Shaunae Miller Athens, USA

Shaunae Miller reflects on new friends and lost friends – IAAF online diaries

Andrew Riley, Shaunae Miller, Torrin Lawrence and Maurice Mitchell in Budapest, July 2014 (Juanita Bryan)Andrew Riley, Shaunae Miller, Torrin Lawrence and Maurice Mitchell in Budapest, July 2014 (Juanita Bryan) © Copyright

“Hello everyone. My July went totally contrary to plans and expectations.  I started out the month competing in my very first ever meeting on the European circuit as I competed in Budapest, where I finished second in the 400m.

“I was pleased with the performance given the setbacks I had been having with my hamstring throughout the season. 

“My next stop was Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games. I competed in three events; the 400m (I was seventh), the 4x100m (I participated in the preliminaries and Team Bahamas advanced to the finals, finishing sixth) and the 4x400m (I contested the finals and we finished seventh).

“It was my first Commonwealth Games and I found the atmosphere, despite the presence of multiple sports, which is similar to the Olympic Games, much more low-keyed and even friendlier. I guess the stakes not being as high as the Olympics was a contributing factor.

“During the month of July, I also learned that it’s important to share your happiness with others.

“One day after one of my training sessions at the track, I met this little girl, she was 11 years old and an aspiring athlete.

“She was in Athens (Georgia), where I train, and visiting her brother who was a dentist. I spoke with her for quite some time that day and she was extremely easy to talk to with her happy, bright, smile. She continued to bounce around the track as I walked with her.

“‘I love running! Do you love running?’ she asked me. I replied that I do. ‘Why do you love it?’ she asked, waiting patiently for my answer. I told her that it was when I was around her age that I fell in love with it, it makes me feel free, it takes my mind off of everything but, most importantly it makes me happy.

“She turned and smiled and said, ‘Me too.’ But what struck me most was when she said, ‘I’m going to be the best someday, you just wait and see.’ She was so confident and so happy, and it reminded me of myself growing up.

“Meeting with this little girl served as a reminder to me of how blessed I am to be able to do something that I love as a profession.

 “One person who will no longer be able to do what he loves is my very good friend Torrin Lawrence, who was tragically removed from us on 28 July.

“Apart from being a fellow University of Georgia team mate, we shared the same management group and so we toured together.

“I last travelled with him to Budapest. The pain I experienced when I heard the news of his death is unexplainable, but I know that he’s in a better place with our Heavenly Father and he’s watching down on me.

“Now I have a journey to make for the two of us, as we both are 400m runners, and I won’t let him down. RIP Torrin.

"Shaunae."