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Guest Robyn Stevens - Experience assures us that ripples eventually smooth


Andrew

This is re posted.


Unknown Speaker

Every morning Larry and I dig into a form or idea that has caught our eye. Our hope is that our chat inspires you to never stop thinking and possibly challenges you in a new way. If you'd like to help support the show, please visit patreon.com slash reposted. Thank you for stopping by.


Andrew Keller

Robin Stevens is a race Walker that competes on the highest level currently at the 20,000k race walk and is currently training for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I said that right? They're still calling it 2020. Most recently went to the World Championships in Qatar to represent Team USA. And to get us started, I want to start with a quote from a piece that you wrote titled a shade of gold. And you said, each ripple beautiful, because experience assures and has shown us that ripples eventually smooth. I really like that. It's really well said, I think it's interesting. You stopped competing in 2014, but made a comeback. So like you've had an interesting journey. But like, what, what is that? What does that mean to you?


Unknown Speaker

Well, but when I wrote that, um, what I, what I mean is, there's a lot of challenges that are going to come in life. And I was just thinking, at that time when I wrote it, that was about two or three years ago, I had been going through some added challenges with the coaching experience. And I was imagining myself when I was a little girl and when I would try to skip rocks, and I would watch the ripples and and then I was trying to have empathy with the, the pond that I was imagining. And thinking, Well, I was skipping the rocks trying to create this beauty where the pond was probably surprised by it and it's causing this upheaval and maybe the fishes underneath are scurrying away. And because they don't know what just happened and and they look up and they just see these beautiful ripples, and then it smooths again, and everything's okay. And that's pretty much how I go through life is thinking that every challenge that I've had is for a reason and to find the beauty in that, because there's beauty in every challenge. There's advantages and strength building opportunities for every challenge. And so it's going to smooth and make sense. So by smoothing, it's going to make sense. And that's pretty much how my life has been my life journey and trajectory has been going, you know, there's no right path for everything, and you just go with it.


Larry

And that's in that same piece. You talk about a race that you're going to compete in and you say the race would become a full test of my intrinsic belief in my abilities. Is that how you approach races in that you're not necessarily going against other people that it's always about yourself more than it is competing against a person?


Unknown Speaker

Oh, definitely. Yeah, I'm that I'm always curious on what I what my best is. Everybody is capable of amazing things. And I'm curious what my ability is. So when I'm out there, and in any endeavor that I am, whether it's competing, a job endeavor project that I've taken on, I just want to see what the best I can do and, and navigate everything that I can like, what kind of skills can I develop? what what what's the best that I can do?


Andrew Keller

So Larry, and I have been following the Tokyo Olympics you've probably been following Well, you've been following it a lot more closely. Like what is it been like, like, we thought it was gonna be last year. Now it's this year without fans. And if there's another spike, it's gonna get called up all together, but like, what is what's going on from your perspective.


Unknown Speaker

So Japan is doing the best that they can to make sure that they're still gonna be able to host it and safely for everybody. Um, the, from my perspective, I'm just training as if, you know, everything's, I'm trusting that they're doing what they can everything, you know, control the controllables and I believe that everybody in Japan are trying to do everything they can to make sure everything's gonna be safe and for the athletes and everybody in that community over there, and I'm doing everything that I can. It's gonna be a little bit different. I'm a little nervous. I want to make sure I make the team first it's not confirmed until June 26. But getting on that plane, I'm hoping Nick Christie, my boyfriend's also Rhys Walker will be able to pull off making the team as well so that we can at least be on that plane together. And on that starting line, and I'm because usually my family meets up with me or every time we leave country, I'll race and then we'll spend a week traveling the country together so it's going to be a little bit different because this journey has been a long one started in 1990 1997 with my parents and I would love for them To be there, and unfortunately, they can't because they're not allowing spectators from out of country. So it's just trying to make the best, the best of you know what, what's there, and I'm just grateful for any opportunity that's available and whatever form that's safest for everyone.


Larry

So the journey for you has been long, your races are long to begin with, you're training for an Olympics, a worldwide pandemic happens. How does that change your perspective of training, and maybe just life?


Unknown Speaker

Not much has really, really changed as far as COVID


Larry

go just just in terms of like, you're you set the date when you think you're going to be in the Olympics, and it kind of gets pulled out from underneath you, then how do you recalibrate?


Unknown Speaker

It doesn't really feel like I'm recalibrating much, because I just feel like I'm constantly recalibrating, if that makes sense. I don't really do things in a sequential order, or, you know, like, I have my own plan. And I think that kind of fits with distance, athletics, and that I do what works for me, and whatever works for me within the context of what's working for everyone. I don't know, I mean, 2004 was my first Olympic trials, and I got injured and I had to recalibrate from there. I got an eating disorder and was injured and kind of had to just change my entire focus in life and walk away from training, walk away from sport entirely, I wasn't even watching sport, I was so busy in the office, go into the office and get used to that life. So that life was a little bit different when I'm used to being outdoors training for hours. And now I'm in an office for hours of standing on my feet for hours. And, you know, that was an exciting time. And then each time that I, you know, like I had to move around a lot. So I'm, you know, I went to Wisconsin, and then I'm back and I'm in San Jose, which is very different from Vacaville, which is where I grew up, and then, you know, like, I've been living a long time and to atrophy. So it's like, there's very different environments that I'm just constantly recalibrating to. Growing up my family, half of them live in, you know, most of them live in Utah, or Arizona or California. So we're constantly moving around my, my parents who drive us all over the United States, just camping and visiting family. So just in my head growing up, it was like, Okay, I don't like saying goodbye, or like moving on from something as a little kid. So I, every time I had to leave a loved one or place, I would just tell myself, Well, you know, every day is a new day, this is a new moment, and I'd recalibrate them. So that pretty much helped me through 2004. And then in 2014, March 8, I hit my head, got a minor concussion for four months. So I had migraines for four months. And that's what returned me to this. And I had no plans to return to athletics at all. I was doing commercial modeling and freelance work and enjoyed my work. And then working for a financial firm, enjoyed my my boss was amazing, mentored me there so I was pretty much, you know, focused on finishing my my CFP to become a financial planner, and I just didn't even just didn't even plan on returning to this and then but I started getting aches and pains and my I asked my doctor what I could do went into racewalking, still, up until 2016 trials, I was still thinking I'm just doing this for fitness and trials just happened to work out that I qualified for


