Thursday, July 3, 2008

raw.

I feel like I need to write this immediately, because it’s only fair that I share and if I don’t do it now I’m not so sure I’ll ever write it. So even as I sit here and can’t completely see straight because of the endless stream of tears, I still think it’s important for me to try and process what I’m feeling. I’m trying to find the most appropriate word to sum up my feelings and all I can come up with is devastated. But that doesn’t seem to cover it. It’s not enough somehow. But I am that. And more...so much more. Sometimes things affect you to your core and then you feel so incredibly lost, like ”how did that just happen?! And you search and search hoping that somehow it will make sense and ease the pain just a little once you can understand the “why” but I cannot. I really have no answers. Because I was ready…and I can only say that with certainty because I know what it feels like to not be and to fake it. But for some reason it was not to be and that HURTS deep in a place where I’ve rarely felt pain like it.

I gave my all to this and I now must walk away without accomplishing what I set out to do. There has been nothing in my life that I have committed myself to more and what I expected was to be able to leave that competition with the feeling that I did my best. But how can I truly feel like that when I ended up 10th? There is no way I am the 10th best jumper in this country. That is regardless of knee surgery or anything else. On any given day I am capable of more and what I wanted more than anything was to be able to feel as if I did my absolute best. I feel like I committed to that and yet somehow it never transpired. I don’t even know how it happened. I had one jump that was no good and I knew it and then I proceeded to foul the next two jumps and regardless of how far those jumps were, it really doesn’t matter if they don’t count. All of it feels like some incredibly bad dream that isn’t really real and I’ll just wake up and be so grateful that that really didn’t happen but unfortunately this ache in my heart is far too real.

In all honesty, I am so disappointed in myself. And I also feel as if I disappointed so many others. I know that might sound a little crazy because everyone who supported me did so out of love and because they wanted to see me reach my goals, but it’s hard to not feel like I let so many people down. I realize this was my dream but I know that so many people were pulling for me and wanting to see me succeed. As good as that feels to know that people care, it makes it hard when you don’t deliver.

I do know that all things happen for a reason. I still wholeheartedly believe every word that I have written down over the past year and know that in due time I will not feel such emptiness and heartache. Like I said before, each part of my journey is important and it all serves a bigger purpose, even today. I can’t pretend that the pain is not there right now though. I know that this is a turning point in my life and I am pretty sure that my future does not include track anymore so that is a hard thing to fathom. I didn't want to go out like this and I never wanted to see my career end knowing that I never reached my potential. But I am sure that life will bring me something else to be passionate about and I hope that the success I hoped to find in this career will be waiting for me elsewhere.

Even though it is obvious that this was not the ending I planned for, I am still grateful that so many of you took the time to experience the journey with me. It’s hard for me to admit that it’s come to an end far too prematurely, but it has.

27 comments:

Shayne Sterling said...

Truthfully I dont know what to say but I will just put down a saying I carry with me in life, I even made it into a chain I wear everyday:

Our greatest glory isnt in never falling, but in rising when we fall

You will rise back up in time Bri
I hope that helps at all

Cormac said...

Brianna,

Don't be dissapointed in yourself, and don't feel others will be dissapointed in you, because in my eyes you've done yourself proud by overcoming the obstacles you've faced throughout this year to even make it to Eugene. I know that's probably little comfort to you now.

I'm not even going to try and imagine what you're going through at the moment, but I hope you're feeling better soon.

I really hope you don't leave the world of track & field as it will be at a loss without you; you still have so much to give.

Cormac.

Anonymous said...

I know as an athlete the journey can be long and arduous. I have followed your journey and I congratulate you on the courage it takes to let us into your life. No, you are correct you are one of the best long jumpers this country has to offer. The fact that after your knee problem you were still able to compete at a high level, that is a true testament to your dedication, desire and talent. Thank you for the pleasure of vicariously involving us in your pursuit, you will always be a champion in my eyes. Dtown2121

Marcus U said...

"And I also feel as if I disappointed so many others. I know that might sound a little crazy..."

