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‘Lena in London 2012

‘Lena in London 2012

Editor’s Note: Clemson junior Marlena Wesh was gracious enough to author a blog on her experiences from the Olympic Games in London, England.  Wesh, who finished 19th overall representing Haiti in the 400 meters, scratched from the 200 meters.  This is her final blog entry. Yesterday was bittersweet. I don’t know if I should be upset or smiling. I woke up to another beautiful, sunny day. I had no expectations going into the semifinal except to do my best. I did a long warm up and made sure my body was ready. In the preliminary heats, coach told me I got out fairly slow, so I knew I needed to make sure my muscles were ready to explode out of the blocks.  They brought us into the call room and there wasn’t a nervous cell in my body. I kept repeating to myself, “You have nothing to lose.” I knew I was going to have the same setup I’ve had at the past two national championships, and I could do nothing but embrace that outside lane. Most people don’t understand what it’s like to run blind. There is no strategy, it’s just to run as fast as you can without letting anyone catch you because once they do, you will have to put in double the work to catch them back.  I was a lot more focused in the semifinal heat and maybe I should have relaxed and loosened up a bit, but once that gun went off I knew I was moving quick. I didn’t feel the Russian until the last 150 meters to go. That last 150 I really tried to keep my composure, but I was trying to find strength or an extra boost from somewhere, and that caused my form to break down and instead of moving, I wasn’t really moving at all. I did not finish the way I wanted, but when I look back, there was nothing I could have done differently from lane 9, especially when three of the women in my heat ran 49 seconds. The 400 is one of those races where lanes DO matter. I kept thinking to myself what I could have done if I had gotten lane 2 instead.  I think what hurt me the most is knowing that the last time that qualified in was 50.98, which was my goal time. It was definitely a learning experience. Bitter because of that, but sweet because in 2016 I will be more experienced and I will no longer be a collegiate having trained since September. My training will focus solely to be in that final.  At the end of the day, I honestly can’t complain. I came, I saw and I conquered, and now I have the experience and know what it’s going to take in 2016.  Another great advantage of being here is now the NCAA Championships will be just another track meet. Once you’re on a stage with close to a million people watching, you’ll laugh at the stages with close to a thousand.  In all, this was definitely the boost I needed. No national championship, ACC championship, or any other honor will ever accumulate to what it means to be an Olympian. I have so many doors open for me right now, and that is the most exciting part. I have so many people that look up to me now and admire me.  I could have tried to run for the United States and came home with a gold medal from being in the relay pool, but to be here individually where people know your name and don’t distinguish you from the leg you ran, is amazing. I don’t regret my choice to run for Haiti. My parents’ country has seen nothing but upsets, and they are really down with hope. I have brought hope back to them and inspired little girls to believe in themselves. I know I have changed Haiti today, and that’s what I plan to continue to do.   I will tell my story of how last year I was rock bottom, and today I am an Olympic semifinalist. God didn’t get me through to the final only because he has something bigger in store. I cannot wait to see what my senior year has in store for me, and I’m hoping it tops this one (which I doubt it can)! I want to thank everyone for following me through my eyes of my blogs. I hope that my words have inspired at least one person to never give up and to keep running towards their goals!

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