Anjali's Blog

Preparing for Boston: Natick Paralympian talks about training for the Boston Marathon

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From: http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/natick/2011/03/racers_update_natick_...

At 26, Anjali Forber-Pratt is one of the top US paralympians. Raised in Natick, she won a bronze medal in the 400-meter wheelchair racing event at the Paralympic Games in Beijing in 2008. She gave this telephone interview from Chicago, where she is training for her first Boston Marathon next month.

You've mostly been a speed racer. Why the Boston Marathon now?

From the time I was really little I grew up watching the Boston Marathon. I was 5 years old and totally enamored that there were these people racing by in wheelchairs whizzing by at 25 miles per hour. So much so that I was that little kid at Halloween in a costume of the winner of the Boston Marathon.

So for me, obviously it's always been a childhood dream of mine, but the timing was never quite right. When I was a kid you had to be 18, then that time came and I was more focused with downhill skiing and things like that. When I made my first US team, my strengths were in the sprint.

My very first marathon was two years ago in Chicago. My coach, Adam Bleakney, asked "How would like to do 422 hundred-meter sprints sometime in the middle of October?" Doing some math in my head, my response was, "You aren't talking about the Chicago Marathon by chance are you?" And of course he was.

That was my very first and I have to tell you it was pretty awful. It was 26 degrees at the start of the race. It's a marathon and I'm a sprinter, and I was coming down with a cold. I was having asthma. I'm a natural born fighter and I was bound and determined to finish my first marathon so I did.

Forber-Pratt finished the race in 2 hours 25 minutes, more than a half hour behind the top women. But when she entered Chicago again last year she improved her time to 2:02:05, qualifying for Boston.

You've just come back from the International Paralympic World Championships in New Zealand (winning one gold and two silver medals). What are you doing to get ready for Boston?

I train six days a week right now, and we're slowly increasing the distance we're doing. To me the key is the weight room to have the strength for the Boston hills. For a wheelchair racer, chest and shoulders are really important.

It's still pretty cold out here in Illinois and we've had snow on the ground until relatively recently. We're hoping next week-ish it will be warm enough to start outside training. We do have an indoor track.

For me right now, it's getting my endurance level up to be able to push 26.2 miles. With coming off of New Zealand, I was very focused on my sprinting events — from 100 meters to 800 meters. But 800 meters is a half a mile.

Do you have any message to people back in your hometown?

If you're a fellow runner, keep at it with the training. It's going to be here before you know it. And if you're not a runner get out there and cheer and support because we'll all need it.

This interview was edited and condensed.

People can cheer on Forber-Pratt during her marathon through this wiki page - http://anjalimarathon.wikispaces.com/ - and can follow her on Twitter: #anjalidoesboston and http://twitter.com/anjalifp

From the Garden

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At the Garden in Boston, I received a standing ovation from all 19,000 fans as I was recognized as a “Hero Among Us”. Wow! What a breath-taking experience! Being out on center court, taking it all in was a fabulous experience. I had the opportunity to share my athletic successes as well as the things in life I am most passionate about with the world! The last time I experienced a crowd that big and that welcoming was in Beijing in 2008 at the Bird’s Nest. It brought back some wonderful memories and created some new ones too! The Heroes are selected by the Boston Celtics from a number of different sources, with local media being the most prominent. They also get nominations from season ticket holders, staff members, media members, non-profit organizations, former Heroes, and those familiar with the program.

So how did it all go down? Earlier in the day, I did some local school visits to help educate about disability sport and to share my story. It was one of those days where you don’t have a single moment of downtime, so much so that I even received a text message from someone reminding me to pause and take a breath! I went to the gym, worked out, showered and headed off to the first school, a group of second graders. En route from one school to the other, I had a conference call about my website-redesign project—just maximizing use of time here! And then, I finished my day playing with the kids at recess at the next school followed by a presentation to the 5th graders. And then it was time for the main event! My brother graciously drove me into the city where I checked into the hotel and did take a moment to just relax a little bit before the next set of festivities.

A car service came and picked me up at my hotel, all donated by local season ticket holders, and brought my guests and I to the HQ for the Celtics. There, I was met by the Community Relations Manager who gave us a run down of the events for the evening and a tour of the facility. I shared this experience with three amazingly wonderful friends and supporters of mine. We then walked over to the Garden.

