Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Picture of the Week: Christmas Celebrations

Well I am enjoying myself immensely so far during this holiday vacation and I have been running around like crazy so I haven't had much time to think or blog but I figured I would share some of my trip so far with a couple of pictures...since everybody knows Brianna doesn't go anywhere without her camera!

I went to a Christmas party on Saturday night in Los Angeles. I think the guest list was all black people that live in Southern California and own nice clothes. I gave my camera to someone and obviously they don't know how to count to 3.

Kash doesn't know how to keep his eyes open during pictures. This is picture 7...I just gave up and picked the one I looked best in! :)

For 13 years now, my friends and I have gathered on Christmas Eve to do our gift exchange. We usually draw names but this year we got lazy and just bought items that anybody would like and picked from a pile. I stole all the best gifts I'm pretty sure. Some of my friends just don't have that competitive beast inside them.

I actually made a sweet potato pie for everyone to try! Jasmine is pretending she is disgusted. She's actually a convert, thanks to me!

It's the Brady Bunch minority edition. These people have joined the clan as my sister married and added a few folks to the bunch.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

What to pack...

Today I leave to go back to Southern California for 11 glorious days. I’m soooo excited. Originally I was only going to be in and out and stay just long enough to spend Christmas with my family and friends but I chucked that idea and decided that it would do me some good to be around the people I love for just a little longer. I plan on fitting in as much as I possibly can during this week and a half. There are Christmas parties to attend, holiday family get-togethers, lunches and happy hours with friends to play catch up, a date or two, new year’s eve festivities, and perhaps a bit of training if I find the time. :)

Of course, packing has been a beast. Part of it is my fault, I know. I’m just no good at it and even though I’ve definitely got better over the years, I still would not make Martha Stewart proud. I’m not sure that she directly relates to packing, I just imagine her being able to fit a weeklong trip into a carryon with all the right mix-and-match pieces for every possible occasion. A person like myself travels to Chicago for four days and has an overweight bag. That’s right…64 pounds of just in case outfits and a $50 charge to remind me of my excessiveness. Luckily for me, you are able to flirt your way out of those charges the same way you do parking tickets. In my defense however, cold weather is not something I am accustomed to so I kinda just pack every warm thing I have.

For this trip I had to allocate one huge suitcase to gifts which made me realize that I really just need to go the gift card route when I am coming from out of town. My other huge roller bag is stuffed to the brim and even so, I had to cut out items that I really wanted to bring and I just know I am going to face disappointment when I go out to dinner and don’t have the top I want to wear. I had to stick to a basic color scheme and only bring shoes that are very versatile which was a bummer since I have these fabulous boots I’ve worn once that I bought right before I left L.A. Seeing as how there is never a need to look cute in Tucson, they really need to travel with me but there simply wasn’t enough room to take them this time.

And of course, since I will be in L.A. I will probably just go shopping. I have this stupid habit of trying on most of the outfits I bring with me before I pack them…as if these aren’t my clothes and I don’t know how they look on me. And yet still I find a way to feel like the outfit is totally wrong when I go to wear it. I am not crazy about the outfit I packed for New Years and by the time the 31st rolls around I am sure there will be ample time to find something way more glamorous. And if the outfit doesn’t go with the black heels I brought, well… a girl can never have too many shoes!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Til Death do us Part

(No, I did not elope in the last couple of days.)

My friends mean the world to me. Actually, they mean more than the world to me because I would give my right arm…last dollar…shoot, my life…absolutely anything, for them. I don’t say that to exaggerate just how much I love my friends, I say that because I mean it with every fiber in my being. There is a huge part of me that is deeply rooted in them and I cherish the fact that God has blessed me to know such amazing people. When your life intertwines with people like this, you realize that these bonds are built to last a lifetime. In many ways, it is like the vow you take at the alter, when you pledge your life to someone for the rest of your days here on earth. But with friends those vows are never uttered, they are just understood.

For the past few days I have been in the company of my best friend Jasmine. I have known this girl for half of my entire existence on earth and I love her more than something as simple as words could ever convey. This past year was probably the least amount of time we spent together one on one over the entirety of our friendship. Factors such as a husband and a flourishing career have cut into the quality time I’m used to having with her, and for a selfish person like myself, it was a hard thing to become accustomed to. I will be the first to admit that I crave attention—be it from a boyfriend or a best friend.
But even though our lives have become more grown-up and we find ourselves morphing into real adults, the core of who we are and what we mean to each other will never change.

I’ve spent the last couple of days doing not much of anything but enjoying each moment as if it was the most pleasurable way a person could pass time. I think life’s most important moments are like that—made up of memories spent with people you love, doing the most ordinary things.

Monday, December 17, 2007

What goes down must come up

Sometimes you work out so hard that it makes you sick. Like a for real sick. I suppose not everyone gets like this, and luckily for me, in the last few years I haven't had any trouble keeping down what should stay down. Well today that all changed drastically. I would go in to detail about what my workout was and how bad it kicked my butt but the truth of the matter is you may not really get it by simply seeing it on paper and on the off chance you might just think I'm a wuss, I'll keep it to myself.

My stomach is known for being a bit on the unsettled side after brutal workouts. I often use my nausea as part of my arsenal of excuses when I lay on the ground, which I happen to do quite often. I'm convinced that being flat on my back or in the fetal position settles my stomach and so I stay there until I feel it has passed. But today, as I continued to lay there, it just got worse. I started taking deep breaths and something just didn't feel if I went too deep I'd be sorry, so I kept my breaths short and hurried to the bathroom. I am quite certain that I could never be bulimic as the whole process is simply horrific. Truth be told though, after your stomach is emptied you always feel as if you can get right back on the line and go at it again... which is good, because oftentimes that's exactly what you're asked to do.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Picture of the Week

Christmas celebrations have officially begun. Believe it or not, my sister and I did not just wander in to some strangers house over the weekend on the off chance we could get a good meal and a cool gift to take home. Our family is the ultimate melting pot...we just need for someone to marry an asian and then we'd be as diverse as the United Nations. This is the part of Christmas I appreciate--family. All the commercialization crap really gets on my nerves and ever since I transistioned from the kid group to the grownup group, I can no longer just arrive and collect gifts. But I have learned in my old age to look forward to the special time spent with family a whole lot more and this family right here is pretty darn special to me. In case you were wondering...there was pumpkin pie for dessert.

