“Well, I just finished my first month here in the USA. A lot of things came to my mind before I come here, and many things still surround my mind while I am living this experience that I already can say is unique.
I am in the ice bath now, so I thought if I start writing, the clock would tick faster. I’m looking at the seconds right now not because I’m suffering in the cold water, but because I begin to reflect all that I’ve been through in this past month. Practices, workouts, exhaustion, tears, joy, satisfaction, and gratitude for the people that helped me get here. I am in right path, but it will not be easy, not at all, but I will give my best to fight for any obstacles that appear in my way.
Another thing that also motivated me to write here was that when I arrived in the ice bath, one of the girls on my team was crying and being comforted by the other teammate after an intense workout on the bikes where we reached our limit. Before that, she cried during the exercise and did not complete it in the best way. This is just one example of our day-to-day struggle as a student-athlete for those who think that it is just party. The work is serious, and it will always require a lot from us. It requires each of us to know how to deal with adversity and distractions.
In the first days back, I was impressed with the organization of everything, especially with practice. The pre-practice talks, the rules, strategies, the duties and the obligations. It was a lot of pressure, but you can also see the ambition coming from everyone if you look at it from another perspective, something we are missing in Brazil. I confess that I was scared the first day that I received all that paperwork saying things like: you can’t miss, if you skip any event you will be penalized, every day will count points for the table regarding practice, etc. These were just a couple of the things that were listed there. It is a competition against yourself inside a team with 10 other girls fighting in the same “boat” as you and at the same time, dealing with the doubts and fears that life brings to any other 18 years old girl.
When I came here, I was not sure if I would adapt to a different country and city with everything so different than I was used to, but at the same time I knew that I was going to stay strong in any circumstance. I tried to keep in mind that all this “sacrifice” one day will be worth every struggle. There is a quote that I used in the first few days, especially when we had to run 3 miles without stopping as hard as we could, ‘The pain is temporary but the glory is forever.’
Oh, I forgot to mention the classes. It’s been a while since I didn’t go to class. The first time I got in the classroom was weird since I was being taught in another language. At first, I was kind of dizzy with so much information. I couldn’t understand half of what was being said. It seemed like I was learning upside down or with my head twisted.
I read an article about college saying that you will always be sore or tired, you will get used to feeling your body in this stage and I already can see that will be exactly right. We usually have a day off, but the classes don’t stop and like you guys know, it is very exhausting.
Well, I have 4 years to go, I’m just starting my journey. A lot of people say that it goes by fast, let’s see… For now, I’m trying to enjoy every moment and to be honest, the day doesn’t go by fast. It starts at 6am and it ends at 8pm. Sometimes I even get lost in the week since during the day we do so much. I miss home every day, but I need to go day by day, focusing on the journey, waiting for the day that the first part of the “mission” ends so I can go home and prepare to start everything all over again.