Blog Archive

Search This Blog

Loading...

About Us

My Photo
Jessica is our 2016 Olympic Hopeful and Sarah is our 2012 Olympian in Weightlifting. We're setting out to be "Pretty Strong" and we encourage you to do the same.

Translate

Monday, August 18, 2014

Q and A week one by jess

Hey my beautiful pretty strong people :)

I actually got a lot of questions for this month so I'm adding a few questions in each blog so I can get to everyone's! Thanks for taking the time to do my Q & A.

#1 I recently did a photoshoot for @skins_usa and the question this week is "you look fab how do you stay in such great shape" 



 #2 was "what's your diet look like"


First of all thank you for the kind words!

Both questions can be answered with two sentences- being the best I can be is a lifestyle choice. I eat to perform, and I train to perform.

I don't have a very strict diet I don't measure anything or write it in a meal book or send pictures of my meals to Greg Everett (anymore). At one point in my career I didn't have a good hold on staying and training at a good body weight for my weight class. I've learned a lot since then. That struggle was hard and greatly impacted my mood and my performance at practices and competitions. Now I just think about everything I put in my body and how it'll make my body recover and feel the next day at training.

I don't have cheat days because Like I said it's a lifestyle choice. I don't like cheating life!  On special occasions I'll eat things or if I'm eating out and there isn't a healthier option but I try to stay as clean as possible, all the time.

Everyone's body is different and I don't think everyone needs to make the same choices I do with my diet. However, This works for me and I feel great! My joints feel better I am in a better overall mood and my recovery is pretty quick when I eat clean. I used to consider it a sacrifice and it was the hardest part to being an elite athlete for me. Now I've matured some and realized I'll do whatever I can do be the best I can be and diet is a huge part of it. You are what you put into your body. I don't wanna be a greasy, artificial lifter!

List of things I stay away from- gluten, dairy, sugar, food with add hormones and McDonald's human meat burgers.
Don't get me wrong I love bread and cheese and candy (not really mcdonalds tho I read that article that just came out and seriously? Barf) but I also want to be the best and love winning and know I have to do everything it takes to be the best that I possibly can.

Now on to Training!! Training is my favorite thing to do in the entire world. I love every bit of it. Yes I come in tired and don't want to some days. Yes I come in hurting and ache and it takes me like 30 minutes to warm up or more. Yes i cry a lot if I have a bad day. I still have a hard time staying away from it. I've recently changed my training up a lot. I've tried a lot of different programs and I liked them all for different reasons. Catalyst made me the strongest I've ever been, Zygmunt Smalcerz made me the most confident and consistent I'd ever been and Andy Tysz' made me mentally push everyday. I've decided to do my own thing now and my boyfriend and I work together to try to combine them all. Yes, I do some Crossfit (thats related to my sport) for my mental push, gymnastics to strengthen core and stability overhead and normal strength, and Olympic lifts. I'm a high maintenance athlete when it comes to programming I have a hard time trusting and letting go of control and so this is a good fit for me even though my past programs were also so amazing. I'm exited to see it all come together in November at a competition in Costa Mesa, California as a prep for American Open in December.

So that's my program design. How my days usually go is I coach in the morning train from 1-4 and coach again in the evening. I've tried two a days, three a days and just long practices. The long ones are draining but I have a full time job so I do what I have to do. I get in don't complain and put in the work everyday usually reminding myself no matter how hard "this is what's gonna make me better" and suck i up. Train like you compete.



Thanks for the questions! If there's anymore questions again send them to my email jessicamarie979@gmail.com or Facebook message me find me at Jessica Marie Salvaggio*

Fearlessly,
J

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

i chose happiness- by Jess

Lately I've been thinking about what I should blog about so hard my brains been hurting. I've gotten lots of requests and people asking me whats going on in my life pre and post National Championships and why I haven't been writing. Truthfully I'm not really sure, I've been trying to just go with the flow and enjoy my blessings.


One of my favorite people (Deborah) had a good idea and for the first time in months I'm excited to write. 

