I am stepping away from competitive running. I made this decision a few weeks ago, but an MRI confirming not 1, not 2, but 3 (!) stress reactions in my femur and pelvis have solidified it. As a Division I athlete, I have been conditioned to be mentally tough. If there’s anything I’ve learned through this journey, knowing when to step away and take a break is the epitome of mental toughness because it is the hardest to do. Simone Biles and Molly Seidel showed me that. I had very different goals going into college as a student-athlete and this was never part of my plan. That being said, plans change and I have accepted that. The effort I have put into getting back to the sport I love has been more than the amount I put in when I was competing. And if you know me, that’s nearly impossible given how hard I worked to compete at the highest level, for the team and coaches I love the most. The reality is that my timeline is different from the NCAA’s. For the past 18 months, I’ve felt like I’ve been trying to jam a square peg into a round hole, all while the timer has been ticking away. This injury cycle has left me mentally exhausted and when I finally gave myself the option to step away, I felt relief. I didn’t need the MRI to make the decision for me. I knew in my heart, a break was needed either way. What non-elite runners don't understand is the time and consistency it takes to be your best. It is impossible to take shortcuts in distance running; that's what makes it so rewarding. But oh so frustrating, too. I need to continue giving my body the care and patience it deserves after it survived a 6-year battle with anorexia. It needs time to heal from the physical repercussions from years of under-eating and not menstruating. So, I’m going to give it that. Running will always be there when my body is ready to return, and so will the goals I have yet achieved. There is no need to rush. I have accepted that my journey is different than I had expected, that it is different from my teammates and runner friends. And I have found peace in accepting that this is my story, not anyone else's… I know it is the right decision because although heartbreaking, it has brought me peace.
My one wish for you is to not feel sorry for me, but rather, to be happy that I could make this difficult but right decision.
I also hope you take away the importance of fueling your body and taking care of it to the best of your ability; reaching out for professional help when you need extra support.
I have an exciting and bright future ahead, it’s just going to look a little different than I had once envisioned 🤍