I was introduced to the sport of track cycling in 2009, and it was love at first sight. At the beginning I competed in every road and track race in Northern California I could fit into each weekend, learning the finer points of racing and what I excelled at, even though I knew, deep down, that I loved the track the most, and as my dad very smartly put it, "you aren't built for going up hill!"
In 2011 I decided I'd had enough of the road and wanted to focus on being a sprinter on the track. I have always been a fast-twitch power athlete, and I loved the thrill of the cat and mouse games of the sprint. After a development camp with the US National Team Coach, I moved to Portland, Ore. to train with a new coach, to build speed and power, as well as learn the art of match sprinting.
Hard work does pay off, and this spring I was presented with an opportunity to move to Los Angeles, Calif. to train with a new coach and another female sprinter to fine tune our team sprint for US Elite National Championships. A summer full of travel and racing brought exciting news as we were also selected to represent the USA as the female sprinters at the 2014 Pan American Championships in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Wearing the colors of our flag at an international competition has been a goal of mine since the beginning and to have it come true was very sweet.
I had just started to work with Steve before leaving for Mexico, and his positive text messages kept my nerves at bay. I rode all new personal bests, took 11th place in the Keirin, and learned a great deal about racing at the international level. When you know that you have the best coaches, that they believe in you and want to help you achieve your goals, it supports and encourages your own belief in yourself.
Now that I am back in LA and starting to train for the 2015 season with my sights on World Cup races and a new year of collecting points toward qualifying for the Olympics, I know I have the best strength coach for the job. Sprinting is all about speed, power and being explosive, and even just a couple weeks of training with Steve has me feeling stronger as a whole. I can tell that I am about to be fitter than I've ever been in my entire life, and ten times the athlete.
My overall goals have remained the same since the beginning. I work every day toward the end goal of walking into the velodrome at the Olympics, wearing the red white and blue of the USA. Along the way to that dream, it's the process of meeting smaller goals that makes the journey complete. Wearing team USA kit for the first time this year at the Pan American Championships was an amazing experience, and I look forward to the rest of the journey, one left turn at a time!