I've always struggled with not letting myself be a negative thinker. I've noticed though when I can find a positive about every situation I'm happier AND more successful in both training and everyday life. I wanted to invite ya'll into my life the last few months to see how I've been working on finding the positives even when they're hard to see so that you can too!

I moved to Denver for this amazing job at @backcountrycrossfit coaching Olympic lifting, to be with fellow @barbellsforboobs pro advocates, and my boyfriend @chr1st1anlucero (p.s watch for him in the Crossfit world he's pretty amazing). As most of you know if you follow me on social media or read my blog posts you already know that I'm a family girl. It's hard for me to be away from home and in the past its broken me down and really impacted my life in a negative way. It's been a constant struggle and always seemed like a sacrifice to be away from my mom and family. I used to respond to the homesickness by crying all the time and feeling overwhelming with sadness no matter who or how positive the people were around me. This time here in Denver with some trial and error I've decided to change my thinking of negative into a positive. Instead of missing my home I took my mom's advice and tried to focus on making Colorado my home, and these people my family. I'm changing my perspective to see that God wants me here, whatever the reason. I chose to be happy and sometimes happiness means to let go and accept the NOW.

I found out I sprained my MCL and had some fraying in my patella tendon a few months before the US National Championships. As minor as that sounds the pain wasn't. I wasn't able to set up on the bar from the floor at all from the swelling my knee would "catch" and get stuck. When my PT ( @cascadesports1 ) told me I was a mess. Leading up to the injury or minor set back whatever you want to call it I was training the best I had maybe in my entire career. My confidence was high, my strength was up and I was so ready to compete. As you could imagine the first sign of barrier to my previously uphill climb was crippling. Training started to quickly become an avalanche. With lots of help from Christian, my good friend @mikecerbus and Aimee Everett I realized that my reaction to the bad was how old Jess would respond. They helped me remember that God has a plan. Everyone says that, "God has a plan" i didn't get it fully until after nationals was over. During nationals I had a lot of help to just not let the weights break me. "I'm tougher than this" was my mantra. I came home with a Bronze medal, a pretty low performance for my original goals and a bad attitude. The saying "God has a plan" came back into my head and everything clicked. If by going to nationals and not hitting near my Personal Record lifts, if by getting third instead of first or second was his plan it was for a reason. Maybe I could reach more, and do more good for others by getting third over first. Maybe God didn't think I was ready and needed to use this experience to make me a better lifter or person. Who knows but I can accept that it happened for a reason even if I don't know what the reason is yet. It's not the end of the world and at the end of the day i got to do what i love, support the sponsors I love, stand in front of the fans I love and do my best. SO, in conclusion I chose happiness over "what could have been". 
Nationals is over my knee still isn't 100% but I'm still training hard with a new plan, new goal and new outlook. I'm excited for what's to come Gold, Silver, Bronze or 02380385202384082034 place- I'm ready and grateful to compete in a sport I love, surrounded by people I love, and helping people everyday in the gym reaching their fitness and just plain every day life goals. I chose happiness and you should too :) 



Going into the next few months of training i'm going to be channeling my inner Ronda Rousey getting as mentally tough, physically healthy, strong and unstoppable as possible. I'm going to open the forum to all of you amazing people reading and following our blog to ask questions you want me to answer! The questions can be anything you want to know from what my training looks like on a daily basis, diet, competitions, coaching, or even why Chick fil A is so dang good. Every week I'll answer a new question and post the answer to #prettystrongblog so send you questions to my facebook message box or my email. I'm excited for all you pretty strong followers to be empowered to chose happiness with me! 

Fearlessly, 
Jessica Marie Salvaggio 

(email: jessicamarie979@gmail.com) 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Travel Exploits #1 Desert Cities

I've been really thinking lately that I need to start talking about all the cool stuff I've seen around the country and the world and help inspire you all to get outside and do something. Life is way more exciting outside of the four walls we're usually trapped between. I have tried some amazing food, seen some cool things, met interesting people, and whatnot. I hope you all enjoy this series!

