The word "family" has a little bit of a different meaning to me than arguably for most others. To me, family is a group of people that would do anything for someone else without looking for any personal returns. In my life, I was fortunate to having been a part of multiple families.
I was born in Riverside, California and shortly after moved to Tanzania, a country in East Africa. The city I lived in was very rural and accompanied by a very simple lifestyle. Until I was seven years old, this was really all I knew. Now, I unfortunately don't remember much about my family in Tanzania except that it was very big; my mom had eight siblings.
When I moved back to Southern California, I lived with a host family that took care of me until I graduated high school. It was a very different environment than Tanzania as things move all the time in California and people are always busy.
As a result of changing households, I was very reserved at first and barely spoke up because I was a very shy person to begin with. But my family here is absolutely amazing. They play a huge part in my life and I owe them quite a bit. They are of Mexican heritage which is great as I was raised the same lifestyle and enjoyed it very much... especially the food!
The Value of their Support
If I think back to my childhood, the earliest memory I can recall is when I was four years old. It was my first attempt of tying my own shoes. I remember planning it all out and doing it in front of my mom so that she could see. At the time, my mom was the most respectable person I knew. Her acknowledgment and attention meant the world to me. I carried that mindset over to my family in California. By now, I have raced several times close to home and their cheers and support still ring in my memory.
My family just means the world to me. What they did for me is hard to put into words and I'm just beyond proud to call them my family. They taught me how to work hard and led by example. Taking care of me and their own children always was of highest priority. And it is this selfless attitude that I try to apply to my sport and other aspects of life as well.
Making my family proud and showing them my gratitude remains an important part of my life. To this day, the most significant event of my life was signing my Letter of Intent to Adams State. It was a very special moment for me as it was a big step towards independence. Being a part of the Adams State environment has brought out what I see as my core values.
and Having Fun.
Hard work is something everyone in this world can benefit from. Something that led me to win three NCAA Division II titles my freshman year. And a total of six national titles in my career.
Having no prejudice is something I wish everyone practiced more. Coming from a heavily populated area, I got to know people of many different ethnicities and backgrounds. Also, being on a team with people from all over the world, I can proudly say that I have made friends with all kinds of people.
Finally, I like to have fun and enjoy things as this motivates me to get up. Every day is fun for me. I love training and the overall process of becoming an "elite" athlete.
What Comes Next?
My future as a college graduate is wide open in terms of what I will do next. The sport of track and field has been a big component in helping me decide what I want to do. It is a growing sport and once I am done pursuing my own career, I plan on staying involved. I don’t have a definitive vision on what I would like to do but I do know that I want to help the future generations of athletes achieve their own goals.