CHRISTIE GORDON Athlete

My name is Christie Gordon.  I grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  I have an awesome family, my mom and dad, two older brothers and a sister in law and a niece and a nephew!  I moved away after high school to attend the University of Idaho on a track scholarship, my event is the 100m hurdles.  I just recently moved back to Edmonton to continue my training up here.

1.What’s one goal you wish to accomplish within the next year & why? One of my goals in track for this upcoming year is to qualify for the 2014 Commonwealth games.  The Commonwealth games is one of the major competitions for countries still part of the Commonwealth, it would be a great accomplishment considering the talent in hurdling in Canada.  A goal I have in my life for the upcoming year is to use my free time more productively!  I feel that it can be an easy escape to watch TV, I’m not against sitting watching TV, but I do think I could make better decisions with my spare time; reading, photography, writing or phoning a friend to catch up.

2. Tell us about a difficult time in your life. How did you get through it & what advice would you give to someone going through something similar? I decided to stay in Moscow, Idaho following my graduation, to focus on my training.  This was difficult in general because most of my good friends moved away after graduation.  I don’t really want to go into detail but the situation grew worse and worse and there were relationships I had to walk away from and quickly.  I was sad, lonely, hurt and I knew something needed to change.  I packed up all my belongings and moved to Seattle.  I loved Seattle but I felt like it wasn’t far enough away from Moscow and it wasn’t my “spot.”  I decided again to pack up and move back home to Edmonton.  I got through this situation first with lots of prayer from myself and from others.  I closed doors that needed to be closed and allowed others to open.  This was not an easy or quick process by any means; it wasn’t until about this Christmas where I was able to talk about things without getting upset.  Since I can’t share the whole situation I will give some general advice I found helped.

First surround yourself with good people, people who love YOU, (not what you do, not what you have, not the things you can offer, nor where your headed) just you.  Second, Don’t be afraid to make big changes.  I packed up and moved twice.  I’m not saying that’s the solution to all problems but don’t be afraid to make changes, if it’s not the right change make another change.  But DO NOT stay stagnant.  The old saying goes “insanity: doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.”  Make changes.  Third, allow the process to happen.  Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling, if you’re sad be sad, if you’re mad be mad.  Allow yourself the time to work through things.  Now try not to let the feelings take over your life, but give yourself permission to feel.  There are lots more I could add but I’ll stop on what I feel was the most important to myself and that was prayer.  Realizing God loves me and is walking beside me is a very freeing feeling.  Even through the lonely times, I knew I was not alone; I could always talk to God.  Now on the other end I do feel grateful for the lessons I learned through this tough situation.  If you face the difficult times head on you really can learn a lot about yourself, others and life.

“I am naturally not a patient person.  Patience is something I have had to and continue to have to learn the hard way. “

3. Tell us about something you had to learn the hard way. PATIENCE.  I am naturally not a patient person.  Patience is something I have had and continue to have to learn the hard way.  The hardest area to maintain patience is in track and field.  I have progressed at a rather slow rate, I have been progressing but not as fast as I would like.  I want to run fast and I want to do it  yesterday.  It’s odd because track and field is a very patient sport. You work every day for changes you may not see for a year or so and those changes are fractions of a second.  For me it has been difficult especially in recent years being unsettled and moving around and watching others progress while I am seemingly standing still.  Patience is hard for me at the best of times let alone when I see others moving forward faster.  My coach has to constantly remind me to be patient it will come.  It will come.

4. What did you want to be when you “grow up”? How has that changed from what you’re doing today? How does it relate? When I was in grade six, I decided I wanted to go to the Olympics.  That has been my dream and my goal ever since that day.  Sixteen years later I am still working towards this goal.

5. Tell us about someone who has changed your life in ways you never expected. How have they changed your life? My good friend, teammate and once roommate KC Dahlgren is someone who has changed my life.  Knowing her now it isn’t surprising but before I really knew her I don’t think either of us would have guessed we would be as close as we are.  We were both on the U of I track and field team and we had lockers beside each other for almost 3 years before we became friends.  We had different interests and friends.  Our friendship started after we both decided to stay in Moscow for the summer.  Watching KC’s life change as she lived out her Christian faith was amazing to watch.  She was bold and courageous.  She took steps in faith that weren’t welcomed by everyone.  KC always allowed me to be myself and to share my thoughts, however crazy they were.  We have deep spiritual conversations then the next minute we are dying laughing about something.  She supported me and stayed by my side during the most difficult times in my life.  She prays for me and challenges me to be better.  Looking back to our freshman year, I never would have guessed that we would be such close friends but I’m sure glad we are!!

“Success is a long, uphill, difficult road, but it is oh so enjoyable! “

6. You’re an incredible athlete, tell us about your road to success. What are your plans and what’s gotten you here? The road to success is never ending.  Success is a long, uphill, difficult road, but it is oh so enjoyable!  I am not the athlete where success has come easy or quickly.  I more fall into the “slow and steady wins the race” category.  I started running at an early age and quickly fell in love.  That love led me to a scholarship down to the University of Idaho.  The summer following graduation at Idaho I placed 4 at the Canadian National Championships and was chosen to represent Canada at the 2011 World University Games and the 2011 Pan American Games.  I lived and trained in Seattle for a year before deciding to move back to Edmonton.  Moving back has been great!  This past year I finished 3 at the National Championships and have been selected to represent Canada at the upcoming Francophone Games in Nice, France in September.  My plans are to continue to train here in Edmonton. Although I have larger goals I want to accomplish, they can only be accomplished through working hard day to day.  So without looking too far ahead, my plan is to just tackle every practice with passion and intensity and see where that leads.  There have been a number of things that have led to my success, none more so then a lot of hard work and dedication not only from me but from coaches, therapists, friends and my amazing family.  Without the support of these people I would not be doing what I love.

7. What’s been your biggest struggle athletically? How did you pull through it? I have been blessed with a career with very few injuries and nothing major, so that has made things a little smoother for sure.  But one thing I struggled with early on is that I am fairly small in stature, shorter than most hurdlers as well as just smaller.  At first it was a little intimidating showing up to the start line and seeing girls 5-6 inches taller and outweighing me by a good 25 pounds at least.  I was small and I acted small.  I knew something needed to change and I decided to really challenge myself in the weight room.  Not only have I excelled physically in the weight room but also mentally.  You really have to be confident in yourself and your abilities in the weight room.  I took that confidence and strength I gained from the weight room and took it out onto the track.

8. Tell us about something small that changed your life completely & why. Deciding to join the grade six running club at my elementary school seemed to be a pretty small insignificant decision at the time… something to do during lunch or after school.  Little did I know it would totally alter the course of my life.  I would be a completely different person and I would never have met the people I have in my life today.  I cannot imagine life without them.

“Find what you love & do it… Life really is too short to not go after your dreams.”

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