As I embark into these last eight or so weeks as a undergraduate here at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, I also am entering my last season as a Tar Heel. These last four years have sure been a ride I will remember for a life time. I've met great people, on and off the track, and all I can say I am truly grateful to have been blessed with this opportunity. At the ripe age of 17 I started talking to college coaches and looking for the best fit. I was lucky enough to be able to take a wonderful trip to NC to race at Nike Outdoor Nationals (now New Balance) and it all started with that one trip.
I signed my national letter of intent during early signing in 2006 and boy at one point I thought it was going to be hard to make a choice. I had two great schools I was choosing between; UNC and UO (Oregon). As I signed my next four years of my life over to UNC I felt like it was the best choice. To this day I feel the same way. I couldn't see myself running in any other color but my lovely Carolina Blue and being a part of a tradition that is like no other.
It's the end of the road now, as this weekend I compete in the first outdoor meet of the season. I will once again lace up my spikes and put on my Carolina Blue uniform and step on the line, ready to give it my all. This season means a lot to me, and not just because it's my last season as a Tar Heel but because I have a lot to prove and show for myself. When you become a Tar Heel you're not like anything else out there. People look at your uniform and see tradition and strength, that's what I love the most. You represent more than just yourself but also everyone that has passed through the program.
This weekend is more than just another race. It's my last 1500m in "the blues". It might seem crazy that I am running the 1500m but most people don't know that it's my second love out on the track. Even though I haven't run what I know I am capable of running, I love to run it regardless. I only run it once an outdoor season as my early strength work. It may not do much but I believe it does.
Regardless of what has happened in these four years, good or bad, I can say that I will walk away after my season is over representing something great, something meaningful and with my last goal reached. I have a great coach behind me that is pushing and pulling me in all different ways and I'm thankful. Can't wait to finish this journey with him and start my new one with him as well.
So as I get excited to be penciled down in the Tar Heel Alumni book, I hope all are you are getting excited about warm weather and the chance to do whatever you put your mind to. If your an athlete, casual jogger, fitness nut, or just someone that enjoys working out, go out and have fun. Remember you chose what you can do no one else has that control. Lets enjoy it together and live in the moment!
My name is Dominique Jackson and I am a Tar Heel!
Oh and side note: Watch the NCAA basketball tournament, my boys are in the big dance!!! GOOO HEEELS!!!