Wednesday, April 30, 2008

If I was stranded on a desert island...

...and I could only take 1 item, guess what it would be?! My computer. And I know technically you should say your bible, and pictures, etc. But I can have those on my computer these days. So really, that's all I need. And yes, I am lightweight addicted. Who am I is a full-fledged addiction. I have absolutely no idea how I survived less than two years ago when I didn't have a laptop to travel with. I was a completely different person then. Which is why, my dear friends, I am going crazy. I left on a red-eye Monday evening for a two week journey that will take me half-way around the world. And as I pulled into the long-term parking lot, my heart froze. I forgot my computer. I panicked and checked the time to see if it was at all possible for me to return home and grab it. Of course it wasn't...I arrive at the airport with absolutely no extra time because I hate waiting around. So before I boarded the plane I sent out a plea to my agent to please buy me a computer I could return and bring it with him to Jamaica where I will see him 4 days later. I wasn't kidding...not in the least bit. This is serious stuff. And not just for me and my dependence on the various websites I check daily and the stories I can't wait to share on here, but I was thinking about you as well. What would you do if you had to survive two whole weeks without updates on my so-called fabulous life??? And to top it off, these next two weeks have the opportunity to actually be quite fabulous! First, I am in New York right now and did an awesome photo shoot for Polo Ralph Lauren, then I'm off to Jamaica for a meet, and then fly all the way to the middle east for a meet in Qatar. Imagine the people I might sit next to on the plane and the stories I could tell. And what if I jumped a PR and couldn't share it? Or fell in love with a Qatarian Prince? It simply would not be the same if I shared all of it two weeks after the fact.

So right now I am paying about a months worth of rent to type this short message to you all to inform you that life as we know it is not over. I will have a borrowed computer by Friday. Woohoo. As for now, I would love to post about my double life as a model, but the post needs pictures. I want you to be able to experience it fully. Don't worry...I am fully clothed, so please no hate mail about my lack of decency. So I will hold off on that one but I will continue to update as best as possible. Oh yea, and pray for my knee. I have been on mandatory DO NOTHING status to try and get it to calm down.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's not what you think!

You know that knee I’ve been telling you about? Yea…it’s not getting any better. In fact, it’s been getting a lot worse. And it’s one of those pains that's kind of indescribable or hard to pinpoint the exact cause and therefore the proper treatment. I thought I might be able to combat the problem with some good deep tissue work because all the stuff that connects to my knee was super tight and pulling on it… or so I thought… but thus far it hasn’t helped and seems to be getting worse so I’ve been seeking out some alternative treatments.

I’ve decided to try Chinese. Medicine, that is. Acupuncture can supposedly help a whole host of problems and so I figured I might as well see if they could sort some of mine out. So I go to the guy and not really knowing what to expect or what types of things he could assist me with, I just begin to rattle off all the things that hurt. Well it turns out that the things that are bothering me are all connected in some way. They are on the same meridian lines, or energy wavelengths, or connect the dot know, something ‘easternly’. And I remember something that had to do with my kidneys. And to be honest, I really don’t know what that means but I was optimistic nonetheless. It sounded smart. Unfortunately, my first treatment didn’t cure my knee but I plan on going back once I am back in town for an extended period of time. I suppose it can’t hurt and I really need to figure out this knee problem because it has started to affect my training.

In the meantime, my Chinese medicine guy gives me something called a moxa stick to use on my own to help alleviate the pain in my knee and facilitate healing. It’s some sort of herb rolled up into a large cigar shape and you light it up and hold it about an inch from your skin until it gets unbearably hot, remove, and repeat. He told me that I should probably use it outside because of the strong odor. It totally smells like weed. Like the strongest pot ever.

And so I’ve used it a couple times already sitting in my living room with the door and windows open and now my neighbors are giving me weird looks. And this guy totally walked by and tried to peek his head in. I’m not sure if it was curiosity or if he was hoping for an invite. And it doesn’t really go away either. So now my neighbors think I’ve gone Rasta and if you are anywhere in the vicinity of my apartment you would swear I’m hittin’ the ganja super hard. But I’m not. I just hope they ask questions before they call the DEA on me.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Want more Bri?

First there was Myspace…

Then this blog…

Then my Website…


I know what you’re thinking…enough already. And I am inclined to agree with you. But before you start thinking that I am on the brink of having people go into ‘Brianna Overload’, I really didn’t create a facebook account to interact with more people or because I thought my presence on the net was lacking. Not really. I initially got it because my friend told me we could play scrabble online with an application that it offers. So that was reason enough for me to sign up. Have I ever mentioned that I am the scrabble Queen?!

So anyway, now that I have an account, I realized I might as well share it in case there are those of you who are interested in being my buddy. There really is no reason if we already have a connection somewhere else. There will be nothing new to be found on Facebook and I don’t plan on putting in the blood, sweat, and tears I initially did when starting my account on Myspace. I direct all that energy here now. ☺ But what is cool, and the biggest reason I am sharing it here, is that I can link my blog feed to my page and so for all those people who find it time consuming and laborious to venture over here day after day, you can stay up to date on Facebook. See how I work for you?

So in the big scheme of things I feel as if having a page will increase my readership and allow others the joy of staying in the loop. Other than that, there will be no new pictures or anything else exciting found there. At least I don’t think there will be. A girl only has so much time in a day to devote to her internet empire.

