In February of 2017 I made my way to Glasgow, Scotland for the 33rd annual All Scotland Irish dancing Championships. Despite torn cartilage in my hip socket, a misaligned knee cap, and a bad case of the flu, I managed to overcome my obstacles and receive 8th place out of 76 of some of the best dancers in the world.
In the days leading up to the competition I was extremely nervous. Not only was I in physical pain with my injuries, but I was still quite under the weather. However, after 15 years on the competitive circuit, I have learned how to compartmentalize my emotions and focus in on what is important in the moment. On the day of the competition I mentally convinced myself that I was not sick or injured in order to make it through my dances. As soon as I stepped off stage from my final performance, I instantly was overwhelmed with the pain in my knee and hip socket. It's as though my brain tricked my body into believing it was ok so that I could succeed in the moment I needed to. Mentally, it was one of the most difficult competitions for me to get through, but I'm so glad that I was able to persevere.
This photo very accurately depicts the way I felt after I had finished dancing, before I even knew my results. I was so proud of that I had made it this far, that I had qualified to compete at this competition, and that I had made it through my dances. In this moment the results didn't matter, I was simply proud of what I had already achieved.