Who doesn't have an Olympic dream?

February 11th, 2014, 12pm

It was -5.6°C. The wind was light.

Who doesn’t have an Olympic dream? Who hasn’t longed to represent their country, wearing red, white, and blue across your chest as you push your body to improbable limits? Who hasn’t craved, at least once, that burn— the one which indicates that your body is walking that fine line between absolute panic and sheer physical bliss?

That’s what I’m doing. I’m dedicating my life to my Olympic dream— and to yours too. I don’t know why it took me so long to realize this, but finally, I have. This is why people think it’s so cool to hear that I’m a “professional runner”— because there’s a reason everyday folk sign up for 5k races, look into doing a triathlon, go to yoga class twice a week; they are looking to live out a physical dream, to test their body and mind, to bring to life a goal they had as a child. To be in the spotlight, not for good performance at work or earning the most money or cleaning your house before a dinner party, but for sporting glory. And that’s my life— that is currently the main focus of my life.

Sure, I fill my days with projects and to-do lists, because I’d go insane without structure— and, thankfully, said projects are all things I absolutely love, not a jobby job that I am obligated to take on to make ends meet. I have the support of so many people, so many people who love me and believe that I’m doing something worthwhile— not just playing or fooling myself. But the main goal of my everyday is to transform my body into the best possible running machine it can be, all so that on a Saturday in June 2016, I can run a race and make an Olympic team. That’s the only goal of my day, every day. The only thing I have to do is run. And you admire that— you really do.

It’s been hard for me to comprehend— that running can be my career, my job, my main goal— and that that is okay. I see professional runners literally eat, drink, sleep, and run (maybe a video game or two thrown in for good measure) day in and day out, and vow to never be so single-minded. I’ve been in a panic for three years, worried that this running thing is pushing me farther behind in my “real careers”— my writing, my journalism, and especially my wedding world. I’m afraid of being out of the loop, of missing everyday meetings and not taking on clients or building up my resume. But God— there’s time for that. There is so much time for that.

What there isn’t time for is this Olympic dream. It’s now or never— and I’m finally starting to embrace it. Thank goodness there’s nearly 3 years until I need to stand on that Olympic Trials starting line; I plan on soaking in and loving every single second.

Peter, Logan, Emanuel, Annie and 12 others said thanks.

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Stephanie Marie

A make-it-happen kind of girl. My worlds: a steeplechaser sponsored by New Balance and training with Furman Elite in Greenville, SC | The Fête Blog | Be Loved PR | University of Virginia grad

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