CLICK HERE to go to my facebook page and add me as a friend!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

For all you non-believers...

A couple of months ago, I wrote a post titled “Yes, they’re real”…in regards to my abs. And in my explanation explaining to the masses how I came to have such a sculpted mid-section, I said that it was in large part due to genetics. The following is an excerpt…

*Have good genetics: Unfortunately this one is something you won't really be able to improve on your own. I had a six pack when I was 9 years old. Literally. I don't know why and I don't know how...but some of you out there wouldn't need digital enhancement to the top of your bathing suit so call it EVEN!

And in true little sister fashion, my sister posted the following comment…

brit_brat said...
Bri you just wanted an excuse to post that Bud picture again didn't you? Conceited ass....
But seriously people, as her sister I can vouch that those abs are real. If I knew how to post pictures on this thing I would show one where I'm like 5 and Brianna is 8 and we're by a pool in some cheap ghetto apartments, and homegirl is rockin this pink and leopard print, cave girl looking two piece bathing suit and has an 8 pack! I kid you not. 

In case anyone was wondering if I inherited those same abs? The answer is no, no I did not. And I am very upset about it. Brianna just happens to be truly blessed in the stomach area. I, on the other hand have a nice butt so I guess life isn't that cruel after all.

So in digging up the adorable baby pictures of myself for my birthday post, we came across the leopard print two-piece. It’s pulled up a little high so you can’t quite make out the whole 8-pack, but you can still see the definition. I don’t know why, and I don’t know how, but there I am at 9 years old, rocking the exact same body I have today, almost 20-years later. Yes, I said exact. Notice how the curves that are supposed to evolve with age, never did. Oh well.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Picture of the Week: Birthday Celebrations

As you might know, I had a birthday a few days ago. And I celebrated…just a little bit. Of course, I was in southern California to work, but I did manage to get in some time to be with friends and relax. I am extremely connected to the people in my life who I have been friends with and who help make me who I am. It is definitely the thing I miss most being in Arizona…being able to be around the people that I love.

Friday night I went out to dinner with a group of friends in Hollywood. It was a random restaurant in the middle of nowhere but it had great food and a fun atmosphere. Thanks to everyone who came out and celebrated my 28 years of life!

Saturday I spent the day with my best friends (who also had a birthday the week prior) relaxing at a day spa and then eating enough to sustain a small army at the most fabulous steak house. Seriously…it was SO much food. The waiter actually interrupted as we were ordering the sides for the table to remind us how much food we were actually ordering. I suppose they aren’t used to girls in LA actually eating. After a meal of sourdough bread, steak, crab legs, mac n cheese, asaparagus, garlic mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, sautéed mushrooms, chocolate souflee, and apple pie…we were stuffed. But it was oh-so worth it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Mt. Sac

I have competed at the Mt. Sac relays for the last 14 years…ever since I’ve been running track. All throughout my high school years, college, and now as a professional, it has continued to be one of my favorites meets of the year. I enjoy it so much now because of the familiarity and the opportunity for my friends and family to be able to see me compete. This year was no different.

From now on I have to be careful with how I describe my performances because I feel as if I come off as more negative than I mean to be at times and a bit unconstructive in how I assess my performance. It’s one of the things I am working on—not being such a pessimistic person who is always focused on the results and not the process and chooses to see the bad without recognizing the good. At the same time however, there is nobody who expects more from myself than I do, and so sometimes I am my own worst critic because I know I am capable of much more. Point is…I’m trying to change. So let’s start with my first long jump competition of the year…

I was 3rd in the competition and I jumped 6.62(21’9?). The two people ahead of me both jumped 6.65(21’10). First of all, I don’t like losing. I do realize that winning is not always as important, especially so early in the year, but it still doesn’t make losing enjoyable. However, I do want to give a special shout out to one of my good friends Jenny Adams, who happened to be the gal who jumped 3 centimeters further than me. Mind you, losing to friends is no easier or more pleasant than losing to anyone else, but I respect what she is doing and how far she has come in such a short time. You see, most people know Jenny as a 100-meter hurdler. That’s because she’s been a very good one for many years and it has been her focus. But she has decided to long jump again, and to many people that might seem crazy when she hasn’t done anything notable in the event for probably about six years, but someone forgot to inform her that that mattered. I like that. I like it even more because it is similar to my goal of being a top sprinter after so many years of focusing primarily on the long jump. Some people might think that makes no sense. So what. I think what we both see is people succeeding in the events that we used to excel in. So why not us? Well I think Jenny has done a mighty fine job of picking up where she left off and so I am truly happy for her. (…Although I do not plan on letting her beat me ALL year!)

Anyway, I was pretty satisfied with my performance and I will give myself a pat on the back for having fairly consistent jumps with the exception of 2 that were nowhere on the board but still decent jumps nonetheless. The consistency aspect is something I have been working extremely hard at so that is definitely a step in the right direction. Last year at this meet I jumped a PR of 6.71 (22’1/2) and so the fact that this year’s mark was not as far would usually bother me some, BUT I am not going to let it. For starters, I started my long jump preparation much later this year because I was training more as a sprinter and stayed off the runway until much later in my training. I also feel like I was very capable of jumping that distance today. I know it didn’t happen, and that is really all that ever counts, but the ability is there for sure. My series of jumps were better than last year as well. So there were definitely some positives and some things to grow on.