Approximately ten minutes before tip-off, I was escorted to half-court, where a photo is taken with a representative from both teams. I have to say, being in a wheelchair next to two NBA players… I’ve never felt so short!!!! I mean, these guys look big on TV but in real life, oh boy, was I short!
Anjali at Celtics center court

Just before the start of the second quarter, I was escorted back to the main floor to await for the second timeout of the quarter. This was quite the exciting quarter to have this happen too. The first jump shot was made in this quarter by Boston, so they were up 34-27. The Warriors come back with a layup followed by the first timeout. During this timeout Ray Allen enters the court. Then, the game really picks up the pace and there’s tons of action on the court, the next thing you know Boston is up 48-41. Jeff Green makes a dunk shot followed by a 3-pointer from Ray Allen, and I’m watching all of this directly next to the Celtics’ basket on the court!!! Time out.

During the second time-out of the second quarter, I was escorted back to center court. At this time, with me in the spotlight, an announcement is read to the audience that introduces the Hero Among Us program and a bit about me and my accomplishments.

Anjali receiving Hero Among Us Award
I got a standing ovation from the crowd. It was a huge honor to be recognized for my athletic accomplishments and for the outreach projects that I’m involved in—my coloring book, my work overseas and just all of the things that make me me. After the ceremony I went back to watch the rest of the game with my friends.

It meant a lot to me all of those who were there supporting me at the game itself, those tuning in on TV who caught the brief clip on the post-game show and those who have since shared in the excitement through seeing the video clip, news article and/or Facebook postings about the night! Thanks for sharing in all the excitement with me!

I do what I do because I love it; not because somebody else makes me or wants me to, but because it’s who I am. It fills me up with happiness to read all the comments from you all, reconnecting with folks from the past who have been following me. Honestly though, when I hear how much you all say that I make you proud, I am left asking myself, “really? Me?” Because to me, I’m just leading my life doing what I love. Nonetheless, thanks…but now I challenge you all to do whatever it is you love too and create your own spectacular memories such as this one.

Thoughts Post-Worlds

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Sorry for the delay in posting this...a girl's gotta recover from jetlag! Here are some thoughts of mine post-worlds...

What a journey this has been. I’m currently sitting on the couch looking out the window at the aftermath from the Snowpocalypse. As I look out seeing the blanket of white for miles and miles, and feeling the chill in the air, there is a part of me that wishes I was back in the southern hemisphere! However, there is also a part of me that is truly so happy to finally be home. A month is a long time to be gone, and with all of the pre-worlds prep we did too in December, I feel like I haven’t been here at home in ages. This is really the first time I’ve had the time and energy to sit and reflect on the whirlwind of Worlds. For me, that’s exactly what it was – from the time competition started until it ended, it was bam-bam-bam one race right after the next. And while there was a lot to celebrate along the way, and lessons learned, it wasn’t until now that I even thought about all that unfolded for myself and for Team USA.

For me, I finished as the world champion in the 200m, second in the world earning silver medals in the 100m and 400m and was and 4th in the 800m. Team USA earned 34 medals total, finishing 4th in the overall medal count. I am proud of myself and so proud of our team, as we are positioned very well in the lead up to London 2012. To come back from World’s with these as my results is better than I could have imagined. I was nervous with World’s being in January, nervous about the length of our season, nervous about whether or not our preparation work in our typical off-season was going to actually work or not. And, thankfully, it did due to the incredible guidance and expertise from my coach Adam Bleakney.

In my last post, I explained the fact that this type of trip is not a vacation. In reality, as competition begins, it gets harder and harder to remind yourself of why you are there and to keep yourself on the eat-sleep-race-nap-eat-race regiment. It becomes equally hard to keep focused as you see your teammates finishing their competition, knowing that you still have more days to go. But, I guess that’s why not everybody is on Team USA. For me, the two main takeaways from my Worlds experience were: 1) be true to yourself and 2) don’t sweat the small stuff.

