Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dreams, Goals and Nike Women

I thought that today I would share an essay I wrote for Nike Women about 2 years ago when I was in the running to become their next Nike Field Reporter. I was looking back on what I had written today and noticed a few goals that I had reached and some that are yet to come. It is exciting to see that even though I did not become the next Nike Field Reporter, though I was close, I did manage to achieve some of the things that I mentioned in my essay. I ran my first marathon and have become an inspiration to women all over the world via my blog. It may not be to the same scope that the Nike job would have been, but the important thing is to see that I did not give up and I continue to follow my dreams every day. I hope you enjoy this essay and find some inspiration of your own. 

Nike Field Reporter Essay

Born to play, born to compete. Always striving to achieve more than before. From gymnastics, to volleyball, basketball, tennis and snowboarding, there isn’t a sport that I won’t give my all to win. Reaching higher, getting stronger and training true, as the Nike Field Reporter I will constantly strive to get to the heart of athletes and actors alike. What makes them tick, how do they view the world, and what is their greatest success? Success on the court, I’ve felt it, I’ve lived it and it is amazing, but after the exhilaration, once they’re at home at night, what then is their true success?

            I’m driven to succeed, driven to achieve and I can’t imagine a day where I don’t get out of the house and have a tennis match, weight train or go for a run. From a very young age I had a competitive edge and saw sports as an outlet for my boundless energy. I always want to be the best and throughout grade school I managed to achieve this. I loved gymnastics, track, dodge ball, and softball, anything that allowed me to compete. I worked hard to excel at these sports and would spend hours practicing everyday. It paid off in those early years with multiple “most improved player” awards. This ability to focus on a sport and succeed allowed me to focus on other areas of my life as well and I excelled at more than just sports. For me sports became more than just something I did, they became a part of who I am. Sports are more than just ways to fill time. Sports mold lives, stir passions, and evoke emotions only other athletes can empathize with.

When Roger Federer cries in the agony of defeat I feel his pain because I have been there. I know what defeat feels like, how it hurts, how it drives me to achieve more. When the world wrote Roger off as: too old, slipping, not able to keep up, he rewrote history; winning the French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back and then went on to win the Australian Open. He grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat and proved to the world that he’s not through yet. He won’t give up his passion and neither will I.

Giving up is not in my vocabulary. When I was in high school I was told it was unlikely I would make varsity, ever. By the end of that season I had improved so much I was a varsity swing player and by the following year was the starting center for my high school team. I trained, I practiced, I played, I failed, I succeeded. Success came after heartbreak. That success led to an exciting college basketball career in which I was named captain and MVP of my team. Success comes from the unlikeliest places. Success comes from within, no one is born successful, but they take what they are given and they become. I became a basketball player; I became an athlete.

Athletes rise to the occasion when it matters. In a clinch moment on the court with seconds remaining, a true athlete rises up. They do what needs to be done; they become a star. As an athlete I want to rise up, to become more, to reach higher, run farther, and become stronger. I will be a reporter who gives my all, who connects with athletes and movie stars, singers and little league players. I will share my passion with the sporting world. I want my passion to become your passion.

I want to train with top athletes, learn what drives them, challenge them and show the world not only what makes them great on the court, but what makes them great to their families, what passions they share with us, and what they do to relax. I want to show the passion athletes have when working with their charities and I want to experience them from the inside.

I want to run the women’s marathon with other women like myself. I will encourage women everywhere to push themselves to dream, achieve, and succeed. As the NFR my job is to connect with women, to inspire them to dream bigger and jump higher. I won’t rest until I have done everything in my power to ensure that women are being inspired through training, learning from athletes and keeping up-to-date on what is happening in the sports and entertainment world.

From Beaverton, to Sydney, to Beijing, women across the world are training to become stronger athletes and stronger people. And what better way to bring athletes together than to bring them to the Nike Women Website. A place created for women, updated by women, pertaining to topics women love and providing an excellent training program that can be performed anywhere and at anytime. Nike Women leads the charge for women, it inspires, it impresses and it is a one-stop shop, news and exercise center for women. I can’t imagine a better job than becoming the next NFR. Inspiring women to believe in themselves, believe in their athleticism and to gain inspiration from Nike athletes is a task I am ready to take on. From blogging, to training, interviews, and photo shoots. I am ready to become the face of and inspire others to do the same.

Because of sports I am who I am today. I was able to make good decisions and stick to them because of the discipline I learned participating in sports. I want to show women the freedom that sports bring to their lives. Set a goal, train for it, and believe. You will succeed. You will become the face of success, the face of athleticism. You can’t win every point or every game, but what you learn from your failures and use to succeed, that is what makes you a champion. Champions, you know where it’s happening, I’ll see you at

The movie I shot for this competition can be seen on my YouTube feed at the left of the home page of my blog. It is the first video, "Karen for Nike."