I’d also like to thank all my friends and family that came out to support me. This is the start to what I hope and pray is an extremely successful and fulfilling year. It warms my heart to know that so many of you are pulling for me and keeping me in your prayers.

Friday, April 18, 2008


I might seem as if I’m not the type to remind people it was my birthday and expect loads and loads of well-wishes, but I am in-fact EXACTLY that type of person. I’ve even been known to send out friendly reminders as the day winds down if I haven’t heard from certain people who I fully expect to call. I’d simply hate for them to feel bad after the fact. Some of you I know, and many more of you I don’t, but since we’ve grown so close over the months through this little blog, I figured you would appreciate a little reminder as well. So…

Psssst. It’s my BIRTHDAY!

I am officially 28 years young and I feel great. I know there is really nothing exciting or monumental about this age. It’s not the coming of age that 21 is, or the officially an adult at 25, or the ‘DEAR GOD, I AM 30!’…nope, none of that. It’s just one of those in the middle, blah ages. I guess here is where you are supposed to start mentioning that 30 is just right around the corner, seeing as how you are now closer to that age than you are to 25 and can’t even technically claim to be in your mid-20’s anymore. So I suppose my girlfriends and I will do a little of that type of chatter now when we get together. Especially us single ones…

Anyway, I just wanted to take a second to appreciate the fact that I was born. I suppose the parents deserve a shout out for that one as well…THANKS MOM! Hopefully you appreciate it too. Of course you do…you get the opportunity to read this fabulous blog every day. Let's celebrate the day I was born!!! Now go ahead and leave me a comment so that I feel loved.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Crash and Burn

Some time last week I posted about the aches and pains my body was going through. Although this is the life of a track athlete that we have become accustomed to and learn to deal with, there are times when our body is actually trying to get our attention.

Aye, yo. I am struggling over here. Would you mind taking it easy so that I can catch a breather??!!

But in our hard-headed ways, oftentimes we ignore these pleas and trudge along. Why? Well sometimes it’s just hard to differentiate between the “suck it up” pain and the “pay attention” pain. Everyone has those people on their team who will put their name on the ballot for most dramatic performance by a track athlete every time they feel a little soreness here or an ache there. But it is also the mentality for some, including myself, that I have to do each and everything possible to prepare myself. If I don’t do this workout, there is someone else out there that is training twice as hard. A lot of times, it is a mental thing more than anything else.

I will admit, I didn’t always used to be like this. Yes, when I did train I tried to give 100%, but I can clearly remember the first Christmas break of my college career when Coach sent me home to California with a months worth of workouts and I came back having made it to the track a total of 6 times. He noticed. And back in the day, I also used to be the captain of the cheer squad if something came up and we were unable to practice. Rain? Woohoo! They are re-paining the track? Score! We have the day off to study for finals? Sweeeet!

But I am a changed woman these days.

I am admitting now that I think my body was trying to get my attention, and because I refused to notice, it took matters into it’s own hands. It just simply stopped functioning. It’s a hard thing to explain if you’ve never experienced it yourself. I train 5 to 6 days a week and even if sometimes my body doesn’t feel as fresh and crisp as other times, you are still able to make do. I knew something was up on Saturday when I raced in Tempe. I didn’t feel horrible, but I felt like my body didn’t have that extra ‘pick up and go’ that you usually experience in a race. It felt like I was stuck in 3rd gear. Still, I chalked it up to a myriad of other things. Then, at practice on Monday, I started with long jump approaches and I couldn’t make it to the board. It took numerous tries and the most insane effort ever to run my approach. I felt as if I was running through mud. So Tuesday I was going to take it easy and just do strides, and when I tell you that to make myself jog a lap was tantamount to running a marathon…I would only be exaggerating a little bit.

So I was put on mandatory active rest for the remainder of the week. There was nothing I did specifically that overworked my body, it’s just an accumulative thing that can happen to anybody at any time. Sometimes your body just wants a little rest, and when you don’t give it that, it will find a way to take it anyway. My coach new I would be a little bothered, being that I open up in the long jump this weekend and I had no good sessions this week to prepare, but he told me quite simply that at this point, I am the jumper that I am. Another practice session is not going to produce any miraculous achievements and it’s more important that I try and get my body feeling good more than anything. I begrudgingly agreed.

Sometimes it’s bizarre how our mind processes things. I am so extremely anal when it comes to my technical practices or ones I consider to be of extreme importance. It’s not as if I don’t have 14 years of work under my belt, but if I miss this one practice THE WORLD IS OVER. Everything is fine though. I will have an easy week of extreme recovery under my belt and hopefully my body will thank me for it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Olympic Boycott: A Debate

Whether or not there will be a boycott isn’t really the issue. There won’t be. Not that the President himself has called me up and let me know this, but I will still go out on a limb and say so. The issue is should there be. It seems like everyone has an opinion. Well here’s mine.

First of all, I will preface this post by saying I know my opinion is biased. I have a much larger personal stake in these Olympics than the average person and I am sure that influences my opinion. But I believe that bias to be an important one and a point of view that definitely needs to be taken into consideration by all those who are so quick to call for a boycott. I am not in any way trying to diminish the atrocities that are taking place. They are horrific. When I read and hear about them I am just as angry as the next person and yes, I hope something is done to change it. But supporting the Olympics is not the same as supporting China’s actions. Why? The Olympics is not some grand event specifically for the Chinese people or their government. It is for all of us. The Olympics are bigger than China. And what they stand for, what there purpose is, should not be forgotten.