***A special thanks to my Aunt Sharon for making it possible. You rock.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

old traditions with new friends

For years now...well, actually only those years I have been a resident of Los friends and I have what we call ANTM night. (America's Next Top Model if you live under a rock.) It is the one show that we all watch and are addicted to. This is saying a lot... not for me because I am somewhat of a T.V. whore and can become addicted to anything, but moreso for Melanie who likes to be anti-T.V. just because, and Bianca, who I believe still doesn't even have cable! Hello Mrs. Flinstone, welcome to 2007! Anyway, we have made it our custom to have that one night to eat, gossip, and watch mind-numbing television.

Since I moved away right in the middle of season 9, I have had nobody to share this hour of my life with and I miss it...especially when Bianca finally got voted off last week . I just know there would have been some hi-fives and cheers for that one! Instead it was just me, all alone in my small, dark apartment, eating a chicken breast for one. (key violin). So imagine my elation when this week, for the season finale no less, my new friend in the Old Pueblo invited me to dinner and back to her house for some time spent in reality t.v. heaven. It may not seem like much to most of you, but these are the types of things that make me feel like it's ok that this is temporarily my home--friends and fun. It is Tucson at it's best.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Glad I'm back

It’s been a little over three weeks (dang, is that it???) since I’ve been back in Tucson and I’m happy to announce that I feel great. Actually, that’s my mental state of being, my physical state is one of great pain as a matter of fact because I had such a hard practice yesterday coupled with a weight room session that kicked my butt that I woke up today feeling like I got run over by a Mack truck. I had to bend over to pick something up earlier today and you would have swore I was 80 years old. But it’s all part of the process and I welcome it. But back to my mental state…it’s a great relief to feel like I really belong here. There has been no doubt or apprehension in the last couple of weeks and that’s something I am really grateful for because it makes the idea of buying in to what I’m doing 100%, so easy. If you recall, back when I was making this decision, I had a very tough time deciding what was going to be best for me. If there has been one thing I have learned over the course of my post-collegiate career, it is that wherever you are, whatever you are doing, you must be on board whole heartedly to be successful. I missed that boat a couple of times and I suffered greatly for it.

Some people might wonder why I even decided to leave Arizona in the first place after I was done with college. Since I’m quite sure this is a burning question on everyone’s mind, I decided to answer it in more depth. I also believe that there are probably many athletes just out of college who will struggle and question things just like I did, and I’m all about sharing what I’ve learned to help anyone who might possibly gain something from it. If this is not a burning question of yours, you can go join the debate in the next post down to keep yourself entertained. ☺

My first year out of college was what I’d call disastrous. At the time, I had no idea why. I’d been part of this program for four years and I’d done well, then all of the sudden, once this sport became my career, things started shifting so fast and I felt so lost and confused. I actually remember panicking my very first race as a post-collegiate. It was a rinky-dink race that I ran early in the year but I ran horribly and I all of the sudden felt like I was no longer good and I freaked out. Right then and there I pretty much decided my fate for the rest of the year without knowing it. I might have said this before but it bears repeating; This sport is 99% physical and 1% mental, but it’s the 1% mental that determines the 99% physical. Once you lose your confidence and your belief in yourself, you’re done. Like stick a fork in you, done. It’s crazy because I had spent the last 4 years learning how to build up that confidence and honing it in a way that made me very, very successful. It was nothing I ever thought about, but it was always there and something that was just part of me.

Going through a year of that made me lose hope in a lot of things, mainly the program and the coach that had made me successful to begin with. At that time I was certain that the problem was not me, it was everything else. I had “outgrown” the whole college system, I needed to be around more professionals and have a coach that I could learn more from, I needed to train differently…the list goes on and on. Perhaps there may have been a little truth to some of those feelings, but the biggest factor in what had happened is that I had lost faith in myself, and I did not see this clearly enough. So I left...feeling as though there must be bigger and better things that were out there for me.

I’m not exactly sure at what point I started to understand where my change in performances were really coming from, but over the years I have gained such a better understanding of how all things work together to produce a great athlete and I began to realize that what I was lacking was not something I was going to find in another coach, program, or situation. I needed to work on myself and I needed to change the way I processed a lot of things because it was holding me back. I could go in depth with this, but perhaps I’ll save that for another blog. Needless to say, much of it is easier said than done. Confidence is such a fragile thing and once you lose it, it can be a long road back. It took me 3 years since I finished college to simply get back to being able to perform at a comparable level and it wasn’t until last year that I was able to PR for the first time since 2001.

So the decision to come back to Tucson this year and train with my old coach was based primarily on the fact that hindsight is 20/20 and I am able to realize now how nothing but myself was really wrong with this situation to begin with. And now that I have spent the last 5 years of my life trying to correct the damage that I caused, I feel that I will be able to perform and succeed to the level that I am capable of. I am not 100% where I want to be but I am oh so close. The fact that I am here and glad that I’m here says so much. The fact that I have decided to trust this situation completely…no second guessing, no thinking I might have a better way, no wondering if I should be doing this or that…none of that. I feel like it’s the biggest game of poker and I’ve pushed all my chips into the center. I’m all in.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

add or not: A Debate

So I have a few pictures from a photo shoot that I recently did and I am debating on whether or not I should add them to my website. Please note: I am not just asking whether or not you think it's a good picture. I will tell you upfront that I personally think I look pretty darn hot, but perhaps more in a Maxim/FHM sort of way (not that there is necessarily anything wrong with that per say). I realize that I have a lot of non-track related pictures up already and I am ok with that because I think it's important to show different facets of yourself and it also doubles as my modeling website, even though my opportunity to do any modeling in Tucson is probably slim to none. But this picture does push the envelope more than my other ones that I currently have up so I've been hesitant on adding them. My website is still very new so I'm not quite sure yet who the audience is or what exactly they are expecting when they visit. So please vote, but keep in mind the reason for my hesitations and not just on whether or not you dig it. If you'd like to go the extra mile, leave a comment to explain your vote.

Friday, December 7, 2007

When in Rome...

