Once upon a time in a small town no one has ever heard of in the second half a state no one knew even had a second half, Jessica and I met. You can call it “destiny” if you want. Yeah, let’s call it that. We can be Destiny’s Children. We are bootylicious, after all.
So Jessica and I wrote these separately and put them together for you!
Here’s my version (Scharah)
I had applied to the OTC in Colorado Springs and the Olympic Education Center at Northern Michigan University. I was not accepted into the OTC (ignore the huge chip I had on my shoulder) and decided to give NMU a try and keep applying for a resident slot at the OTC.
The girl’s team at NMU at that time were Sage Burgener, Jessica Gallagher, Chelsea Kyle, and I. Then Robin Feuerman came into the mix after Chelsea left. Sage and Jess shared a room whilst first Chelsea then Robin and I shared a room. We ALL had. to. share. a. bathroom. NOT COOL. haha We did end up saving money on shampoo because we all used the same kind. So that was a bonus. (Blue Herbal Essences.) We had a small team and we did pretty much everything together. We ate, trained, slept, competed, and suffered together every, single, day.
I don’t know about Jessica but, I think NMU was some of the hardest training I have ever experienced. I think we died and came back several times during our stay. There was one week where we were just getting smashed into the ground and barely made it out alive. Well, we decided to celebrate surviving one week of Andy’s workouts by buying cake, candy, popcorn, soda, and anything else we could ever want that wasn’t cafeteria food and watch terrible zombie movies.
I was there only for a year before the OTC decided to accept me as a resident. During the time we were at NMU, we all had our spirit animals, teased Jessica relentlessly, studied together, and listened to the Mama Mia on an eternal loop. I hated this at first but, grew to love it. Dang you, Jessica!
My greatest pleasure was trying to find new and exciting ways to scare Jessica everyday. One time in our usual race to the bathroom between 4 girls, when we got home, I ran into my room and hid in hers. She opened the door and I scared the Scooby Doo out of her. She fell down crying on the floor. You think she’d be used to being scared by then but, I guess not. I got the silent treatment for two weeks but, we still wrote each other love notes on sheets of toilet paper. That was our bathroom’s only saving grace as we had all kinds of teen magazine clip outs of cheesy inspirational quotes and “hot” guys plastered all over the walls.
I swear Jessica’s greatest pleasure was to wake me up from my naps and yell, “Weightlifting!” and jump around the room much more motivated than I would have ever been. I hated it most of the time but now, I wish she were here to still do that for me.
Studying for anatomy was fun because it was hard to remember what we were learning so we would resort to just yelling the answers or making up cheers. It worked for the most part. What’s an osteon? COMPACT BONE!!!
I went off to the OTC for a year then moved back to Arizona and Jessica stayed for a year, fell off the face of the earth, went to Idaho and lifted on cardboard boxes while dodging raquet balls, then ended up at the OTC herself, then moved to California (probably because she misses living her life in a bikini) and in the midst of this we kept in touch, remained eachother’s #1 fan status, and I asked Jessica to write this blog with me.
I love Jessica because we say silly things to each other, laugh raucously with each other then get back into squatting 150 kgs. Playing games like “How many things can we touch until Andy looks?” She never has anything bad to say which evens out my pessimistic nature, she’s beautiful, and so strong! I better sleep with one eye open or she’s going to catch up to me. 😮
My version!!!!!!!!! (Jeshica)
When I got my call from Andy Tysz the resident coach of northern Michigan Olympic education training center I was already all set up at LSUS. I was about to graduate high school I wore my LSU shirt to college week and I was exited. Andy told me about the program and the full scholarship and all the amazing lifters he recruited for the next year including our very own, Sarah Robles. I decided rooming with my good friend sage Burgener and not paying for school would be a good idea so a month later I was off!
When I arrived to butt freaking Michigan (from Florida) I was in culture shock but so excited to train full time with a very enthusiastic coach and the best junior aged lifters in the country. I arrived to meet Andy at the dorms to show me my room and get me settled in. He explained how the resident program worked our rules, our room situation and of course gave me my key and cafe card. He said sage and I would share a room and the bathroom would then connect to another suite where Chelsea (a resident from the year before) and another new recruit (Sarah) would live. Andy told me Sarah had arrived just before me and as soon as I get settled in I should go introduce myself.
With that, he left me to my unpacking and adjusting to my new life. First things first! I thought, “nap time!” I went from a tropical paradise to “Alaska” in a sense and I was beat. So I laid on my ugly weird sheets with Olympic Rings on my mattress and dreamt about gold. As soon as I started drifting off in true Sarah fashion she barged into my room without a word and said, “Hi I’m Sarah. Lets be best friends” I of course Facebook stalked her before this moment so I knew she threw track or something, and that she was fairly new to the sport and was a super heavyweight lifter. What I didn’t know from her Facebook page was how annoyingly talkative and loud she could be. I instantly loved her.
Weird like me. -check Laughs alot. -check Social. -check Good training partner. -to be determined seemed to be a check Nice.- check Down to earth.- double check
It was a good start. Slowly over the first week, our new team began to move in. We all got along at first. Went bowling together, went to the lake together, ate everything and anything together, trained twice a day together, went to sports med together, ice bathed together, got terribly hard and painful deep tissue massages together, we all even died during workouts together. It was great. I’d sing annoyingly catchy songs everyone hated but grew to love and was everyone’s alarm clock yelling “weightlifting!!” “Time to train!!”
Even though us girls became sisters who loved to hate on each other and bicker and tease and fight we all had each others backs. To this day we are sisters and always will be.
Jessica and I are now living happily ever after. The end.