Being true to yourself sounds simple enough, but in reality, in the heart of the buzz of international competition, it’s actually quite hard to do. What I mean by being true to yourself, is remembering why you are there on that starting line, and remembering who you are, not allowing other people’s predictions or expectations distract you as an athlete. To do this, it meant that I had to confidently attack each race. One of the songs on my race day playlist is called “Own It” by the Blackeyed Peas, this song was helpful in those moments of struggle to remember to be true to myself and to own the moment. “Anybody could be famous, it don’t matter what your name is, it’s your moment baby claim it, go out and own it.” I would be lying if I said there was not pressure and expectations on us as athletes and as Team USA at Worlds. That pressure is a reality, and one of the biggest challenges faced in order to be true to yourself in this type of situation. It is so easy to be swayed or influenced by others.
I’ve never been the type of person who has to learn the same lesson twice; and for me, I learned this lesson hard and true in Beijing during the 2008 Games. After the 100m prelim in Beijing, which I won my heat by a considerable amount, I entered the final as one of the favorites of that race. I was a top sprinter, I was expected to be on the medal stand, and truthfully, I expected it of myself too. Lined up on that starting line, with 91,000 fans in the stadium cheering, the starting gun went up. “Take your mark”. We all slowly roll up to the start line positioning our front wheel just right. I fidget with my hand position a bit getting myself ready for the anticipation of what was to come. “Set”. Arms ready—positioned just right on the rim, squeezing with just enough pressure, raising my torso a little bit to be able to then react like a bullet at the very next sound---my start has always been my strength, I’m always first off the line, no matter what. “Bang!” I was not first off that line. On my inside, a competitor from another country suddenly had an entire racing chairs’ length on the entire field within the first moments of that race; she exploded off that start line. In that moment, I was so distracted by my disbelief that the best way I later described it to my coach was that I forgot I was in a race. For 100m, forgetting your in a race, is not a very good thing. Before I knew it, the race was over, and I was 6th. That moment of failure has stayed with me, but it wasn’t until being at Worlds that I finally as one to learn from. I thought about that moment going into Worlds as something to remember, and to make sure not to allow history to repeat itself! I had to be true to MYself, not true to someone else, to be me no matter what else was or is happening around me.

This leads me to my second lesson learned on this trip, don’t sweat the small stuff. It would be easy to let emotions get the best of you on this type of trip. As I discussed earlier, the world is watching, there are expectations and pressures that you have to navigate, but more than that there are a lot of things at a type of event like this that are 100% beyond your control. Even the most well thought out plan will go awry. And, you just have to roll with the punches. That’s the only option!

For me, this lesson came to fruition during the toughest part of my competition week. It all started with my 800m final. This race is a challenging race for me, as it is the longest one that I do, and a far more tactical race because you do not stay in your lane which means you can draft with competitors and have to be aware of everything happening on the track around you. We had a plan for this race that didn’t quite work out. I went out hard, had to make some tactical decisions in the first 450m and ultimately one of those decisions is what lost me the race. I fought hard and was able to finish 4th in the World. Immediately after that race, I was hit with emotions of disappointment, frustration and exhaustion. And then, I was ‘tagged’ for drug testing, meaning I was identified, as any athlete can be at competition, to report to drug testing for urine and blood test. And then, I had an asthma attack. And then, I realized I had to be in the call room tent (pre-race tent) for my 200m prelim within the next 10 minutes. I don’t care who you are, that is an awful lot of things to deal with in a very short period of time. At this competition we had to report to our call room tent 40 minutes prior to our race, and during those 40 minutes inside this tent, there was not really a thing you could do except sit there and wait. There was no space to move around, you are not allowed to bring your iPod or anything in with you, so you just sit.

Whenever you’ve had a rapid fire of all of those things that happened, just sitting is sort of the last thing you want to do! At least it is for me. Sitting there in the tent, I could feel the emotions getting the best of me, could feel the tears welling up in my eyes and I realized I had a choice to make, right then and there. I could a) let the emotions get the best of me and potentially blow this 200m prelim that I’d been training so hard for or b) not sweat the small stuff and reframe my thinking to remember that that 800m race was in the past, that I still finished 4th in the world, that I’m still a member of Team USA at World Championships, that we had an amazing medical staff who did all she could to get my asthma to calm down and to just go out there and be true to myself. I made my decision, went out and won my preliminary round breaking the World Championship Record and then went on the next day to do it again breaking the record I had set the day before and having my gold medal moment.

These two lessons are important for all of us though, whether you’re a World Champion or not. With whatever it is that you’re working towards, be true to yourself and remember to not sweat the small stuff!

Silver in the 100m & Gold in the 200m!

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Just wanted to share some news ... I did it yesterday! Won Gold in my 200m and world championship record!!!! There was quite a strong headwind, so I'm still chasing the world record, but to be on the podium and hear our favorite song was pretty awesome for sure. I had the field by more than a chair length I'm told. Chinese took silver and bronze. I've got a day of rest today (thankfully!) and then we go head to head with China for our 4x400m relay on Thursday and then I have 400m prelim on Friday. Thanks so much for all of your support, I could feel the positive energy over here this morning when I needed it most! So far things are going well-- silver in the 100m, 4th in a tough 800m and gold yesterday in the 200m! More to come soon!