Last night I received a text message from my friend Jennie--my lone friend in Tucson who happens to be back in town for 2.5 days.

Hey B! Do you want to go to the fair on 4th st. tomorrow?

Me + Fair = not so much.

However, she is my friend and she's inviting me to do something on a Friday night when my only alternative is to do, hmmm....let's see....nothing! so I said I would go. To be quite honest, I am in no way a 'fair' person, especially one on 4th street which happens to be the hang out for all the earthy, hippie type people in Tucson if I remember correctly. But Jennie pointed out that this particular fair only happens twice a year in Tucson, which I guess is supposed to mean that it's something you must take full advantage of when it's here or else you've totally missed out on all the excitement and of course we can't have that now can we??!! Funny how I have no recollection of this popular local entertainment when I lived here for five years...makes me wonder what I used to do for fun! So I'm about to go hang with the locals and do my best to enjoy myself and not secretly wish I was home watching reruns of an ANTM marathon.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sounds good, but....

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

Now that I am back in Tucson, I am back to lifting and working out in my old weight room. It’s a pretty top-notch weight room…one of the best in the country I’ve heard. So all over the walls they have pictures of previous Arizona super-star athletes as well as quotes that are supposed to motivate and inspire. One of said quotes is the one mentioned above. I’ve seen it every day for the past couple of weeks but just the other day I had a conversation with my coach about it and we happened to agree on something…it’s not entirely true.

This quote is a bit utopian in that it makes you believe that your success as an athlete is solely determined on how hard you work and that if you work harder than most everyone else, you will be better than him or her. I only need to look at my own experience to prove this quote false. Hard work only beats talent when two people are somewhat equally talented, otherwise, talent wins.

In college I was a great athlete and I was very successful. I always thought I worked hard but it would only take a glance to my left or right to find someone who was probably working harder than me. I also look at the way I train now and I notice a profound difference in my habits from when I was a college athlete. Nevertheless, back then I pretty much beat everybody. The walk-ons would flat out embarrass me doing stadium runs but line us up in a competition and I would have nothing to worry about.

Of course, I am in no way dissing hard work. The fact of the matter is that inevitably there will always be someone better than you and if you want to continually strive to be the best that you can be, you must push yourself and always work as hard as possible. It’s been said that athletes such as Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods are some of the most committed people when it comes to practicing and training, and coupled with the fact that they possess some of the most amazing talent known to man, it makes for an unstoppable combination. That’s what I want…to know that I’ve worked harder than everybody else out there but also know that my talent trumps yours. But if I just had to choose only one…give me talent any day. You can always improve on how hard you work, but the talent is God-given and some people just ain’t got it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Picture of the Week

This past weekend I actually got to hang out with a friend. I know...surprising. Even though he had to be imported from California and then convinced to come down to Tucson from Phoenix, I was ecstatic at the idea of having real live company to be around. Since there is a shortage of delicious, innovative, top of the line, restaurants in Los Angeles, the one thing Kash needed to do while he was here was go out to the Waffle House. Yes, my lovely readers, you haven't tasted good cookin' until you've tasted the Waffle House. L.A. restaurants have nothin' on us out here. In the previous five years I lived in Tucson I don't think I ever ate there but I will wasn't half bad. It's no Roscoes, but it hit the spot!

Friday, November 30, 2007

"They can come down to me!"

Today was one of those days. If you are a fellow athlete, no further explanation is needed. If I didn't need food to survive I probably wouldn't even move from the exact spot I'm in now for the rest of the day, that's how tired my soul is. Yes, my soul. It's not just my physical body that is hurting, it goes waaaay deeper than that. When I saw my workout for today on the sheet at the beginning of the week, I knew I was in for an unpleasant day come Friday. The last time I did a similar workout, I had half the intervals I had today. But like coach always says, "you're better today then you were last time you did the workout." Yea, whatever. Personally, I prefer to let my body adapt slowly, but he very rarely agrees with me.

As I finished my last 300 of the workout, I immediately dropped to the ground and sprawled out on my back. You could have outlined me in white chalk right then and there because I had the silhouette spot on. Anyone who knows me or has ever practiced with me knows I'm an on the ground kind of person. Always. Some people say you shouldn't do this. Why? Well for starters because it's hard to recover like this. You need to keep moving and keep the blood from pooling and letting the lactic acid build up...yadda, yadda, yadda. But it's also because it might make you look weak and like you're broke down. Well guess what?! I'M BROKE!!! I happen to not care if every single competitor I'll ever race this season sees me in the fetal position after a hard workout, whimpering to myself and crying out to Jesus. I'm a beast when it comes to competition, but practice--I'm more like a cub. So be it.

So as usual, Coach comes over in his entirely too chipper voice and tells me to get up. I usually ignore the first two or three times because it's possible that I've also developed a bit of deafness during this ass-kicking of a workout. I groan and grunt a couple of times, then I open my mouth to actually protest and tell him that I actually can't move just yet because it's just not physically possible. Let me be! He then proceeds to ask me what I plan on doing after the Olympic Finals when they come to interview me after my race. My response: "They can come down to me."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Results: Pie Debate

After a week of having people take two seconds out of their day to vote on their preference in Thanksgiving pie (specifically Pumpkin and Sweet Potato), the results are in. A couple things I noticed that are worth mentioning:

-Many people did not vote. I don’t know why this is. You probably have a preference but you’d rather not be a factor and instead would like to continue on in your non-contributory ways. It was anonymous for goodness sake…there was no way I could tell your Grandma that you don’t really care for her homemade sweet potato pie but would rather run to Ralphs for a store bough Pumpkin.

-There are actually 6 more votes under “what are you” than “what kind of pie do you like”. This must be due to the fact that I am friends with many half breeds who have a problem categorizing themselves. That’s fine…except that it makes it hard to look at the results side by side. I should have made you choose—or just gave you (us) your own category.

