About the author: Genevieve Gregson is a 2x Olympic finalist, and Australian record holder. Hailing from the Gold Coast, Gen travels the globe as one of the countries and the world's top distance athletes.

I have considered myself a professional athlete since July 2012. This was my first month racing out of my college kit and travelling internationally as I prepared for my first Olympic Games. Making that step from college to a professional athlete can be a difficult decision for some athletes. Do you continue this journey as an athlete and commit more years to the sport, or do you pursue another career and hang up the spikes? For me, I knew I wanted to keep running. I hadn’t worked out the logistics or comprehended the financial burden of being a distance runner, but in my last few years of college I knew I wanted to keep going for a lot longer. Chasing the 2012 Olympic standard in my senior year at Florida became my sole focus, and although I nearly missed that goal, making the Australian Olympic team had me committed to the long run.

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