This is something I've found myself saying over and over again throughout the past year or so. There have been so many things that I would never have gotten to experience or been a part of if I was still living in Pittsburgh. It's not something I talk about often but I started college at the University of Pittsburgh. While I loved the school and the city, I didn't belong there. I was miserable and made the decision to transfer schools. I ended up at UMBC by accident, and to be honest I don't really like it here either. My issues with this school are a whole other story but no matter how much I dislike UMBC, being in Maryland has provided me with countless opportunities that I would not have if I'd stayed in Pittsburgh.
Over the past two months I have been questioning whether I made the right decision to leave Pittsburgh. I've spent a lot of time thinking about the decisions I've made and the reasons behind those decisions. Whenever I start to regret moving to Maryland I remind myself of the countless times I told myself that I was where I was meant to be. For awhile when I would say this it was because I was given an incredible opportunity.
Last winter I applied to be a college ambassador for the Nike Women's Half Marathon in DC. Although Baltimore is not super close to DC, it is close enough that Nike wanted to include students from the area to promote the race. The weekend of the race I got an email from my contact at Nike offering me an opportunity to meet Ellie Goulding, who was also running the race. That weekend I also got to meet Shalane Flanagan and Join Benoit Samuelson just by being given access to the VIP tent before and after the race.
Recently I have been having a hard time understanding why I am supposed to be here, in this moment. I think society and the media tell us that when things get hard we need to change our situation as quickly as possible and that will make us feel better. While I do agree with changing things and not dwelling on a bad situation, I also think it is important to learn from every experience, good or bad. If there's anything I've learned at UMBC its that you can learn a lot more from bad situations than from good ones.
I'm learning that, as corny and common sense as it sounds, life is full of ups and downs, and as much as we don't want to be in pain, sometimes these painful situations make us better people. Sometimes its okay to be sad, angry, hurt. Lately I've been making a greater effort to look for the lesson in every experience. I try to take the attitude that if I can learn from it, it negates all the bad things. Truthfully, it's not an easy thing to do.
This can apply to both life and training. We all have bad workouts. Once I get over the initial frustration of missing prescribed tempo paces I try to look at what I could have done differently. What was the cause of that bad workout. I might not always have an answer but I'll gladly take what I can to do better next time. It's about trusting the journey and knowing that things will work out at some point. Trust that whatever you are going through, you are going through it for a reason and make the most of that.