I’m only a couple weeks out from beginning the 2016 training season and man I can’t believe it’s already here! Honestly it feels like I was JUST in London during the 2012 Olympics, working with Greater European Missions; serving, speaking, listening, loving, dreaming…

Coming alongside the local church in Britain, to serve and to love on their community, was a privilege. It was the first time I spoke on a stage in front of more than just 30 people. The pole vault chapter of my life had opened the previous year and the underlying dream of it all was to build a platform to speak about Christ. Now here I was on a stage in front of 300 people in a foreign country; the biggest opportunity yet! I remember hoping and praying that at least one person would be inspired to run their race with abandon (the one God designed specifically for them) and that it wouldn’t be about me, but that my story would just be one that encouraged them to live their own!

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I remember watching the women’s pole vault final and dreaming about what it would be like to be in the host city not as a spectator, but as a competitor. I also remember thanking God that 2016 was in a warm-weather climate! Four years seems like a long time, until it passes. And now that year is here. 2016. Rio.

I love big dreams! I mean I truly love them. Obtainable or not, dreaming is what has gotten me to this point in my life. But if you wanna know the simple truth, most of my dreams have not come to fruition… How’s that for some encouragement?! I’m sorta an optimist though and in most situations I see the glass half full. So when it comes to dreaming those big dreams, the kind you never wanna speak aloud, I say DREAM! Dream your heart out! Because when acted upon, it’s usually the biggest dreams that will change the course of your life, as well as the life of others.

In 2012, my first full pole vault season, I dreamt about making the Olympic trials (well, if we’re being completely honest I dreamt about making the Olympic team). Laugh if you will but the dream was there! The automatic standard was 4.50m (14′ 9″) with a provincial standard of 4.30m (14′ 1″) and when I set out with the goal of making trials I had only jumped 3.81m (12′ 6″), once, in a summer meet a few months back. The dream was ridiculous! And you know what? I believed it could happen.

That year was crazy. In March I had the first 4m jump of my life. In April I jumped 4.10m. In May I found myself at the US Olympic Training center amidst competitors who’d been jumping for years, attempting (out of necessity) opening bars of 4.05m, 4.07m, and 4.15m –> and for those of you who don’t know pole vault, let’s just say you usually want to start a couple of bars lower than that, for it’s much harder to open at or above your best-ever jump! But I believed I could do it, and 2 out of 3 times that month I did. I ended the season learning to open at or above 4m, with the best jump of 4.10m, and found myself about 7 inches shy of the lowest Olympic trials qualifier that year. I didn’t achieve the dream, BUT because the dream was enormous and the belief was there, I achieved an incredibly successful season!

That is how dreaming works!

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In case you are thinking “That’s great for you, but my mind will not work that way. I cannot dream unrealistic dreams and then see the positive in failing…”  let me tell you I am writing these words just as much for myself as for you. I’m coming off of a rough couple of years performance wise. Things have not panned out AT ALL like I planned them too. I’m finding it harder than ever to believe in dreaming big! But there are moments. Moments these past few days where I can feel it. The dream of making Olympic trials.

“Shhh. Don’t say that out loud. You are further from that dream than you ever thought you would be.”

That’s the thought that threatens to diminish my goal, but I won’t let it happen. Because the dream is too important! The growth is too essential! The potential impact too great! And the road is WAY TOO FUN!

Can I ask you this question… What dream have you ran after and failed? Are you as scared as me at dreaming it again? I’m coming off a year where my best jump was 3.85m (blah!)… but you know how I look at it, that’s actually 4cm higher than I was with the ridiculous dream of 2012! I’m ahead of the game! So here’s to takin’ a big gulp of faith and dreaming big!

As always my friend, it’s time for you and I to SOAR!

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*NOTE: If you want that sweet mug in the picture above click here or email me: soarintentionally@gmail.com!!! Not only will it help you DREAM BIG every morning, but all donations are going towards my yearly training fee (due in October) I have here at Altis!! It’s never too early to think about stocking stuffers!!