There are times in your life when someone crosses your path and changes your entire direction; Someone who makes such a difference that you can’t imagine how you were able to be successful before they walked into your life; Someone who motivates you and encourages you; Someone who inspires you to become the best version of yourself.
This remarkable woman became my mental trainer 6 months ago. As a competitive swimmer who is competing at the 2017 FINA World Masters Championships in Budapest in August, I needed to learn how to properly mentally prepare, not only for competition, but also for training. I am very self-critical and it was starting to prevent me from achieving what I was wanting to achieve in my sport. From the beginning, her guidance and acceptance has been unwavering. She listens to me talk about my successes and my disappointments. She listens to me talk about not only my struggles and challenges in training, but in everyday life as well. She listens to me talk about my goals and my fears. To meet someone who wholeheartedly listens to you, accepts you and supports you, no matter what situation you are in, is an amazing feeling.
Without a doubt, I have become a better mentally prepared swimmer because of her, but it has been way more than that. She has inspired me to never give up. She has inspired me to believe in myself. She has inspired me to learn to be proud of myself. She has inspired me to become a better person. But most importantly, it’s not only me that she is inspiring. She inspires each and every person who is fortunate enough to meet her. She makes a difference in so many people’s lives and that is why she deserves her INSPIRE key. I want her to remember that, every single day, she is inspiring everyone around her. I am so lucky that she came into my life when she did and I am now so lucky to also now call her my friend.