-I never actually made a way for it to be known exactly who voted for what. It very well could have been black people voting for pumpkin pie and white people voting for sweet potato. So I am just going to make an educated guess. ☺

There are only 8 votes for pumpkin pie, but 19 total non-black votes tallied. Therefore, I conclude that these non-black people have been converted and are now extremely thankful that they have experienced just how wonderful sweet potato pie is! I have a few friends that would like to do a taste test over the Christmas holiday (they won’t just take my word for it), so if anybody has a great recipe, please pass it along. I am a great pie eater, but I’ve never gotten around to actually making them

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Myspace Celebrity

When my friend Jennie asked me if I knew anything about making a myspace page because she finally wanted to create one of her own, I told her she needn’t look any further. I didn’t get my reputation by accident. In my own small way, I've made my presence known on Myspace. When I began to routinely be referred to as "B*Fabulous" by friends and strangers alike, I realized how this thing has completely transformed the way we interact with people. By no stretch of the imagination will I ever be on same level as someone like Tila Tequila (I don’t even like being bothered by strangers on there), but I became consumed with my space on the web. I would only accept friend requests from people I actually knew but I had many, many regular visitors....50,000 and counting in less than two years. I was constantly revamping my page, making slideshows of outings with friends and my various travels around the world, coming up with smart and sassy ways to introduce myself to the rest of the myspace community, doing my fair share of sending out comments and messages to the rest of my friends, and of course writing blogs. I've since directed my energy more towards my website and this blog that I've started so my presence is somewhat diminished and my page is a mere skeleton of what it once was. Nevertheless, I still consider myself somewhat of a guru and I am still the “go to” person on all things myspace related.

Now Jennie has her own little spot in the myspace universe and I'm sure all pre-teen softball players and men everywhere will thank me!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Oh yea...track.

When I first started this blog I had every intention of it being a blog that dealt mostly with my athletic career and all things related to track and field. But a month and a half in and some of you might not even be able to tell I’m an athlete! I suppose the biggest reason for that is that I started writing in my off-season and I’m just now getting into the swing of things with practice and so forth. There is only so much I can write about the monotonous training one does on the path back to fitness and that is what is taking place for at least another couple of months. But today I decided to get get back on track, so to speak.

Starting to train after a whole summer of competition with little actual training and subsequent time off where I act as if I’m actually allergic to working out is hard on both the body and the mind. The littlest things seem extremely difficult and you begin to wonder if this could possibly be the same body capable of running repeat 300’s when jogging two laps seems like such a laborious undertaking. I began “moving around” about two weeks before I moved out to Tucson but it was pretty much just child’s play and just enough so I wouldn’t feel guilty. My first week here was your basic welcome back activities where you begin to realize just how much the next few months are going to hurt. This second week is going to put a stamp on that.

Today was one of those days that I can never quite do justice to by just explaining. We had a mile run, stretching, drills, more drills, and build-ups…for the warm-up. I hate it when I feel as if I should be done after I’ve only done enough to say that I’m now ready to work out. Then it was ramp runs. Basically you run up the ramps of a football stadium, from the very bottom to the very top where people with nose bleed seats are located, and it twists and whatnot so it’s basically 8 different ramps you go up until you get to the top. Once you get to the top you don’t pretend you’re Rocky and stand with your chest pumped up as you breath heavily. You jog to the other side of the stadium to run down the other side so you can reach the bottom and turn around go back up. And that equals 1. Actually I’m not even sure why we count 1 since it’s not like we stop after we finish a set. The whole workout is continuous so you don’t stop at all until you are done with the workout. It’s an evil little trick my Coach plays on us.

It’s days like these where the idea of not having training partners and having to hurt all by myself makes things that much harder. Luckily, I was able to recruit my friend Jennie, who is a pro softball player, and another one of her teammates. Jen is always up for a good workout and even though she might never join me for a workout again after today, I am so glad I had her there today to push me and to know that I wasn’t the only one in pain. It makes all the difference in the world.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sweet Potato vs Pumpkin: A Debate

I'm mixed. That's not a newsflash to most people but for some of you who might not know me, you might be surprised that I actually have blue eyed, blond haired siblings that share the same mother as me. That's really of no importance except for the fact that I have come to realize something over the past 10 years or so that has to do with pie selection at Thanksgiving. For as long as I can remember, I have split holidays between both sides of my family since my parents divorced at a very young age but both families reside in Southern California. It's a pretty sweet deal...two big meals (obviously we go to the black side later since they never eat early), two present openings at Christmas, and a chance to be around all your family that you love and care about.

One huge difference at Thanksgiving in particular, is the choice of pie at the end--namely the availability of either pumpkin or sweet potato. Growing up, I always thought I liked pumpkin. It's what I knew...I was more familiar with seemed to be the Thanksgiving pie of choice for the majority of people I knew...whatever the reason, I liked pumpkin pie. But as I got older, I started giving sweet potato pie a chance and I realized something--it's soooo much better. I mean seriously, there is no comparison. And the reason that I am making a comparison between these two particular pies is because it's seems as if people always fall on one side of the fence or the other. You may also have pecan pie available, or pound cake, or whatever else, but you usually only have pumpkin or sweet potato. Not both. They are pitted against each other in a duel between the burnt orange colored pies that will serve as the final touch to your Thanksgiving feast.

To me, this decision falls clearly along color lines. Like I said, I'm mixed. There is always pumpkin pie at one family gathering and sweet potato at the other. I don't know how others do it beyond white and black but I'm curious. If you happen to be White or mixed like me and have spent your whole life thinking you like pumpkin pie, I urge you to give sweet potato a chance. However, make sure you entrust this pivotal event in your life to someone who knows what they're doing. Do not go to Albertsons and pick up one of their pies. (Do they even make sweet potato? I know they have pumpkin!) Find someone who knows what they are doing. I have a feeling you might end up a convert like myself.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is a day that you remember all the things you are thankful for. The premise might be a little flawed, seeing as how it originated from a day where we kicked Native Americans off their own land and claimed it for our own—just cuz we could—but why we celebrate it today and what it means in our hearts is something totally different. We give thanks for what we have been blessed with, and hopefully we thank the Man who has given us all those blessings. Of course this could and should be done last Monday or three Fridays from now, but today is the day we make a big hoopla about it.

