By: Mystique Ro
We are officially into the second half of 2020.
People have likened the experiences of 2020 thus far to the nightmare game of Jumanji. There may be some truth to that. From the world being shut down due to a pandemic to protesters and riots breaking out in the streets. In the midst of all this, one would wonder, ‘how does one keep the dream of becoming an Olympic Hopeful alive’?
Ironically, the initial shutdowns of life as we knew it back in March pushed me gently into my decompress period postseason. This was the time I would’ve taken off anyway to relax and unwind from the six months on the go. While that relaxing period is nice, it isn’t long before I’m itching to move some weights around, but I made sure I took the two weeks off.
This brings us to the middle of April. At this point in time, I would be getting into some light lifts just to get back into a routine, but the “Stay at Home” order was very much in place. So I took this time to face my weaknesses and bring them to light. This meant addressing range of motion in certain areas and trying to get my diet together. (*My diet isn’t anything fancy; it’s just simply eating cleaner and trying to be more cognizant of the sourcing to ensure I’m consuming quality products.)
May was a tease. I had started venturing outside more not only to get some fresh air but to get in the right mindset. I would go to the empty track to run and do my sprint workouts just to experience a taste of the feeling of training fulltime. As the weeks passed and our initial release date of Phase 2 drew near, the Governor of North Carolina made the call to postpone the entering of Phase 2. While I agree this was the right decision, my creativity seemed to have hit a plateau regarding my workouts. There was still so much I could do, yes, but the cycle that I am currently in (in my timeline) calls for me to move some heavyweights.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, South Carolina has opened back up as close to normal as they could be in this time period. I had reached out to my University, the place I normally workout, but they were still closed. However, the Federation (United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation) has a partnership with Snap Fitness. I had seen a location just down the road, but they weren’t operating. So I broadened my search and noticed there was a location just across the border in Fort Mill. They honored the partnership and were very welcoming.
I say all this, and this is the condensed version because mindset is everything. In the midst of a global pandemic, city restrictions, grocery store panics, public outrages, protests, riots, and hate crimes, I believe in my dream. Yes, the past three months have been hard, there have been many tears and long sleepless nights, but I have a vision.
I’m not just doing this for myself. There are countless little girls who quit sports as they get older because they are told they have to choose between academics and competing or that they can’t be great in that sport. There are women who are afraid to start anew because they have lived a life with restrictions and made to feel small. There are People of Color who are being preyed upon because they look different or live a “controversial” lifestyle. There are Black Men being murdered because there are people who deem them a threat. My Greatgrandmother was a sharecropper- a fancy way of saying a person who worked for virtually nothing. My ancestors, along with countless others, built this country with blood, sweat, tears, and their lives…
The dream didn’t die when Dr. King passed away. The message wasn’t lost when Malcolm X lost his life. The intentions weren’t missed when Rosa Parks remained in her seat. So no, my focus hasn’t wavered during the first half of 2020, it has only gotten stronger. We owe it to our ancestors, as their legacy, to pursue our dreams and fight for a better future.