Shante Little joined our Oiselle run family this spring and since then has made huge strides in her training and racing. Having dual citizenship in the US and the UK, Shante entered the post season of outdoor track as the number three best 400m Hurdler in the UK. She traveled to Birmingham to compete in the British Outdoor Track and Field Championship. From Shante's reflection on the weekend, you will learn something that we already know about this wonderful woman: she is brave, courageous and driven to be the best that she can be.
Just like that, my first post-collegiate track & field season has come to a close! On July 4th, I competed at my first senior national championship in Birmingham, England. If we're being perfectly honest, I can't tell you what I expected heading into the heats on that Saturday. I hadn't had a full week of training in over a month because of a back injury that just wasn't going away. I was scared shitless. I felt unprepared. It felt like every single thing that could go wrong leading up to that weekend did.
But if there's one thing that I believe in, wholeheartedly, it's in being brave...and I was really freaking brave. I had every reason not to run. However, I made a deal with myself before I drove up to Birmingham with my aunt and uncle that I would take the risk and put it all out there. After all, I committed to this a long time ago and there was no way I was just going to lie down and die (for lack of a better phrase).
To make a long story short, I ran the second-slowest time I've ever run in the 400m hurdles that day. I somehow managed to qualify for the next day's finals but unfortunately, I would not be compete in them. My back wasn't holding up and I had to make the decision to put the whole of my 2016 season ahead of one race, on one day. Track & field is filled with sacrifice, but I've learned that you cannot sacrifice yourself. It's the first rule for being human. We only have one body, and it is ours for the duration of our lives.
Looking ahead, I'm excited to take on the world of professional track & field once again - this time armed with the lessons I've learned, slightly less chocolate (I ate my weight in Galaxy smooth milk chocolate bars while recovering post-race in the UK) and a new perspective.