Run Gum CEO and 2x Olympian Nick Symmonds announces his last year competing as a professional track and field athlete.
By: Nick Symmonds
2016 has come to an end! The rollercoaster of highs and lows that the past year brought me was wilder than any other in my decade-long career as a professional runner. As I sit here looking back on 2016, I’m not sure whether to celebrate the fact that it happened or the fact that it’s finally over!
A year ago, I laced up my trainers as a two-time Olympian and the defending USA Champion at 800 meters, on course to make my third Olympic Team. My fitness was where it needed to be, I had the experience, I even had my Olympic qualifying time. I was 100% sure I would be competing in the Rio Olympic Games.
A fractured ankle, an injury that I incurred just days before the Olympic Trials, said otherwise. I was heartbroken, bordering on depressed. "I'm too old for this shit," my body and mind said.
I seriously contemplated retirement.
I advised my coach to drop me from the team, I encouraged him to go find a few younger half-milers to put his energy into. My spirit was broken and I decided to get on with my life. Though I wasn’t in Rio, I made the best of it and had a fantastic summer climbing mountains, spending time with my family, and growing my business: Run Gum.
I was answering that question that I’ve been asked thousands of times over the last decade, “So what will you do when you get done running?” And you know what? Life after running is good, really good!
Yet each day, I wondered… Is it still there?
I have made every single Olympic or World Team I have ever tried out for:
- Three world indoor teams
- Five world outdoor teams
- Two Olympic teams
Every single time I stepped foot on the track at a US Championship event, I made the team.
I still think, “What if, just one more time, I can get my legs to that starting line healthy. Can I make one last team?”
There are two ways to go out in the wonderful sport of Track & Field: on top or peeled off the track without a single step left in your legs. I’m hoping for both in 2017.
With that said, I would like to announce that 2017 will be my last year as a professional track & field athlete.
My BIG goal in 2017 is to do everything I can to earn my spot on Team USA to represent my country at the 2017 World Outdoor Championships.
I can’t promise it will go smoothly, I can’t promise that each race will be pretty, but I do promise to give everything I have in me for one more year.
Remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish! With that in mind, I have published my 2017 Plan here: 5 Key Steps To Achieving Any Goal + the #BuildThePath Worksheet
This brand new resource outlines how I use goal setting to build a path of key performance indicators that - if followed correctly - frequently leads to success. I hope you enjoy it.
See you at the track!
P.S. Special shout out to Coach Danny Mackey, Jesse Williams, and the entire Brooks Running staff. Thank you for believing in me even during the times I didn’t believe in myself. See you all in London!