Today I woke up and was a bit sad and melancholy. I’m away from my family and that’s not usually how I celebrate Thanksgiving and so I began the process of starting my day in a bit of a funk. But then I stopped because today is not the day to be unthankful. It’s sacrilegious. So I decided to start going over what I’m thankful for. First and foremost, my eyes are open. I woke up today a healthy human being and so I might as well start there. After that, the list is endless. I won’t bother writing it all out but I know we all have numerous things we are able to put in the “and thank you for that” column. Today that is the only column that matters.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Picture of the Week

This is my favorite little man...and when I say "man", I mean it. He looks like a grown-up trapped in a itty bitty body who still talks in a high-pitched minnie mouse voice. He's getting ready to go to his Thanksgiving day party at school and the reason why I like this picture is because even though at first glance he looks like a little white boy, Ty Ty still knows he has a little soul and that's why he's poppin' his collar. I love that kid to pieces. He made me realize that maybe I actually do like kids. Kinda. Sorta.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Now what???

Today, after I went to the movies by myself, I stopped by Ross...again. This makes three times since Sunday. I've also been to Target twice, Pier 1, Trader Joes, Walgreens, and Radio Shack. That's what I've done for the last three days in my efforts to not bore myself to death. Today, I remembered that I needed coasters. It was imperative that I get them now because who knows when a water ring will appear on my new coffee table and then I'd be really pissed that I didn't use a coaster. This impromptu trip killed almost 45 minutes and also netted me a nice welcome mat and some stainless steel containers for the counter top. Score! I think the reason I feel so bored is because I know that if I felt like hanging out with some friends back home or doing some of the things I normally do, I can't. If I was back in L.A. I very well might not be doing much of anything but the difference is I could if I wanted to.

I'm going to have to figure out this whole Tucson living thing in order not to drive myself crazy. I am definitely out recruiting friends and maybe even a date or two if I want to be really bold. I doubt that one though so I will settle for a buddy or two who likes to watch trashy reality t.v. and go out to eat every once in a while. I'm also going to try and volunteer somewhere. I already attempted to help serve food on Thanksgiving but can you believe that I can't find anywhere that needs help? I was so bummed. I did find a place that is still looking for people to donate frozen pies but that doesn't really do much for helping me feel like I am spreading a little joy in the community, nor does it kill any time. I can't even attempt to bake a basically I get nothing out of it. (I know, I know--totally the spirit of Thanksgiving). How rude of all those people with family to spend time with to volunteer and take the opportunity away from me when they should know I won't be able to be with my family. Ughhh. Some people, I tell ya.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I'm official!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd like to introduce you to my new WEBSITE!!!

For the past couple of weeks I have been working hard to put this together and make it something I could be proud of. For someone who is somewhat computer illiterate and knows nothing about that sort of thing, a lot of it was self-taught. Although I did work off a template, I learned a lot about making a visually appealing site that I hope you enjoy. This website would not have been possible without my beautiful best friend, Jasmine. Not only did she give me this website for $0, she is wholly responsible for the front page looking as professional as it does. My first attempts were nothing short of laughable but these are the perks of having a best friend who is photoshop savvy. Please take a second to stop by, look at 2,343,000 pictures of me (80% of which you have probably already seen if you are a myspace friend), read all about me, and let me know what you think. I am open to suggestions on how to improve it.


Sunday, November 18, 2007


My big move was this weekend. I say “big” not in the sense that moving is anything new or unknown to me, because I’ve moved every year for the last five years…but more so in the emotional sense. This move means a lot to me and I’ve had so many emotions attached to it, which is why it seems so monumental. Let it be known that I hate moving. hate it. I despise the whole process…from packing, to finding movers, from all the crap you accumulate that you don’t even realize you have, to driving to your new destination, to unpacking all the crap and trying to make the new place feel like home. It’s exhausting to say the least.

For this move though, I had some of my most favorite people to help make this trek across the desert and when I say that it made all the difference in the world, its actually an understatement. For starters I had my Uncle Kevin and Aunt Ronnie help me pack up my stuff and drive it to Arizona. Did I mention that they already live in Arizona??? These are some stud family members I tell you. I was so unbelievably grateful for the assistance not only because of the help to my wallet (which was HUGE by the way), but because as movers they put Starving Students to shame. They are nothing short of amazing. I was actually relegated to carrying in the boxes of pillows because they made sure they had all the heavy stuff on lock. I also had my two best friends to come along on the road trip with me and help me unpack. They were most definitely my two little angels and I am so happy they were able to come with me and add to our already endless supply of memories and stories that we will forever carry close to our heart.

Our drive across the desert was spent in endless chatter. Not once did we turn on the radio or sit in silence. We sang. Well Mel really sung, and I hurt their eardrums when I would suddenly break out in something that slightly resembles singing for absolutely no reason. We took the time to decide the perfect partner for each one of us. Our thinking is that if we put it out in the universe, it’s that much more likely to become a reality. We decided to point out each other’s best and worst qualities. Why? I don’t know. For some reason I have this weird obsession with categorizing people. Supposedly I am stubborn and somewhat conceited. I am also not the funniest. But I don’t quite agree. My humor must be too far advanced for them. Before we knew it we had made it to Tucson, Arizona.

I actually wasn’t quite prepared for the way I would feel once I actually arrived. It’s a hard thing to explain but needless to say my mood did a couple of back flips mixed in with a few cartwheels on me. That’s why having my friends here was so critical because they kept me focused on the important stuff. And who besides your best friends would wake up and go get you starbucks and groceries for breakfast while you’re still sleeping and then take you on a surprise shopping spree at Target for all the things you realize you don’t have? I am blessed to have friends that love me so much. Unfortunately, they had to return home but I am so thankful for the time we spent together this weekend and just for having them in my life.

I am now officially a resident of Tucson, Arizona.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Boxes and Berries

So today is the day. 17 boxes, 10 luggage pieces, 6 throw pillows, 4 plastic bins, 2 televisions, and 1 roll of packing tape... we did it. Well, Bri did it, but I'm here for moral support ;)

We've packed up all the boxes and celebrated by going to Pinkberry (Bri, say goodbye to the fine eateries of Los Angeles. I'm sure they have like... Sonic and 31 Flavors that will be delicious).

Tomorrow we will be up early to take that wonderfully scenic drive to the beautiful oasis also known as Tucson, Arizona. 7 glorious hours of non-stop gossip, out of tune singing, and a couple games of out-of-state plates. Memories to last a lifetime...

Posted by: The BESTEST friend, Bianca

Happy Birthday Mel!