I thought I would get started in the Southern California Desert since that is where I am originally from.

In recent years I have come home to see this place really improve. It gets cleaner with more things to do and career opportunities.

Desert Hot Springs:

     Right off the San Andreas fault line, this little down is full of mineral spring spas. My grandparents used to stay at a hotel down the street when visiting us in the summers and a couple of years ago I stayed at the Miracle Springs Spa and Resort. I had a great massage there, the water in the pool is mineral spring water (felt silky somehow), the food at the Capri Restaurant was delicious, and the staff was very friendly. For food, I recommend my favorite Pizza Place: Rocky's. There are quite a few cute little shops and boutiques on Palm Drive. They have recently built the largest Boys and Girls Club in the area which is a great place to let your kids play if you're going to pamper yourself at one of the spas.

Cabazon:

     Have you ever watched the Peewee Herman movie where he is in the giant dinosaur? That's Cabazon! They have a gift shop inside of the TRex and you can climb all the way into it's face. Super cool! They have a little museum to look through for a small fee and you can go on a "dig" to find rocks to redeem for prizes and you can sift through rocks to find bones, teeth, and claws.

Casinos:

     I don't endorse gambling but, if that's your thing, there are a couple of casinos in the area to have fun in. There's Pechanga and Casino Morongo. I think there's a casino called Aqua Caliente as well.

Twenty Nine Palms/Yucca Valley/Joshua Tree:

     For the urban person, you may not have fun in this area. It's fairly baron but, there are a lot of great murals to appreciate. Joshua Tree is in that area too and has great rocks for climbing and scrambling. There are a lot of hippie type and yoga type  people, there are a lot of retreats for that type of stuff.

Native American Stuff:

     The Indian Canyons near Palm Springs and Cathedral City are very beautiful. I have hiked these as a kid. I had a neighbor down the street from me growing up (Millie Fischer) that used to do make crafts and tell stories at the reservation nearby. There, you could get flatbread, learn history, and enjoy the beauty around you.

The Living Desert:

      Located in Palm Desert, this zoo is really unique. It features desert dwelling creatures. In the winter time is is decorated beautifully for Christmas and has really awesome train set displays.

Candy Cane Lane:

     Also in Palm Desert, in the winter time, there is a magical thing to happen: Candy Cane Lane! This is like driving though the North Pole!
   
Palm Springs:

     Palm Springs is a unique place. There are great places to golf, a mall, an art museum, and spas. For those of you in the LGBQT community, this is a very open and fun place to come and hang out.

Coachella Valley:

     Ever heard of Coachella? They have a big, fun, concert every year. Hologram Tupac! Need I say more?



Monday, June 2, 2014

If I Were Normal

If I were normal:


I would have money to spend.

My life would be less stressful.

I would have finished my education.

I'd live close to home.

Clothes would fit.

I'd have an easier time dating.

I wouldn't have been bullied so much.

My mistakes could go unseen.

I would know where I'm going to live a month, a few months, or a year from now.

I'd see my family all the time.

I wouldn't have to eat so much.

I wouldn't have to say "no" to my friends.

I could stay up as late as I want and sleep in.

The scars, callouses, stretch marks, bar marks, folliculitis, messed up hair, chalk in the eyes, achy joints, broken nails, ripped skin, sore muscles, would not exist.

I would be smaller.

I could find cuter shoes and accessories.

I wouldn't need to wake up at 3 am.

I would have more work experience.

I've been embarrassed/gossiped about in public/online

My career was almost ruined

I've lost many friends along my way.


But, lo! I was not normal:

I have traveled to Colombia, Greece, Turkey, England, Russia, Guatemala, Mexico, Venezuela, El Salvador, South Korea, and France.