Think for a second on what the Olympics mean to the athletes that have the honor of participating. It is a lifelong dream come true. It is an honor higher than any other. It is the pinnacle of a career. And for most, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. As athletes, we did not choose China. What we chose is hard work. Sacrifice. Dedication. Commitment. Perseverance. All to have the chance to be able to represent ourselves and our country at the Olympic games. So try to understand our frustration at those so quick to dismiss what this might mean to us. Most Americans are giving up their opportunity to tune in to NBC and watch the games. No Dream Team to cheer on, no 100 meter final to anticipate, no new America’s sweetheart from gymnastics. Yes, that’s all very unfortunate, but none of that is a personal sacrifice.

What it is is a statement made on behalf of our country that will make no difference to the actual problem we are making a statement about, through a medium that has no business being the vehicle for the message in the first place. We are athletes, not politicians. Yes, I have an opinion on things that are happening around the world, and a heart that feels for the people affected. But if people came to you and said that YOU are unable to do your job or continue with the one thing YOU are most passionate about because WE are trying to get China’s attention and even though it won’t change their behavior, at least it’s a good faith effort, you might be a little put off as well. And mind you, I am only speaking for myself but I have a sneaking suspicion I am not the only one who feels this way.

That’s not to say as athletes we are incapable of taking a stand or showing our dissent. I cannot think of a more compelling and powerful image than that of two men raising their fists in protest on the Olympic podium. I value that statement and I appreciate the courage it took to make it. Or the statement Jesse Owens was able to make in regards to Hitler’s theory on white supremacy. They used their platform as athletes on the biggest stage possible. But they made a choice and they were still athletes first.

If the President wants to boycott the opening ceremonies, that’s his choice. And if others would like to boycott in their own way, they should do that. If you don’t feel it’s right to tune in, don’t. Don’t buy products from the companies that are sponsoring the Olympics. Get rid of all your “made in china” possessions. But it is my belief that the Olympics should not be about politics, it should transcend them. I think we should let the spirit of the games be. I would like to have this opportunity that only presents itself once every four years to celebrate and appreciate what the Olympics really stand for. Oh yea…and compete.

Debate: I made this a debate post specifically because I want to hear opinions from all sides of the issue. I truly respect all opinions on this and I just hope that those that differ from my own can at least somewhat understand where I am coming from. You can also just choose to "silently" debate and just vote in the top right hand corner.

tax time

I’m one of those last minute people. Actually…I am worse than that. The fact of the matter is that not only am I sending off all my paperwork to my tax person today for thisyear, I am also sending LAST years. That’s right, the taxes that were due 366 days ago. And to be quite honest, I didn’t really need to mail them today seeing as how I’ve already filed for an extension anyway, but I needed to force myself to just get them done. That’s what happened last year…I filed for an extension just so I could have the opportunity to not stress and not have to worry about them, and then I let six months go by and refused to let the memory of them back into my consciousness. I vaguely remember thinking to myself, “shoot, I need to take care of those taxes”, some time around October, but I was busy getting ready to move and things were being put in boxes, and I simply COULD NOT BE BOTHERED. This behavior is really quite unlike me. I am an organized, structured person and I stay on top of things quite well. But taxes scare me. I think our relationship just started off on the wrong foot.

The first year I had to file taxes I heard everyone saying that it was something you could just do yourself. So I marched right in to Office Max and bought myself a nifty little box called “TURBO TAX” and went to work. Except my taxes had nothing to do with W-2’s and people were telling me things about self-employment and write-offs and it was just so overwhelming. I finally found a way for them to just to tell me I was finished. I sent in my money and hoped they would leave me alone. Then one year I wandered into H&R Block they day before taxes were due (today’s date) and nearly gave the poor be-speckled man a seizure. He just didn’t know what to do with me. I had a part-time job at the time but I also still had this track thing going on and it was obviously not his area of expertise. But we made it through and I bought the extra insurance just in case we screwed up royally and the IRS came looking for me. At least I’d have backup.

I finally found a friend who does the taxes for many other track athletes. She’s literally been a lifesaver because she totally gets it. She runs track herself and knows exactly what we are supposed to do, what we can claim, and what we “technically” don’t have to…it’s fabulous. She started helping me two years ago and it was great. So I don’t really know why I am a whole year late on last year’s taxes, but I still have remnants of fear left in me. Coupled with the fact that I am so unorganized when it comes to this stuff. All I have is one big envelope with 2007 written on it and everything that could possibly be needed stuffed inside. It’s daunting. Not to mention that for the past two years I have been to about 20 different countries per year. That’s a lot of bookkeeping. At least now I’ve realized I can do standard meal replacement and not try and add up every coffee and bagel I order at the airport while I’m traveling. To be honest, it’s really not that hard. It’s one of those things you dread, and then when you’re finished you say to yourself, “self, that really wasn’t that bad after all.”

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Opening Day

My season started today and instead of me blasting out of the gates with an explosion of fireworks behind me, it was if my nephew had lit a sparkler and waved it in the middle of Times Square. Not impressive. I suppose it wasn’t terrible, or something I should lock myself in a room for and deprive myself of dinner, but I guess I was just expecting more. I’ve had some really great practices, the weather was absolutely perfect, and the track is supposed to be lightning fast, but I just couldn’t seem to find my rhythm.

