Rolling Out

At 25 years old, Twanisha Terry shows her dominance as a track and field star

Twanisha ‘TeeTee’ Terry is competing at a high level

Professional track and field star Twanisha “TeeTee” Terry is only 25. Still, she’s won two world championships and continues to show dominance in the sport. What started as a thing to do with friends and bond together turned into something competitive that Terry loves to do and is doing at a high level.

Terry spoke with rolling out about her beginnings in track and field and advice she gives to aspiring athletes who want to get into the sport.

When did you know you wanted to be a part of track and field?

I actually started track back in 2009. Usually, there’s a recreation track, which is like the Junior Olympics, and park teams are training and running. One day, [I] was walking home from school with [friends and family]. We saw a group training at Goulds Park, and I was like, “We’re gonna go try out one day. We went to try out. I made it to the Junior Olympics my first year [in] Greensboro, North Carolina, and I was a part of the 4×1 relay. We set a national record for our 4×1 that year, and the rest is history. I just kept going back every year.

Did you ever envision that you’d be doing it at this high level when you started?

It [wasn’t actually] something that I always dreamed of because I went out there, and I was just having fun with it. Then, as you progress through each level of the sport, it gets [more] serious. I didn’t [know] the seriousness of track until I got to high school and realized that I could go to college with my tuition and everything paid for free if I did what I needed to do on the track. I [watched] a lot of the Olympics, like the 2012 Olympics. It wasn’t until then that I knew I could become a professional runner, but I [hadn’t thought] about it when I first started. When I first started, I was worried about traveling, having fun with my friends, and being able to compete with them.

What advice would you give to aspiring track and field stars?

I would tell that person to [be] all in when they go out there to try, especially if you start in the later levels. [Some] people don’t start track until high school, which is, I wouldn’t say it’s late, but most people in track are usually starting from an early age. But starting in high school is never too late. [Some] people start in high school and are phenomenal in a sport. I would say just make sure your mind is all in it when you want to start because track is a lot mentally.

Track is [mostly] mental; [your physicality is] only a small percentage of what you’re able to do because you can train and have the best workouts and practice every day, and once you get to the meet, if you don’t have your mental right or anything, you’re already defeated before you step on a track. Make sure you figure out which event is best for you, not what event someone else might do. At the same time, someone else may give you a good recommendation on doing certain events. [Still], you have [get a feel for it] to know whether or not you want to do it because track isn’t just something [you could just] hop in.

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