Monday, June 16, 2008

TESTING. 1...2...3...

I don’t like surprises. Well…that’s not entirely true. If the surprise involves a new car with a big red bow around it or a shiny diamond meant for my left hand, I’d gladly delight in the shock and astonishment that I’d be sure to experience. But the types of surprises that involve unfamiliar territory and are accompanied by feelings of uncertainty are definitely ones I’d prefer to do without. My life is always filled with plans and preparation because that is how I operate the best. My friends know this about me. We don’t eat at a new restaurant until I have researched it to death on Citysearch, Zagat, and any other place I can find reviews. I try on all my outfits before I pack them for trips even if I’ve owned the clothes for years. And in any other season I would have competed as many times as necessary until I felt confident in my abilities and satisfied with my technique going into that year’s championship. My year of training and competitions has been planned since before I even stepped foot on the track this fall. Of course there is always going to be tweaks and modifications, but I never imagined an adjustment of this magnitude.

I have done my best to be at ease with the circumstances as they stand. In practice there is only so much you can duplicate, and as close as you might come to being able to replicate the effort and intensity that comes with the heat of competition, it is never really the same. Especially when it’s just you. You...and the unbelievably HOT sun. Even the ants go into hiding. I would imagine it’s something akin to being a stand-up comic and only ever doing your material in front of your goldfish before you headline a show in front of 50,000 people. That’s kind of how I feel…Dear God; I sure hope I’m funny!

Well in order to help relieve a bit of that trepidation I spent a couple days down at the Olympic Training Center with a few of my fellow jumpers this past weekend. And I jumped. 6 full jumps and a measuring tape on hand to fully assess my effort. There was nothing else going on except us on the runway so it was a lot more low key than an actual meet, but I had competitors…good ones at that! We even had some of the staff and a few friends down there to cheer us on. I was a bit anxious beforehand because I knew that the two jump practices I had the week prior were definitely a blessing and a positive step in the right direction, but not the kind of showing that proves you are really ready to do something. I had to remind myself that going out there in a competition setting so soon was a way for me to assess where I was at, shake off some of the nerves, and assure me that my knee was good and ready to withstand a competition and be just fine. I knew that it was imperative I focus on the positive and not dwell on the parts that still need some time for some fine-tuning, because there is obviously going to be some of that needed. I relay all this information to you as if it was a nice, peaceful conversation that took place in my head as I calmly reasoned with myself, and not a total freak out I had about two days prior that it was quite possible I could get on that runway and land about two feet from where I took off and then believe myself to be completely screwed!

Well I didn’t freak out and I jumped a wee bit further than two feet. I started off a bit shaky and had a couple conservative jumps. It was nothing to bury my head in the sand over but not impressive either. Then I turned the burners on and did a few nosedives into the sand because I was not handling the speed that well. But I had the speed…so still a positive! What I was happiest with however (besides ending the day healthy), was the fact that on my last jump I was able to pull it together a bit enough to actually produce a jump that was half way decent. I’m sure the jump was ugly, but it had that competitive flair that allowed me to soar a bit further than the other jumps. It wasn’t so much that I fixed what I was doing wrong, I just capitalized on what I was able to do well at this point and time. It was a 6.59 effort (which is roughly around 21’7 I think for you metrically challenged folks). I realize that the distance is not one that will cause anyone’s mouth to drop open in amazement and it will take a far better effort in two weeks time, but when you look at the whole picture it sure as heck ain’t too shabby for a girl who had a squishy leg and a bum knee a few weeks back.

So I am now able to do my final two weeks of preparation with less ambiguity in terms of where I’m at and if I am capable of putting a jump together. There are things I still need to fix and work on that will allow my body to fire and respond the way it needs to so that I can produce a big jump, but I was able to eliminate a lot of the unknown and shake off a bit of the anxiety. I am grateful for the opportunity and I am happy I was able to not let what I can’t do yet interfere with what I can do.




Fellow Long Jumpers Grace Upshaw, Akiba McKinney, April Holliness, and ME!

18 comments:

Cormac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cormac said...

Good to hear things are beginning to get back to normal for you; that 6.59 is encouraging indeed.

Joice said...

Glad to read you had a good indicator of where your at.

Happy for you Bri.

Jx

anonymousnupe said...

