Do You Even Run Bro?!

I assume those reading my blog may want to know why I am even sharing the fact that I am a Track and Field runner. Well here you go. I have been running Track and Field since I was 11 years old. Now, by no means did I have some fairytale introduction into the sport. It was my father who made me run. Around 6-7th grade I was completely anti-sports. I have an older brother who was like a sport superstar, so I always rebelled from that and did my own thing. My father was having none of that and instructed me to go to track practice and at least give it a shot before just saying no and being an non-active preteen. Boy am I thankful for that push into the world of Athletics.

Ever since then it has been no looking back, I can't even image my life without running. For the rest of middle school I ran my little heart out. Doing a multitude of events, but mainly focusing on the 100m hurdles and the long jump.

When I go to high school it was the same thing, I did about 4 or 5 events but my main focus was the hurdles and the long jump. This time I added the 300 meter hurdles to my repertoire. All was going well my first year, I was on track to surely graduate with a scholarship for track and field, until the middle of my freshman year I tore my ACL and meniscus in my left knee.

This injury and subsequent surgery was devastating for me at the time, it put me out for the that year and my sophomore year (caused me to give up long jump) and greatly reduced any chances I had for scholarship. I missed a crucial year of growth for a high school athlete and had to struggle to get back to form my last two years.

Although my injury sucked, I wouldn't change what happened to me. It set me up for a fiery comeback when I began to run college track at CSUSM. There I greatly improved.

My first year I split my fastest 4x400 split ever, dropped my hurdle times and got into some of the best shape of my life. The next year was even better, I was apart of the blistering, record setting 4x400 and 4x100 meter relays, I dropped my 100m hurdle times. My junior year I was on fire, constantly breaking all the record I held, lifting like a boss, broke into the 13s in the 100m hurdles and our team did amazing.

This is when the progress came to a halt. That summer following my junior year I was training to compete in some summer meets when I feel hurdling and re-tore my ACL and meniscus in my left knee. Man oh man, this was hard to be faced with this again, especially at a time of so much progress. 

However, because God has blessed me and I put in the work I was able to return for outdoor season my final year. No it was not the season I envisioned but It was a memorable one. I even made it to Nationals with a few months of training and got two All-American titles.

Post college I have decided to continue to run, I run for my college coach's Track Club, Wes Williams Elite. last year was my first season post college and it was awesome. I had so many ups and downs and amazing memories, like running in Jamaica! I do have goals to run in the Olympics next year. I am a realist and I know I have a lot of work to do if I want to make it to the Olympics in Rio. However, I have faced enough challenge in my running career to know that hard work, prayer and preparation can get you anywhere.

So stay tuned for my Road to Rio. I may make it, I may not, but I want to share my journey with all my running enthusiasts out there who love the sport of Track and Field just as much as I do. Dreams are real.

- Amber