Almost every Black woman has been Sha’Carri Richardson, whether she’s willing to admit it or not.
Most of us learn very early and in very harsh ways that we have to be perfect to win.
That when you’re born with two “strikes” you don’t hand anyone a gift-wrapped third.
Especially when you’ve been raised and trained to be #ThatGirl.
As disappointing as this is for her, learning you can’t always out run certain choices is also part of growing up.
So is learning that often our only competition and the realest threat to our success is no one but ourselves.
So is learning the hurdles are always higher for us.
So is learning sometimes life will break your heart to see how you respond.
Especially when you are #ThatGirl.
So I’m not judging her.
Not for this, or for her nails, her lashes, or her hair.
None of those things kept her from literally smoking everyone else.
Do you know how hard it can be to propel yourself forward when obstacles real and invisible tell you to stop?
To perform at your very best with all eyes on you, dissecting your skin, your face, your hair, your stride, your name, your voice?
Looking for any reason to name why you don’t belong?
Or making up a reason, when none appears?
On top of surviving your biological mother’s death and a pandemic?
Many of us have failed in settings we thought we were ready to succeed in because we had habits, associations, baggage or beliefs, or made choices that eventually disqualified us.
Or maybe how we learned to cope with vaulting ourselves over and beyond racism, sexism, perfectionism, grief, pain, pressure, trauma, doubt, disappointment, stress, heartbreak, fear or anxiety held us back, slowed us down, triggered us or tripped us up.
Still think Naomi Osaka should force herself to do press conferences?
It happens to the best of us.
It happens to all of us.
The only thing that matters is how you recover.
That you get back in your race,
And run it.