Thursday, October 2, 2014

Friday, January 3, 2014

The answer to your question...

I happen to participate in an Olympic or nothing sport. Meaning that you hear about  bobsledding once every 4 years when the Olympic Games roll around and then nothing for 4 more years. Most people seem to think that the athletes just magically appear at that time and that the Olympic Games are the home of the one and only bobsled race of the year - and in a way, for the chosen few who make it, that's true. 

It’s now 2014. The long anticipated fourth year. Which means you have probably started to see commercials on TV, or advertisements on Coke cans, or at least heard about the Sochi Winter Olympic Games that are now just days away. This leaves everyone asking, “Will we be seeing you on our TV?!”

So to answer your question, No..... not directly, not yet anyways, not this February. 

Lets rewind back to the beginning of this season. It kicked off back in October with U.S. Bobsled Team trials. The races weren’t aired on prime-time television and we didn’t have thousands of fans cheering us on. We were simply ecstatic to have family, friends, and a handful of fans tuning in to watch a hazy live feed on the Team USA website. It may have seemed like one of those non-Olympic nothing moments to the rest of the world’s population, but to those of us living in that moment it seemed like everything. 

This year was my first Team Trails as a pilot and I was honored to compete! Being the newest driver on the team I went into the season ranked USA-9. You would think that being ranked top 10 in the nation is a good thing, but the truth is that it isn’t exactly an ideal position to be in - in fact it’s not even good enough to get a race spot on our international development race tour. Forget the Olympics, I just wanted to race with a USA speed-suit on this year. So I knew God had to show up and show out. 

He did.

Our first race was in Lake Placid, NY where I raced with Cherelle Garrett. Then I hopped in a car with teammates, Maureen Ajoku and Valerie Smith, and drove 39 straight hours to race number two in Park City, UT (where I raced with Maureen). At the conclusion of Team Trials the top 3 sleds were named to the National Team (which will more than likely go on to be the 2014 Olympic Team). I was named to USA-5. I got a race spot! Hallelujah! It’s not the 2014 Olympic Team but its definitely a step in the right direction for the future. Plus, finishing right behind 4 Olympians is pretty cool :) 

From there it was off to Calgary, Canada to start the North American Cup tour. The tour may appear like one of those nothing moments, after all it’s not the Olympics, but I can guarantee you one thing in life - you will never get your big something (whatever it is) if you don’t treat all the little nothings as if they are the big something. 

Anyways, the tour will finish off next weekend in Lake Placid, NY (after 3 tracks, 2 countries, and over 7,000 miles on the road). Then this February, I will watch. I will watch my training partners, teammates, and some of my dear friends compete for gold. I will watch the people I have shared blood, sweat, and tears with continue to lay everything they have on the line. I will cherish the memories of the little things I have done to help them get there and the big role they have played in my life. 

As for my future in this sport, God willing, the bobsled journey is far from over. God willing, the dream is still alive. I’m still trekking along the long road to South Korea in 2018.  It hasn’t always been glamorous, but its been very worth it so far. Funny thing is, Jesus preaches the same concept about life in general. Make whatever you do worth it.    

So if you are reading this, thank you! Thank you to everyone who has followed my journey and cheered me on along the way. I can’t promise you that you will ever see me bobsledding on your T.V., I can’t promise you that I will wave the American flag in the Opening Ceremony... but I can promise you that I will continue to work harder and harder and harder every single day in an attempt to make this 2018 dream a reality not only for me but also for you!  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Leaving a Legacy...

Allow me to introduce you to my friend, Faith. 

I first met Faith a few years ago when my sister, Bethany (then a student at Eternity Bible College in California) lived in the spare room of Faith's families home. Bethany basically became a member of their family. Since then, I have even made a few trips out to sunny Southern California and Faith's family has always kindly opened their doors to me (or even opened up a tent in the backyard so that Faith, my sister, and I could camp out). 

Even tough we live thousands of miles apart, rarely see each other, and are over 20 years apart in age - Faith is an encouragement to me. I like to live vicariously through the little Southern California surfer girl and her brother (I really wish I was a legit surfer like Faith and wish that I had the natural athletic ability of, Christian, her brother). I am most encouraged by the fact that Faith and Christian are living proof that Godly kids still exist in this world. The background picture on my cell phone is even a note written by Faith that says, "Here is what I am commanding you to do. Be strong and brave. Do not be terrified. Do not loose hope. I am the Lord your God. I will be with you where ever you go." I read that note on a daily basis especially before every trip down a bobsled track! 

Faith recently decided (all on her own) to put H52J II (for High Five to Jesus, the second) on the back of her soccer jersey in place of her name. For those of you who don't know, H52J is one of my favorite phrases and is even the website address for this blog. I was speechless. Not only is Faith an encouragement to me, but I am also an encouragement to her. Now when people ask what the name on her jersey means she has an opportunity to share the love of Christ with them! 

