After a very successful last few weeks of eating, I woke up the other morning realizing that fruit and vegetables are in fact part of the food pyramid, and depending how I’d like to look in my XS speed suit, it would probably be wise for me to start incorporating them in my diet. Since I’m starting to train again, I started reflecting back on 2013, which seems like two to three years worth instead of one, piecing together what I believe to be my biggest moments; my life changing moments. So much has happened and there is so much I have to be thankful for, and in light of the year 2013, here are thirteen of what I consider to be my best and favorite moments of this past year…
Adopted my beautiful husky baby, Eva. This little girl has changed my life in more ways than one. Always by my side, always there for me, and always down to cuddle. She’s my little angel, and my pride and joy. Adopting her was the number one decision of 2013 that I am the most proud of and grateful for.
Spending 5.5 months at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Having the support of the USAC and USOC to train to my fullest in Colorado Springs was a dream come true. Just part of the journey to become the best track sprinter that I can be. I will never forget that experience, lessons I learned, and what I’ve become since then.
Racing internationally for the very first time at the 2013 Pan American Continental Track Championships. My favorite memory from here was taking 4th in the keirin, as well as setting my first US National Record in the team sprint. I also got pooped on by a bird walking to the velodrome before the keirin.
Traveled to Mexico, Belgium, Holland, and Germany to race my bike. I got my first passport in February, and began traveling to all these countries in the past year. My first trip across the ocean!
Winning my first individual elite national championship title in the women’s 500m at the 2013 US Elite Timed Track National Championships. I was completely blown away when this happened. It was a moment with many emotions and a driving force for what I’ve achieved since then. I also won the team sprint national championship title as well, as my first team event at the elite level.
Winning the keirin and team sprint at the LA Grand Prix, as well as placing 2nd in the match sprints, and qualifying 3rd in the flying 200m. Some of my best racing happened here, and it just so happened to be the last race of the season. I was injured, unprepared, but I put my head down and did what I wanted to do. I’m so proud of these moments. I was also shocked to have won the NTC Sprint Omnium Title for 2013. This was completely unexpected, and something that I honestly was not chasing or desiring. But at the same time, incredibly proud to have won.
Being absolutely stunned by the number of people who came to my fundraiser in my hometown last June, raising over $6000 towards racing and traveling in Europe and all over the United States, and helping to fund my training over the summer. I’m still absolutely shocked by the support that continues to flow in from all over the world for me to continue doing what I am doing.
Taking charge and moving back to LA, found a happy life, an encouraging life, and a place where I can blossom and be in control of my own destiny. I am in charge of my future now, and I will dictate where it is going.
Winning the 2013 Marymoor Grand Prix Keirin. I’ve only raced the Marymoor Grand Prix twice, and I’ve taken the keirin title both years. This is, hands down, one of my favorite races of the year. It was essential in bringing me out of my hole, in changing the course of my summer, and financially kept me able to race my bike all year. Sarah Hammer and I also set the Team Sprint Track Record, and I also broke the 500m track record!
Being awarded a Women’s Sports Foundation Travel and Training Grant. This grant is helping me live and train in LA, pay for race entries, travel to races, and pay for training related expenses. I was one of 18 individuals who were awarded a grant, and completely blessed to have been given this opportunity.
Opening up the box to my very own 2014 Felt Tk1, which was generously sent to me after fundraising and being blessed with over $1500 to pay for it. With a sticker saying, “Never Forget”, it shows how much I appreciate it and I will truly never forget it, for as long as I live.
My little brother calling me, asking for permission to enlist in the Marine Corps. It was not up to me to say no, and it wasn’t until he left for boot camp in October that I realized what a true sacrifice he was making to ensure that I stay safe and am able to chase my dream. I’m so proud of my younger brother, and I’m lucky to have such strong men in my life.
It’s hard to pick a last one, I feel like I could go on for days. But I think my last moment for this year was opening up, sharing my story, and letting it go. I truly believe that from the moment the words have left my mouth, a weight was lifted off my shoulders, and the more that comes out, the more I am able to shift my focus to my dreams and not my nightmares.
Every single moment from 2013 has been a building block. Always moving forward, and always moving up. There is no backing down, and there is no giving up. There are no excuses. There is no ceiling, there is only what I believe I can achieve.
My life is full of love, life, and happiness. I’ve got the most beautiful dog whom I love with all my heart, and I’ve got friends I would give my life for, and I believe they would do the same for me. My family is healthy, my grandmother is still as witty as ever, and my opportunities are endless. I live in sunny southern California, I’m chasing my dreams every single day, and I have a team prepared to help me get there.
Twenty-thirteen taught me lessons, it pushed me harder, and it punched me in the stomach. But so did twenty-twelve, twenty-eleven, and every other year before it. The difference this year is how I stood back up afterward, and I have a lot to show from it.
Let’s go, 2014. Thanks for being part of my team.