Monday, December 7, 2009

Trials and Tribulations/ A Role Model

"Champions are made when no one is watching"


I know I've stated previously that I tend not to work hard, but I've failed to mention a lot of things. Knowing your potential and living up to it is two very different things. I personally don't believe I work hard because I know I can work harder. So, it isn't that I don't work hard it's I'm not working the hardest I can. Every time I get on the track to run, I put my all into it. Whether it be at a track meet or practice, I never half do it. But I thought it would be good if I gave a little Landria History lesson. Man, I've put in some HOURS on the track. Natural talent only gets someone so far and without effort it will get you no where. I've always been a runner but I haven't always been a hurdler.

All throughout high school, I kind of got individual training. I've kind always been around people who run track and aren't necessarily track runners, there is a difference. So, I was always kind of ... alone, when it came to girls at least. So, I kind of had personal workouts from Coach Cook (my high school coach), especially after most people's seasons were over and I was training for States. When I was in 11th grade, however, all that personal attention wasn't really needed anymore because we actually had a good track team! But 11th grade I wasn't just a runner anymore, I was a hurdler now, a new born hurdler, who needed a lot of attention to get the hang of things. I will say hurdles came naturally, even though I was the most clumsy girl anyone had probably ever met. So, once again I was smothered with attention. Hurdles was soo exciting, so new to me I kind of became obsessed. I would practiced for hours. Practiced started at 3, I would stay until it would start to get dark trying to perfect the race. I would practice hurdles every single day, from about 3 to 7, my coach would literally make me leave practice! He would say stuff like "Look, I'm not about to be out here with you all night, I have a wife and a life." lol... And I would beg for just five more minutes. Lol.

Fast forward to college. Freshman year, I worked hard... but there was a point in the season where I was really determined to run really fast and I went back into OCD mode. Man, I was doin a lot lol Working extra hard, and it paid off... I pr'd, then I went back into chill mode lol. I remember going to Regionals and choking, basically. I didn't make it to the finals =( I remember sitting in the stands as the ran the 100 meter hurdle finals and thinking I should be down there. Then I looked at all the times and realized my times were no where near those. It kind of hit me, "I'm not really all that fast" I was determined to be in the finals the next year. I remember thinking "Next time, that's gonna be me" Sure enough it was! Sophomore year, I worked hard came to practice did what I was suppose to do but I never really went above and beyond, just did the basics. That's why I don't think I work hard, because I just did the basics, nothing spectacular on the side, just what everyone else was doing. I made it pretty far though, all the way to the Olympic Trials! Junior year wasn't so great, but I learned a valuable lesson from Junior year. Track is 90% mental.

Now, people say "Landria is just a freak of nature, she can not practice and still be great" but how do we know this? Not because Landria just doesn't practice, it's because Landria was forced not to for a whole season. It wasn't like I was just sitting around doing nothing for a whole season lol. I strained my hamstring. I was advised not to run at all but I'm wayy to stubborn for all that lol I was gonna run, injured or not. It was just making it through that got me. I was banned from practicing by the head athletic trainer and forced to go to rehab everyday. And I was in there everyday, only missing a few here and there. I was really working hard to try and come back from my injury. I wore tape on my leg the entire season, from January until May I hadn't raced one time without tape, not until Regionals. I didn't start back practicing until the week before MEACS (Conference). It's really something to be injured. It's the worst feeling ever, knowing you aren't performing to your potential and there is nothing you can do about it. I regained myself though.

Every time I stepped on the track I gave it my all, pushed as hard as I could in that moment and I ran decent times. And that's how I learned that track is a mental game. You can literally do anything you put your mind to, even if your body isn't feeling up to par, even if the odds are against you, if you want it bad enough, if you're really hungry for it, you can't fail. I'm a hungry individual. I hate to lose, and I'm not just about to sit there and let someone beat me, I'm going to fight for it! I don't care who they are, in my mind, I'm going to win this race and if I don't I'm going to give you a run for it. That's the kind of mentality I've always had, thanks to my father. Whether, I lose by a lot or a little or if I even win, my mentality stays the same. I'm hungry. Sometimes, being so hungry you forget food is on your plate lol if that makes any sense. I always think of myself as the underdog, the one no one expects anything out of, it keeps me humble. So, I tend to be hard on myself, and sometimes others around me, but it's all love. Maybe because I expect a lot from myself and others and I don't like to settle for mediocrity. I personally believe track is about 1. mentality, 2. timing and then 3. training or becoming technically efficient , if one can perfect those, then they will be a beast.

Sometimes, by thinking of myself as an underdog I forget that people look up to me, especially from back home, a lot of people are glad I'm out here doing well in sports and a lot of girls want to develop into a track athlete like myself. I guess because I really don't have a role model and I never really had one, I forget that I am one, at least to somebody (especially my little niece). I've realized this more and more this year (2009) and I've started giving back and doing more as a person. I realize sometimes people think I advertise not working hard or slacking, mainly because they don't know my background or what is going on when they aren't looking, hence the quote. I do a lot of things that people don't know about. Like for example, doing the season, I eat really healthy, I shop at whole foods and buy only healthy things, bet you didn't know that did you lol ;o). But I can't let all my secrets out. Lol. Anyways, that's all I have to say, thanks for reading and remember mentality is everything, in whatever you do... ttyl =)

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