Melanie and I have been friends for what seems like forever. Ever since the days when Michael Jackson could still be considered half way normal, Forrest taught us that life is like a box of chocolates, and a gallon of gas was less than a dollar, this girl has been one of my closest friends. Today we were able to celebrate her 27th birthday, or as she likes to refer to it...her 1 year anniversary of turning 26. I think the closer we get to 30, the more creative we get with counting our age. After all, 26 is still 25's next door neighbor. 27 on the other hand...well that's when the knockin' begins. My best friends and I celebrated doing what girlfriends do best--shopping, pampering ourselves, and eating. What more can a girl ask for??? Mel, I love you more than a skinny girl with a six-pack but who still has the world's biggest sweet tooth loves
sprinkles cupcakes. That's a whole lot!

P.S. I planned on writing more extensively about the whole spa experience but I am beyond tired so somebody remind me in a few days. You know I'll forget...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Give me Fierce!

From time to time I do photo shoots. Sometimes they are for my own portfolio and when I get really lucky, somebody pays me. Well today, I was taking some pictures for my own benefit. Hopefully there will be some nice additions to my (under construction) website, or they will be used to entice companies to offer some exciting new endorsements, or maybe just have some cool pictures…because you can never have to many of those! Whatever the case, I woke up entirely too early this morning to make love to the camera and pray to God that it loved me back.

I used to think modeling was super easy. I mean, honestly, what is so hard about taking a picture and making it look good? When I first began to watch America’s Next Top Model I would think it was so ridiculous how the girls just couldn’t “get it” sometimes. Heeeellllooo….Jay said “give me fierce” and you are giving him the exact same boring look with nothing behind the eyes! My goodness, models must really be stupid. Well it turns out that’s not entirely true.

Taking good pictures is a lot harder then it looks. This is from someone who loves taking pictures mind you. I’m not camera shy—not in the least bit. But there is a huge difference in posing for your friend’s digital camera during a girls night out and looking hot/sexy/fierce/sad/beautiful/soft/fashiony/or whatever the particular photographer wants. There is so much effort put in to looking effortless and what you think you are giving the camera rarely shows up on film. It’s the weirdest thing. Suffice to say, it’s not that easy.

There are times, like today, when I take pictures out in public instead of in a studio. This adds a whole other dimension to things because all of your love making is on display for every Tom, Dick, and Harry walking by. This can be a tad bit embarrassing. People stare. I would too if I were them. Who is this girl and why is she prancing around and changing up her facial expressions like she has a mild case of turrets? You block it out as much as you can but taking pictures in the middle of UCLA campus can be a bit daunting.

I now have a much higher respect and understanding for the ladies on my favorite Wednesday night T.V. show. So when you watch the show tonight, keep all this in mind. Fierce ain’t as easy as it looks!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Date Night

For the past year or so I’ve been on a dating rollercoaster that has seen its fair share of highs and lows. But my one constant—my favorite dating partner that never fails me—is my best friend Bianca. Of course we still “hang out” as friends or do the whole group thing with our other friends, but we still have our dates. Why? Because sometimes it’s nice to be treated, or to treat, and to have those kind of outings that we usually wait for our tall, dark, and handsome to whisk us away on but sometimes we just don’t feel like waiting. Besides, oftentimes I prefer her company anyway.

Last night we went to a fantastic happy hour spot downtown, called Royale , where we sipped on some delicious cocktails, ate some scrumptious appetizers and snuck glances at the not so bad lookin’ D.J. behind the turntables. After that, we headed over to the Staples Center to watch the Lakers game. A friend of mine from college gave me tickets at the last minute and I knew that it would make a great date night for me and my bestest. So there we sat in the 8th row, cheering and shouting like we bleed purple and gold. She might actually be considered a fan…I am one of those “pretend” fans that enjoys the experience but doesn’t even know what Kobe is so unhappy about. All in all it was a great night with even greater company. Love you B!

***Don't tell anybody but Bianca has a secret crush on Chris Mihm...he's the big white guy.

***Bi and I with our lovely self-portrait

***Someone walked by with an icecream cone and we immediately got a craving for one. Lord knows I shouldn't be eating ice cream, but I couldn't resist!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Wrong Foot

I expect a certain code of conduct when I first start hanging out with someone--things that I consider common courtesy and just an all around gentlemanly way of doing things. I would never call myself high maintenance. I realize that just because I don’t, doesn’t mean other people don’t see me that way, but hey, this is my blog and I call it like I see it! Back to my point…so if I’m interested in someone and they’re interested in me, then it is important that things get started on the right foot. What’s the wrong foot you ask? Well let me tell you…

Let me start off by saying that I am a huge fan of blockbuster nights. I’m also a fan of a plethora of t.v. shows and there is much enjoyment to be found in cuddling up on the couch in front of the tube. I might even be excited to cook, on occasion, one of the maybe five dishes I feel confident in making for company. But all of that comes later, or is at least mixed in with other outdoor activities. That’s not how we are going to start out. First off, it shows a lack of effort. If you are interested in dating me then guess what? Take me on a DATE! Honestly, I can watch t.v. just fine by myself, in fact it will probably be even more enjoyable because I am able to watch exactly what I want to watch and I have a sneaking suspicion it will probably differ from what you want to watch. But the main thing is that we shouldn’t have that comfort level yet and it just seems a little lazy to me.

Another point I want to add that is somewhat related is that it’s not o.k. to ask to come over really late. It gives me the wrong impression of you and makes me think you have the wrong impression of me. Of course, it could be completely innocent and maybe you would just love to see me and have been terribly busy all day, but I prefer to be penciled in soon after the sun sets, not when it is approaching midnight. That’s not too much to ask. I realize people have to work their way up in the priority status but if that’s the best you can do then it’s really not good enough. Call me when your schedule is a little less hectic.

When point number one is combined with point number two what we have is a match not made in heaven. My time is valuable, even when I’m not working out or doing anything productive with my days. I still like to feel as if someone is interested in getting to know me and doesn’t just view me as someone to pass some time with. I guess some people think that being in their presence is good enough. Not so.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Picture(s) of the Week

This weekend was my Hall of Fame Induction and Homecoming weekend. I'd like to take the opportunity to thank my family (and Deb!) for coming to Tucson and sharing this special time with me.

