#NoFilter

This is me. 

I've shown you more of myself in the last two months than I ever have. I've bared my makeup-less face and competed with my heart on my sleeve for better or worse. I've opened my notebook and started to write again, I reminded you while reminding myself that I have a voice-a rich one with many timbres.  And most importantly I've been honest. 


So in that spirit I want to tell you that from childhood one of my biggest struggles was with feeling like what and who I was was never enough. I'm sure it's puzzling why. 


I called my Mom. I have to heal my life. She's where I needed to start. So I asked. She told me that she had recognized in me my ability to take care of myself, and so for the most part she let me. I told her I understood- after all there is no parenting manual and I was her first. But I told her I interpreted it differently- not as her having confidence in my abilities-but as neglect. 


I think she understood.


So I adapted. There's this inner fuel source I have, I call it hate-fire. It's more nuanced than anger, burns much slower, and much hotter.


People who know me well know that I don't forget any of the negative or hurtful things said to me. I have an internal filing system...virtual Manila folders with your name on it and anything you may have said that pissed me off, all the times you've lied to me, hurt my feelings, or made me cry.


Then...when I get to a competition and things start heating up or I need to turn it up again...


I visualize walking into that room...


Unlocking the filing cabinet...


Pulling open the sliding drawer...


Flipping through the file tabs with frayed edges....


Removing a folder....


Leaning back against the wall...


Flipping it open...


Reading...


No, absorbing the content.


"They say you're getting older..."


"10.78 doesn't mean what you think it means..."


"Time for changing of the guards..."


"Team USA can't win from lane one..."


"We know you do the 100/LJ double but we're not going to change the Trials schedule to help you go for it..."


"You are nothing without me..."


"You can't do better than me."


"Maybe we'll have you just run the first round..."


You know what I learned this year? 


I learned that I am enough. 


I learned that if you're in the company of someone who makes you feel like you're not enough- you walk.


No, you run.


Because there is enough of that in this world.


People thinking they know better...


Thinking they are better...


Than you. 


Than me.


Athletics is supposed to be the arena where who's-better-than-who stops being a matter of opinion. 


And becomes a matter of fact.


Otherwise why measure distances? 


Why time races?


If you've given it your all, and it wasn't just your best but THE BEST the world had ever seen...


And that's still not enough...


Walk...


No, run.


Or in my case...



Jump.

nick steadman