Abby Weening – Track and Field Training Success
2:58 Discovery of LPS
5:24 Culture Experience at LPS
7:03 Journey of Sacrifices
8:19 Performance Improvement
8:37 Define DOMINATE
I’m Abby Weening. I go to school at George Mason University. It’s in Virginia and I do track and field. I have a family of six with my parents and I have four siblings. A younger brother and a younger sister and then an older sister. We’ve grown up and we’ve all been super close. I also come from a really big extended family.
There’s 90 of us now growing up. I was very outdoorsy and sporty athletic. I always loved doing physical activity. The first sport I did, not in school, was mountain biking. That was something my dad, my brother and I picked up. My dad did mountain biking, and then my brother and I used to go to his races.
So then, my dad started taking me and him mountain biking, and we started mountain bike racing. Always outside. I’d love to go to the park, throw baseball with my dad, throw football with my dad, or my sisters. There’s always a lot of outdoorsy stuff, our family’s big on hiking, we go hiking a lot.
That was really nice because it was just a lot of father-daughter bonding I got with my dad. My dad is probably one of the most active people when it comes to my athletic career. Like I said, it was mountain biking was the first, my dad mountain biked for a long time and that’s when I picked up on it.
So he’s still mountain bikes. My brother’s still mountain bikes. My dad has been mountain biking for a really long time. So he does that, he goes to the gym. He’s the one that, if we’re on a camping trip, or we’re at my grandparents house, they’ll be like, who wants to throw a football?
Who wants to throw a baseball? He likes to do that kind of stuff, so I definitely say my dad is one of the most active people when it comes to my athletic career, because, he’s the one that I feel like got me into that kind of stuff. The other sports I did was basketball and volleyball just in school.
And then track and field now. I started doing track, club track, in 9th grade. My sister, she was in high school before I was, so there was a coach, my track coach from home. He had been wanting her to come out and train with him, but she was always too scared. So then once I got into high school, she was fine to go, then we both went together.
His name was Joe Dennis. Then we both trained with him. He always starts everyone else out with hurdles and sprints. Then I guess he saw potential in me for more than that so he looked into the heptathlon for me and then I did one and I trained for it and I ended up doing it and that’s what I continued to do.
I specialized in track in high school. I continued playing volleyball and basketball in high school but then I knew when I was going to be going to college I was gonna choose one and I chose track. My home coach, that was the only sport I did outside of school. So that was when I did.
And then the current coach I have right now down at school, he was at a Canada track, a track meet in Toronto at U of T. And he was at that meet for some reason with an American athlete and he saw me compete. And then after the meet, he came and talked to me and my coach and then that’s what made me go to George Mason and continue track at college.
One of my competitors that I know just from doing track outside of high school, Her name’s Izzy Goudros. My mom and her dad would talk sometimes, like at track meets and I’d talk to her and I guess my mom heard of LPS through her dad. I believe this is correct because I’m pretty sure it’s through Izzy that I know of LPS.
And then my mom looked up LPS and Been booked in. She was like, oh, you know what? We should check this out because obviously Izzy’s good at what she does. So she’s doing that good lifting LPS. Might as well give it a shot and I’m pretty sure it was through a competitor Izzy that let me know about LPS. So this is my second offseason training here, but my first season was two summers ago I didn’t come back to LPS last year But the year before that was my first year.
And when I first came in, I was really, really scared. I, just a different lifting environment, which I’ve learned to know now that it’s great. I love the lifting environment in here and all the coaches and everyone that’s in here is great. So when I came, we came to look at gym and I had my testings that they have to do for you.
And when I came for that, it was a morning. And when I came in, there was nobody here my age. They were all like these big dudes. And I was like, Holy crap. Is that, is that who lives here? And I’m going to be lifting here with them. I was, I was scared, but I was like. You know what?
Might as well still give it a try. But I just remember I was very intimidated when I first walked in and I was like, All these dudes here and just me. But yeah, I was scared and, When I look back now, seeing like, How I was when I first came in compared to now with Technique and everything. Coming back this year, compared to the first time I came here, since I missed last off season, I had to catch myself up to where I was before.
And now I’m back to where I was. So I plan on keeping it and working hard to keep it. But even when I look back at my progress from my first day back here this season, to see how far I’ve come from there, it’s really just motivating to be able to actually see your progress and not just when I look at the weights I was doing, I’m doing so much more than that now.
Still even my form this year, coaches here are always constantly correcting your form if they see anything. I really like all the coaches here. They’re all very welcoming as soon as you walk into the gym. Everyone’s always there ready for a fist pump. Saying hi, welcoming you in. Even when everyone’s leaving, everyone gives a fist pump.
I like it. They’re super motivating. Even if you’re not going for a max, it’s always just like, come on, Abby, push this weight fast. Use your legs. It’s just constant cheering for you. So I really like it. And then they’re also all just. Super nice and genuine people. It seems I feel like when I’m in this gym part of the environment in the gym with the coaches constantly cheering you on the other athletes in the gym cheering you on the music everything just seems super hype in here and it’s so You’re motivated to, like, push yourself.
Everyone’s telling you to, like, push yourself to your, like, limits. I definitely do feel like I’ve gotten a lot stronger since coming back this offseason, and then that’s another thing, super motivating, because it’s gonna motivate me to want to keep my strength and not lose anything, keep getting stronger when I’m not here.
So for me, a sacrifice that was really hard was in high school, since I did track with volleyball and basketball. My club coach really didn’t want me doing any other sports other than track because there was actually a time that I got injured playing volleyball. So then I was out of track for a while and he was not very happy about that.
So he was trying to get me to stop and I still never did. But then going, so then going off to university, I was like, it’s going to be tough having to just commit to one sport and not even being able to play the others. But I didn’t anyways and I’m happy with where it’s brought me. So another sacrifice would be.
Definitely limiting your time with, like, friends. Because I’ve always been a big, I love going out with friends, hanging out with my friends, and needing to sometimes have to put, like, my training ahead. Because I have goals, so in order to have goals and meet those goals, you have to have sacrifices like that.
Limit your time, train more. The men’s part was frustrating because again, like you’re always it’s hard to not talk down to yourself when like you’re injured and you just see, I’d go to practice still and see all my teammates like training and my other multi teammates, I’d see them like going through each event and training it and I’m just sitting on the sidelines having to watch knowing they’re all getting better and I’m sitting back.
It’s going to be another case. It’s just going to be a case of me having to catch back up to where I was before to try and keep Where I was at least, I had to just try my best to keep a positive mindset, hope, have hope that the athletic trainers that the rehab they’re giving me is going to help, even if it’s taking a long time.
I’m going into my junior year at college, so my goal this year is to make it to the NCAA championships, both indoors and outdoors. I haven’t yet, so that’s my goal for this, both indoor and outdoor season. I think after coming here and getting a lot stronger. And doing all this conditioning that I get, I think I definitely have possibilities.
I definitely have a really good chance and if I’m able to keep it up and do that while I’m at school as well. And then I also have other goals just based within my heptathlon event. So LPS they have this saying, dominate. And to me, in order to do that, it’s to put in hard work. It’s just about yourself.
Beating PRs and seeing, like, your own progression, I think, is what Dominate is. So advice I would give to my younger self is, in order to get to where you want and your goals, it’s not always going to be easy. You’re gonna have to work harder than you probably wish. There’s gonna be failure in there, but then with failure comes succeeding, and with succeeding comes failure.
So you have to be able to stay positive, stay motivated, and work through.