Nov. 4, 2009
The past two years as a "track girl" here at UAB, the thought of cross country sent a chill through my body. It was foreign to me! I was afraid of the pain, the distance, the sweat, the early mornings and even the mud! But the moment I realized I wanted to be a champion, it came to me that those exact characteristics listed are what creates champions! At that point I knew cross was my missing ingredient...so I dove in head first!!!
When I first met Coach Bee (Boldon) over the summer, we discussed our goals and plans for this season, but cross country was not in those plans. For a while we struggled with finding out if I would be one of his girls, or if I would continue to practice with Coach Thomas' sprint group. But they soon came to the decision to have me become one of Coach Bee's girls. From there Coach and I bonded, and before I knew it I was practicing with the UAB women's cross country team!
At first, I was not happy about the situation, especially the 6 a.m. workouts. As time passed though, I became immune to the early mornings and beating the sunrise. Weeks started to go by and I started to feel like a real cross country girl! I was running really well and hammering some of the intense workouts. I started to reach within myself and realize that, "Hey, I can do this!" Before I knew it, Coach Bee was asking me to compete at 2009 Conference USA Championships.
In all honesty, I was a little skeptical about it. I had never competed at that level for a 5K before! But I made up my mind that I had been working hard for a long time, so why not take a shot? Next thing I knew, I was at the starting line at Bear Branch Park in my hometown of Houston, Texas. I was nervous because my family and friends were there, and not only that, but my team and coaches were depending on me to step it up. So I did exactly that. I competed hard for 20 whole minutes and 15 seconds, placing 49th overall. I was impressed. We worked together as a team and did the best we could. Although things could have went better, we all can say that we learned from our mistakes and will move on.
After the race was over, I was lucky enough to be able to stay home and visit with my family and friends for the Halloween weekend. I had a great time! No worries, no stress and no practice!!! That is, until I was granted the opportunity to help out the team at the regional meet!!! It doesn't get any better than that. I started out an 800m runner, running cross country to help prepare for the upcoming track season, to this BEAST MODE Blazer who is willing to do whatever it takes to make UAB cross country/track and field the best team in Conference USA.