The last three weeks have been full of many highs and lows from the Boston Marathon to my last ACC Championships, racing at Stanford and finishing up my last semester on Florida State’s campus. It started April 15th with the sickening news of what happened in Boston. It was one of those sad days in history I will never forget, especially because of the fact that it was an attack not only on innocent Americans, but the running community. Although no one I know personally was harmed, it still hit so close to home knowing that many of my friends and acquaintances were at the race.

Although it’s already been three weeks since the bombings and to some it may seem like old news, to the victims, their friends and families, this is still an ongoing reality. In the last three weeks it has been amazing to see the outpouring of prayers, love and support to the Boston community, but even today I think its important we continue with the theme, “Pray for Boston,” since there is still the need for healing and revival. At the same time, I think this tragedy has been the perfect reminder for all of us that you can never take things for granite. Life is precious, sometimes short, and certainly not always fair. As the Bible tells us in James 4:14, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” So its important we learn to live life with that attitude, not that we should give in and let evil win, no, the good will always win in the end, but in order for that to happen you have to live with strong faith and perseverance, but also remember what’s most important in life.

            As I went into the week of my final ACC Championships I started out with a lot of weight on my shoulders knowing this was my last chance to obtain several goals I’d set over the years. I’m sure thousands of runners had the same weight on their shoulders going into the Boston Marathon that morning. Many of them probably thought this was going to be one of the biggest races or even days of their life. Whether they set out to complete their first Boston Marathon, run a personal best, or win the race, none of them had any idea that their time or finish would mean so little compared to the events that were about to occur. After watching and listening to the news that whole week, my attitude changed going into the ACC Outdoor Championships. I realized that although I had several goals for myself and the team, the more important thing was that I remembered why I run and cherished this last opportunity to run for my team at this meet and run stride for stride with three other girls in garnet and gold.
Photo Credit: Cheryl Treworgy

             Thankfully that is exactly what happened as me, Colleen and Kayleigh ended up placing 1-2-3 respectively, tying the team score with Clemson. As I came down that homestretch it was a magical moment that almost brought tears to my eyes. I was drowned by the deafening crowd of Seminoles, screaming, chopping, and chanting. I wasn’t really thinking about time during the race and so when I saw 15:5… I was so happy to finally achieve a goal I’d been waiting to get for years. When I crossed the line I remembered hearing that the London Marathon was asking that runners finish with their hands on their heart(#handsoverhearts) for the victims of the Boston Marathon. So I placed my hand upon my heart and leaned in. With all the smiles and excitement that was going on I felt so thankful as I looked over to see a big crowed of teammates and trainers in the stands. The team support was incredible and it couldn’t be taken for granite after what had happened in Boston earlier that week.

Photo Credit: Cheryl Treworgy

            As soon as the race ended, Colleen, Kayleigh and I all embraced in a big hug and had the honor of receiving our medals from our very own Coach Harvey. It was a sweet moment to a bitter sweet night since we ended up loosing the 4×4 which meant Clemson had the victory over us for the team score. While it was disappointing finally being so close to a team championship after four years of competing here, I couldn’t let it get me too upset since the guys team won, our girls team still had many great accomplishments, but more than that my perspective was different after everything that happened in Boston and I knew, even though we lost the meet we couldn’t take the experience for granite. Hopefully next year the returners will have learned things from this year and keep working so hard to come back and dominate next year. When you graduate from a team you still remain a part of that team forever. Although I’ll never get an ACC ring for track, I know that there’s still a chance for the legacy of FSU determination to be passed on, after all, that’s the only reason we got so close to winning this year. It was the athletes that came before us that inspired us and set the tone, and hopefully the girls will be inspired by what we did this year and bring home the trophy next year! Either way, I’ll always be proud of all my Noles, and am excited I still have a few races left for this very special team.

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