July 1, 2002
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
During the course of an average night’s rest, there is no control over the amount one’s mind will dream. In the world of dreaming there are two types of dreams: the ones you remember and the ones you want to forget. Forgotten dreams are pushed out of the conscience, while the more memorable ones are savored and cherished as our minds have given us a glimpse into an exciting fantasy world. Some believe that world is really just a portrait of our futures, one we can see, but can’t quite touch. Teresa Bundy ventured into that world on the morning of June 2nd. When she woke up, she never looked back.
As she fidgeted in her bed, tossing and turning, Bundy anxiously awaited the alarm clock to go off. Ten o’clock was when she had to be up to meet the team for breakfast, but for Bundy, it seemed like it would never come. Like every focused and determined athlete there, Bundy went to bed early that night in preparation for the NCAA Track and Field Championships in Baton Rouge, La. Teresa would be vying for the title of national champion in the triple jump, an event she started training and competing for just two years earlier. However, there was something that kept her eyes wide open, instead of drawn and rested. Her mind was racing about the meet, and the anxiety of the approaching moment was crawling through her with every passing second.
“I think I finally fell asleep about six o’clock in the morning,” Bundy said when asked to describe her emotions the night before the meet. “I just couldn’t sleep.”
But when the Sandman did come, Bundy’s few hours of sleep will be something she will never forget.
“After I finally fell asleep, I just started having these dreams that I won. I dreamt I was jumping great and every thing was just going my way,” said Bundy.
Like every unwelcomed noise an alarm clock radiates, the buzzing began, and the dream was over. For Bundy, a fifth year senior who decided to stay after earning her degree and contribute her talents for one final season, the dream was only just beginning.
At around 6:30 p.m., on the evening of June 2nd, slightly more than twelve hours after Bundy’s premonition, the competition began. Bundy stayed atop the leader board throughout her six jumps, but found herself one jump from greatness as the event was coming to an end. Having fouled on her previous jump, and knowing the only person who could beat her was the last and final jumper, Ineta Radevica of Wichita State, Bundy knew this one had to be where it all came true.
“I was the second to last jumper and the only jumper after me was leading at the time. I just said to myself ‘O.K. Teresa, you just need to put all your feelings into this jump and let it carry you.”
And carry her it did. By a one-inch margin, Teresa Bundy not only became the 2002 NCAA champion in the women’s triple jump, but the first Florida State individual champion since 1987.
When asked how she felt to be a national champion based upon her own hard work she replied, “Good. Good, good, good, good, good.” And in between a bout of smiles and laughter, which epitomizes her modesty about the whole thing, she finished with, “It feels really good.”
Florida State maybe has yet to say its final good-byes to Bundy, as she is currently searching for a school to finish her educational career in hopes of going to graduate school and obtaining her degree in psychology; a field that has always interested her and undoubtedly helped her with mental toughness throughout her career as a Lady Seminole.
“I’ve always had to maintain mental toughness with my track career by being very focused and determined. So when I decided to pick a major, psychology just seemed like the natural choice.”
This year has been incredibly remarkable for Bundy as she finally feels like everything just fell into place for her. She cites good open communication lines with coaches and teammates, love and support from family and friends, and the fact her health remained intact for the duration of the season. And while Bundy is unsure whether to pursue the Olympics or not, she mainly wants to enjoy the success and the moment it has brought.
A moment that started with a dreamer who believed she could be a champion.