I have been to at least 23 of the United States

I have lived in 5 of them

I have seen the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Canyon, walked all the way to the top of St. Paul's Cathedral, swam in the Pacific Ocean/Lake Superior/Mineral Springs/Atlantic Ocean/Mediterranean Sea, Drove through the Rocky Mountains, Driven the Pacific Coast High Way from top to bottom, looked up at the clear sky and looked at the stars in the high desert, watched the fireworks from the lawn of the White House, and so much more.

I have experienced tornadoes, earthquakes, blizzards, and volcano eruptions.

I know/have a friend in every state and have friends around the world.

I have watched, trained with, or competed against some of the best athletes in the world.

I have witnessed the birth of a child.

I hold records.

I have been considered the Strongest Woman in America and the Western Hemisphere.

I have worn USA emblazoned across my chest.

I have met celebrities.

I have worked with a fashion designer.

I have worked with a stylist.

I have met the President, Vice President, and the First Lady.

I have had photo shoots, and been in the news paper, the local news, and in science programs.

I have inspired many people.


I am so grateful for the amazing things I have been able to do and see and for the people that I have met and have helped me along the way. The journey is not over. Not fitting in, experiencing hardships, making sacrifices, and dealing with pain is all part of the package. The negatives make you appreciate the positives so much more.

If you find yourself having a hard time being "normal" or "fitting in" don't worry about it. Your life is probably destined for so much greatness and grandeur but, at this point is unimaginable. Stay true to yourself, work hard, and take risks.

Sarah






Friday, May 30, 2014

May 2014

A lot has been going on a not not a lot all at the same time. Either way, I'll fill you in.

I've been in League City, Tx training for Team Houston Weightlifting now for 16 weeks. I have to say, I truly love it here. I still think this is the best move I made at this point for my career.

So far as training is concerned, it is going really well. I started with 3 weeks of conditioning and then I moved into training. I'm usually not impressed by a lot of what I do but, I will say I am very happy with the progress I have made thus far. By the time weeks 8-10 came around, I front squatted 185 kgs when my best ever is 190 kgs and I back squatted 210 kgs and my best is 227.5 kgs. By the time week 12 came around (last week) I snatched 115 kgs which is 5 kgs under my competition best and I clean and jerked 145 kgs which is 10 kgs under my personal best. I still do not feel 100% in shape but, I am feeling more hopeful about my future in this sport. I am still a little over a year out from being able to compete again but, that still means I have a little over a year to get back where I was and then some. If God is willing and I stay motivated and healthy, there should be no reason why I am not ready to break American/Pan American records when I'm allowed to compete again. With the time line, it may be narrow but, the Olympics are still an option as well.

The only major drawback(s) of being on a suspension is the obvious thing of not being able to compete. I already expressed my feelings of boredom. Not necessarily from being here or from training but, it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel sometimes. I get bored not competing. That stimulus does me a world of good. I was fully intending of lifting this weekend for exhibition. This would simulate competition without breaking any rules. (permission was granted through USAW so no worries) Well, the meet director was still apprehensive and the competition filled up so I will have to go I think until October to possibly be an exhibition.

On the plus side, without having camps, or competitions or media stuff, I have time for a *gasp social life! I was on a pretty tight leash in Az especially when major competitions were around the corner. I didn't get a chance to make any friends really outside the gym and I hardly got to go home so I was having a lot of loneliness and homesick issues. Here, I have my coworkers, friends from church, and of course my teammates. It seems like I am always doing something or going somewhere.

The biggest struggle has been trying to pay off the debt incurred moving here and save money to get out on my own again. I am still having problems trying to find a roommate(s) that can hang letting me live there with as little as I can afford. Outside of that, things are going really well to my pleasant surprise. I am thankful for my blessings, my family, friends, coach, teammates, and others for support me through everything.

Here are some pictures from my recent exploits!















Monday, April 21, 2014

Why I decided to pretend I was a bikini model by Jess



Why I decided to pretend I was a bikini model by Jess

So, other than the designer of this amazing cheeky line is a good friend of mine and local business owner and I wanted to support her and help her anyway I could; I also saw it as an opportunity to overcome a fear.

