Welp, I made it to Lignano, Italy. I won’t say that I made it here safely…but I’m here, and so are all of my body parts. I’ll spare you the details about the cabbie who fell asleep at the wheel (while drive 130km/hr) on the way to the airport. I think yall have heard enough of my travel stories.
Anyway, I’m here in Lignano for the Team USA relay camp, and I’m ready to put in some work.
It goes without saying that the last two international relay opportunities were devastating failures for our team, and I had the displeasure of being a part of both instances.
Naturally, that has weighed heavily on me from time to time, but I’ve been able to move past those disappointments. The bad thing is that everyone else is not so forgiving. I’m not pointing fingers in the least bit, but I do understand that our failures – my failures – in Beijing and Berlin disappointed an entire country – a whole COUNTRY of people who were looking to us to bring home the gold. That’s heavy, and I completely understand that frustration.
For that reason, some may have been surprised to see my name on the relay pool list, and I get that too. (“Surprised” might not be the word that came to your mind, but for the purpose of this blog, it’s probably the most appropriate word, LOL!). Yep, I’ve read the blogs, the articles, and the message boards, so I know that I’m not necessarily what you’d call the universal fan favorite where the relay is concerned – and that’s fine. I’ve learned that it is healthy to have critics, and it is good to be critical. At the end of the day, every person has an opinion about something and a reason for it. You take the good with the bad, the ugly with the pretty, and you keep on trucking.
But, for those of you who were “surprised” to see my name on the list, take a deep breath and try to relax. LOL. I’m just teasing, but I’m here because I’m one of 10 guys in the relay pool – not necessarily because I’m on the team…yet. Will I make it? We’ll see. Honestly, I’d love to, but that decision isn’t up to me. That’s why we’ve got a coach. And, I trust our coach’s judgement. I hope you will too.
Regardless of where the cards might fall, the thing I want everyone to know is that I take the relay seriously. We ALL take the relay seriously.
Sure, it is a fun part of an individual sport, but just because it is fun does not mean that it isn’t serious. Just because it is fun doesn’t mean it isn’t important. We’ve got an awesome team of talented folks here, and we’re all dedicated to making things right with the relay.
You know why?
Because every time we step on the track with USA stretched across our chests, we do it with a clear understanding of who we are and what we represent. We’re committed to excellence, and we’re committed to redemption. I’m committed to it, and I just wanted to be sure you heard that from the horse’s mouth.
And, you need to know and believe that. It might be tough for some of you, considering our past challenges, but we’re counting on your support, just like you’re counting on our execution.
Trust me. Trust us. We can do this.