Now it is not about making a team for me anymore, it’s about being competitive on the World stage. I don’t just want to make the National team, I want to be focused, confident and be at my best.
Audrey Jean-Baptiste is a Canadian 400 meter sprinter. She was born in Montreal, the only French speaking province in Canada. Audrey is a Tulsa Alumni. Her accomplishments include competing at the 2014 Common Wealth Games, 2015 World Relays, 2015 Pan-American Games and 2015 World Championships! She also set Tulsa’s 400 meter school records in both Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field and she is a 2015 NCAA National Indoor Second Team All-American. Needless to say, she has had an amazing year!
What’s your story?
Audrey: I moved to the U.S. for college and to run track and field at the University of Tulsa. It was a really hard adjustment for me but my parents helped me a lot. The first two years, I didn’t like being at Tulsa and that would translate into my attitude at practice and track performance. I wasn’t flourishing the way I should have because I didn’t like the environment. I was getting a little better but not reaching my full potential. After my sophomore year, my coach and I had a meeting and he told me if I wasn’t happy at Tulsa, I could go home. I thought about it all summer long and I realized when I was younger my dream was always to be an NCAA athlete and I was actually living my dream but I wasn’t enjoying it. So when I came back the following year, I had a completely different mentality. I started enjoying the process and doing the little things to make it work. I saw a lot of improvement my Junior and Senior year, just from changing my attitude! I made my first National team my Junior year (the common wealth games) and when I went back to school, I was determined to make more National teams and that was my motivation for whole year. I went on to make 3 National teams my Senior year.
So, naturally after I was done with college, I wanted to pursue my dream of running professionally. When I was younger, I would watch the Olympics on T.V. and tell my mom that is want I wanted to do with my life. At first my plan was to stay with my college coach but after this summer of competing on the World level and being surrounded by Track and Field superstars, I changed my mind. I decided to come to Altis instead because I realized I needed to be surrounded by professional athletes and I wanted to be apart of a group and have training partners that are chasing the same goals as me.
I told myself that’s why were work so hard… for these moments; when you walk into a stadium full of people and you are about to show your abilities!
How was your 2015 World Championships, 2015 Pan-American Games and 2015 World Relays experience?
Audrey: When I went to World Relays it was the first time I felt confident on the World stage. At the 2014 Common Wealth Games, I was a baby and I was scared. At World Relays, I was coming off a really great indoor season, I was feeling really good, and it was my first big meet outdoors. I was selected to run anchor and I just loved it! It was also held in the Bahamas so that made it even better! It was an amazing experience and it’s a team that I want to make again in the future.
The 2015 Pan-American Games was one of the most fun teams that I made because it was at home in Toronto. My family and friends were able to see me on the big stage and the crowd was just amazing. When you are training and competing in the U.S. and you get to compete at home it’s just the best and being with my Canadian teammates was a lot of fun!
For the 2015 World Championships, I went to a training camp in South Korea for 10 days before the meet. It was my first time ever being in Asia, it was very different for me and there was never a dull moment trying to communicate with Koreans. When I was in Beijing, we were treated like superstars and the volunteers were amazing and helpful. The stadium was the most amazing stadium, I have ever seen! When I was running the open 400, I was in lane 9. On the backstretch, I remember the triple jump was going on so everyone was clapping and I told myself that they were clapping for me and that kept me going. Before the 4×4, they took us in a little car and they drove us around the stadium for the entrance. The crowd was so great and welcoming, I felt like a superstar. It gave me the boost that I needed to run fast and really, I was just running on adrenaline. I told myself that’s why were work so hard… for these moments; when you walk into a stadium full of people and you are about to show your abilities!
How is your training going so far?
Audrey: It is a little challenging for me because it is not the kind of base training that I am use to doing. At Altis, they focus a lot on drills and technique. So I am focusing on the little details. I have realized there are a lot of mistakes I was making in my running style that I wasn’t aware that I was making. So for this part of the year, I am focused on correcting these little details, working on my technique, and listening to my coach. I am already seeing that my running is more efficient so I think that I am going in a good direction. I know that I am in good hands and the rest will take care of itself.
What is your mindset going into the Olympic year?
Audrey: Through my National Team experiences and being able to see how competitive, prepared, ready and focused elite athletes are at World competitions. Now it is not about making a team for me anymore, it’s about being competitive on the World stage. I don’t just want to make the National team, I want to be focused, confident and be at my best. I also want to do this for my parents, I want to make them proud.
Advice to Young Athletes?
Audrey: So, to young athletes I just want to tell them to follow your dream and your instinct. Believe in yourself because if you think you can do it that means you probably can do it! Other people are always going to see the negative side of things but if deep down inside you, you know that you are meant to be an Olympic Champion then trust that little voice and go after it! Because it happens.
Audrey: A good recipe for when you want to workout is to take the little positive things and build on that. Don’t focus on the bigger picture but start focusing on the smaller details. For example if you want to run 2 miles, don’t just focus on the 2 miles. Start with a quarter mile and take a little rest and keep doing that until you get to two miles. Then the next week try to go 2 quarter miles at a time until eventually you can run the full two miles. You just have to go gradually and take those little steps.
Continue to Follow Audrey’s Journey on her Twitter!!
Thank you for Reading and Please check out Next Weeks Feature Friday with Nigerian 400 hurdler, Tameka Jameson!!
Thanks for reading!! Please feel free to like, comment, and share!
Want me to discuss a topic?? Let me know by commenting below!