Since I am starting grad school on Monday I decided that this is the perfect opportunity to explain why I am going back to school. It will make sense at the end–I promise.
On July 21st of 2003 my mom took me to the doctor to get a sports physical. On the way home we were in a car accident. The car flipped over and I got hurt. I was in the hospital for a while and I was obviously not able to run for several weeks. I had a broken collar bone and a broken sacrum and I had a contusion to my lung, right thigh and right ankle. Let’s just say I got more than a sports physical that summer.
A few weeks later I was supposed to go to cross country camp. I obviously didn’t have medical clearance to run but I was insisting on going anyway. My mom called the camp and they agreed I could still go and that I would get something out of it anyway. I went. I was basically watching everyone run and have fun the majority of the time–I was miserable. That changed when I met one of the speakers and so did my outlook on my current situation. The speaker I am referring to was Kate Fonshell, a 1996 Olympian in the 10k. She was also introduced as a sport psychologist. Kate spoke about the power of believing in yourself and goal setting. She also kept saying over and over again that if you visualize yourself doing something you will achieve it. Everything she said made sense to me and it felt like she was specifically speaking to me. This was the moment I knew I wanted to study sport psychology. It fascinated me.
When I got home from camp I looked up everything I could about Kate Fonshell and sport psychology. I wanted to know everything I could about the subject. I also did the things she spoke about at camp. I believed I could run well and I visualized myself running well. I had the best season I’ve ever had–in my opinion. Against all odds I was able to succeed. I was so injured that my coach even thought I wouldn’t be able to run varsity that year. I willed myself to run well and I did. I was our top runner that year and I placed 4th in our conference. That was the power of sport psychology and this is why I am going back to school.
I was 16 when all of this happened and I am 27 now. It took me a really long time to get here because I did it the hard way[The Road Less Run]. In a perfect world I would have immediately went on from my undergrad and pursued an MA in sport psychology but I didn’t do that. Explaining what I did instead and exactly how I ended up where I wanted to be anyway is another story for another day. The important thing is that I am doing it now. Had I never been in that accident I may not have payed attention to Kate Fonshell and I may not have discovered sport psychology. I may not have done all of the things that I did that led me away from immediately studying it and I may not have ended up here right now. Everything happens for a reason, even bad things. It is not an accident that I am doing this–it is my fate.