Motivation, Shoe Reviews, Training Shoes

From Homeless Teen to Olympic Trials Contender
What are the 3 P.R.’s you’re happiest about?

My Biggest PR was finally breaking the 60 second barrier in the 400m! 2nd PR was improving from 60seconds to 54 seconds in the 400m only in a matter of 9 months of training. Did not run previously for 10-years. 3rd biggest PR was sprinting 27 seconds to a 24.8 in the 200m during that 9-month period.

Besides your PR’s, what have been some of your biggest highlights as a runner?

My track career is very small in years but with BIG highlights. I did not run for many years because both my parents are homeless. I worked hard to support my dad at one point.

Could not stand working in a job where there was no social mobility so I decided to work hard and dedicate 9-months of training to either go professional or earn a full ride scholarship. Major Highlight was defeating all odds and being unheard of in the track world to becoming the 3-time champion in the conference meet, NorCal Championship Meet and California State Championship Meet. Equivalent to this highlight was being trained under the phenomenal Coach, Curtis Taylor, who now Coaches at Oregon University.

What has challenged you the most as a runner?

The most challenging part about running for someone like me has been having a roof over my head so I can train and sprint to the best of my capabilities. I’ve moved over 23 times and have been supporting myself since I was 18. It’s been stressful. If my mind is cluttered, disorganized, and off track then so is my diet and so is my motivation to run because all I’m thinking about is my next check and if I’ll have a home. It’s important to not appraise certain situations as stressful. Otherwise I have all the motivation in the world to train hard and get myself to the track every day. I absolutely love this sport and the people in it!
What’s a life lesson you’ve learned from running?

People often say balance is the key to success, but I disagree. Everything worth fighting for will unbalance and off set your life one way or another. You learn a great deal about yourself on how you handle your sacrifices for this sport. But a sacrifice is not a sacrifice when your dream becomes reality. As I keep telling myself, “For every sunrise I wake up to, focus the drive, drive the focus”.

Which athlete do you admire the most?

As a child I admired World class sprinter Marion Jones. She was a brilliant athlete with top class personality and had the best sportsmanship. America’s sweetheart. Unfortunately, she got caught cheating. As of today, I don’t have an admiration towards a specific athlete. I admire EVERY athlete from young to old who comes out and trains hard for any sport. Whether they have medals or not, the determination to get up every morning and train is admirable all in itself.
On a lighter note, every runner has a favorite running shoe. What’s your favorite?

My favorite running shoes are Brooks Glycerin 13. For competitions I sprint in Nike Flywire.

brooks shoes 1
How do the shoes feel during runs?

While running, the Brooks feel comfortable. They provide my arches with the right amount of support. I’ve been having Achilles issues and these shoes have helped tremendously. Nike Flywire for competitions are amazing, they really spring you forward and are super light. You will definitely fly around the track in these spikes.

What motivates you to work so hard?

What motivates me to work so hard at running are the people closest to me and complete strangers who see me train and provide me with their full support and honest words of encouragement. I run because it’s not easy, I run because it taught me discipline. I run to be surrounded by hard working intelligent coaches and athletes who aspire to be THEIR best. My source of motivation is not knowing my full capability in track and breaking boundaries that no one thought a person like myself with so many set backs, homeless parents and an alcoholic past lifestyle could achieve. I was surrounded by a lot of doubt in the beginning but because I kept to my own belief and trust and quit drinking and quit partying, I turned my dream of winning the California State Title into a reality. So can YOU!

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