As many of you know, I am chipper, energetic, caring and a race walker, with the hopes of making the 2016 Olympic team. I started race walking on my high school track and field team at (Rochester) Rush-Henrietta, in NY. I would have never expected the event to become such a large part of my life. The more I participated in the event, the more I realized how naturally it came to me. Race walking brought me to compete at the collegiate level at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. When I graduated college in 2011 I decided to be bold and step out of my comfort zone and I moved even further away from home to San Diego, CA to start training with my coach, Tim Seaman.
I just missed making the Olympic team in 2012 by 3 seconds. Since then I have been making steady improvements on my time and placement internationally. This year I have already improved my 20km time by 89 seconds, when I competed in Nomi, Japan. My improvement makes me the 2nd fastest woman in America at the 20km race walk. The Road to Rio has not been easy, and certainly had it’s downs; but I have enjoyed every step of the way. My trips to compete around the world have come at a high cost. Between flights, hotels, food, transportation, and all the other life expenses, the expenses have added up quickly.
I wish I could say that this road to Rio has been one that was financially stress free, but as any track and field athlete knows, this is not the case. The truth is that the money I do receive in my event depends solely on which races I decide to go to, and what place I finish in at those races, and as you can guess, a first place finish is not always guaranteed. The fact of the matter is that the amount I receive is far from enough to support my athletic career, and I find myself working 20hrs a week on top of my training.
I currently have the Olympic standard, and in my journey I humbly ask for your help. I am so close to reaching my life's biggest dream, and with your help I can help to make it a reality. Thinking back to when I participated in this event for the first time, I would have never imagined that I would be where I am today. I have cried, sweated, and smiled my way to this point, and I know that there is no place else I'm supposed to be. I can confidently say that I am ready for the Rio 2016 Olympics, and with your help, I can finalize my plans.