A few months ago we published a blog on San Diego State University's first official adaptive track athlete Michelle Cross. We were recently able to reconnect with Michelle to get updates on her first year and continue following her journey as a student-athlete at SDSU! Hope you enjoy reading about her story as much as we did putting it together. Go Michelle!
I have finished my first year of college [about a month ago] and I could not imagine what it had been like to not be a part of the San Diego State campus. I have made some wonderful friends and I love the environment that San Diego brings to its students. Of course, being an athlete I did not have a lot of down time and was either studying or running. I had most of my nights getting 5-6 hours of sleep, but that comes with the territory of living in a college dorm. Being an athlete, I had to manage my time very carefully. I studied a lot, but I also had to make time for my friends. Although college brought a lot of stressful nights, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I found some really great friends to live with and I already cannot wait for the start of my sophomore year.
Currently, I just finished my 3rd meet at Desert Challenge at Arizona State University. I received both 1st places medals in my age group for the 100 and 200. I received a PR in 100. I went from a 15.49 to a 15.40, which isn’t much, but I am glad to say that from all of the hardworking I put into this year I was to get a PR in at least one of my races. I have at least 4-5 more meets in the months of June and July and then all I have to wait is to hear if I have been selected again for the Junior Worlds team and even maybe a different team for the Pan American games or the Worlds Team. To be a part of San Diego State and getting to run as an Adaptive Athlete is such an amazing feeling. I love being able to continue to do the sport I love while attending an amazing college. I love the atmosphere Adaptive Athletics brings onto the track and I love the style of running it brings to me and future athletes. I am glad I get to be a part of a program where I can be a potential model for other disabled athletes who are unsure about what path to take in their athletic or academic career.
This program has made me grown tremendously over this past year. This program has made me more confident in my ability to use my right side. My training through this entire year, I have been able to gain a lot more muscle in both my left side and my right side. This program has helped me see that I can do all things that comes my way both athletically and academically if I look at it the right way and if I am able to believe in myself. I am a lot more confident in trying new skills and not to be afraid of tough challenges.
I have received so much support. This program has given me an academic and peer mentor. My peer mentor was named Emily and and she was always there for me to see how I was doing outside of school. We would catch up on social activities I maybe participated and she was always there if I wanted my mind to be away from school or running. My academic mentor was named Ryan and he would help me with class schedule and had advice on which class and which professor would be a better option. This program also has a personal chiropractor. Once a week I would go see a doctor to have my back adjusted. This was very helpful when I was very stressful during midterm and finals week. My doctor also gave me tips that would help me in my ankle mobility which would help me out on the track. We also had an intern this semester named Hannah. Hannah is a senior at San Diego and she helps us with anything that was hard for both me and my coach. Because she is a kinesiology major she would give us her feedback about the way my body moved a certain way when I ran and she would even write a couple of weight room training workouts. She is fairly new to the Paralympic sport and this was a good experience for her to learn about all the sports and different disabilities. She was also my very good friend and I will miss her dearly next year. I also have received some financial support as well. Through the program and the SASC program on campus I may be able to have my full tuition paid for as well as housing, books, transportation, and parking permits.
I recently attended the Hollister Annual Sales Conference. Hollister has provided for the SDSU program financially which has helped with equipment and other necessities for the program. I love that this company was so willing to trust in our program and being a part our growth. This company was very generous to us and it also made me realize that there may be other companies willing to support our program.
Congratulations Michelle on an amazing freshman year! We are excited to see what next year has in-store for you!