Little crazy Bri? No that is a lot crazy. Please get that out of your head right now. All of your friends and family who support you do it ONLY out of love and wanting you to accomplish what you've worked so hard for and what you want so bad. That support and encouragement will immediately transition to "what can we do to help Bri and try to make things better for her?" That's it. There is no disappointment.

Anyone who feels disappointed does so because they had their own personal agenda, even if it was just wanting to say, "I know someone who's in the Olympics." And you need not worry about such things right now, or ever.

What you have accomplished is an amazing feat. Just look at your statement, "There is no way I am the 10th best jumper in this country." The fact that you can say that and it be true is unbelievable to the millions of civilians like me out there. Out of the 150 million women in this country (the top track and field country in the world by far) you are among the top ten long jumpers on a BAD DAY? HOLY SHIT!

Believe me when I say I realize this is of no consulation to you right now as a professional competitor to whom all that matters is winning no matter who you're competing against. Just know that I am still amazed that I even know someone as athletically gifted and accomplished as you. But that is not the reason I, or anyone else, love you. We love you because you are an awesome friend, and a wonderful person. Track in no way defines you to any of us. Sheee-it... you were always just Bri to me ;).

You are an intelligent, beautiful, humble, cool ass girl Bri. I have the utmost respect for you and I know you have a great future ahead of you no matter which direction your path takes you. Always know that Nicole and I are here for you whenever you need us... or just her :).

Marcus

Jasmine said...

I LOVE YOU.

when i have nothing else to say, these three words are the only thing that come to mind.

when you come home, you'll get an extra quesdilla AND the brownie! :)

Anonymous said...

i truly can't relate to what your feeling-and however you take this it isn't meant to be cruel. Get up dust yourself off-make more sacrifices find and and stick with a coach somewhere--maybe the guy up in stanford or the guy in arkansas--or the bestone for you--move in with family--reach deeper than you just did--you really wanna be an olympian?--in 2012 you will only be 32 thats really young--the last year for you has been a rush job. You are as you said a far better athlete than 10th. I would find the right place interview what you believe are the best coach's i'd do it over the next 4 months--then get it together and move forward! Run faster and jump further--what happend to the 200m? 4 more years now is nothing in comparison to the rest of your life--this is tough to read but i care--get over this moment move on re-organize and get it done!== there are so many stories and athletes just like you who probably did more sacrificed more lost more than you did--how much at the very core of you do want this--if it's mor than the pain you feel which i believe it is--then once again put your heart on the line and everyday you focus and sacrifice and run and jump you will lift your spirit and it will burn as bright as the olympic flame! I don't feel bad for you at all i am hopeful for you--but if you walk away now-the pain of my regrets is something i would never want for you or anyone else to live with--"playing small in the world isn't what god put you here for" i know you have this nelson mandella quote--he sacrificed 27 years of his life in a 6 foot by 8 foot cell but his hope was larger than the world--you better check yourself brianna--if you were asked to give up starbucks for the next 4 years in order to make an olympic tam would you do it? would you move in with your sister or parents or other family members--whatis your resolve gonna be--what is your legacy gonna be--i know this is hard==but the hotter the fire the stronger the steel!
joep

Wayne said...

James 1:12 (NIV)

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him".

Remember that the life's journey from A to B isn't always a straight line. God Bless and Stay Strong.

gwyneth said...

i don't know you, but...i read about your trials on jasmine's blog, and then, because i am a bit OCD, i checked the official website and checked it and checked it until the results were posted. when i saw them, i kid you not...i hurt for you.

i still hurt for you, and i don't even know you, but i've had a few moments in my life where i felt like everything i'd been wanting and hoping and praying for were denied me, and i didn't understand...and i felt so empty and sad and heartbroken.

so...for what it's worth, this stranger who hates to run and lives halfway across the country and hates to cry...almost cried for you. i'm so sorry.

Erin Michell said...

