On day two of championship weekend, senior triple jumper Malaika Djungu-Sungu put the nation on notice with a school-record triple jump of 11.70 meters. I had the chance to sit down with Djungu-Sungu after this incredible performance and talk about the emotions she was feeling, as well as the affirmations that led her to this success. I hope you enjoy!
TM: What emotions are you feeling after breaking the school record?
MDS: Firstly, I feel proud of myself for being able to compete and succeed in such a high-stress kind of setting and happy to be a part of NCAC history.
TM: Can you tell us about the work that went into this meet that allowed you to have such success?
MDS: A lot of work, both physical and mental work. I know we like to think that every competitor is good at being a good sport, but sometimes you have to handle situations and the environment you’re working in is not that positive, so as we train to create our best bodies we have to prepare to succeed in the face of negativity.
TM: How do you prepare to succeed in the face of negativity?
MDS: I give myself affirmations every day and surround myself with people who only want the best for me so that I can maintain and stay in a good mental headspace.
TM: Can you speak on what affirmations you give yourself and when you began to develop this practice?
MDS: Oh yeah, one of my favorites is, “I am that woman, I look good” because for me if I think I look good I can also feel good.
TM: Given that you just broke the school and meet record, what would you say to the athletes who hope to reach your level of success in the future?
MDS: It’s good to have role models, but don’t spend too much time comparing yourself to someone else. As long as you see your success and as long as you see yourself as second to someone else, you’ll never appreciate yourself. When you reach the best, you will block yourself from being the best you can be, because you don’t appreciate the accomplishments you make along the way if it’s always in comparison to someone else’s.