Just some food for thought

THE BIG QUESTION

Post-Sochi the question I’ve been asked most by the media is, “What’s Next?” Is it bad that I want to yell I DONT KNOW, can I have some time to think about it? JEEZE LOUISE!

Coming down off the Olympic madness is no easy feat; actually it’s quite overwhelming. First of all, you don’t really come down off of it. You are being tugged at from many different directions. Saying NO has never been my strong point, and because Olympic Spirit is based heavily on amateurism few events offer compensation. As a result, my schedule is packed now thru June with the inevitable transition to being an income earning grown up put off for another 3 months. I am not complaining, as I haven’t come up with a clear plan of how to approach the next step anyway.

People think having options is something to envy but where do you start when the sky is the limit? It’s like being at a restaurant where everything on the menu sounds good. It’s a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless. I have some ideas but can never seem to sum them up in the one sentence I am granted for answering during interviews. Today’s blog is where I hash some of them out and hope that someone reading is willing to help me turn my thoughts into action.

Financial Planning and Literacy
Recently, I was struck with a passion to empower athletes with financial literacy and stability. I have completed the course work for Certified Financial Planning and will soon take the exam for CFP certification. My intent is to work with Olympians and other athletes while putting my Finance degree and my MBA to good use.

Help/Host an Olympian
The U.S. is one of the few countries that doesn’t support its athletes thru government funding. Being a part of Bobsled opened my eyes to the struggle of the majority of Olympic sports. I’d like to create a website where people can sign up to host an Olympian. Offering workout facilities, food and housing etc. help to reduce expenses.

Recycling National and Globally
It drives me nuts to throw a water bottle in the trash or see schools trash paper when there could be a recycling bin right next to it. It is too easy for us not to do this nationwide. Climate change is happening, which is a warning that action is necessary. Time is of the essence and I am willing to do the hands on work to be part of the solution.

Revitalize Detroit
I grew up in inner city Detroit ages 3-12. I remember a bustling and vibrant place where the hustle ruled as an entrepreneurial style. Detroit is in a place, where like Tinkerbell, it just needs some young people to believe; and not just say that you believe but clap because you believe. Action is what will revive that city. Young entrepreneurs should be heading there in droves and I plan on being one of them to go back and help my city.

Healthy Food Education
I have loved to cook since age 7. In 2011, God sent me a vegan chef who opened up the world of cooking in ways I had not imaged. My experiments led to the development of a 4-day raw food experience that has proved to be eye opening to those gracious enough to be my test dummies. I’d like to share this with people looking for ways to be healthy but have no idea where to start. This program is designed to be a kickstart showing the possibilities of healthy eating where so many focus on the obstacles.

Holy Ghost Party
As a Christian athlete, I have always wanted to find a way to reach out to youth and let them know that loving the Lord can be cool. I have had this idea for a “Holy Ghost Party” for quite a while but didn’t have the contacts to put things in the works. After attending “Winter Jam” recently and seeing a stadium packed with young adults at a Christian music concert, I know there is a need.

Ambassador for Clean Sport
I have always been a voice for clean sport. With Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED’s) so easily accessible, the importance of helping athletes and youth understand how to recognize various red flags and avoid distributors is huge. I want to encourage them to put their trust in good old fashioned food not supplements.

Track & Field Athletes Association (TFAA)
In an effort to leave the playground better than I found it, I have joined the board of TFAA. Over the course of the decade I competed professionally, I have seen the need and heard the complaints and I’m ready to help. The TFAA has partnered with the American Track League and I’m excited about the potential of a league that is prioritizing the athletes’ interests and allows them to have a stake that is relative to the value the athletes bring to any competition.

Bobsled Recruiting
7 months ago I stumbled upon a hidden gem in the sporting world, Bobsled. It’s a small sport that has its own humble culture. Not looking for fame or glory, sliding has hidden under the radar for too long. I am pretty sure that after Sochi, more Americans’ frame of reference spans beyond “Cool Runnings”. Now we just have to let people know how they can join us! http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Bobsled-Skeleton-Federation/Recruitment I will join my coach and teammates in spreading the word about how people can get involved.

Fluent in Spanish
Having lived in Miami for 12 years, it would seem this is an achievement I should have easily accomplished. My Spanglish is great but my Spanish, not so much. There are a plethora of words swimming around in my head but I have never reached the point of speaking confidently. I am too close to call it quits.

I know I can accomplish all these things but probably not all at once, especially since there will be other things that come up along the way. For example, getting married, procreating and all that jazz. Could I continue to compete? Yes, but I think I have put these things on hold for long enough. So you want to know what’s next?… A LOT!