I ran the 200 meters. Not necessarily my premier event, even though back when Dinosaurs roamed the earth it could have arguably been considered my best event, something I wish didn’t need to be brought up in races like today. In lane 4, former NCAA champion in this event, Brianna Glenn. Well after the girl that won worked me so bad, I was wishing I had entered under an alias. My time was 23.32. I’m putting that up just to save you the time and effort it will take to find it online. Yes, it’s a bit lackluster but I suppose it seems even moreso to me because of how big of a margin there was between the winner and I.

Regardless, it was still the first race and I believe that I got the cobwebs swept out for the most part. I haven’t raced the 200 competitively in so long that I felt a little out of my element and it showed. But there always needs to be a starting point and this was mine. Next up will be Mt. Sac out in Southern California. I will be running on a relay and long jumping. If you are in the area this meet is a great one to come watch. Hope to see you there!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Chicago trip

This week I traveled to the windy city for some other type of work. Being the fabulous Bud girl that I am, Anheuser-Busch requested my presence at their annual convention and so I did an appearance on behalf of the United States Olympic Committee. First of all, I’d like to acknowledge just how well this company takes care of their guests. Perhaps it seems so above and beyond to me because I am used to our national governing body making us pay OUR OWN WAY TO NATIONALS, but that’s another rant for another day. They flew me out first class, gave me a fabulous hotel room, and I even had my own driver for the whole time I was in town. I roamed the streets in my oversized Escalade…well not really, but I could have. Total baller status.

My expectations for the trip were grossly underestimated. As soon as I landed and headed to dinner I was updated on the itinerary. First an intimate dinner at Ruth Chris for about 60. Can I just mention that we all were served steak AND lobster?! You know I was in heaven. Then it was off to spend some time being a “celebrity” bartender with the other athletes sponsored by the company. This included Kasey Kahne, a NASCAR driver, some other guy who races cars and whose name escapes me at the moment, and Chuck Lidell, a guy they call ICEMAN, who is the star of the UFC. Scary lookin’ guy but a total sweetheart. I’ll admit that I didn’t know who anybody was but after hearing their credentials, I was more than impressed. I mean Kasey has his own jet so the guy can’t be too shabby! It was my impression that we would have one bar that was closed off for this special event but I was wrong. There were in fact 12 bars rented out for the entire evening for the convention that was taking place. Each bar/club featured a different beverage and a different theme. So the place I was at was merely the place where you stopped to get a Budweiser—tap or draft. It made the bartending quite simple. If you wanted Bud Light and a picture with the ICEMAN, you went somewhere else. If you felt like a Michelob Ultra, that was down the street. You get the point…it was totally insane. So after my duties were completed I headed back to the hotel because I was quite exhausted but I will assure you that I was the only one to do so. Brianna Glenn was the only person without bloodshot eyes the next morning at 7:30am.

The next day we headed over to the convention center where I was set to give a speech later on in the program. I had arrived in Chicago believing that the audience would consist of a few hundred but I quickly realized I was way off. It was somewhere close to 5000 I believe. Can you say stage fright? There was a balcony for goodness sake…and seats that went out for what seemed like forever. To ease my nerves, the day started off with a 30 minute Q & A with Eli and Peyton Manning. Of course they were brought in to get the crowd warmed up for me and they did a fantastic job. In all honesty though, these guys were amazing. They had such a great story and spoke of the “will to win” which was the theme for the convention, and I found it to be truly inspiring to listen to the both of them. Later in the day I made my debut on stage and as much as I really hate to pat myself on the back or inflate my ego in any way, I TOTALLY ROCKED IT. I’m kidding. Sure, I think I did a pretty good job, but I’m quite sure people didn’t go home and tell their spouse about my two minutes of talking when they could mention Eli…Peyton…ICEMAN…Kasey, or even the Lieutenant General Hal Moore, (wrote the book from his days at war that inspired the movie We Were Soldiers), who gave the most awesome speech ever. Or maybe they will remember me…they did put up my bikini picture on about 10 different screens when I was on stage.

So overall it was a great trip. I know I got far more out of it than I probably gave and that is a great feeling…especially when they pay you for it. I met so many great people, heard some fantastic stories, and got a sneak peek at commercials that haven’t even aired yet. And did I mention my oversized Escalade with personal driver?

***I totally forgot to make use of my camera, so the only picture I took is me and ICEMAN...hence all the images off the internet!

a quick rant...

I’ve been in Chicago for the last couple of days and as you may know, Chicago is one of the hubs for American Airlines. Yes, the same airline who has had their planes sitting on the ground for the past couple of days doing absolutely nothing. I learned of this slight hiccup when I arrived in Chicago and the person greeting our plane informed all transit passengers that they wouldn’t be going anywhere any time soon and that all planes were grounded. I smugly patted myself on the back that I was lucky enough to have Chicago as my final destination. The next afternoon, as the time was drawing near for me to depart to the airport and board my flight back home, I overheard someone commenting on how American planes were still grounded. A quick talk with the travel agent confirmed this horrible news. No American flight to Tucson and no flights PERIOD leaving out of O’Hare that could get me to Tucson that day. I couldn’t even make a connection, everything was full thanks to this airlines inability to get their act together. So she continues to work on my problem and soon produces me with a new itinerary and boarding pass. I will be flying out of Midway airport 5 hours later on Southwest. Ugh. I hate to sound like one of those uppity, pretentious travelers, but I really do dislike Southwest. And I suppose they have their place in the market and it’s sometimes a necessary evil, but that is when you are taking a short trip to a neighboring state. Shoot, I don’t even fly them when I go home to L.A. anymore if I can help it. So since this is pretty much my only option for getting home, I’m stuck. And of course I’m one of the last people to board. And of course I get a middle seat between two big guys because the flight is absolutely full (thanks to overflow from American). And of course I miss the drink cart because I dosed off and never saw it return. You see, on American I was flying first class and I was really looking forward to consuming as many beverages and homemade chocolate chip cookies as possible. So this was indeed a letdown. But I’m home now. And now that I’ve had the opportunity to rant, I feel a lot better.

