Importance of a Support System

I cant explain sometimes how much I love the support that I get from people. Some I feel give me support even when I feel like I don’t even deserve it.

This past year and a half has been a roller coaster of emotions, physical set backs and mental blocks, but for some reason I have a group of people in my corner that care about my dreams and goals when I can’t find the strength to. Now my family has supported me from day one and without them there’s many things I wouldn’t have got to experience. I thank them everyday for the help they give and the support they show. The people who are apart of my inner circle, some of them from high school and some from this past year and a half, are the ones that still amaze me everyday.

When trying to make running your full time job you can’t do it alone. There are so many people behind the scenes helping you along your journey. I wanted to write this to thank all those who have reached out, went out of their way, and spent hours on end to help me achieve my goals. As my support team they only care about me running well and pursing my dreams.

This past weekend I was supposed to compete at the UW Invitational in Seattle. Unfortunately I’ve had some problems come up with an old injury. Me and my coach decided to cut my indoor season and just get healthy. With this whole situation, I’ve been frustrated, upset and just trying to deal with things they best way I can. Words from my support team have helped me look at the positive, find the right ways to deal with things and also plan for an outstanding outdoor season.

The importance of having these people in my life at this moment is crucial. Each person has taught me something in their own way, or made me believe that anything is possible. Having people in your corner that see potential in you, and see your passion for something can’t be bought. The drive I get to keep going, to never give up, to focus on the main goal, not only comes from me. It comes from every person who has plugged into me and those who are still there for me now.

I always say that it’s not fair to share names of those who help, because each and every person who has ever helped me along my journey has been vital. These people I am naming now are my inner circle, my continued support system and they deserve credit for helping and pushing me every step of the way. So I want to thank the Monk Family, the Pence Family, the Nathan-Funk Family, the Navasca Family, the Costales Family, Latoya James, Adam Smith, Neil Williams, Fleet Feet Sports of Vacaville, my Sponsor Sacramento Running Association (SRA), and ALL of my Family members.

Creative Freedom

I’ve always struggled with expressing my whole self to people. I guess you can say I just didn’t want to be judged or pitied. The hardest thing for me these last couple of years has been finding how much of myself do I give when it comes to being social but also private. Having a media and production degree makes it easy to understand media and why certain things are portrayed the ways they are. But for me I’ve never thought about putting myself out there via social media, video or blog like others have, until now.

I’m happy to say that I’ve come to terms with a lot that has happened to me in my past and how it’s made me grow as a person. I have a lot to give and want others to see me for me, and not for the person I’ve portrayed myself as. This year I’ve vowed that I’m going to take the leap and start recording my life. I’m happy that I have the creative freedom to take this leap and make the most of it. I know that it’s not going to be easy, that some days I’m not going to want the camera in my face, and some days are going to be hard for me to get my emotions out. However, this is going to help me let a lot off my chest, show others that lows don’t last forever, and it’s perfectly normal not to be normal.

I understand that a lot of celebrities, and athletes are viewed as role models. A role model is something I’ve never looked at myself as until one of my athletes pointed it out to me this past fall. Role model or not I want people to look at me and see that anything is possible no matter where you come from or where you’ve been. I’m excited for you all to join me on this journey this year. I will be capturing my moments of my first track meet this coming weekend. If you have not subscribed to my YouTube make sure you do to keep up to date when I post a new video. Have a great week and remember to be as creative and spontaneous as you can this year. Step out your comfort zone and explore yourself in a deeper way!

20140125-205107.jpg

Patience is a Virture

But they that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. — Isaiah 40:31

As I sit and think about my past year I see a lot of things I would of wanted to change. And not only change for better but change for just a different path. One thing I’ve always said is that whatever happens, or whatever I chose in the moment was for a reason, but sometimes I wonder if it were different what would my life be like.

As I would imagine many of you have done this same exact thing yourself. For me I’ve learned that my biggest struggle in life and running is to have patience. This past year I’ve had to learn the hard way in running and slowly have gained more patience in my life. Last year me and my coach dubbed the year with the motto “enjoy the process”, which I can definitely say I had my moments but, a lot of times that enjoyment went away.

Running is my life, it’s what I do, it’s my passion, and it is connected to so many of my dreams. When I get caught in the moment it’s hard for me to just stop and enjoy that moment in time. Instead, I loose patience and want to see my goals right away. This hurt me so much last year, in the way I raced and in my training as well. Anxious is an understatement if I were to describe last year. Punching the gun with 200 meters to go in a race is never fun the last 50 meters and a lot of my races played out that way. I can say now that I don’t regret not having enough patience when I needed, because the path it has lead me on has been a great one.