Opening Ceremonies are Tomorrow!

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We’ve had quite the eventful week, actually, day in Christchurch, New Zealand. It all started with a 5.1 earthquake that woke us from our sleep this morning. We’ve actually had something like 7 quakes/aftershocks since 5pm yesterday (Sidenote: I really should have paid more attention in geology class to understand more about these darn things!). We’re all fine and are here to tell the story. My roommate is such a CA girl, when we woke up to the whole hotel shaking, it takes a moment to realize what all is going on, and we said, oh it’s an earthquake. The next thing I know, she’s back asleep! Such a CA girl!!

I posted some pictures of an adventure we went on yesterday on a gondola ride. The countryside is gorgeous, as you can see in the pictures. It was nice to break free from the hotel for a bit and to get out and about.

And now, the moment, the very day that I’ve been waiting for for so so so so long… opening ceremonies are tomorrow! This marks the official start of the event! I am really truly ready for this to get going, it’s been a long time coming! I'm literally laying in bed in my hotel room and just thinking about all that it has taken for our entire team to get here. It's been a journey, for sure. Flexibility has been the hallmark of the week, as we don’t actually have any schedules in concrete and have to be flexible with transportation schedules and the logistics of the buses and the meals and everything. But, to me, thats all the stuff that you shouldn't let get to you, at least try not to. I did have an epic laundry adventure earlier in the week that caused me to go for a walk in the rain to vent my frustration and have some chocolate in place of the glass of wine I wanted, but in the grand scheme of things, we've now finally made it! I invite you all to tune in to http://www.paralympicsport.tv for live internet coverage of the Games and check here for results: http://www.ipcathleticsworldchamps.com/

Here we go!!!! Let’s go USA!

From the Land Down Under

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From Sydney, Australia: Pre-Worlds Training Camp

The time is now, and there’s no turning back! I have to admit, it is rather bizarre to board a plane on Thursday and get off on Saturday!! Sydney is beautiful, but I really don’t feel like I am all these thousands of miles away, it feels much like the U.S. We are staying in the Sydney Olympic Park. There are all kinds of pieces of history of the Games when they were here in 2000 as well as artifacts for future games. The environment lives and breathes off of Olympicism and excellence. It’s been a lot of fun to explore, to learn about incredible Aussie Olympians and Paralympians throughout the years. The day we arrived we put together our racing chairs and went out for training, my teammate and I had some technical difficulties actually finding the track. If you were here you have to understand that we are within very easy walking distance of the track, we could see it, but for the life of us we couldn’t figure out how to get in to the track!! After walking around the complex for over an hour pushing our racing chairs in front of us, we eventually turned back around and came back to the hotel. Though we did decide to be adventurous and do our workout the streets of Sydney, even though we had relatively zero lay of the land and were just coming off of 2.5 days of travelling! The next day when we arrived at the track, the rest of the team cheered! ☺

The jetlag hasn’t been bad at all. I think part of it has been the fact that we are staying in a gorgeous hotel with incredible beds. I have to admit, that with all of the traveling I do, I’ve become a bit of a bed-snob, and these beds raise the bar exceptionally high. Earlier in the week, we ran our trials for relay selection to determine which 4 U.S. women would be on our relay team. I will be the anchor for our relay! I was very happy with how I ran in this selection trial, and our training thusfar is going very well!

I’m not here on a vacation. It is hard to explain to outsiders looking in. Yes, I am on a month long trip to Sydney and Christchurch staying in a fabulous hotel with some great food, but it is not a vacation by any stretch of the imagination. We wake up, eat, train, eat again, check in with people from home, nap, eat, sleep and repeat. I’m not here to be a tourist, to try new foods or to go on adventures around the city; I’m here for Worlds. When I take a moment to look around at my fellow teammates, the truth is, we could be anywhere. Everybody is lounging around the hotel on their various devices hoping for a spot of solid internet. We all are semi-self-imposed-quarantined at the hotel, because we’re all athletes and we know why we’re here. As a person who in my normal daily life is constantly doing a minimum of five things at once, this is a hard month for me to just let the rest of it go and to keep myself on this schedule of rest, hydration, training and sleeping. But, as with everything in life, we thrive on rewards. So for all of our hard work up to this point, we earned the reward of an excursion to downtown Sydney a couple of days ago. We had the chance to see some Aussie wildlife and see the Opera House. It was nice to break up the monotony a bit and to feel connected to civilization again, even if it was just for a few hours! And, I even got to pet a koala bear! Now, we have refocused our energy and are gearing up for a pre-worlds competition tonight before heading to New Zealand tomorrow.

