In light of yesterday's sad news about the death of top U.S. marathoner, Sally Meyerhoff, I thought I'd post some words of inspiration and motivation from my very good friend, Janeth Salazar-Ohst. Janeth qualified for and competed in the 1996 U.S. Olympic Marathon. Now a wife and mother of two, she continues to run competitively and is a source of inspiration for many young (and not so young) athletes.
Someone asked me why I was training so hard for the Olympic Trials if I didn’t have a realistic shot at making the Olympic team. I simply said, “Because it IS my Olympics.” The Olympic Trials represented the very best I could be. It may have not been the international stage but it was a grand stage nonetheless. I worked hard to qualify, I met the standard and I was going to give that race everything I had.
Watching your video about Heather reminded me of this. I think she is right on the money when she says she has to keep her focus on the race that she will attempt to use to qualify for the trials. All steps lead to a possible qualification and the focus needs to be on the here and now. I’m sure it is different for the top professional elites in our country as making a qualifying mark is not a big concern for them. Heather isn’t responsible for them, she’s responsible for herself. You can dream big but the details of the work involved must be attended to, day in and day out.
My advice to potential qualifiers is, for this short time in your life, make all the necessary sacrifices to make this dream your reality. The Trials only come around once every four years. You want to be there and you want to be on that line with the very best you have. Life has a way of really changing in four years when you don’t necessarily make your living off of racing. MAKE THIS TIME COUNT!