*My banner that is hanging in the Hall of Champions

*Giving my speech...which I don't really remember since I didn't bother to write it down beforehand.

*My super stud friend and I. We went to middle school and high school together, attended the same college, and were inducted into the Hall of Fame together. Who knew La Mirada turned out superstar athletes like that??!!

*At the homecoming game with Debbie. Afternoon game in Tucson...BAD IDEA.

*My introduction at half-time.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Homecoming in more ways than one

This weekend I headed back to the A. Not the down south, let’s get crunk, Hotlanta A, but the cactus-lined, dust filled, there is no freakin reason it should be this hot in November A. Tucson, Arizona. I had three reasons to be in Tucson this weekend…

1. I got inducted into the Hall of Fame
2. It was Homecoming
3. I needed to find a place to live

That’s right folks, you heard right. This So Cal girl is going back to the desert. After weeks and weeks of thinking and deliberation…making a decision and then changing my mind—then changing it back, I finally decided that going back to Tucson was the right decision for me. In fact, it actually had a lot to do with my first reason for being in Arizona this weekend. More on that later…

I had actually decided a while back that I would probably be moving back to Tucson but put off telling a lot of people that was my actual decision because I have a problem with commitment. I don’t like when things are set in stone because then I can’t change my mind every five seconds and continue to keep worrying and stressing about it. Like I said before, I don’t do well with big decisions. In fact, I hadn’t told my Coach until this past Wednesday. Nothing like last minute, eh?. I finally realized though that the indecision was doing me no good and actually, it’s harmful. I need to believe that I’m doing the right thing and that I am 100% convinced that I will be successful and in order for me to adopt that mindset I can’t be filling my mind with doubt. So, Tucson it is. In all actuality, it comes down to a gut feeling. It feels right just like it felt right when I made the decision to go to school there 10 years ago and yet still agonized over that decision for months and months. But guess what? That was the smartest career decision I could have ever made and there has not been one millisecond of regret ever. EVER. I am banking on that being the case the second time around.

I mentioned that being inducted into the Hall of Fame had a lot to do with my decision to move back. When I first heard I was going to be inducted, I was pleasantly surprised. Not that I didn’t think it would happen sooner or later, but sooner came the first year I was eligible and that did surprise me a bit. It’s a huge honor—one that I don’t think I even fully grasped until I was out there this weekend. But what it made me do was really reflect. I was able to think about why I was receiving this honor and what made it possible for me to become that person that was deserving of it.

When I look at my career as it stands now, I wouldn’t necessarily say that I am extremely satisfied. I reached a certain level of success in college and I really haven’t come that close since. Because the last 5 years have been such a struggle, I really don’t ever take the time to remember what was, since I am so focused on what I have yet to accomplish. But being inducted made me reflect. I had to. I had to give a speech and tell all these people about my experience as an athlete at Arizona and how it contributed to my success and it’s during that thought process when I really realized that all that made me successful is right there in front of me. I didn’t start my collegiate career with these grandiose plans of being a star athlete, but I ended up being taught how to believe in myself and turn that belief into success. You will never be able to be a Champion until you see yourself as one. That’s exactly what I learned in college and that is what made me a great athlete. So why not go back to that? To the person who instilled that in me, to the program that I believe took me from mediocre to way above average, and to the place where it all began. So while I stood up there and talked about all my great experiences as a collegiate athlete and the reasons why I believe becoming a Wildcat was the best decision I ever made, I also reaffirmed to myself why it makes all the sense in the world to go back to that. So here’s to round two…Arizona here I come!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Picture of the Week: Happy Birthday DAD!!!

October 31st is my Dad's birthday. Yea, I know it's also Halloween, but that just always made it easier for us not to ever forget it. My moms birthday is some time in January. She's not so lucky. I know there have been a couple years I was a few days late...sorry Mom. Anyway, my Dad passed away about 7 years ago and it's the birthdays and holidays that make me think about him and miss him the most. I ran across this picture the other day and it just made me smile. I like when I smile instead of cry, because I think it's important to also remember what a great person he was and how happy he made everyone around him, instead of just focusing on how much I miss him. Right now I'm actually smiling through the tears--which is kind of a good compromise! Happy Birthday Dad. I love you.

Monday, October 29, 2007

My Halloween Costume

I'm not all that creative when it comes to costumes. My roommate and I were originally supposed to be "God's gift to Men" which was a simple costume and quite fitting for my personality. But once we got to the party store we saw fishnets and boas and thought it would be fun to wear that. So we kinda created a costume on the spot which is open for interpretation but since there were two of made it kinda cute.

The Statute of Limitations on Exes

This past weekend I went to a Halloween party and ran into an old friend. Well, more than an old friend, and old boyfriend, but it's someone I still keep in touch with and actually consider a friend. Not one of those, "hey, let's stay friends" but it's still always awkward when we see each other and my chest still fills up with butterflies when you walk in the room. I actually like him as a person—not something I can say about too many of my exes. I sure know how to pick ‘em, let me tell you.

Anyway, we chatted for a bit and did the whole catch up thing and everything was cool. His girlfriend was there with him. I know her, she knows me, and in my eyes, there is no issue. At some point during the evening I saw him standing at the bar and I went up and asked him to get me a drink as well. I mean, that’s what I do. I don’t like buying my own drinks and if I’m at a party with a bunch of my friends who are male, chances are I won’t have to. It’s a girl thing I guess, maybe not the best of habits but what can I say. But that’s not the issue.

The problem arises when he doesn’t buy me a drink and then explains to me that he probably shouldn’t because his girlfriend is there. Mind you, he doesn’t have a problem buying his “other” friends drinks, just me. So I of course took offense to that. I am not sure if I am right or wrong to have had a problem with it and I guess that is part of the reason I am writing it here because maybe I’ll be able to get some different viewpoints on the matter. In my mind, we are just friends. I don’t need to be put in a special category of friends because we dated a lifetime ago and so therefore you must treat me differently when there is a girlfriend involved. I wasn’t asking for special privileges, just the same treatment you give your other female friends, nothing more, nothing less. Maybe I am missing something but I just feel like there has got to be a statute of limitations on the idea of treating someone like an ex rather than like a friend. I believe that with some people you actually can end up being real friends. It’s not the norm but it is possible when there is respect involved and when you both have moved on in your lives.