Unknown Speaker

but


Unknown Speaker

but after that I got injured right before and I still want you I could have placed top three if I wasn't injured, but I got injured right before again, it was just like 2000 for like a month before trials again in 2016 a month before trial. So I was like, okay, in 2004 they kept me on the sidelines. 2016 I'm thinking okay, I'm getting older, I don't know how much time I have left and nobody does. So I'm just going to get an off a doctor's authorization and just race. I just want to race. So that was my goal and I just raced even though I was injured and finish that and then I decided I was talking to my boss, the financial firm Ron Peterson and he was like, you know, you should just finish out the tax season this year and then focus the next four years on 2020 and and I was like I don't know you know, like I really enjoyed doing this but I need financial security and stability and racewalkers don't make much but he's like but you have the talent and and you're not you know, like you can't just I was squeezing and training within an hour's lunch and then not taking lunch. You So I was just squeezing in an hour. So that means no warm up no cooldown, I'm not getting my stretching done. Sometimes if I couldn't fit it, fit it into lunch, I would do it at midnight. Just fitting it in, he's like, you know, you know that you're not giving your body that full benefit of what your potential is. So he's like, so just take some four years where you're just focusing entirely on this journey and finish it because you have you have an unfinished business. And I was like, Yeah, I feel like I do. And I, you know, I compare I, I just, I want to see my parents, I want my parents to see me finish the story. And I want to see myself finish this, because obviously, I feel like things happen for a reason. And it brought me back. And, you know, here I am on that. In 2016. I'm on that starting line. And I felt so strong. And the only thing keeping me back is this taped up calf. And I say that, that I owe it to my body. Because when I walked away, and when I came back, my oath was I'm going to be doing this for health entirely. And so I might as well just finish this, but finish it healthily and restored. So then I walked away from the office. And that's what I've been doing for the last five years now because of the delay with COVID. And yeah,


Unknown Speaker

that's a crazy journey. Well, before we get you out of here, I saw on your team USA profile that you own at least 53 wigs, can you?


Unknown Speaker

Yeah. So I'm not very good at doing my own hair. And before I returned to athletics, I was doing a lot of commercial modeling and working with photographers hairstyle, I love doing productions. I love any part of it. I new lighting all assists with lighting. If anyone needs a second photographer, I help with that. I love dresses, since I was a little girl, I've I've collected dress up items. And I like dressing up just how I feel or my mood or like my body is my canvas. And I'm just gonna, this is how I feel. So I would just do that. And in 2012 one of the photographers that worked for a company I was working for, went on my Facebook and notice an outfit I was wearing for a concert I went to I had gone to Anna Vici concert with my then boyfriend at the time. And anytime I go out I like to dress in the theme board or especially around that time, I was just like coming up with different themes to dress up as just on any random day. And so I decided to be the Dinah Katie. Um, so from Alison Wonderland, the Dinah cat, and I had put this together and had a white wig on. And she loved it. So she asked me to come to NASA Silent Night for live 105 It's a big concert series. And I would be there their model basically, that would the artists that would approach the other musicians, so they could feel comfortable for photographs and, and stuff like that, you know, so she's telling me this and I grew up my, my whole family is a big into music. And so I'm like, Yeah, I'd love to help. Um, so she wanted me to wear that outfit. So I wore that outfit. And you know, then she invited me to another event that she was doing, and she's like, dress up whatever you want. So I just, it was a lot of fun. But for all these events, I don't like to wear the same thing. So I would come up with different things. But I'm not going to wear the same way because then it's like wearing the same hairstyle. So I just started collecting for each event that I would work, I would just started collecting various wigs, just in case and then sometimes I would get a call so other because then through that I started working with other photographers, and they would just call me one of the benefits is I would be ready. So if they said, Oh, I have this event at 6pm would you be able to work all night or on this weekend? I'm like, Yeah, what's the theme? What's the you know? Because one of the years it was Elvis themed and you know, that was what BFD was was Elvis. Another one was hula or whatever, Hawaii. And so I'd ask them, well, what's the theme? Or what's the band about or if they didn't tell me I'd look it up. And then I would try to come up with an outfit for it. And but my hair was always a problem because of its last minute. I don't know how to do it, or I just finished a workout or I've just been in the office all day. And so I would just throw a wig on so that I could always style it a certain way. Like I had a beehive wig and I still have them, you know, they're at my dad's into atrophy. But


Andrew Keller

yeah, that's, uh, I like that approach. I should start doing that. Well, Robin. Robin, thank you so much for joining us today. We'll be cheering you on. Hopefully we will see you in Tokyo. If you want to follow her. She's on Instagram at Robin design art. UI in design manager for an AI manager for Larry and Robinson thanks for stopping by


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