Based on my World Rankings, I have been invited to attend the Olympic Trials in the women’s 800m this Friday, June 25, 2021. Yes, the same day as my Mom’s Birthday. Although it means I won’t be home for your birthday, Mom, I appreciate your support in the decision to accept this invitation. This means the next stop of my journey brings me to Montreal, where I am scheduled for two big races:
Athletics Canada Olympic Trials – Friday, June 25
La Classique de Montréal – Tuesday, June 29
It is no secret the talent and depth of Canadian 800m women is the best it has ever been. Regardless of final team selections, any of the Canadian 800m women who end up in Tokyo will be amazing both on and off the track. Having earned my spot in the Olympic Trials Final, I can imagine no better way to return to a track season post-pandemic than alongside these incredible women in pursuit of representing Canada at the Olympics.
Good things are coming and I am very excited to be sharing them with everyone who has been continuing to support my journey. A huge thanks to Athletics Canada and all of the other behind the scenes planners for finding a way to host this meet during the pandemic! And a huge thanks to everyone at home for your support in Sask!
Check out the information below for the details on the upcoming Olympic Trials race this Friday! To make up for the covid-19 protocols of no spectators, races can be watched for FREE with a 3-day trial on Athletics Canada TV! Click the links below for more information
You’ll catch the women’s 800m this Friday at 7pm (Montreal Time) or 5pm (Regina Time). See you then!
For anyone who has been following my journey, you are probably wondering why I am running 2:07 flat when I ended my 2019 season with a breakthrough of consistent 2:02-2:03’s races. For those curious, I encourage you to continue reading.
What you already know: In Fall 2019, I announced the decision to move my training away from the Athletics Canada West Hub in Victoria to my current Regina, SK hometown base. The next few months were settling into a new environment of training and life balance. Then the covid-19 pandemic postponed the Olympics + 2020 Season. Then I took a very rewarding break from social media, and left everyone hanging.
What you didn’t know:
I made the decision to move in 2019 in May, and communicated this to my Victoria team that 2019 would be my last season with Vic City Elite. It wasn’t until after I had packed my car full of things and drove it to Regina in June that I was finally free to run the 2:02 – 2:03, 2019 season that can be tracked with my race results.
Yes, I made the 800m Final and placed 5th (despite being seeded 13th)
Yes, I cracked the Top 100 in World Athletics Rankings
Yes, I ran a my top x6 fastest of all-times
The part you didn’t see behind the times:
I was $35,000 in debt (Rent or Groceries? Despite amazing landlords who cut my rent in half, I couldn’t afford either with the amount of traveling I was doing!)
I was ashamed of who I am after years of tolerated gossip culture.
I felt alone and did not feel like I belonged in my training environment, losing a fifth training partner in four years to injury/illness didn’t help
The unseen points, and shame I was carrying were leading me towards a pathway of breakdown and burnout which was evident in the 2:09 I ran in the “confidence builder” Nanaimo race I ran (pre-move) in May 2019. Initially I felt a lot of embarrassment for this race, but have since learned to accept this race was a blessing that forced me to realize change was necessary in order to grow and reach my goals as a professional athlete. It was time to go home to my roots, and as I wrote in my journals “Build my Empire”
What have I been doing in 2020?
You guessed it. I’ve been building my empire and actively changing the shame into fuel for the direction I want to go both athletically and in life.
In my experience, the first phase of building an empire is demolition. I stripped down the pieces that weren’t working for me, admitted my financial shame, cried with mental performance over the culture shock of being home, had the opportunity to be home for my Grandma’s passing, acknowledged what needed to change, struggled in a new career environment, and got to work with my coach Alger who agreed my holistic success would carry over to my track success. Then covid-19 through a curveball at the empire I was building and slowed the year down. There were days Al and I didn’t know what to do for training with lockdowns getting worse and I felt too overwhelmed to run. We keep an honest dialogue and Al challenged me, if you are choosing not to run for a day, use that time to figure out why. And I did.
Although the 2020 and some of 2021 track races were put on hold, life was not. Since my 2019 social hiatus, I have been working, running, evolving, growing, living, and healing.
In Jan. 2020 I began a part-time career with the Regina Farmers’ Market, that evolved into a promotion helping build an Online Store that served 50+ small businesses the opportunity to stay open during the pandemic (Dream Job alert!)
We have grown a team of professional, amazing colleagues who support me both at work, in life, and in sport
I was invited to become a facilitator with the Canadian Women + Sport team and have had the ability to speak with and to incredible women in various Canadian sport organizations
I spent more time with my family than I have in the last five years combined.
I reconnected with Team Alger Alumni and Team Alger present, these teammates are unparalleled.
I was blessed with a gentle winter that allowed me to run on the gravel roads to continue training for most of the winter outdoors and have my “kumbaya” moments out on my nature runs
I reconnected with Canadian Sport Centre Sask, Sask Athletics, and my IST Team of Carla, Brad, and Alistair
I became a sponsored Nuun Ambassador
I am on track to achieve financial freedom where all my debt will be cleared in the fall
I became an auntie again
I met and spent a year (and counting) with Justin, the love of my life
To answer the original question of where are my 2:02 times? The answer is I’m actually looking for Sub 2-min times. Now that I have taken the time to build a solid foundation of support for my life and athletic career, I have the capacity and collected confidence to accomplish the real goals – without worrying if I can afford groceries. Next Stop: Olympic Trials. Stay tuned for more details!
I have never been so grateful to say I am fully vaccinated. *Insert Happy Dance Here!!
April 5: Received Vaccine #1 in Phoenix, AZ
April 26: Received Vaccine #2 in Phoenix, AZ
May 10: Two weeks post-vaccination to become fully effective.
May 13: End of two week quarantine return to Canada (Including x3 negative covid-19 test results)
This is a question I have been hopeful to begin answering since March 2020. Currently as a fully vaccinated individual, the short answer is continued patience and resilient focus.
The real ground-breaking change requires a majority of folks to be vaccinated. So yes, for now I continue to socially distance, wear a mask, use hand sanitizer, and stay safe while I wait for a majority to receive full immunizations. The current precautions are done with the relief if I am to catch the virus, my body will be able to tolerate the infection. During my two week quarantine upon return to Canada I had two weeks of alone time to wonder what comes next? First was hope at all of the possibilities. My thoughts concluded the big-picture emergence from covid-19 will be gradual, with most change occurring on an individual basis. The little things: shops will start to open, sport facilities will host games, music will fill concert halls, event invitations will slowly trickle in, I’ll get to snuggle nephews and meet my new niece. Borders may open, travel bans will lift, schools will be able to host students, families can gather, and hopefully a lot more. It is exciting to have so many things to look forward to! Estimating timelines of these are another can of worms that time will tell.
The next upcoming change? Today Athletics Canada announced their approval from provincial and municipal health authorities for the go-ahead to host the 2021 Olympic Trials in Montreal. Plus the 2021 Tokyo Olympics are still a go. Of course both will be heavily modified, likely no spectators but hope for a startline feels like a step in the right direction for what is coming next!
Step One = Get vaccinated (Check!)
Step Two = Run fast, train smart, compete to my full potential. Perform on demand
Like every other athlete, we are trying to make safe plans in an unfamiliar landscape but I believe we are all itching to get back to competing safely + regularly. There are many unsung heroes making an effort to innovate and accomplish “covid-safe” races and if you are among them, I hope you receive this huge thank-you from me! Domestic races are likely on the horizon and after an Arizona rust-buster race, I have a competitive fire patiently waiting to unleash on a start line. With today’s Trials announcement, it looks like: