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I wish I could tell you that Baltimore has also been an incredible event, but it has not been. The school visits themselves have been wonderful. The kids are always so very excited to meet me, as am I. I’m continually impressed by the questions that I get and I can really tell which kids are thinking things through and applying what I talk about to their own lives. It is a rewarding experience getting to meet these kids.

But, the downside is that there have been some lessons learned in life for me. The organization I am here for is going through a lot of changes, which has left the a lot of things in disarray. Change is never easy, and oftentimes is not a smooth transition, I recognize that. However, it has caused unnecessary stress and frustration for me and for the Olympic guest who is also here to speak to the kids. Without getting into too many details, I will say that it is hard to juggle school, work, racing, public speaking and being your own manager. It’s also hard to be pressured into making a decision when you have competing ethical issues pulling you in two opposing directions. Ethics can be a double-edged sword. I felt like either way I decided I was being unethical in some way, which is disconcerting.

Oh what a learning experience these past couple days have been. Sometimes I forget how draining these learning experiences in life can be. I know we all need them, and that they make us stronger and better people for it in the long run, but it sure is hard to see that when you are going through it. The other downside is that my semester will not be fully behind me come tomorrow as I had originally planned. Because of all of this, my last paper for my last college class ever, sadly, will not be done.

I am grateful, however, for my friends and family who have been an exceptional support for me through these past couple of days and who are helping me to see the silver lining and to focus on the positive.

Up Next: Desert Challenge Games in Arizona next week!


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