p.s. this post is for Bianca because she complained that she was forced to go to my blog and not be greeted with a new post. perhaps if she COMMENTED i would know that she read the last one already and quickly be on top of producing something else for her enjoyment. But no, she did not. I plan on writing about my trip to Chicago later today...sometime after I've had my coffee and can think clearly.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

the aches of a track body

This morning I was on the phone with my best friend and she asked why I sounded funny. I informed her that I was standing in an ice bath and I hadn’t gone numb yet—hence the high-pitched quivering voice. Ask any track athlete and they will tell you that willfully submerging themselves in water cold enough to make an Eskimo squirm is a necessary evil of this sport. I admit that I wasn’t so diligent in my younger days, but the older I get—and the more broke down my body becomes I find that my body appreciates and needs this form of torture.

I can go months and months without being able to wake up and feel “normal”. In fact, I am pretty sure I have forgotten exactly what normal feels like. I walk differently, I leave my shoelaces tied so as not to be forced to try and bend over or I adopt a fetal position to get the job done, I ride in a car with pillow support to try and keep my back in a more bearable position…all the things some might take for granted are an obvious effort for me. We run ourselves into the ground. Literally. As in, the effort it takes to merely stand up is too much for our body to handle at times. Last year I almost had to go to rehab for my addiction to Ibuprofen.

Right now my body feels like it is in a heightened state of distress. First there are the chronic problems, such as the horrifically tight lower back that teases me with signs of improvement that never last and the right hamstring that refuses to ever feel like the left one and finds comfort in staying in a perpetual knot. Add to that the tendonitis that has developed on my left kneecap presumably from all the increased jumping I have been doing in practice, and the other knee that just will collapse on occasion, especially after a hard session of running, supposedly because whatever muscle or tendon that connects to it has become extremely tight and pulls it out of position. Ouch. And finally there is just my clumsiness. On Saturday I was in the process of taking a bar off the rack and it slipped out of my hand and fell directly on my foot. So 45 pounds from about 6 ft. up caused an immediate screaming fit from me and a swollen and bruised foot for a few days. Luckily the foot is okay though.

So what’s the solution? More ice baths. Baths with Epson salt. Stretching. Tons of money spent on massage therapists and chiropractors. All of this so I can continue to train as best as possible. If I were to wait until I felt absolutely fantastic without an ache in site, I would be close to collecting social security. So while track bodies may look good, they hardly ever feel good. Take comfort in that fact the next time you secretly yearn for the chiseled perfection that we possess. :)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Did you know...

I totally bit this off Jackie. I admit it…I’m not ashamed…I just had nothing on the brain right now that I felt like writing about. Well, I did but they were things that required thought and I just wasn’t willing to go there.

I will sit at home with the T.V. on mute while my favorite shows are on for the first 20 minutes so I can watch without commercials.

---I always order a non-fat cappuccino with only one shot of vanilla from Starbucks because it takes away from the burnt taste their coffee seems to have but it doesn’t make it too sweet.

The first half of my warm-up music before I compete is Gospel.

…I almost elected to play softball in high school instead of Track but I was going to be on J.V. so I changed my mind.

…I didn’t really play with dolls or barbies or many toys growing up that I can remember. I don’t even recall too many cartoons that I watched. I just liked to read. Duh. Such an old soul…

I read really fast. I don’t know if it’s actually considered “speed reading” but I will get through books faster than most people. This might be due to the fact that in 3rd grade I was Reader of the Year at my elementary school.

…My best event coming out of high school was the Triple Jump…something I never practiced once I got to college.

…I used to think I was too skinny so I would wear leggings or sweats underneath my jeans.

My friends and I called ourselves the “Bomb Squad” in high school. We even made shirts, had a hand signal and everything.

…I used to get all A’s in high school so my first semester of my Sophomore year in college I decided to see if I could do it in college too. I could…but after I realized that I went back to letting a couple of B’s slide in so that I could continue on with my active social life.

…I told my Coach in college that I needed to weigh at least 130 so my jeans would fit right…and now if I weigh 130 I freak out.

When I eat French fries I bite off the end and make a pile of ‘nubs’. I only do it with the end that is in my fingers, the other one I have no problem eating.

…I have an absolutely horrible memory. But the one thing I will never forget is losing the district spelling bee in 4th grade to a kid named Tommy Wahlquist on the word ‘leukemia.’

I was a cheerleader in high school. Yup. A captain and everything.

…I have moved once a year for the past 5 years.

…I’ve never actually changed a poopy diaper on my own. I’m not looking forward to it either. Hopefully I’ll have a nanny.

My Dad used to dance on Soul Train. I even have a picture with him and Don Cornelius that was featured for the 25 year anniversary of the show.

