• Dez Bryant

The beginning of a breakthrough..

So let me tell my story just a little...

In 2015 I was a stand out D1 athlete. I was a 2X NCAA champion. I was the captain of my college track team, and I helped lead Kentucky to their first 2nd place overall finish at the NCAA championships. My career took off while at Kentucky. I was literally flourishing in track and also as a student. I was at the top of my game my senior year, the future was surely promising right?

After i graduated I decided to continue my athletic career as a professional. I received a contract from Nike to help sponsor my professional career (what a blessing!). I made a decision to move to Knoxville, TN to train under a coach that coached me since i was a freshman up until i was a junior! (he is literally awesome!) I thought surely my career would take off right away. I was very disciplined and dedicated to the sport. I have always been hard working and eager to learn.

In 2016, my first season as a professional began, and it DID NOT go the way I had planned. I started off with the indoor season and i was literally held back by my own mentality. Now for outdoor season i made a promise that i wouldn't let doubt be something holds me back again! Then Boom! Right from the start of the outdoor season i got hurt and i was out for the entire season. Now as an athlete being out from your sport and something you're getting paid to do is very hard mentally and also emotionally. Doubt, fear, anxiety, and all these things start going on in your head. It was the first time i had experienced an injury so bad that it put me out an entire season.

Now 2017 rolls around and i'm thinking surely this is my year. Its was a world championship year and making the team was my top priority. I ran pretty well during the indoor season running a PB(Personal Best) of 7.11 in the 60 meter dash and i was certainly ready to take on the outdoor season. I ran two outdoor meets and then right after... BOOM! I was hurt again! I had experienced a foot injury and i could barely practice or put any pressure on it. However, because i had missed a whole season in 2016, i decided that i'd try to run through the pain and continue my 2017 season. It was an absolute disaster. I ran the slowest times I had run in years. I was devastated...

Y'all, this is two years back to back of injuries and defeat! My confidence was shot, i was thinking about giving up the sport and doing something else with my life. I didn't even think it was possible for me to ever run fast again. I was mentally checked out from the sport. I told the people close to me that as soon as my contract was up with Nike i was going to walk away from the sport. It was mentally, and emotionally hard for me.

A change was desperately needed..

November 16, 2017 i decided to step out on faith and make a complete change. Change in environment, change in coaches, and move to a whole different city where i didn't know anyone. I literally walked away from everything that was comfortable to me. I moved to Clermont, FL to train with a Nike group coached by Dennis Mitchell. I came to him partially hurt, over weight and my confidence wasn't where it needed to be. He took me in as one of his own and he literally built me back up from no foundation at all.

My 2018 season was simply AMAZING! I accomplished things i never thought i could reach again. My coach told me i had everything it took to be a star, but i didn't believe him at all. I attempted to run the indoor season even after he told me the risk of injuries would increase tremendously. I experienced a partial quad tear in mid February, and i thought surely my season was over. Y'all when i tell you he did everything to help me get healthy and running again (like literally everything!). I was able to come back from that minor injury in a week!

My first race i had opened up my season with 11.2 which was the fastest time i had run in TWO years. I started to buy in more to the training and the things he was trying to teach me. I started to progressively get better each race. I went from 11.2s, to 11.1s, to 11.0s and i finally ran a PB(Personal Best) of 10.99. I started to get opportunities to travel, and compete against the best women in the world. After two years of set backs, i was finally back on the track racing (what an amazing feeling). The best part of this season was the learning process and the fact that i finished an entire season healthy (which i didn't think was possible).

See, in order to get different and better results you have to be committed to learning and doing things differently the next time you get the opportunity. This is not just regarding sports but every part of your life.

I had to make some changes for myself in order to have made this a successful season.

I had to change my coaching (get away from the norm and be uncomfortable for a season)

Changed my diet (according to my body type and i went from 126lbs to 119lbs... this may not seem like a significant amount but believe me when i say those pounds made all the difference in racing.

Changed the way i took care of my body (staying on top of treatment,etc)

Changed the way i approached workout sessions. (mentally and physically)

And i also changed the way i approached races (I still have work to do in this area).

Changes had to be made in order to get different results.

A little encouragement

I said all of that to say, don't ever give up on your dreams! Even when things start to get hard! Always remember that hard times don't last forever and things will always get better if you allow them to.

If i would have given up and threw the towel in, i wouldn't be in the position i am now in.

When you are walking with God his promise to us is that " All things work together for good to those who LOVE GOD, to those who are called according to his purpose". (Romans 8:28) This is the promise the creator has made to His people, so even when it seems like our situation is out of control, always remember the promises of God. Let that be the lead of your life and what you live by. Know that God is for you, with you and He is in you.

As long as you are doing your part, things will always work out for you. It won't always be in ways you think but believe that His purpose is greater, bigger and better than ours.

" For I know the plans and thoughts that i have for you, says the Lord, plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)

Some advice i wish i would have received is to embrace every moment and appreciate the process. There are things to be learned and character traits to be developed in every season of your life. Your job is to learn and embrace every part of it before you are able to step into everything God has for you. Make the necessary changes in your life to get you closer to the call God has on your life. Change is not something that is easy to do but your future is depended on the decisions you make today.

See, i spent years complaining and wanting to be out of the season i was in. I was bitter and miserable because i felt like i should have been further along in my career than what i was. I was looking at my peers and comparing my journey to theirs and it literally made me feel less than as a person. The point is, i wasn't embracing my journey. I wasn't focusing on the things God was doing on the inside of me. I wasn't developing in my character, my walk with God, nor my relationships with people, which are important things to move on to the next season of your life.

Don't be so quick to complain.

Realize what season you're in and ask yourself what is the lesson that needs to be learned?What character traits need to be developed during this season of my life?

Most importantly, trust that God will get you to where you need to be!

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