One of the reasons I love working big events so much is how they always end up being super concentrated periods of growth. You simply can't go through them and come home exactly the same. Something changes-you meet people who become signfigant in your life, you interact with your coworkers in new ways that affect the way you work with them back home, the pace is fast and you have to make quick decisions and trust yourself and deal with crazy things that never happen when you are sitting at a desk. I always feel different getting on the plane at the end of one of these adventures.
The last nine months of Pan Ams, Parapan Ams, Youth Games, trips to London and then the insane lead-up to the Games have had my brain and my heart feeling like I've been strapped to the top of a rocket ship. It's fun and it's thrilling but it's also been really scary and there are moments where I just want to get the hell off this thing.
One of the coolest parts of what we're doing here in Eugene are these Ambassador Programs we get to facilitate. Every athlete has to attend one and they basically hear from a bunch of decorated retired athletes about how to represent the USA well at the Olympics. At the sessions here in Eugene we've had a good mix of veterans and first-timers so the vets have been sharing quite a bit of advice with the newbies. It's been unreal to listen to a room full of people who are among the best track and field athletes in the entire world give each other honest and frank advice on how to make the most of their Olympic experience.
I'm not going to compare myself to an Olympian but some of the advice has been shockingly applicable to what I've been going through this year. I don't know how you measure how I stack up compared to all the other Team Processing Directors in the world but I do know that I'm pretty darn good at my job. And I know that I've worked my damn tail off pretty much since the minute I left college to get this place. Everything happening right now is a culmination of 12 years of blood, sweat and tears trying to claw my way to a job that makes me happy almost every single day. In many, many ways, I can relate to the journey the athletes have taken to make this team and the pressure they feel to turn in a gold medal performance.
So one thing they have been saying to each other over and over is "just do you." Meaning-YOU got yourself here, so don't change your routines, don't try to be someone else, don't let the competition convince you that you are doing it the wrong way. Just be you. I have found myself way too many times in the last few months second guessing my own decisions or wishing I did things like so and so does or wondering if I'm too this or not enough that. But it's sinking in that it's not just a series of lucky events that brought me to Colorado Springs. I say that because I'm a nice girl and nice girls have trouble saying "I got this job because I'm very, very good at what I do." It feels better to say that I'm lucky. I AM blessed and I'm grateful for the opportunities I've gotten but I am ready to give myself some credit for what I've done with those opportunities and to turn that into confidence that I am ready for this. Luck didn't get me here, I did. And continuing to be me-even if that means that I never remember where I laid my clipboard and sometimes I get bossier than I realize and I do talk too much-is the only way I'm going to turn in my own gold medal performance.
Tomorrow is our last day in Eugene. I don't mind saying I'll be leaving a little peice of my heart at Hayward Field.