…It drives me crazy when people eat their pancakes by cutting one bite at a time instead of cutting all of them beforehand.

…I love to people watch, but I’m really bad at being discreet about it. Oftentimes I have to be reminded that I’m in fact STARING and it’s obvious that I’m eavesdropping.

…When I was being recruited by UCLA they said I couldn’t get a full scholarship because as a sprinter I was a ‘dime a dozen’. During my college career I never lost to a Bruin.

My best friends have been on American Idol, Celebrity Apprentice, and that old show ‘Becoming’ on MTV. (my love don’t cost a thing…)

…I am a terrible singer. Horrible. But when I was younger I would always ask for solos in church musicals and talent shows at school. I loved being the center of attention.

when I was younger, I wasn’t allowed to listen to “secular” music…so I liked oldies as a kid.

...I am obsessed with rationing things. I don't like it when people eat all the candy at the beginning of the movie, I'd rather space it out. I like when my fries last as long as my burger does. I try to run out of staple things at the same time...i.e. bread, eggs, milk, etc. oh yea, and capri suns (inside joke)

So I’m sure you feel even more connected to me now that you’ve heard these little known facts. How many did you already know? How many were surprising?

Friday, April 4, 2008

confessions of an emotional shopper

I’m a girl that likes to shop. Period. It’s one of my favorite pastimes and there will hardly be a day when I will be out shopping and not find something I just have to purchase. Most times I can constrain myself to stay within the confines of my budgeted allowance for such outings and I simply force myself to stay home when I know the pocketbook really can’t handle it. For me, I think that being wealthy would be enjoyable simply for the fact that I would be able to shop without worry—wherever and whenever I wanted. I’m not saying I have extravagant taste because really I don’t. But I will say that sometimes my wants are not so in line with my means. This is coming from the girl who is still peeved about not getting her free coffee from Jiffy Lube!

Like I said, I usually do a pretty good job of limiting myself but I do tend to get a little carried away at times. When I’m stressed out. Upset. Sad. Really pissed. Yea, times like that you will either find me shopping or eating crap. Why is it that when you are down in the dumps you always feel like eating the un-healthiest food imaginable?

Because this week has brought me a few of those extremely unpleasant days I decided to cheer myself up. Granted, it probably would have been safer to take a trip to Target and buy a few home furnishings or splurge on a few worthless items at Forever 21. But I suppose my depression had reached such a low that that wouldn’t cut it. So in the midst of my shopping spree I came away with two particular items that, while fabulous, probably should not have been purchased in the same day by a woman who has gone many months without a race that provided a paycheck. And since I am experiencing a bit of buyer’s remorse because of it, I decided that one of the items probably should go back. Please note that it is not possible to take both back because that would totally defeat the purpose of allowing my spirits to brighten through the acquisition of something I really wanted. And it is also my birthday in a couple of weeks so I am claiming an early birthday gift to myself. But I am having a hard time choosing so I will let you help me…

First is a great pair of True Religion jeans. I love the wash and I think they fit quite well. There is none of the crackage issues that can sometimes be a problem with True Religions. Yes, I have my fair share of designer jeans but we all know that you can never have too many good fitting jeans., that is obviously not me in the picture. i would hope that my derriere looks a little better than this girls.

Next is a great Isabella Fiore purse. I have actually been wanting a new purse for a while and even though I was in the market for a new black one, this one happened to be a great deal and the color is still very neutral and great for spring.

Any other items that may have been purchased were inconsequential and probably would have been made regardless so I am not worried about that. And the 5000 calories I probably consumed that day have hopefully been burned off by now. Can you believe I ordered my own popcorn, candy, and Icee at the movies? An ICEE??? What is that, just a cup full of flavored sugar. I don’t remember the last time I had one of those. Not to mention that it makes going to the movies by yourself extremely pricey. Boy do I need a date.

Anyway, please help me decide which one of my lovely new purchases should be returned. Let’s not worry about which one costs more because I believe them both to be a good value.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Diversity Training: A debate

A few days ago I was watching one of the news channels and I came across something that struck me as a bit odd. Eugene, Oregon, home of the 2008 Olympic Trials, will be conducting diversity training for volunteers, hotels, restaurants, and shops to help them better prepare to deal with the influx of athletes, namely African-Americans that will be in town. Because the city is so homogenous, (there are a bunch of white people living there), they feel that they need to train themselves in order to be able to relate and deal with all the black folks. They want to make sure we feel equally at home. On the one hand, I commend them for wanting to be good hosts and to ensure that the experience is a positive one for everyone that attends. I certainly don’t believe they have harmful intentions, but it certainly made me do a double take.

It almost seems like a joke, except it’s not. In fact, I was going to post about this yesterday but being as it was April Fools Day, I held off. The idea that the organizing committee feels as if they have to be trained properly to deal with my friends and I is almost insulting. We aren’t aliens that require special handling. The athletes, friends, and family that will compromise the 65-75% of “other” folks that will descend upon the city for a couple of weeks, merely hope that the city does a good job of treating us all with dignity and respect. I’ve been to Eugene countless times before and I haven’t experienced anything negative. We aren’t visiting from a different country, we are visiting from neighboring states and I have never been aware that Eugene was a place where something like this would be addressed. This isn’t Jena, Louisiana.

