Growth & Leadership

Obtaining The Latter

I constantly remind myself of the belief, “the latter will be greater than the former.”

There are few words to truly describe my final season of indoor track and field as a member and co-captain of the Purdue University Women’s Track & Field Team in 1999.  If I had to assign a label to the physical and mental rigors of being a student-athlete while balancing personal issues, my description would be a culmination of inconsistency, exacerbation, being humbled, pain and stress. Literally, my emotions were all over the place. I recall a period of over three months when I oftentimes found myself sad, angry, and disgusted.  A number of other seemingly gloomy adjectives could easily describe the myriad of emotions that I felt at any given moment.   As a young woman, I held on to a firm belief that I should not physically wear my emotions, so I chose to conceal them.  By my senior year in college, I had become an expert in concealment and a specialist in functioning through my mental dysfunction. There were days that I wanted to “check out” of the reality. I wanted to drink that pain away, isolate myself, and not be responsible for being responsible. But, because I am a woman of faith, I know that God continues to cause my tenacity to increase; and my ability to tactically and tactfully handle, negotiate and commit to the process of obtaining my latter to intensify. Read more

Why Tension is Great: The Proper Tension Creates Remarkable Results

In July 2014, I attended the USA Track & Field (USATF) Level II Coaches Education Certification Program, an intensive week-long training course which focuses on three – sports science,

technical-event specific instruction, and hands-on training. During the training course, I began to reflect on my own athletic career and the lack of biomechanics awareness that I exhibited early in my career as a discus thrower.  As a high school state track and field championship qualifier, my focus was rooted in activating technical instructions from my throws coach, the late Dr. Ira L. Judge.  In doing so, I never questioned physical mechanics and the resultant muscle tension that is required to execute a great throw.

I carried the same instructional driven approach into my collegiate years as an invited walk-on to the Purdue University Women’s Track and Field Team.  My throws coach at Purdue, Gene Edmonds, spent time familiarizing me with techniques that required me to stretch my body in a manner that would have my upper body flow in one direction while my lower body flows in the opposite direction – hence creating tension that would result in the discus whip (a whipping motion that creates a powerful, elongated throw). During my throwing tenure at Purdue, I medaled at the B1G outdoor track and field conference meet four times in the discus throw – earning second place, first place, second place, and third place, respectively. While, after disciplining my body, I was able to implement the proper taut and tight positions and receive extraordinary results, it was not until years later that I began to understand why tension created those great results. Read more