My biggest sacrifice this year, has been giving up a “normal life”, and saying no to doing things that normal people in their 20s do all the time. Playing a game of pickup volleyball? No way – you could potentially come down on your ankle wrong and loose weeks of training. And there’s not a chance you’re going camping on the long weekend – sleeping on the ground, being in the sun, and gallivanting around will tire you out for training the entire week after. That concert all your friends are going to? You can’t go because second hand smoke could make you test positive and ruin your career.

Along with my decision to train full time, I moved to Lethbridge in April 2011 to be coached by Lawrence Steinke.  It was a big move, but I didn’t realize how big of a change it would be until I got there. I arrived on a Sunday and decided to explore and get a feel for the city. Big shock – (1) downtown was a ghost town, (2) Sundays everything is either closed, or only open from 12-5pm, and (3) there are not nearly as many university aged people around because they go home for the summer. I thought “Oh my God… what have I done?!”

I’m a VERY social person. Throughout high school and university, I was always looking to spend time with friends, go on adventures, and live life to the fullest. If there was a concert, game or event at UBC, I was there. This year, I bonded with the couch, read and watched adventures, and trained to the fullest. I’m an only child – I like my alone time, and I can entertain myself quite easily, but living in Lethbridge initially, I was extremely lonely and homesick. It’s difficult to meet people when the only places you go are the gym and grocery store, and then most invites you do get to do something… you have to turn them down to protect your training.

In lieu of this, I made friends with everyone who worked at the gym. They took me in and made me feel welcome in a place so different from my home. Katie (a fellow Canucks fan) invited me to watch the games with her and her husband Jesse. They are amazing people actively pursuing their triathlon and educational goals, and are inspiring to be around. Shiloh, Kyla, Jess, Katelynn, Jared, Cass, Ben make me laugh so hard with their shenanigans, and I love that I’m in on all the inside jokes and gossip. My coach and training partners have been a constant source of inspiration and solidarity – training among likeminded throwers with big dreams gives me that push to train harder.  And since the day she accidentally followed me home from the gym and figured out we lived on the same block, Heidi has become my lifting partner, roommate and best friend. She’s made my transition to Lethbridge infinitely easier, and every day events entertaining.

As much as I’ve sacrificed – leaving home, family, friends, and the lively city of Vancouver, I’ve created somewhat of a training oasis in Lethbridge. I have a world class coach and facility, less distractions, and my friends respect and support that I train to be the best at my chosen pursuit. Although the change in lifestyle is drastic, due to the success I’ve had this seasons, I’m learning to embrace it. If the price of success is a more subdued pace of life, with the friends I have around – I think I can handle it.

Liz´s Blog

Page 4 of 4