Written May 11, 2012
I’m officially a college graduate. Now ask me, "what is the biggest thing you've learned these past five years Eunice?" and to be honest, I would respond by saying, "I feel as if I’ve time traveled backward and forwards." I remember praying to God and asking Him to send me somewhere I would leave and return home a completely different person. Little did I know He would answer that prayer.
I’m currently making the long drive to watch my teammates compete at Track and Field conference. Like my freshman year, a few months ago, I received a season-ending injury costing me my track career. When I tell people this, they seem saddened and angry by the news. They are also shocked to see me so calm, knowing how much I love the sport. The truth is, years of ups and downs prepared me for this. I came to the realization a few years ago that my purpose was not being the "fast black girl." I've found joy in things outside of the sport, but most importantly, I’ve learned to trust God and His plan for my life. So, here I am, done with track forever and surprisingly at peace.
When I was injured my freshman year of college (first meet of the year), I was disappointed. I was in the best shape of my life, and I felt I had a good shot at winning nationals in the 100m hurdles that year. Looking back, what seemed like a tragic conclusion to hard work was a set up by God to position me in other places of my life. For example, halfway through my sophomore year, I decided to change my major, which put me back a year in school. Luckily for me, that redshirt year helped me afford the additional year of college. Realizing that many of my close friends would be graduating before me, I knew I needed to do something to create a new community. I was approached by an area director, who felt I'd make a great Resident Assistant. Unsure of how true that was at the moment, I applied, and to my surprise, I got the job. Becoming a Resident Assistant was the first time in my life, I would consistently put into action my life purpose, "serving others." Lastly, had I not got hurt, I never would have plugged into a church community. A church community that I'm still a part of today. Stepping out of my comfort zone, and pressing into the community, gave me lifelong friends and people who for the first time in my life, made me feel accepted.
I no longer see the sport as something that defines who I am. Instead, I see track and field as one way God’s world and love reached me. I will always be a runner and more specifically, a hurdler. I will always try to attack obstacles in my life the same way I attacked the hurdles, knowing with each barrier, I have the potential to get better and improve. I will always have to train to surpass, where I’ve been to get to where I am going, and I will always have the best coach in the entire universe showing me the way.
I've learned not to get caught up on the little setbacks because they are steps forward, and I've realized any gift we've been given is more than a gift. Track has not only taught me I am a good athlete, but that with God I’m pretty darn good at life. I cherish the wins and even losses because that’s life. You win, you lose, you get hurt, but ultimately your love for the sport or life never changes especially with Jesus as a coach. Everything is for a bigger purpose and a bigger picture. I started my time here hurt, and now I’ve ended hurt. Call it time travel, I feel stronger and more hopeful than ever.