I've purposely never tried on a cheeky (Brazilian style) bikini because of my body type. I'm by no means calling myself fat or out of shape but I'm also aware I'm not built like the models or surfer girls that wear them usually. When I saw the savage swim styles I knew after talking to Beth (the amazingly talented owner/designer) that it was important if for no one but myself to suck it up (and in) and put them on. Beth and I wanted to show everyone and anyone buying her bikinis that they can look good on any body type and sized person. It may have taken me 37 minutes to take my shorts off when we got to the beach but once I did and the camera started flashing and the other beautiful models were around me I realized even though I didn't look like them it doesn't mean I'm not beautiful in my own way.

The bikinis speak for themselves they're made to be able to surf in  and workout if you want. They may be small but they definitely don't move. If you like lululemon style/fit you'll love being a savage girl. Summer is coming and if I could try it and love it, you can :)

For more on body image and weightlifters go read my blog post for catalyst athletics:
http://www.catalystathletics.com/articles/article.php?articleID=1839

And when your done go but your savage swim bikini at savageswim.com

Fearlessly,
J


Check the pics out on Instagram @jessicamarie979
Or my Facebook page: Jessica Marie Salvaggio

Friday, April 18, 2014

Never train like there's going to be tomorrow

I was reflecting on my truly last heavy day that I have had and it was mid-august. Just a couple of weeks after I heard the news of my suspension. The tension and emotions were still running wild. I was getting prepared for the World Championships and so I was in pretty good shape. I had already pulled off the team and we decided to keep on our training schedule. At least that's how I remember it.

Anyway, at this time I had serious concerns that my career was over. There went my Olympic prospects, there went my chances for American/Pan American Records, there goes my hopes for medals at the World Championships or Olympic Games. I remember telling myself, "Well, if this is the last time I ever lift, I better give it everything I got because, I may never have this chance ever again.

I started snatching and things were going really well so I deviated from the program and just lifted and lifted. I smoked all of my weights including this American Record attempt snatch at 129 kgs. After I did that, I went out to the picnic table outside the gym and cried my eyes out. Then I started to get ready for clean and jerks.

Clean and jerks were going awesome as well! I was super pumped and I was doing a sufficient job of controlling my emotions. I clean and jerked 155 and I went for 160 to break the American Record total in training. Well, I cleaned it and just missed the jerk behind as I was recovering my feet. After clean and jerks I went into the shower room and sobbed.

I composed myself yet again to squat 227.5 kgs to break the 500 lbs barrier I've been working on. This time I didn't cry. I was too tired both physically and emotionally.

If this was the last day of my entire lifting career, I'd want to make it memorable. I wanted to see what I could truly do. One of the lessons I have learned through this experience is to not take these types of days for granted.

I still have a lot of work to do. There are work outs and reps I have missed. Some that can never be made up again but, the least I can do is try to give it my 100% the next time I come in and try to stay on track. Are the Olympics still in the cards for me? Who knows? But, I am training my butt off and I am preparing for it just like I did the last time around.

You never know if you'll ever be in a situation like mine, or get injured, or have to work so much that yo have to sacrifice training, or meet the person of your dreams and want to move on, or whatever comes along your path. Your athletic career is very short comparatively to the rest of your life and you never know if there's going to be a tomorrow so I advise us all to never train like there's going to be.

Sarah

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Be Kind

I recently read a negative comment about myself. There have definitely been more good reviews than bad about myself, which I am thankful for. I would like to use this comment as a reminder to say kind things to or be kind to others. When I hear someone say something negative about someone else, I usually say, "I wonder what mean things people are saying about you, right now?" I am guilty of this as well. Sometimes when I am mad, sad, or jealous, I can say things I wish I could take back.

Here's the comment I read:

"Sarah Robles may be able to liftover 500 pounds, but she is neither attractive, nor feminine, or soft or sensual. It's a shame to look like this, for a woman. Where is her unique, gorgeous femninity? Why do we want to be men? :(" 

I cannot come up with a hilarious quip or be featured in a news story like other people to defend themselves. It's strange to say that I am not personally offended by this comment. I do, however, feel that this possibly insults two important people to me. God and my parents. To say something negative about another person insults those that created them. I know I was created with love and for a purpose. To try and negate their "craftsmanship" and "love" is what bothers me.