God calls us to leave a legacy with others. Not a legacy of ourselves, but the legacy of Jesus. I think my friendship with Faith is an example of that. I am not saying that I am in any way responsible for Faith's faith. She is being raised in a strong Christian home and her parents are doing an outstanding job of teaching her the truth. I am saying that Faith and I have a unique iron sharpens iron relationship (Proverbs 27:17).  

You see, we are called to encourage the younger generations to carry out the legacy of the message of Christ and by doing that we will be blessed with encouragement as well. The coolest part of this story is that it's not about me and it's not about Faith (despite the fact that we are both awesome). The point of this story is that every time Faith and I encourage each other, it points straight to Jesus.

Visiting the Bower Family a couple of weeks ago at Cornerstone Church!
(And holding up a picture of Bethany) 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

John 14:8...

First of all, my picture has no business being on the same webpage as several NFL studs and the band Third Day - but by the grace of God, it is. Why? All to support orphans in Haiti. If you are a fantasy football player check out this site so that your fantasy football world can turn into a reality of benefits for orphaned children in Haiti.

Click here to go to the Sudden Change Challenge 

Click here to see the supporters page

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How to Start a Movement...

"The best way to start a movement, if you really care, is to courageously follow and show others how to follow." 

Jesus said, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." (Matthew 4:19) 

Moral of the story =
Start a movement by courageously following Jesus! 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

and so it begins...

Physics proves that the faster a bobsled is at the start of a race, the faster it will be at the end of a race. The most important variable in determining a bobsled’s start speed is the pure horse power found in an athletes speed and strength. Therefore every year the U.S. Bobsled team holds Push Championships to determine exactly which individual athletes can accelerate a bobsled off the start block the fastest. This years U.S. Push Championships were held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada during the first week of August. 

The only Ice House in the world! 

I have now participated in three Push Championships, but this year was different. The 2013 Push Championships marked the beginning of an Olympic year. 

I remember sitting in our first team meeting up in Calgary. There were 22 exceptional athletes and 22 big dreams. I looked around and thought, “the next U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team will come out of this room”. I am so humbled and blessed to consider all of those women teammates and many of them good friends. 

Every year, we also have a combine testing event a few days prior to Push Championships. We test a few short sprints, broad jump, shot toss, power clean, and back squat. An athlete needs to obtain a pre-determined passing score to qualify for housing at the Olympic Training Centers and to be eligible to compete on the U.S. Team. It also serves as a good judge of an athletes current physical condition and shows if they have physically improved over the past year.  My combine went well. I surpassed my goal score and, by the grace of God, I ran way faster than I have ever ran before. 

It was then time to focus on Push Championships. Push Championships are not the end all be all, but they can make or break you. This one race gives the coaches a pretty good idea of who they want as brakemen on the National Team. I am technically a driver now, but I do not have the driving experience needed to compete on the World Cup stage (yet!!!). My best shot at the 2014 Olympics is in the back of a bobsled, so I just had to enter the  brakeman competition. I knew that if I did not, I would spend the rest of my life wondering, what if? 

I finished 10th (out of 15). More than likely that is not good enough for this years Olympic Team. Only 3 brakemen and 3 drivers will make the final team. (However, I serve a mighty big God. I finished 10th my first year and went on to compete on the World Cup team. You can read that blog by clicking here). Lets just see who beat me: 

2013 U.S. Women Brakemen Results
  1. One of the top 2 brakemen in the WORLD.
  2. One of the top 2 brakemen in the WORLD (2013 World Championship Silver Medal).  
  3. Olympic Silver Medalist (Track & Field, 2004) in 100m Dash. 100m P.R.= 10.88. 
  4. Olympic Brakeman (2010 - 5th place). 
  5. World Indoor Champion (Track & Field) in 60m Hurdles and American Record Holder. 
  6. 2013 World Cup Brakeman. (100m P.R. = 11.3). 
  7. 2011 World Cup Brakeman. 
  8. Track & Field Olympic Trials participant in triple jump. 
  9. 2013 World Cup Brakeman. 
  10. Yours truly, Brittany Reinbolt. 

Trying to put Olympic athletes out of a job is no easy business, people. At least my name is now on a very honorable list and I meet the requirements for the U.S. Team if anything crazy happens. 

The next day was the big show for me, the moment I spent all summer preparing for, the driver push competition. In order to survive much longer in this sport, I needed to prove that I can push with the best bobsled drivers in the world. I ended up finishing 4th (behind 3 of the worlds very best). I can’t say that my performance was incredibly amazing, but God is great and I feel that I can say - Mission Accomplished! The 2018 Olympic Dream is alive and well! 

On another note. It was so good to be re-united with my teammates while in Canada. You will be seeing some of these awesome people on your T.V. screen in just a few months! 

In front of the 1988 Winter Olympic Torch! 

Post combine car ride 

I had the privilege of competing against one of my
Track & Field heroes, Lauryn Williams! 

So whats next? We have two Team Trials races, down the bobsled tracks, during October in Lake Placid, NY and Park City, UT. At the conclusion of the final race the selection committee will meet and decide who will compete on the various teams.