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Olympic Champion Michelle Carter: 10 Lessons I Learned At Age 30

By Michelle Carter, 2016 Olympic Shot Put Champion | Oct. 12, 2016, 4:46 p.m. (ET)

Michelle Carter celebrates placing first in the women's shot put final at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on Aug. 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

U.S. Olympic track and field star Michelle Carter turned 31 on Oct. 12. At age 30, Carter had arguably the greatest year of her life when she won world indoor championships gold, won Olympic gold, attended the Emmys, met President Barack Obama and was inducted into the University of Texas Hall of Honor. 

2016 has been the best year ever. I am 30 years and 30 has never looked so good. The accomplishments I achieved this year have not only taken the world by surprise, but they have given me a greater appreciation for why it took me until I was 30 to accomplish my goals.

Here are 10 lessons I learned at age 30:

1) 30 Is Grown-Woman Status

Really, 30 just sounds so grown!

2) Some Things Take Time To Achieve

It took me 30 years to grow into who I am today and accomplish what I wanted to accomplish. I think about if I reached my goals in 2012, could I have handled it? I would say no. I had to be groomed and pruned to handle the aftermath of a gold medal.

3) Patience, Patience, Patience!!!

Did I say patience? Be patient! It helps.

4) I’ve Realized Time Waits For No One

Seconds turn into minutes. Minutes turn into hours. Hours turn into days. Days turn into months. Months turn into years. How you spend your time matters. You start to realize that time is something you don’t get back.

5) If You Want Something Done, You Have To Do It Yourself

I’m 30! My parents can’t do everything for me anymore. When I want something done, I have to do it. I can’t wait for someone to do it for me. I have to take responsibility for myself.

6) You Have To Be Flexible

Stuff happens. You have to be ready to make adjustments to your plans.

7) Always Stay Ready

They say if you stay ready you don’t have to get ready.

8) You Realize That You Have To Take Extra Care Of Your Body

Let’s be real, I’m not a spring chicken anymore. My body needs extra love and attention. This is the only body I will ever have and I have to take care of it.

9) You Start To Realize What’s Really Important In Life

Things that made me mad when I was in my 20s, I won’t give the time of day now. I started to focus on the things I can control and making the best of every situation.

10) I Learned How To Be Unapologetically Me!

I realized that all I can do is be the best me that I can be. There is no other me. No one can ever be me. I love everything about me. Flaws and all makes me who I am. I realized that you can love me or hate me but you can’t stop me from being me. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea; you can take it or leave it or add sugar and honey. Whatever floats your boat.

To sum it up: Never give up on your dreams. I am mature, but not old. Some things only get better with time – like fine wine. You are like fine wine, give yourself time to mature. Be kind to yourself. Keep working hard because you could be right at the edge of all your dreams coming true. For me, all it took was one throw and my life will never be the same.

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Michelle Carter