“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” —Aristotle
By Brittni Hutton
My name is Brittni Hutton, and I want to be an Olympian. Wait, no. I will be an Olympian. Hmmm. Maybe that’s not the right place to start. Sorry, I’ve never done this blog thing before. Okay, how’s this: I’m Brittni Hutton, I’m 28-years old, I’m from Milford, Michigan, though currently living and training in Santa Barbara, California – and sometimes Mammoth Lakes, but you try running in, like, 10 feet of snow. Anyway, I’m Brittni, and my dream is to run the Marathon or the 10,000 meters (or both!) at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
You’ve never heard of me, right? You haven’t seen my name in the results column for women’s marathon or 10,000 meter races. That’s because I’ve never competed in a major marathon or 10,000-meter race. And I don’t have a qualifying marathon time yet, and in fact, I’ve only ever run one marathon in my life (which I’ll talk about later.) And, yes, you’re right, three years is a long time, anything could happen between now and then: injury, mental breakdown, an Olympic boycott like in 1980, the Zombie apocalypse, etc., etc., etc., I know, I know, I know. Still, I’m going to those Olympic games in Tokyo, Japan. (By the way, Tokyo is 5,396 miles away from Santa Barbara. A big ocean to cross. But I’ll cross it.)
So what makes me think I can go from where I’m at now (which you might think is nowhere) to beating out the best women runners in the country for one of three spots in each race (the marathon and/or the 10,000 meters)? Overcome odds that are even crueler than a college basketball player of making it to the NBA? Am I being naïve? Arrogant? Or maybe you think I’m just a fool. If so keep thinking it. Do me that favor. It’s one of the motivating forces that has driven me to get this far. The doubters and naysayers. They’re who power me to live a life where every moment of every day is in some way about getting to the Olympics. And I’ll get there, you’ll see, all 5,396 miles.
Getting there’s what this blog is all about, me chronicling my journey to Tokyo. I hope you come along for the ride. The ride of an underdog – at this point. I have a lot of different kinds of stories to tell, crisscrossing genres as I go. There’s the drama of the fresh-out-of-college runner who earns a contract with Adidas, but when she (me) suffers three stress fractures and loses the contract, becomes depressed, starts binge eating and drinking and… More on that later. Then out of that darkness, with almost no training, she runs her first marathon – and wins the sucker. (I averaged 5:50 miles the second half of the race. To qualify, I’ll have to average about 6:18 per mile to run 2:45:00.) I’m going to tell that story, for sure.
There’s the teenager, mean girls story about how back in high school, a bunch of girls (and guys) nicknamed me “the beast” which they didn’t intend as a compliment – and I didn’t take it that way. That’s about when my bouts with an eating disorder really kicked into gear. Like the movie, “Mean Girls,” it too has elements of drama and comedy.
There’s also some tragedy I’ll write about, a road trip story I can’t wait to tell, but a prominent genre I’m gonna hit hard is the love story. I’m engaged! His name’s Brandon and he actually has qualified for the Olympic trials in the marathon. But tragically, Brandon’s been in two freak accidents, and no exaggerating, almost died. He hasn’t been able to run now for a long time, but we’re hopeful. Anyway, our lives and our training, his heartbreaks, they’re ours, not just his, we are so intertwined, there’s no my story without his, and vice-versa. That means you’re getting a two-fer here. You’re welcome!
Also in this blog, I’m going to write about the ins and outs of my training. If you’re a runner or train in the gym, maybe you can try some of these workouts. They’re created by some of the best coaches in the business. I’ll also cover the races I’m going to compete in and tell you about the experts who are part of my team. I can’t wait to talk about them.
Then there are the darker matters. Some issues I’ve never even talked about with my family (sorry Mom and Dad.) Why would I bare my soul for people (you) I don’t even know? I think by now you know I’d do anything to get to Tokyo and maybe by writing about this stuff and trying to understand more about what makes me tick, I find some answers that help me get all 5,396 miles across the ocean. And who knows, maybe there’s someone out there struggling too who can relate to my issues and it helps get them where they want to go. Not to get too lofty here. Anyway, enough of that shit. Let’s hit the road. Stay tuned to ER for my next posting.