After I changed my mentality, I became a new person.
Vanessa Jones is an American 400 meter runner and University of Southern California Alumni. She is a hard working, caring and enjoying life with tons of laughter. She is a 3x All-American and PAC 12 Champion in the 400 meter event. She ranks fourth on USC’s all-time list in the 400m event and has run on three of the top 10 Trojans’ 4x400m relay teams of all-time. She was also a high school stand out who was 4x Baseline League Champion and a 4x California State Finalist.
What’s your story?
Most of my life I have been participating in social activities from cheerleading to basketball to what I love to do now, God’s calling for me, track. I come from a football and track family so it was destined for me to run.
It feels like just yesterday, I was known as the fastest girl in elementary, middle and high school. But it was high school that uncovered a talent that I didn’t know I had. For my freshman year tryouts, we had to run a 300. I gave it all I had in my Jordan’s (that are basketball shoes! Not running shoes! lol). That moment my life changed. The coach looked me in the eye and said I can get you a scholarship to any college you want if you have faith and work hard. I didn’t know anything about track to that extent, so I just looked at him and nodded ok. Ever since then I knew the 400 was for me. I had a combination of endurance and speed. I received offers from a handful of schools but I chose USC because 8 of my mother’s family members attended and I wanted to continue our legacy.
I learned a lot from USC. I learned to “keep fighting on,” which is our saying. I never had an injury so hardships barely came may way besides my mentality and nutrition. For the longest I thought I couldn’t hang with the “big dogs”. I remember my coach always said if you think you can/can’t you’re right. It took me two years to have a stable mentality. After I changed my mentality, I became a new person. Even though I wanted to accomplish so much more at USC, I knew my time wasn’t over. After I graduated from USC, I heard about Altis and was interested in training with the organization. Now I am here ready to work for the upcoming Olympics.
No matter what’s going on always FIGHT ON!
What was your most monumental moment in Track and Field?
PAC 12 Championships Season 2015, winning the PAC 12 title in the 400 meter event was one of my happiest moments in track career. My race pattern was on point, my confidence was present, my practices were of quality and my family was there to cheer me on. That moment I knew that I was going to win, not only win but PR! When I looked at the clock and saw 51.50, I was filled with joy. I threw up the “Fight On” sign and I crossed the finished line. Symbolizing what it took to win. To simply fight on carried so much meaning. It meant no matter what’s going on to always FIGHT ON!
What is your mindset going into the Olympic year?
If I work hard, eat healthy, take care of my body, have faith and trust in the lord everything will fall into place. I’m using the Olympic year as motivation and a reminder to not quit because it will all be worth it when I make that team.
Everything and everyone has their own time and place to shine.
How is your training going so far?
Now that the observation cycles have ended, training is much more catered to my type of style of training.So it is going well and it is going to continue to go well. My training partners and coaches are making training that much more enjoyable. I love coming to practice to people with the same goals as I!
Advice to Young Athletes?
Patience. Everything and everyone has their own time and place to shine. Keep working at it and you’ll never be disappointed.
Cardio is your friend. From bicycle circuits, swimming, jogging literally anything that gets your heart rate up is the best. Do what you love and it will never feel like a workout. 🙂
Thanks for reading!! Please feel free to like, comment, and share!
Want me to discuss a topic?? Let me know by commenting below!