So what kind of things will the “Blacks on Track Team”, or BOTT for short, be addressing? According to a few articles I’ve read, they will be better prepared to point them towards things they are more accustomed to. "We'll let them know where they can get their services be it good soul food, a hair cut, or religious services. And that they feel welcome." I’m sorry Eugenians; I highly doubt a city with 2% black population is the hot spot for soul food. Nor will any of my fellow athletes be looking to get their cornrows freshened up while they’re out there. We will be quite content eating at that great pizza place across the street from campus or visiting Olive Garden, etc. And as unfair as assumptions based on a persons skin color might be, a workshop or two is not really going to stop store clerks from following black people around in stores, another concern that is being addressed in training. But who knows, maybe there can be something gained from this. Supposedly residents from Eugene will also be taught that certain greetings appropriate between two black people may not be so appropriate between a black person and a white person. How annoying is it when white people try to give you a pound??? Ughh. And I would seriously be so offended if while I was out there someone had the audacity to say “wassup sista”. Could you imagine that happening?

So what I am wondering, dear blog readers, is if you think something like this is necessary. I think it’s quite obvious what my thoughts are but I am open and willing to try and understand why there is a need to teach people how to treat other PEOPLE right. Should I not feel insulted that the people in Oregon might not be able to figure out on their own how to interact with me if I am a guest at their hotel or a patron of their restaurant? On the one hand I acknowledge and appreciate their desire to be proactive and prepare themselves as best as possible to host a terrific event. Cultural diversity is something that should definitely be celebrated, but is behaving as if our differences require special training act more to separate us than bring us closer together?


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A bargain...or not.

The light in my car indicating that I needed an oil change became illuminated last week. I knew it was about that time but I always prefer that my car remind me personally before I take action. I promptly put it on my ‘to do’ list and thought about when I would fit it in to my schedule. Of course I have plenty of free time virtually every day but I feel more productive when I make lists and schedule certain times to do things, rather than just stopping at the shop on the way home from practice. It just so happens that there is a Jiffy Lube around the corner from where I live and I pass it on the way to pretty much all of my scheduled commitments—the track, weight room, chiropractor, and my massage therapist. Honestly, that’s all my life consists of. Anyway, I had seen a sign out front promoting a special ‘early bird’ price of $19.99 if you brought your car in between 7am and 9am. The deal was made even sweeter by the inclusion of a free coffee and bagel from Coffee Exchange, located just down the street. And not just a regular drip coffee, they were offering a free signature coffee drink. That’s like four bucks. And did I mention this place even has free Internet? sweeeeeet.

So I made the decision that Tuesday would be the day I got an oil change. I have to wake up early on Mondays to make it to the weight room by 8am, but Tuesdays are my day to sleep in and I was forfeiting that in exchange for a bargain. I set the alarm for 8:15 (hush) and made my way out of the house. Of course I had a moment’s hesitation when the alarm first went off, almost convincing myself that the extra sleep was worth the $10 bucks but then I remembered the free signature coffee drink and figured I would regret it if I stayed in bed. So off I went.

Can I just share with you for a second just how much I hate getting an oil change? I really despise these “customer service” agents that are constantly trying to make this whole ordeal into far more than a simple oil change. And perhaps I would listen and carefully consider their recommendations if it wasn’t for the fact that each and every time I go I am shown how filthy this filter is, how clogged this other thing is, how my windshield wipers are definitely not wiping how they should, and how I should definitely consider the upgraded oil that is twice as much as the posted price for an oil change. Maybe you’re right…or maybe that filter is always grey and collects a little dust. I did just buy this car brand new six months ago. And so today was no different, as they tried to convince me I am breathing air that would make people in China sick and that it is definitely recommended that my car use the premium oil. Umm, I drive a Honda Civic. This car doesn’t need premium anything. It’s precisely why I traded in my SUV to drive it—so that all things could be cheap and basic. If a Civic doesn't require the basic oil, what car does? And I know it might seem as if I just happened to show up before 9am and will be pleasantly surprised that my oil change is only $19.99, but it was most assuredly not. So therefore I am definitely NOT interested in paying $49.99. Not today.

So I proceeded to turn down this, that, and the other thing and finally I was ready to go. I happily signed my bill and the man handed me my keys and wished me a good day. But guess what he didn’t hand me? My coupon. So I quickly think to myself whether it’s worth calling him back over and asking for it. Perhaps I was mistaken and you have to get the upgraded oil in order to be eligible for the signature coffee and bagel. And since I was such a cheapskate then I certainly do not qualify. Beyond that, I think that I have a slight complex. Yes, I’m cheap and I love a good bargain, but I don’t always like to admit it. I’ll walk into a store and seem genuinely surprised as the sales clerk informs me that the whole back wall is an additional 50% off. Oh wow, that’s great. Actually that’s the only reason I’m in here. I’ll quickly browse through the front of the store but my sights are set on the sale rack. I don’t have a favorite shampoo and conditioner, I change my brand based on what’s on sale. I like to try the salon quality ones from time to time but I’d never want to pay full price for the stuff! So instead of admitting that I had woken up early specifically to get the sale price and a free coffee, I walk away with no coupon. And as soon as I drove away, I regretted it. It’s completely stupid of me, I know. Even if the coupon wasn’t available to me, what do I need to be embarrassed about for asking? Are the Jiffy Lube workers going to judge me and secretly talk about me as soon as I walk away? I doubt it. And now I’ll probably stay home tomorrow afternoon instead of enjoying an afternoon at Coffee Exchange on Jiffy’s expense.