Well, you would have won the women's NCAA long jump championship over the weekend with that leap, right? Stay stayin' strong.

Anonymous said...

Hey can you please post another long-winded description of one of your practices soon? Please include unrelated, collateral thoughts such as restaurant choice, packing your luggage, and every other thought that goes through your head that day. Thanks!

Jasmine said...

Yaaaay! Glad to hear things are getting back on track. However, you're going to have to work on your Taboo skillz because Bianca said she was picked FIRST at Nikkie's!! :D
xoxo...

Brianna said...

@ cormac & joice...thanks guys!

@nupe...no. the jump at NCAA's was the furthest by an american this year!

@anonymous...i actually wrote a post just for you about a week or so ago but it seems as if you might have skipped over it.

@jas...there were extenuating circumstances there. we both know who the queen of taboo is!

Nikkie T said...

Bri, you rock!

Anonymous, you're an ass.

Jas, Robert Edison was actually picked first for Taboo. Bianca was great though, and I would've chosen her first but I was tyring to be strategic.

anonymousnupe said...

Seriously? I must have misread the results. Just checked again...it would have helped had I been looking at results for 2008 and not last year! Oh, well. So much for consoling you.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Glenn,
Kindred spirits here. I too like every detail buttoned down before I do things. I lay out everything, in detail, before I pack to travel also, going over it all several times before it goes in the bags. My kids just laugh at me.
Yep, there isn’t any substitute for real competition to find out just where the fitness is, is there? I was wondering if the “philosophy” is the same as with distance running, that the closer you get to the targeted events, the more you focus working on your strengths because you’ve no time to work the weaknesses out. It seems this might be the same, since you’ve wrote of really working on your speed, since this is a great strength of yours.
As an aside, it was interesting to watch the vast contrast between “technique” jumpers vs. “speed” ones at Pre. The Russian girls (both named “Tatyana”; is that a requirement for Russian jumpers, lol?) were definitely technique oriented vs. the faster approaches of Funmi Jimoh or Rose Richmond. Even my daughter (no track fan there, I just made her go, lol) noticed and asked about it.
Nice photo of “the group”. I like Akiba McKinney’s hair!
I did want to comment on the different look of the blog page, it’s nice.
Jump Far.

Daniel “Not Anonymous Ass”
LOL.

jameil1922 said...

go head girl! jump it out! know how far i can jump? about 4 feet. so 21'7 is a.ma.zing to me! lol.

Bianca said...

1. Congrats on a great training weekend. I enjoyed reading it (unlike the hater that keeps on coming back to read more stuff he doesn't like).

2. Nikkie, may I remind you that I was picked FIRST round. Yes, Robert was picked first for YOU, but I was FIRST for Kash.

Taboo queen,
B

Nikkie T said...

LOL @ Daniel (Not Anonymous Ass)

Bri, I know the your readers are uninterested in our side conversation so this'll be my last post about Taboo, I promise...

Bianca- Bri and I talked today about how the three of us, and TaKisha, should go to houseparties and gamenights where poeple don't know us and hustle them in taboo. We'd be unstoppable!

Marcus said...

I think the Taboo skills might be being a little embellished here on all sides. Just my opinion.

April Holliness? Is that really her name?

brit_brat said...

Lets not forget you were able to come to some random park that made you pay to park in it, sit under a tree which barely gave any shade, gaze upon amazing looking food brought by people who looked of Asian decent but could not eat because we didn't know them, hold a baby that drooled all over you, visit restrooms that we're way below par, debate polictics with two family members that might just be a tad bit racist and hear a voice from a 3 1/2 year old that resembles that of a character known as MICKEY MOUSE! All that including your efforts and accomplishments with jumping, I'd say you had a pretty damn good weekend!

Brianna said...

brit...thanks for summing up my weekend perfectly!

kiemie said...

go Bri! You are really hard on yourself. and outside of the girl that won ncaa's your jump over the weekend uts you right in the thick of things with everyone else. and I'm sure most of your competitors have not had your hill to climb. Don't tell anyone, but umm... You are like my new idol. lol! Perserverance is something you hear people talk about but you've managed to put it into perspective (atleast for me) in a way that has inspired me to kick my own workouts u a notch.

Thanx Chica! and Good Luck!

Brianna said...

thanks kiemie! that is a wonderful thing to hear someone say.