Leading up to Worlds I have been blessed with an incredible support network of friends who help to take the edge off and to give my brain a rest from thinking about the task ahead. This support network is so crucial for all athletes especially right now. With this regimented schedule of eat, train, eat, sleep, it is so nice to know what is going on back at home and to have a ridiculous conversation about a whole lot of nothing, about what so-and-so did or said yesterday that makes me laugh all these miles away. The reality is, that these seemingly mindless conversations are exactly what I need at this point. When overseas as part of Team USA, the rest of the world I look forward very much to checking my Facebook comments and hopping on Google chat in the afternoons to get this fix from home. It is so easy for Worlds and competition to consume your thinking, and it will and it should at the right moments, but being gone for so long and in the weeks leading up, if it consumes you too much, it can burden you. I also look at this support network as having rings.

There is the outermost ring, who are filled with important people whose job for me is to provide encouragement and to boost my morale. These are the people who follow me on Facebook or Twitter, but who I don’t see day-to-day in my life back at home. But in many cases, these are people who have played a huge role in my life earlier on, and who I credit for making me who I am today. Knowing they are there and out there provide me with an outer layer of comfort in my ring. As I move closer to the center, I get people who I do interact with on a more regular basis, these are the people who I enjoy reading about what they are up to each day, the people who keep be up to date on the latest news back home, the weather, who is back in town etc.

Then, there’s the smallest innermost circle. These are the people who I talk to or text or gchat with multiple times a day at home, and see on a very regular basis. These are the people who are there through thick and thin, we’re all there for each other. They are the people who truly understand that I’m not on a vacation! They keep it real, give me the fix from home that I need, but also are able to inquire on how I’m doing, how ready I feel and are ready and open to a true answer and dialogue. It’s these people, and you all know who you are, who I can’t live without. They are the people who truly “get” me, and trust me, that’s quite the feat! Everybody in my circle has a distinct purpose and value to me, even those who I have not had the pleasure of meeting. Thank you to all of you whoever you are--- outer and inner circle friends, teammates and family! Tonight I’ll be gearing up for a 100m race and the 4x400m relay! Next blog will come from Worlds!

Follow Anjali @ Worlds

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Good Morning!

I can't believe it, but Worlds are actually finally here!! It seems like something we've been talking about for so long and preparing for. I leave the country today for a training camp in Australia and then on to Christchurch, New Zealand. Competition begins January 21. As much as I'm there focusing on what I'm there for, I do like to know what's going on back at home especially because I still have to wait until the end of Jan for competition to actually begin, so keep the Facebook messages and email through my website here coming!

Some have asked how to follow or tune in. Here are a few websites where you can track my progress:

The official event website is: IPC Athletics World Champs
This website will have results relatively quickly once events are over. When I can or when my web team has time, my own website will be updated too at: www.anjfp.com you can also sign up for blog updates there too. Many events will be broadcast live and videos posted after at: Paralympicsport.tv

My competition schedule is as follows:
Saturday Jan 22, 2011 @ 10:20 AM or 10:25 AM: 100m prelim ( = Friday Jan 21 @ 330PM CST)
Sunday Jan 23, 2011 @ 9:45 AM: 100m final ( = Saturday Jan 22 @ 2:45 PM)
Monday Jan 24, 2011 @ 6:45 PM: 800m final ( = Sunday Jan 23 @ 11:45 PM)
@ 7:25 PM or 7:31 PM 200m prelim ( = Monday Jan 24 @ 12:25 AM) **Note: this might change, as we have protested this because of how close the races are to each other.
Tuesday Jan 25, 2011 @ 11:55 AM: 200m final ( = Monday Jan 24 @ 4:55 PM)
Thursday Jan 27, 2011 @ 12:00 PM: 4x400m final ( = Wednesday Jan 26 @ 5 PM)
Friday Jan 28, 2011 @ 11:32 AM or 11:43 AM: 400m prelim ( = Thursday Jan 27 @ 4:32 PM)
Saturday Jan 29 @ 4:40 PM: 400m final ( = Friday Jan 28 @ 9:40 PM)

And to close, from "In the Zone" by David Banner,

"The crowd is roaring, every eye is watching
Now my heart is pumping, waiting for the second
My life has lead me to this very moment
And Im going to own it,
YEAH I got to own it

Its like Ive seen this all before
Dreamed it a thousand times
No matter what Ive been through
The games already mine"

Thanks for following me on this journey, and feel free to pass on to whoever as well.

