which I had the most honorable opportunity to partake in congratulating and encouraging these athletes. This meet was a race that qualified the top 10 athletes a bid to race at the Footlocker Cross Country National Meet held in San Diego, CA on December 14, 2013.
They had to conquer this 5,000 meter course (200meters over 3 miles) for their spots.



There were amazing wins, fights for the first 10 spots in the championship race, there was the devastating 11th place finish and there were the athletes that were fighting their own battles and celebrating the small victories. What I love so much about youth sports in general is the sheer innocence that is involved in competition.


While these youngsters were asking me to give a few inspiring words as they asked advice, I sat steadily learning from them being inspired by them myself.
A mentor of mine, once told me: "The teacher learns more in the process of teaching."
After these interactions, I always remember what he means. I always find myself inspired and eager to sit down at my own personal drawing board.


The people I met and the corresponding advice I gave;
(The advice I give comes as I put myself in their shoes having worn them all myself in varying sizes.)
1. The "I'm happy with the win, but I feel so nervous of the expectation of winning next time."
Advice 1. Focus on your accomplishment right now, don't let this victory pass you by, appreciate it. The truth is, it may not happen again, but you now know that it CAN happen. Don't worry about tomorrow, you have no control over it. When you get to that bridge to cross it, fear not, you are the one who has built that structure laying down all the planks yourself so you can cross it. That does not mean you will be guaranteed to be the first person to cross it, but you can do everything in your power to lay your own planks to get to other side. Yes, it is a fact that there is another person that is building a bridge to get to a similar point as you, dwelling on the "what if's" disables you from seeing the "what is".

2. The "I used to win all the time, but I can't quite fight the mental demons and the pressure, how do I make it fun again, I worry about everyone else's times and who might beat me."
Advice 2. Truth is you can't win all the time, but you can certainly try! Try and get back to the basics, set aside a positive for every negative thought that comes to mind. If worrying about other athletes, whose in the race and what time they have run before throws you off, DO NOT LOOK AT THE ENTRIES, get off of forums that direct you to links about your upcoming events or past ones that might throw you off. Let family and friends in on how you feel about it, so they know that it effects (you won't be able to stop everyone from infiltrating your thought process, but who cares because those people don't matter, and what do they know anyway, the truth is "Haters or gonna hate" and they should probably be worrying about themselves.


 Remember all stats are just recordings of events on paper, you can't record heart and courage. All favorites are just predictions and no body can predict the future. Anything can happen on any day, no one is immune to fortune, disparity, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and so on! Encourage yourself by focusing on the HERE and NOW. Don't blame yourself for not winning, it really isn't what it is about at the end of the day. In life things will often pan out differently as YOU planned, the best you can do is take it in, think it out, move it on. In, out, on… repeat that. Before you know it you will have taken the pressure off of yourself and will allow yourself the opportunity to have fun again, these feelings may return on and off, but it is a practice, keep at it!

3. The "I'm just so happy to be here!"
Advice 3. Um… GREAT!!! (HUGS!!)

4. The "I'm just not good enough."
Advice 4. What does "good enough" mean. Never tell yourself you are not "good enough" for anything. You are your own entity, therefore you write your own standard of what is "good enough". Maybe you are not a 5K runner, at the end of the day, it's what your doing now, but it may not be your future. That is OK, but the truth is YOU FINISHED THE RACE, you are GOOD ENOUGH. Be a team leader, be the inspirational guru. If you feel like you lack in the physical ability at the moment, but you still want to be on the team, don't worry you don't have to miss out on the fun of being on a team in High School because you are not one of the top scoring runners, everyone on the team has an important role… including YOU!!! Cross Country is important to build overall strength and fitness, so don't give up, ask you coach if he thinks there any other events you can try for the track season, but please don't give up on cross country.
Cheer up, you are somebody!



5. The "But, I'm a middle distance runner…"
Advice 5. Great you are already ahead of the game, the longer distances and training you are getting now in Cross Country will give you a better base of strength endurance as you move towards track season. You will thank me later. Stick with it.

6. The "I'm trying, but I just can't seem to get better"
Advice 6. Sit back and look at your training from the outside. Talk to your coach, is it a training issue why you are not getting better or are you being impatient. Sometimes improvements come very quickly and then we ride a plataeu for a little bit until we get better OR sometimes we ride a plateau, drop drastically or gradually before climbing back up again. It is all apart of the process and everybody goes through it. Again, don't give up and know that you are building tremendous character. 

7. The "I was so close, and and… I don't know, I just missed it (sobs)"
Advice 7. Ah, I knew this would come up, I know how you feel. This one race does not define you. You are great, you know it's there inside of you. Maybe there is a piece of your race you can tighten up for the next time you give it a go. But there is a possibility that everyone else ran out of their minds too, don't discount the ability of the other runners. Don't over think what could have been or what wasn't, your sure to get another chance in another area at another time. Don't let this put you in a funk or a depression… Don't kill me when I say the words I dread to hear myself, but it is "JUST A RACE", one that you put in a lot of time dedication and passion, that's why you feel the way you do, but at the same time the reason I mention it is "JUST A RACE" is so that you see that there is a much bigger picture to this race. Who you are isn't based on what place you finished, but in the fact that you cared, you tried, you want to be better, you set a goal and went after it, whether you hit the exact goal you were working towards doesn't matter to the character you built in that process. Now, sit down at your drawing board and make a plan. This race has made you hungrier than ever, and the hunger of an ambitious being, is a force to be reckoned with.. USE IT!!! It' is not about the destination, it is about the journey.

I get it, I know it, I've been there and it is all so familiar when I am talking with the athletes that are searching for answers. I am thankful to have these questions come my way, as I was able to remind myself.

BIGGEST TAKE AWAYS:

  • Build your own bridge, know others may be building one to get to a similar spot, don't tear others bridges down and don't take short cuts to building your bridge.
  • You can't win all the time. (If, you're anything like me, you are probably thinking WHY NOT!) Good thing is…
  • You can always TRY! "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
  • Remember the basics "Take care of the small things and the big things will take care of themselves."
  • Don't worry about other people. When it comes to affecting your performance and something that may be hurting you mentally, forget em… And really they should most likely be worrying about themselves, don't listen to the "Haters". If you can't figure out a polite way to tell them, "my coach and I got it"… send them this video link. 
  • Be happy
  • You write your own standard for greatness, don't try to fit in someone else's box of "good enough" 
  • Anything can happen on any day!
  • It is not about the destination, it's about the journey.
  • IN, OUT, ON- Take it in, Think it out, Move it on. 

#KEEPBLOOMING!
-Alysia Montaño