Some individuals go through life merely getting by, going through the motions with fleeting moments of excitemen.t Others know that success is only limited by their willingness to put in the effort, the habits they form, and their desire to move forward. Such is true for Hurricane High School senior, Alyssa Lambert. The Lady Tiger is fully aware of what she hopes to accomplish in life and is setting her own pace.
It is always interesting when you take the time to look back and reflect on life. You connect dots that you otherwise would not be able to. For Alyssa, those dots were growing up in a large family who spent a great deal of time together and who loved the outdoors. As the sixth of eight children in the Lambert family, Alyssa remembers her family out climbing, riding dirt bikes and hiking. “I really think that is where my love for track came into it. Climbing and hiking together is a lot of fun. Where we live is kind of in the middle of nowhere and so there is a lot of space. We are always outside doing things together,” shares Alyssa.
This love for the outdoors in matched by the closeness of the Lambert family. With five older siblings Alyssa also has built in examples and a host of supporters to help her commit to, achieve, and attain her goals. One goal in particular, says Alyssa, “I like science and engineering a lot and I want to go into bioengineering. One of my older brothers is a bioengineer right now, he graduated from the U and he is working in that field right not so I feel that I am following in his footsteps. It has been really helpful to have him doing that which helps my own interest and excitement.”
Alyssa is a sprinter. Like any other kind of athlete, a sprinter who lifts for that hurdle repeatedly during the race must have total body conditioning for strength, mobility and endurance to avoid injury. No stranger to hard work and dedication, she wakes up early and make sure she gets the proper workouts in every day. “I really listen to what our coaches have to say to help us improve, if I am going to do something,” says the Lady Tiger, “I am going to give it all I have. My main events are the 100m and 300m hurdles as well as the Medley or the 4×400.”
The old adage, how you start is how you finish, rings true in life and is vividly evident in sports. Concentration and focus when the excitement and adrenaline rush comes throughout one’s performance will either make or break you. How you respond is up to you.
“I remember my sophomore year I was in the 4×400, I was with Brianne Cahoon, Shania Hurst and Lacey Prince.” shares Alyssa. “We knew the times we needed to get to break our school record but I was the first leg of that race and it was a little scary for me. I didn’t want to false start. We had so much on the line and I didn’t want to ruin it for my teammates.” Alyssa continues, “We were in lane one, and I just kept thinking to myself that this would be my very last run for the season, and so I wanted to make it count. I remembered that our coaches would tell us that we need to run our race and not have anything left, so that is what I was planning on. I didn’t want to have anything left after I was done. It all went by so fast. Lacey had passes up a couple people and by the time Shania got it she had a really big kick at the end. When it was all over and we ended up wining it felt so good to know that all the hard work paid off for us.”
Contrast the excitement of winning, the emotion of standing upon the podium representing your team at a state championship one year, with disappointment and most every hurdlers nightmare, falling. This is exactly where Alyssa found herself one year later as a junior. Running at BYU a week before the state tournament Alyssa did what every athlete struggles to avoid. She overthought her race. “I was there in the block thinking about how my previous races were going. I had not been running them too well but I let them get to me and when I came out of the block and reached that first hurdle, I felt my foot hit it and I fell on the floor.”
Not wanting to be mentally outdone and cheat herself by giving up, the young junior at the time let her persistence shine through. “I got up and I finished my race,” states Alyssa. “It was definitely my most challenging moment. No one likes falling. But I knew then what I needed to adjust for state the next week. After the race I was happy that I finished. I realized that I couldn’t dwell on the negatives. Even though I was not feeling like I was going to do well I was overthinking things too much. I had a lot more in me than I realized at the time but let the negative thoughts get to me. Moving forward I have learned to control that better. One of the greatest life lessons track has taught me is that you may not always get the time you wanted, and things may not go as you expect; however, you must keep trying. Determination is far more powerful than anything else because eventually, you will succeed if you are determined.”
“What do you want out of it?” Reflecting on her high school experience thus far, Alyssa sees each experience as an opportunity to grow, to improve, and to become even better. “I have learned to ask myself the right questions like; ‘What’s my purpose? What’s my goal? For me, it is all about the habits I develop. If it means I get up a little earlier to get my run in before it gets too hot or pushing a little farther each time as I run, I know it will help me in the long run. If I do a little less every time it is not going to get me where I want. As I continue to push myself, I know it is going to help me in my life no matter what happens. I am building the right habits that will help me succeed because I will be able to put in the extra work, and effort.”
When asked what she has learned most from her time running with her fellow teammates, Alyssa confidently responds with wisdom and maturity rarely found. “Running has taught me dedication and persistence. When you feel like you can go no further, and you are too tired to do anymore, just take another step because ultimately, you can. My favorite thing about track is that each moment you step into the blocks, you get the same feelings: excitement, adrenaline, terror, fearless to push through. It never gets old. I love it! Although track may seem an individual sport, you cannot win without your team. It is essential to encourage teammates and show your dedication to them as well. When they see this, they will follow your lead. Each team member has a part and working together achieves greatness.” • HSSI