Here’s a little story of how God put me in the right place, even when I had no idea it was happening.
In 2018, I moved up to Lake Placid following my first season of bobsled. I went from working 40+ hours a week and training to just training. I found myself with a lot of extra time that I was not used to. So, since I didn’t have a car In Lake Placid I would go on long walks. About 3/4 miles away from the Olympic Training Center where I lived is a Marriott Hotel. I got a wild hair one day and walked in to the Starbucks located in the lobby and asked if they needed any help. The guy behind the desk said, “yeah, actually we need a barista.”
I immediately started working 3-4 days a week at 6 a.m. I would walk (sometimes run because there was a black bear lurking nearby) at 5:30 a.m. to serve coffee. I fell in love with so many things about this situation. I loved my walk (especially when I knew Mr. Bear got taken back to the mountains.) I would either spend the whole walk praying or listening to ‘You Say’ by Lauren Daigle while watching the sunrise. Besides all my other prayers, I would pray over my situation, over my season, over my future on this morning walk. I also really enjoyed serving coffee. I loved the smell; I loved the process and I loved the people I met doing it. Now looking back, it is where I set my foundation for many things to come. (I only worked there for 3 months because then I made the 2018-2019 National Team and started season.)
The next season, I got a concussion and was out for the whole season. Before I even flew home from Lake Placid, I set up an interview with the Starbucks near my home in Omaha, Nebraska. I knew I was going to need to find something to do with my time because at that point I was only an athlete and not working, so when the athlete part got cut, I had nothing. I also needed benefits because once I was off the National Team, my benefits also got cut. I remember my mom telling me years ago Starbucks had amazing benefits for only part-time work, so I inquired.
During the interview, my now current boss said, “Hey, Starbucks has an Elite Athlete Program that I think you would qualify for.” I had no idea. That certainly was not the reason I came to work there. I emailed the person in charge and normally they require you to work at Starbucks for a year before you can apply but for some reason he said he would waive that for me and I could apply in June for the 2020-2021 program.
In August, I got the call that I was accepted! This was amazing news. I was ecstatic. Starting that October, I would be able to leave for bobsled and receive a stipend each month for a year, I got an entire athlete package filled with Starbucks Gear, and I got to keep my benefits.
Looking back now, I didn’t know when I was walking those early mornings in Lake Placid to serve coffee that one day it would lead to something pretty amazing. I also didn’t think anything good could come from that concussion. Without that concussion, I would not be a Starbucks Elite Athlete. It's like Jesus knows what He’s doing. It's like there has been a plan all along. Last year I left Lake Placid not knowing if I’d ever come back but trusted Jesus to take me down the path that was meant for me.
Currently, I just made the 2020-2021 National Team and have a pretty cool sponsor to help me along this journey. I couldn’t have dreamt this up. Thank You Jesus. And thank you all for the prayers and support! It means the world to me.
LET GO USA!