A week or so ago, I asked for blog ideas. I was asked about movies, ice cream and a little bit about my training. One question that came in a little late asked for something like “Of all the places you chose to go, why Texas? Why that coach?”
At the top of my list was Coach Tim Swords from Team Houston Weightlifting. My first experience with him, he helped us out in the warm up area of the Jr. World Championships of 2008. After I won my silver medal he have me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. I think he called me his “hero.” His athletes and I have competed on the same international teams and I always talked with Tim at meets where I would always get a hug and kiss. My old coach used to say, “You only like Tim because he kisses you.” Haha.
When I called Tim up. and explained my situation, he was really nice, understanding, and nonjudgmental about the whole thing. He said I was one of his favorite people, that I’m still his hero and he would love to work with me. I was sold at that point. The rest of our conversations were spent working out the kinks and giving training updates along the way until I could move out there. When I arrived, I half way expected to have to “present my case” to him showing him all my letters and lab results, etc. He never even brought it up. That lets me know he trusts me. At this point, I really need to feel that.
Tim is one of a handful of coaches in the USA who started athletes and took them all the way up to the World Championship level. He has had 46 combined youth, junior, and senior national champions, and has taken athletes to every level of competition you can think of with the exception of the Olympics but, he has had an Olympic alternate so, he was pretty stinkin’ close. I’ve seen the amazing things his athletes have done, I have seen him coach his athletes at meets and I felt strongly, that Tim was who I needed to be with.
So, after a couple months of saving and preparing to come, I got in my car, said “goodbye” to my old coach, my hammer coach, teammates, friends, and everything I worked hard for for the past three years for a new adventure that will hopefully put me on the Olympic podium in Rio 2016.