When it comes to training, my summer was great! I was enjoying the process of adding mileage, getting in solid workouts and just having a little more freedom in my training. This was all great until the patience bug hit me again. Wanting to get my mileage in became an obsession. Mileage became more important than what my body felt like, and my foot paid for it. I ended up getting a stress fracture that sidelined me all of fall. I then started to learn that enjoying the process and having patience was what I needed to focus on. Even though I was forced into it I believe that it all happened for a reason.

My life still revolved around running, but now it was to help others succeed and strive to be the best they could be. I’ve never had much patience with kids but all of a sudden my love for the sport and my injury drove me to have some. I can say coaching my high school kids at times was difficult, frustrating, and crazy, but in the end when I look back it was all worth while. I’ve learned that I like coaching, I can tolerate (which is becoming handle) kids for a long period of time, and that I have more to give in this world other then just running.

This post is more about just having patience within your self and knowing that God will carry you to where you are supposed to be. So I’ll end with this devotion that hits home in so many ways. I hope you all have been having a great year so far. Let’s keep 2014 positive and bright!

Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you. (NLT) ( Job 22:21 )

Do you ever put your hopes into plans and goals? When things don’t work out, you end up grieving over the death of a dream. God wants to give us the desires of our hearts, but we first need to turn them over to Him. Only after submitting to Him can He help you rebuild that dream. Then the fun begins.

New Year, Same Season

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

It’s been an exciting two months so far in 2013. A lot has happened in that short period of time and I’m so excited to share it with you all. Even though it may be a new year, to me it still is the same season. Track season.

I’ve had 4 meets so for, with two being indoor meets and two being all-comers meets. UC Davis was the 1st all-comers meet, and the first meet I’ve run since March of 2012. Yes I had some butterflies, and it was just supposed to be a workout type of race. The butterflies are normal I expect, since I hadn’t raced in 10 months. It was a solid day and great preparation for my first indoor meet in Washington at the University of Washington. Boy was I a nervous wreck for that race. Pretty sure 20 minutes before my race I was texting my coach in a frantic state because I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing.

I didn’t expect to be that nervous, but with my last indoor race being in February of 2011 now I look back and think, well maybe that’s why I was going a little cray cray. I walked away with a solid race and a new personal best for an opener of 2:11.71. But I wasn’t too happy, I felt like I had so much strength over the last 400 but no type of speed to turn over when I wanted to. The next two weeks were about getting some turn over in my legs and just feeling confident again about running fast. The next all-comers meet I ran a 550 meter race. YEAH, weird race to run, I know. There really isn’t a race strategy to have when racing something longer than the 400m and shorter than the 800m. I went out and got 2nd but my overall race splits were pretty impressive. We took that as an indicator, along with workouts from that week as well, that I was ready to run fast.

On February 9th I was back up at the University of Washington ready to run fast and compete hard. Surprisingly I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be. I have the silliest habit before races, that at times I feel like it is a contributor to me running fast, when in fact it really isn’t, but I like to pretend that it has some type of affect. Before races I HAVE to get my neck to crack. Hey, maybe it releases some tension or endorphin that sends fast fibers to my legs (yes I just made that up). But back to the story.

I got on the line ready to compete and lay it all out there. I knew the field was going to go out fast and I was ready to follow my race plan to the tea. The thing is, they didn’t go out at fast as I would have hoped, but I went through the 400m in the back of the pack right at the time coach wanted for me. Trying to move up through the pack I found myself stuck behind someone. It’s a lot harder to move in an indoor race than it is outdoors, but I feel I’m pretty experienced at racing, so the key was to be patient and calm. I made my move up with about 200m to go and from there I felt strong. “Hey keep moving! You got this,” I can remember this going through my head as I took the lead and powered down the home stretch to my 1st win as a post collegiate.

I honestly didn’t feel like I had ran that fast due to the fact that I have never felt that strong at the end of a race, but I sure was mistaken. As the announcer’s voice bellowed over the speakers, ” Dominique Jackson with the win. Unofficially 2:05.94.” WHAT?! My eyes got big and I walked off the track a little stunned and overly happy at the same time. Two of my old coaches were at the meet, so I found my way to both of them and was welcomed with the biggest hugs I could ask for at that moment. The announcer finally said I had run 2:06.00 officially, but a that point it really didn’t matter, I was already on cloud 16.

I’m excited to compete at the USA Indoor Nationals next weekend. This will be my first time competing at the USA Senior Indoor Championships and I’m glad I have the chance to finish out my indoor season. They will be held in Albuquerque, NM on Friday March 2nd and 3rd. Please feel free to watch them live. Friday it will be televised on Universal Sports from 6 – 8pm ET and Saturday on NBC Sports Network from 4 – 6pm ET.

Good luck to all completing their indoor seasons soon and to all starting their outdoor seasons! 2013 is in full swing.