Guest Post by Karelle Edwards – On the Road to Rio

Hello!

My name is Karelle Edwards and I am a Canadian 100m hurdler training for the 2015 Pan American Games and 2015 World Championships. My ultimate goal is to represent Canada at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Everyone has a story and Sarah and John Zahab have given me the opportunity to share mine with you. I am thrilled to be a guest blogger!

My track career in a nutshell…At the age of 17, in my first year of hurdling, I competed for Canada at the World Youth Championships. In 2008, I was the Canadian Junior National Champion and a semi-finalist at the World Junior Championships. I was set to compete at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games when I suffered a back injury, a bulging disc that took me out of the sport for 3 years. My dream of being a student-athlete was crushed. I had to come home after two years at Syracuse University to get the medical care I needed. A doctor told me that I would probably never hurdle again and that I should consider picking up a new “hobby”! I admit to feeling down for a few days but refused to admit defeat. I used this bad news as a source of motivation and after a 3 year-absence from the track, I was a finalist at the 2012 Olympic Trials. In 2013, I represented Canada at the Francophone Games. Although I was back on the track, I had to modify my training to avoid unduly loading and compressing the spine. It is only now that I feel completely healthy and able to train full on! I am now “On the Road to Rio,” a dream I’ve had for many years.

The countdown to the 2016 Olympics has begun, and everything I do is aimed at turning my dream into reality. In order to reach my goal, I need to devote most of my time to training. I train several hours a day, six days a week and travel to meets on weekends. My schedule makes it impossible for me to work full-time. This is why I recently launched my On the Road to Rio fund-raising campaign. This campaign will enable me to remain focused on my training, receive the medical care I need to remain healthy and travel to national and international meets.

The support I’ve received to date from the community, friends and family has been absolutely amazing! I am so thankful to have people with me on my journey. It may take a village to raise a child but it takes a community to raise a champion!

To learn more about my journey, watch my video at http://makeachamp.com/karelle and visit my website at http://karelleedwards@wordpress.com.