I do not care to be a model or seen as a sex symbol. In fact, I am glad I am not. What my body and career have done is something positive to help others. If people just liked or noticed me for what my body looks like, they would speak about that. My talents, abilities, and personality have helped cause a stir for positive body image, educate others about sport, and generally serves to make others happy. Those are the things that need to be talked about.

In regards to my "femininity," "sensuality," or "attractiveness," I only want to be that to two people: myself and my future spouse.

I will not ever apologize for the way I look and I never expect anyone else to do the same. If I go somewhere sweaty or dirty from training, so what? If I have acne or small boobs, or big feet, or calloused hands, or smeared makeup, or messy hair, etc. That's no one's business but my own. What matters? What matters is that I did my best for the day and made someone else feel better about themselves.

I encourage us all to be good examples to others, share a smile, give a compliment, help someone, be someone's friend and generally do the right thing.

BE KIND,

Sarah




Sunday, March 23, 2014

Why I chose Texas

A week or so ago, I asked for blog ideas. I was asked about movies, ice cream and a little bit about my training. One question that came in a little late asked for something like "Of all the places you chose to go, why Texas? Why that coach?"

I was in a hard place with my training. I was staying in Az to wait for the phone call to come back to training only to read I wasn't coming back after about 4 months. I was also waiting to hear the results of my full punishment at that time so I couldn't really talk to anyone about what was going on to even try to make a back up plan in case things didn't work out with me and my coach. 

A little while before hand, I spoke with Jessica about training with her again and possibly moving to Florida. She wanted me to talk with her coach but, I was too scared to do so. I decided to wait it out and wait for everything to be announced, let it boil over a bit, and see how I was viewed by the weightlifting community. I anticipated being hated and ostracized and the like. Things turned out better than I anticipated so I felt comfortable speaking to people more openly.

I had decisions to make on my own too. Should I go back to school? Should I move home? Should I just work? At the time, I was throwing hammer and I was considering just going back to track and field. When talking with my teammate and my throwing coach, I decided that if the decision was favorable, and would allow me to compete at the Olympics again (aka my lifting career wasn't over) then, I should seriously consider my options for lifting. 

So that's a little bit of a back story for you. 

In my mind, I've already lost too much time with lifting. I also knew that I would have one-three competitions before the 2016 Olympics. Two years is both a long time and not a long time off. If I were to make an Olympic team again, when it was time, I had to hit the ground running. I couldn't afford anymore mistakes. I had to be with a coach who has"been there; done that." I couldn't afford to be with a coach who hasn't been to the highest level of sport. Elite international competition is a completely different monster than domestic competition. I wanted a coach who's personality would match my needs. I thought "Who would want to work with me?" but, in particular "Who would want to work with me under these conditions?" Maybe coaches perceived me as a bad example to their athletes or kids, maybe they wouldn't want to associate with someone who's reputation is tarnished,, etc.

 With all these thoughts in mind, I made a list of coaches who I would want to work with. I whittled the list down to who would want to work with me. I whittled the list down to the ones who had experience enough to work with me. This made my list VERY small. My selection may have been small but, I had to be selfish and make the most calculated decision possible. This is my career. This is the Olympics, after-all. I would rather work with the best coach to put me in the best situation than potentially risk it all and wasted two years of valuable training time for anything less. That is not to say that every other coach is a lesser coach. I hope thos that read this do not interpret it that way.

At the top of my list was Coach Tim Swords from Team Houston Weightlifting. My first experience with him, he helped us out in the warm up area of the Jr. World Championships of 2008. After I won my silver medal he have me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. I think he called me his "hero." His athletes and I have competed on the same international teams and I always talked with Tim at meets where I would always get a hug and kiss. My old coach used to say, "You only like Tim because he kisses you." Haha.

