The Importance of Supportive People, by Annika Ermold

L-R: Ashlyn Giles, Annika, AJ Bailor, Brady Mider

Hello everyone, I wanted to write about the importance of having supportive peers. There have been three people this past year that have changed how I approach my training and how I am as a person in general: Ashlyn Giles, AJ Bailor, and Rachel Fatherly.

Ashlyn has been such a great person towards me. Even though I have been training with her for a couple years now, we have really gotten closer over this past year and she has motivated me in so many ways and has always been there for me. Seeing all that she has accomplished this year has really pushed me to keep working hard so that I can achieve my goals as well for senior year. She pushes me in practice and in the weight room, and at meets always supports me. Even outside of training she has helped me through so much and I always have a great time when I am with her. She is such a great person to be around, and I cannot wait to see how she does at Wake Forest and in her future endeavors.

AJ has always been there for me and is my number one training partner. I started training with him a little over a year ago, and he has been there for me through a lot as well. While practicing he also motivates me to be the best and in the weight room constantly supports me and will do anything to be there for me. Outside of practice he is one of the nicest people I have ever met, and will always check in on me to make sure I am doing great. He especially helped me a lot throughout this track season, and I probably would not have done as well this year if it was not for his support. I am very happy to have him as a friend, and I cannot wait to see how his college career goes at Monmouth.

Rachel is someone that I train with on a daily basis, and she is a post-collegiate thrower. Ever since I started training at Garage Strength she has inspired me in so many ways, especially with being a pro athlete. Last year she tore her Achilles and her career was in jeopardy. She worked so hard throughout rehab to come back from her injury, and that left me in such awe. At a meet a few weeks ago, she ended up qualifying for the Olympic Trials and I was amazed that I got to see her qualify for such a high-level event in person. Seeing how hard she works everyday also motivates me to want to be the best, and I am happy to have someone like her as one of my training partners. She has taught me to never give up, and to always keep pushing because the grass is always greener on the other side.

I think it is very important to have supportive training peers. Not only can they help with all of the aspects of training, but they can help with life situations and motivate you to keep pushing on.

Having supportive people surround you on a daily basis not only makes life enjoyable, but also gives you a purpose, makes one feel welcome.