In case you were worried, I did not have a problem finding something to drink. I was wearing fishnet stockings and a red boa for goodness sake!

Friday, October 26, 2007


Me: you remember that guy ****?


Me: ****…. that guy we met about 8 months ago when we were out at Lola’s and then you went on one date with him.


Me: well I ran into him today and we chatted for a bit.


Me: well actually, he asked if I wanted to grab a drink some time.


Me: hmmm. What a coincidence.

Women are territorial. It’s in our blood. When it comes to friends and the guys we like, it’s not a matter of if you dated or actually had any kind of serious relationship, it’s an issue of if your eyeballs actually focused in on him before mine did. If so, he’s yours—FOR LIFE. Of course, there sometimes are exceptions to this rule. I once set my best friend up with a guy that I ended up falling for and was in a relationship with for over a year. There was never an ounce of chemistry between them and she couldn’t care less so she gave me the pass and I went for it. Looking back, she would have saved me a lot of heartbreak and trouble if she would have just followed the best friend rule book and told me he was off limits! Thanks B; all those years of counseling are your fault. But I digress….

So this guy that my friend went out with ONCE was actually spotted by us simultaneously, but it turned out after a bit of small talk that she had actually met him once before and so somehow that gave her first dibs. So I took the loss and never gave it another thought…until now. Of course I remembered that this was the guy my friend had met and went on a date with, but I also remember her telling me that there wasn’t any chemistry and she wasn’t really feeling him. Hence the one date -- and not a second, third, or fourth. So in my mind I’m thinking that he’s pretty much fair game because that date was quite a while ago and she was never really interested. This was just an attractive guy she shared a meal with…nothing more, nothing less.

But nothing is ever that simple in the land of women. It just so happens that the week I run into him is the same week she thinks of giving him a call. Hmmmmm. Of course, this may very well be true and I guess that means I miss out on finding out if your lack of sparks could have been my 4th of July fireworks. I know the men (good ones at least) are scarce out there and sometimes recycling seems like the best option. I get it…the GREEN movement is popular right now and it’s spilled over into our dating lives. But I was kind of hoping that one woman’s trash could be my treasure…or at least my quarter in the couch cushion. Times are desperate.

So we will see what actually happens. I will keep you updated. Actually, I’m not sure yet if I will or not. I haven’t quite come to terms with being ok if I go on a date with someone and then they can come and read exactly what I thought of it…or them. That’s what always confused me about Carrie and Sex in the City.

***If “my friend” reads this…please know it’s all in good fun.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Picture of the Week

I'm continuing my picture of the week that I started this summer over here on my blog. Although the whole "week" part is a very loose term. It could be every other just whenever I have a picture I want to post and something I want to write about. My life gets considerably less interesting when I am not travelling around the world so in order to not bore you with pictures of me eating, watching t.v., or surfing the web, I'll try to limit too many uninteresting pictures.

For this week, I am sharing a picture of my old college roommate and myself from my recent trip to Chicago. Debbie and I lived together for three years in Arizona and we've stayed close friends ever since. She happens to be the most "grown up" friend I know and I love that about her--the fact that she's independent, successful, and a real go-getter. One thing Debbie and I do well is take pictures of ourselves...lots and lots of pictures! So I figured I would pay tribute to our friendship and the thousands of images we have accumulated over the years.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Decisions, Decisions

In the next couple of weeks I have a huge decision to make. I have decided to switch coaches and now need to figure out who I will trust to help me get ready to make an Olympic team. No big deal, just the BIGGEST decision of my life is all. I remember what it felt like when it came time to choose a college to attend. The process started at the beginning of the year and it was so exciting getting phone calls from coaches and taking the time to visit universities I was interested in. But months later, when I was still undecided about where I should go and who I could entrust to develop me as an athlete, the process was no longer fun and exciting—it was excruciating. Well that’s how I feel now, except that agonizing feeling is tenfold.

I don’t make big decisions easily. In fact, I don’t make small decisions easily. I am a huge over-thinker. When I go to a restaurant and I don’t know what to order, I stress about it, ask the waiter for his opinion, and then spend the next 20 minutes worrying about not picking the other choice. I will spend hours buying a plane ticket. Literal hours. And then I will put multiple tickets on hold so I can have another 24 hours to think about it. So imagine the turmoil I am experiencing now when it concerns my career. And did I mention it’s the Olympic year? Yea. I’m screwed.

The fact of the matter is I know I need to be somewhere where I trust what I’m doing and I trust who is coaching me. You can have the best coach and program or the worst but what matters most is that you trust in it. I know that and I also know that it is one component that I have been missing for the past few years. That blind trust that allows you to be so confident that you are doing the right thing and that there is no need to question anything. The burden is not on your soldiers because you have entrusted someone who you believe in and who believes in you to guide you to success. That’s what I want. That’s what I NEED. So I am searching, and more importantly praying, that the right situation is revealed to me.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Introduction

Welcome to my blog! I’ve decided to step it up a notch and take my blogging a little more serious because I have a strong desire to truly document this upcoming year. Not so much the calender year, but the 2008 season, which for me holds a lot of significance. I’m a track and field athlete, and just in case you don’t know me personally or don’t realize how important this year is for someone in my profession, I hope that by following my experiences on here you can begin to understand and appreciate my journey. Up to this point it’s been a rollercoaster—some of which you can familiarize yourself with from older entries, but suffice to say the past 5 years has been nothing like I had scripted when I graduated college and decided to become a professional athlete. Nevertheless, I am a firm believer that I have taken the path I have for a reason and that God is directing my steps.

Even though track and field is a huge part of my life and takes up a large part of the space between my ears, I also have plenty of other interests and musings that I like to write about. I thought it would be more interesting for both you and I if I use this blog to write about my whole life…or at least all the things I feel comfortable sharing with friends and strangers alike. I just hope to share in such a way that you are able to get an honest account of me and who I am and are entertained enough to check back regularly so that it doesn’t seem like everything I write gets lost in a deep black hole. I always welcome any questions or comments and would like for you all to experience this journey right along with me. Thanks for stopping by!