Tuesday, June 28, 2016

2016 Indoor Season

2016 Indoor Season 

 

I had a very short and amazing indoor season. I like to keep indoor season short and sweet. It’s a break from heavy and repetitive training. I had two track meets this indoor season. The first meet was USA National Indoor Championships and the top two make the Indoor World Championship team. I won with a throw of 19.47m which became a world lead. The second track meet was Indoor World Championships, which was held in Portland Oregon. I won Indoor World Championships and set a New Indoor American Record with a throw of 20.21m.  We travel so much to other countries, where everything is so different, I was extremely excited to have a major Championship at home.

 

This Championship was different than most. Not only because Team USA was at home, USATF also decided to change the throwing order. They just didn’t change it for the shot, they changed it for long Jump and triple Jump. The new order is that everyone gets 3 throws for the preliminaries. From the preliminaries, they will take the top 8 to the finals and they will get 2 more throws. From there, they will take the top 4 and they will get 1 more throw. On the last throw, all eyes are on you. They scheduled all events around to make sure that on your final throw that the whole stadium will have all it’s eyes on you. Here’s the “gotcha!”, before we could even get to the final throw they held us for 15minutes. That is unheard of. All of the ladies were a little upset about it, but hey, what can you do? I was leading with 19.30m for most of the competition until the last throw, Anita Martin from Hungary, who was in 3rd place, passed me with a throw of 19.33m. Next thrower was Valerie Adams, who had a chance to answer to Anita, finished 3rd with a throw of 19.21m. Then it was my turn. I had the furthest throw going into the finals and they go in reverse order for the finals so I had the last throw. For some reason they started the 800m race right before my throw. They ended holding my last throw until the 800m was over. It’s a little frustrating when you have to wait around to throw but all I could do was pray and ask God if He could keep my mind focused. The 800m was finally over and it was time for me to go (by the way Team USA did great in the 800m). They announced my final throw in the stadium and the whole stadium was clapping in rhythm.

 

Side note: If you are not familiar with the “track clap” I’ll tell you about it.

You start with a slow and steady clap as the athlete gets prepared to throw or jump. The clap starts to speed up the faster the athlete goes into the attempt. At the end you just hear a big applause as the athlete finish their attempt.

 

Now back to my final throw…

 

 I could not tell you what was going through my mind as I walked into the ring. I went into auto pilot mode. I believe that when you compete you go into “competition mode” and your instincts take over. That’s the reason you go to practice day in and day out. You work on your technique so you don’t have to think so much in a competition. All I knew is that I needed to throw 19.34m to win. I wasn’t expecting a big throw. I just wanted to throw far enough to win. I stepped into the ring and prepared myself to put the shot.

I just remember throwing and thinking to myself that it felt pretty good, but because of how the ring is set up I couldn’t tell how far it was. The stadium exploded when the shot landed. I still had my game face on, I didn’t want to get too happy until I knew for sure what was going on. I waited for about 20 seconds and the score board said 20.21m! I smiled all the while thinking to myself, they are going to say sorry we are having technical difficulties and take it back, but they didn’t. I just smiled and waved because I still could not believe the number that was displayed on the board. Jill Camerena-Williams came up to me and gave me a big hug and telling me congratulations. She doesn’t know that in that moment I almost shed tears…real tears. I never cry. It was a moment of relief and it hit me: I just threw the Indoor American Record and won Indoor World Championships!

 

I have to say that this meet is going down in my top throwing moments. Not only did the world see what I can do, I saw what I can do. The last few years have been rough dealing with health issues and small nagging injuries. I was always so close but could never made it to the top. I was doubting myself but I believe that God is preparing me to be ready when He wants me ready. Having faith to keep working and trusting where He is leading you is not easy, but I believe that what He has for me is much bigger than anything anyone can give me and what I could give myself.

 

Thank you Jesus for the victory and the opportunity to do what I love.

 

I hope that you have enjoyed this blog. Make sure to comment below.

 

Until Next Time,

Michelle