Anjali

Baystate Parent Magazine Article: Anjali's Story

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Check out the article from this month's Baystate Parent Magazine here.

Anjali Days & Marbles

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Read my latest post at U.S. Paralympics or below!

December has been an eventful month! I’ve decided to adopt a term called, an “Anjali day”. What is an “Anjali day”? It is the day when you can’t keep up with all the exciting things going on or that are brewing. It is the day when everything just happens at lightning speed and by 9am I have an out of body, out of mind experience where I just take a deep breath and say, wow, are all of these things really happening right now?

What types of things, you might be wondering? Well, securing big time interviews, being contacted for a cool speaking engagement, making a potentially powerful networking connection, asked to be a part of an advertisement or receiving a magazine and being surprised to find out that you’re featured in it. Apparently, some of these things are not the norm. But, it is a regular occurrence for me, and so I have affectionately deemed such days, “Anjali days”.

December has been full of “Anjali days”. The month kicked off with my going home to MA for the first time in over two years. I missed the holiday, but was asked to be a part of the May Institute Benefit Days at Borders stores around MA doing book signings! My co-author and I hit up six Borders stores in the span of three days. The whole event was surreal, to be there signing books for old friends, family, strangers (including one woman I literally had met on the plane ride in that day!).

It was a whirlwind of a trip, my days started around 5am and went until midnight just trying to pack the most in! The book itself was very well received and Borders is working on getting my ISBN added to their system nationwide which means soon, anybody can go into a Borders and order my book! It has been truly rewarding to be able to educate others about Paralympic sport and sport opportunities for people with disabilities.

The whole book tour thing was surreal; it was very exciting, don’t get me wrong. I hope it’s the first of many more to come, but it’s a bit weird to be out there signing autographs and selling and promoting your own book. It’s been a unique experience! The Boston Globe ran a story about me and the book signing event that can be found here.

The fun continued as I headed to Nashville, TN after my book tour. One of my best friends Dr. Steven Aragon and his business partner Pete Stipher opened a private health club called Impact Fitness. I had the opportunity to be a part of their grand opening celebration. Their whole mission and philosophy stems from everybody leading active healthy lifestyles, and that we all strive for that.

My US tour continued as I then hopped on a plane to sunny CA for the last official training camp prior to our departure for Worlds. I was there for the end of the training camp, an inter-squad competition and then made the decision to stay for an extra week of the CA sun. To be honest, it was a hard decision to make, since my coach, teammates, home was back in IL, but looking back, it was the right decision.

Even though it meant training on my own, I realize that removing yourself from situations to not allow distractions and obstacles has a great deal of benefit. Not to mention being able to actually train outside wearing a tank top while my teammates were driving through frigid -8F to get to practice!

CA was a good time for me to remember what all this training is all about and to have the time I needed to just relax, and to train. With only two things on my to-do list out there, it was a treat! I had the opportunity to meet many Olympic athletes, mostly rowers who were there for a camp, and it’s funny how similar we all are. We all shared laughs about how ridiculous our lives are and how that just is the norm.

Since getting back from CA, I made the decision to stay relatively grounded until leaving. I went to Chicago, actually to ORD, because I missed it, to have lunch with my siblings who had a layover there on Christmas Eve. I figured, why not? It was exciting to see them as they were preparing for their own adventure. I am proud of all that they are doing and think it’s pretty cool that we get to meet up in random places such as airports!

The whirlwind subdued for the end of the month. It’s like a funnel, all channeling down getting ready for Worlds. If you picture a marble spinning down a funnel, like in the childhood toy MarbleWorks, you can see the blurry colors take on a solid rich hue. The marble symbolizes me, the end of the funnel is arriving at Worlds. The marble gains continuous momentum as it circles and circles and circles. The distractions and other life things that occur are other marbles that get added to the same funnel.

My marbles job is to keep an eye on the target and to keep on track despite the bumping, the interruptions and the congestion. The circles get smaller as the marble inches its way to the narrow opening. Just when you least expect it, the circles almost stop and the marble jumps a little bit as it shoots straight down that hole. That was my month of December, and my marble made it! And now, it’s approaching game time, and I’m ready for it!

The Amazing Anjali --- Boston Globe Story

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Today's Boston Globe has a story about me!!

Read it here!

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