It’s been 10 weeks since I moved down to ZAP with my mom and the family van in tow. Within the first week of being here, I knew that I had come to the right place. Change can be frightening, but I immediately felt like I was an integral part of the ZAP family, complete with incessant banter and teasing.
Every time I have moved somewhere new, the fact that I’ve moved doesn’t fully hit me until the seasons change. This was the first time in two years that I had watched summer turn into fall on U.S. soil, and I have to say it was hands down the most beautiful fall I’ve ever experienced. I hope I never get past the point where catching sight of an overlook in this area takes my breath away at least once a day.
Having never lived in a hilly area before, of course adjusting to the terrain in this area has been a challenge. But after a couple months, I feel like I’m just starting to get my feet under me (both figuratively and literally), and I am confident that the seasons to come will provide evidence of all our hard work.
As I get to know my teammates, I am slowly realizing just how unique my path to this career move has been. This is the first time in my life that I have ever made a life decision based on athletics, while most of my teammates reached that point in their lives at least six years ago. The thought of that combined with my lack of fast times over shorter distances makes me insecure, but at the same time makes me aware of just how much potential I have for improvement.
Being a youngest child of three girls, I was born into a situation where I constantly felt the need to make up ground. I spent most of my young life trying desperately to keep up with my sisters in every way. Although I’ve been challenged by my teammates at other stages in my career, the ZAP environment is the first time that I have felt simultaneously challenged and supported in running in a way that simulates my upbringing. Although it can be frustrating at times, I knew that being constantly surrounded by more accomplished teammates than myself is a dream come true.
Less than an hour into my first drive home in early October, I was already looking forward to returning to my new home in the mountains, and it hit me that this was the first time that I had ever lived somewhere that I wanted to be, even more than Richmond. The people make the place, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that the place itself is gorgeous. I feel ridiculously honored and privileged to be a part of the latest ZAP crew, and I can’t wait to see what adventures we have yet to come.