JOPLIN, Mo. — There’s a method behind it.
Missouri Southern’s Jasmine Deckard has five school records to her name. Add five All-American titles to that and you’d have a written summary of her career. But the means to which she’s achieved her success on the track has been a direct reflection of what she’s committed to paper in her own journal.
“This is really unique to me, doing this,” Deckard said. “Because not everybody does it and this is something I can look back on years from now if I ever do go pro, or anything like that, and be like, ‘Wow, you know, this journal has taught me a lot.'”
She first put pen to paper her freshman season when she qualified for nationals. It sparked a desire to exceed any expectations beyond that. Because she knew if she could reach that point her first year there had to be greater ambitions.
“I don’t ever like to look back and think that I could have done better, that it’s too late,” Deckard said.
Before every race she writes down times she expects to earn. Then she compares her actual time and notices where she could improve, how she might be able to have one step in front of the competition.
As the pages turn, it serves as a reminder of how much further she needs to go in order to find the top.
“I would have been OK with where I’m at,” Deckard said. “So with this journal, and looking back at it, looking at the times, the placements, the rankings. It just really helps my game, my sport and my running.”
Some wonder if a mark Deckard sets is too high. But her competitive edge is the very existence for this journal. And it’s the reason why she’s still chasing that one final goal of seeing herself continue to succeed her senior year.
“Sometimes my coach will be like, ‘Are you sure you want to write that?'” Deckard jokes. “And I’m like, ‘Yup, I think I’m ready to hit this time.'”