Yeehaw Omaha!

Today I received an exciting and unexpected email that read:

“You’ve Qualified For Nationals”

from USA Triathlon…

What? Me? Nationals? I was honestly really confused.  My heart was racing because, I mean what else could You’ve Qualified For Nationals mean? I kept reading the email…

“Congratulations Jessica Stansfield! You have qualified for the Olympic-Distance race at the 2017 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships on Aug. 12th in Omaha, Nebraska…”

okay. let that sink in.

I got excited, told my parents, researched the event, read the details… and it slowly became reality.. I AM GOING TO OMAHA!

NOW, qualifying after only competing in two triathlons was super exciting, but this qualification meant more to me than just that…

Two years ago I made a goal to travel to all 50 states before I turned 25.  I had been to 45 at that point and thought that traveling to the last 5 in two years was important and do-able.  It was important to me that I saw what my own country had to offer before I left to travel abroad. {Yes I have been to other countries, Yes that is why I made this goal, and Yes that is another story for another day}  I feel that people often over look the beauty that’s in their own backyard and always want to travel far to “exotic” places.  Yes, I do to, but the United States has SO MUCH to offer that people from other countries are dying to see as well.  Someone from California might be dying to go snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, but I bet you someone from Australia is dying to see the Grand Canyon. Neither is better than the other; they are both extremely different.  I just wish people would appreciate where they are as well as where they wanna go.  It is important to me to spend time in the country I was born and raised and explore its land as best I can.

And that leads me to the connection…

In June I am going to Oregon, Washington, and Alaska; which are three of the five states I still need to explore.  After that, my last two states will be Kansas and Nebraska.  I have been thinking for the last few months how I am going to travel to those states before my 25th birthday, which is in October.  Should I go for the weekend in fall? Maybe I’ll go for my actual birthday? I didn’t want to just hop on a plane and try to explore Kansas and Nebraska in 3 days…

Until I got this email…

How Ironic is it that the triathlon Nationals are in a state that I have never been to and in a city that is only an hour and a half away from the last state that I have never been to.  Crushing two goals at one time. Blessed.

I can’t think of a better way to wrap up 50/50 then the Triathlon National Championship.  It’ll be a week I will never forget…


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