Bumps in the road

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything and so much has happened since then. This past year has been crazy! So many wonderful things have happened: I got engaged to and married my best friend, I got an awesome new job that I’m loving, and have had lots of great experiences with friends and family. But, you know, life happens and there have been some bumps in the road along the way. The funny thing is, in retrospect, it’s so hard for me to understand exactly why those “bumps” were as difficult as they felt in the moment. It reminds me of all of the times I’ve ever gotten hurt or sick. In the moment, it’s terrible. But afterwards, looking back, it never seems as bad as it felt at the time.

But, as most people experience at one point or another, some things take longer to heal. Some things linger and nag, they can come and go. For me, those “bumps” are the hardest. It’s a heart wrenching experience, when you think you’re over something and that you’re better and that you’ve moved on, to get slammed in the face with it again weeks or months later. Or when you realize that a decision you made or something you experienced still sneaks its way into the back of your mind to nag at your doubts and self-confidence, making you question whether or not you did the right thing or if you’re a good person.

Some of these nagging “bumps” I expected to be like that; clingy and annoying. But one in particular I never thought would hang over me as much as it has. I LOVE track and field. I ran all through middle and high school and did pretty well. But then I went to BYU, which is a large, DI school. My freshman year, I was extended the opportunity to try out as a walk-on, but I chickened out. That whole year, I beat myself up for not at least trying. But, God had a different plan in mind and a week after finishing my freshman year of college, I went on an 18-month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in southern Italy. Upon returning home, I promised myself that I would try out for track team at BYU so that I wouldn’t have to live with that regret. I started training, I met with the coach, I got all of the paperwork done, and was feeling good. Coach had told me that they could really use a pentathlete/heptathlete and that he looked forward to seeing me at tryouts. But then, the week before tryouts, I had this terrible feeling every time I prayed. Most of my prayers always included something about asking for help in my preparations and to help me perform my best at tryouts. But the week leading up to it, every time I asked my Heavenly Father to help me do my best at tryouts, I didn’t feel right. You know that feeling you get when something doesn’t feel right? Like it’s not the right thing to do or that something is off? That’s how I felt every time. At first I thought I was just getting nervous, but I decided to pray and ask if the reason for these feelings was to tell me that I shouldn’t try out. When I started asking that in my prayers, I started to feel good again, like nothing was wrong. But no, no, no, trying out can’t be the wrong thing to do! I had been training for months and when I had prayed about it before I started training, I had received a strong affirmation that I should! So why would Heavenly Father be telling me NOW, the week before tryouts, that I shouldn’t do it anymore?

It probably sounds silly and trivial, but that was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. I decided to follow that answer and forego trying out for the BYU track team for no other reason than that’s what Heavenly Father wanted. It crushed me! To give up the sport I was so passionate about and had worked so hard for in an instant was incredibly difficult to accept. Now I would never know if I would’ve made the team or not. I would never know just what my true potential in the sport was. I would never reach the dream of my 12 year-old self.

To be honest, it’s still hard for me. I’ve lost motivation to run and exercise like I used to. My self-esteem has been a roller coaster. And just when I think I’ve accepted it and moved on, I’ll feel down about it all over again. It’s been as hard as it was unexpected.  But even though it’s been hard to accept, I’ve never felt that I made the wrong decision. It’s still been difficult to accept that that’s an experience that’ll I’ll never have, but I feel at peace knowing that I made the right choice.


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