When I called Tim up. and explained my situation, he was really nice, understanding, and nonjudgmental about the whole thing. He said I was one of his favorite people, that I'm still his hero and he would love to work with me. I was sold at that point. The rest of our conversations were spent working out the kinks and giving training updates along the way until I could move out there. When I arrived, I half way expected to have to "present my case" to him showing him all my letters and lab results, etc. He never even brought it up. That lets me know he trusts me. At this point, I really need to feel that.

Tim is one of a handful of coaches in the USA who started athletes and took them all the way up to the World Championship level. He has had 46 combined youth, junior, and senior national champions, and has taken athletes to every level of competition you can think of with the exception of the Olympics but, he has had an Olympic alternate so, he was pretty stinkin' close. I've seen the amazing things his athletes have done, I have seen him coach his athletes at meets and I felt strongly, that Tim was who I needed to be with.

So, after a couple months of saving and preparing to come, I got in my car, said "goodbye" to my old coach, my hammer coach, teammates, friends, and everything I worked hard for for the past three years for a new adventure that will hopefully put me on the Olympic podium in Rio 2016.

Sarah 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Small Choices

     There are lots of big, challenging choices we have to make in life. Most people just have to work or go to school and have to make all kinds of choices: easy and hard ones. Mostly because they have to. Lately, mine have been where will I live, where will I get a job, who will be my new coach? Making those decisions, especially for an athletic career can be challenging but, why even make them? I mean, competing in sport is really a choice right?
     It is. Why do us athletes chose to add one more stresser to our lives? Why do we put our bodies and our minds through hell? For what? Trophies, records, medals, or fame? Most of us don't know why we are compelled to do what we do. I'm learning over time why it is I chose to do this. It is not an easy life. It's not a bad life, it's just not easy. When I worry about if I can buy groceries or make rent, it seems kind of silly looking from the outside. Uh... Sarah, why don't you just work full-time or finally get your degree so you can just have a normal life?
     Well, normal sucks. I also love doing the seemingly impossible. I love traveling the world. I love the confidence I have gotten from sports. Increasingly, I also feel that my career, what I have accomplished and learned along my journey, is supposed to use to help others. Sure, I could quit and do something else but, that's not what I feel I am supposed to do with my life. At least not yet.
     As you have probably gathered by learning about athletes, especially Olympic athletes, we are a disciplined group of individuals. We have to make really important decisions every day. We have to make these decisions and change our game plans based on what our goals are and what life presents to us. How do we make the big decisions like the ones I have mentioned that I make earlier? I think it has to do with small decisions we make daily. Good choices take a good amount of will power and sacrifice but, with practice, they become easier and almost instinctual. When they become this way, the harder choices are easier to make and the goals you have set (big or small) then become easier to attain.

     Here are some examples of things we have to make decisions about on a regular basis:

  • It's Saturday. My friends are going to go hang out at the lake. They leave in the morning. Training starts in the morning. Sarah decides to stay home and train
  • Activity night! Friends are playing "Capture the Freeze Tag" (yes, it's a real game.) There's running and jumping and tagging, and projectiles. Sarah sits on the sidelines and cheers on her friends.
  • I really want pizza but, I know simple carbs at night make me weigh heavy in the morning. Sarah saves pizza eating for some other time (ok some times I cave into a $5 hot-n-ready)
  • That dress is so cute! Oh yea. I forgot a couple of my sports bras are falling apart. Sarah gets sports bra instead.
Those are just a few examples of small choices I make. These prepare me for big decisions like:
  • Should I go home for Christmas or stay here to train for Olympic Trials?
  • Should I keep this stuff or sell it so I can afford to move for training?
Even though making these kinds of decisions are often not fun, they help me prioritize what is important in my life and teach me other valuable skills like frugality, creativity, and how to be an independent woman. These lessons and so many more are directly transferable to normal life. Lessons I probably would not have learned until later or not at all. 

I guess that's all I have to say about that.