(This is a snip of what a great friend of mine wrote on my behalf. Thought this could be my first blog ever, haha. I know that's cheating, but it's my blog, and I do what I want, sometimes..)
I walk in faith everyday, whether on the track or in life, having the goal to make the podium in 2016 at the Olympic Games in Rio De Janiero. Having first competed on the international stage as a high school athlete at 2004 World Junior Championships in Grosseto, Italy, the stage was set for the passion I wanted to endure. Since then, I went on to qualifying for every World Championships since, including 2008 Beijing Olympic Games as well as the recent 2012 London Olympic Games. However, more than just going to compete, I am looking to be the main competitor in my current pursuit.
A true Denver native, I look to always be a respectable representation of not only myself, but of the community around me. Currently holding almost every Colorado sprint record, from high school, collegiate, and onto the professional ranks, I use those as a mark to attain for the young athletes I currently coach and mentor, having recently coached a high school girls team to their second state title! I was a five time All-American at the University of Colorado, where I not only excelled at athletics, but in academics, having graduated with Bachelor degrees in Neurophysiology, Economics, and Sociology. I continued on to begin my JurisDoctorate at the Colorado School of Law, which is now on hold in order to focus on my athletic pursuits.
While training for the 2012 Olympic Games, doctors discovered Arachnoid Tumors in my cerebral tissue, which caused a life-threatening medical condition called Hydrocephalus. In order to keep running and training, I opted out of cerebral shunts, and started experimental chemotherapy and radiation trials. The condition itself can cause slow or restricted movement and gait instability, enough to end my track career just from the symptoms alone. The treatment and condition are both life threatening but I persevered through it and grew tremendously in my faith.
On top of medical strife, I had to endure a very public and painful ending to a relationship that ended up in legal suits and humiliation, which is all cleared and placed in the past. It was in that time, paired with health problems, legal issues, family concerns, that I was forced to coach myself. While still competing, a handful of athletes from high school athletic directors, professional runners, and a Paralympic athlete contacted me to coach. It was then that I discovered a new passion to inspire, but knew I was neglecting my true potential over those few years. Even though they got a Bronze medal at 2014 USA Championships, set new American Records in Paralympic Championships, received Division 1 athletic scholarships, I knew I was limited in what I really wanted to give to them, because I was coaching myself.
So this year, I was granted a full acceptance to work with prestigious Olympic coaches at the World Athletics Center in Phoenix, AZ. From the new move, I hope to reach new heights in my professional career so that I will be able to open even more doors in order that I could do more for the individuals that I come in contact with.
I believe success is having motivated as many people as possible by simply doing what you’ve been blessed to do. Nothing can prevent me from succeeding in the future. Through these previous tough years of “struggling”, it has been a time of slowing myself down, and perfecting my faith and even my sight as to the path I should be taking for my life.
Do you have your own story of life you want to share? I want to hear
Jeremy Dodson is a Track & Field Olympian who struggles with the idea of perfection, hoping to break the barrier we place on ourselves so that genuine living can take place for everyone.