I'm sure nothing any of us say will magically stop the tears or erase the pain you feel; but whether you decide to end your track career or pursue other endeavors know you have worked hard and you left everything on the track. Each situation in life can be viewed as a lesson learned even if we are unsure of the lesson at the moment. Some people would have lost hope or given up after an injury, but you kept believing in yourself and your abilities which already set you apart from most. I know that whatever you decide you will have much success. Keep your head up and God Bless
Erin

Anonymous said...

I stumbled on your site by accident...but then again...I don't really believe in accidents. Please understand that your career isn't over. God is with you now and always. The dream that you had in your mind was simply different than God's plan for you. Don't give up on your dream. Just mold it into something even greater. You may not understand now why your life has taken this path. You may not ever fully understand. Even when you can't identify the reasons...trust in the fact that your strength, determination, and faith has truly impacted the lives of your family, friends, and those you don't even know. You have inspired others. You continue to inspire others. If you look around, you will see and feel the love and the compassion. You will see and feel God's grace. I hope that you will simply continue to ask for grace. The grace to get through this day and all future challenging days. He will give it to you if you ask. I have complete faith in your ability to utilize the physical gifts that you have been given (and worked so hard to maintain) for a greater good. Share your gift. Share your successes and your obstacles. They are all part of your journey, part of you, and you are a miracle. :o)

LeeAnn said...

Like Gwyneth above, I ran across your name from Jasmine's blog because I'm planning my LA wedding from Eugene, OR. I'm originally from Los Angeles and moved to Eugene a year ago while my fiance attends law school.

My future in-laws are very ingrained in the track community here in Eugene and his father ran in the '72 Olympic trials and qualified for Munich Olympics. Even so, I never took an interest in Track and Field until I read Jasmine's post about you months ago. I think because it became more tangible. I could look forward to watching someone that I "know of" from Southern California on the road to the Eugene trials.

So we went on Friday and Saturday and I looked all over the schedule for your name and event. Unfortunately we didn't go yesterday and I tried to stay up to watch it on TV. It wasn't until this morning that I read Jasmine's blog first then yours.

I'm so sorry to hear about this. Again, even though I don't know you, I was routing for you. I'm sitting here at my computer with tears and a heavy heart. I'm sorry for rambling. I'll keep reading to see if you'll try again in 2012. If you do, I will be routing for you! :)

ps. I'm not surprised to hear about the "video training" they did for the athletes and volunteers. What a joke and embarrassment. I'm Asian living in Eugene and I've gotten used to it, but it's laughable. So sad.

Jewells said...

I'm praying for you.

jameil1922 said...

you didn't let anyone down. i'm giving you a big ehug and praying for peace for you.

Eb the Celeb said...

I think everyone else pretty much summed up everything encouraging... just wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts... and I know its easier said than done but stop putting so much pressure on yourself... be at peace with your accomplishments... and believe in your hearts of hearts that you did your best and no one can be disappointed with you for doing your best

Kiajeen said...

I just want you to know I am thinking about you and praying for you. In some ways your journey over the last few years reminded me of my last few years of competition. What I just didn't realize how much of my old track wounds were tied into your career. I am crushed for you, but know that you are a much better athlete than I ever was, so I know that God has more great experiences and new opportunities in store for you. You have touched many lives with your pursuit in ways you will never comprehend. God loves you for that and so do I... Stay up.

Kia

t.v. said...

Nineteen months ago when I started reading your blogs on myspace, I immediately became a believer. The more I read, the more I believed in your ability to win and accomplish whatever you set your mind to do.
You have a powerful and spirit driven mind that will continue to impress those that come into contact with you.

It's ok to feel the way you're feeling right now. Next week or next month you might feel differently about your chosen career path, and that will be ok too. Because right now it's all about you and no matter what... we will continue to read about "Your Fabulous Life" and we will continue to support you.. :)

Love heals pain and it plasters "raw" sores.

kiemie said...

Bri,

Not that my opinion matters, but you are sooo not done. Track and field can feel make you feel like a horse with blinders on at times and that tunnel vision is needed sometimes in order to focus on the necessary things. But right now you need to take the blinders off, chica and really see the impact you've made on a ton of people and yourself. You've learned so much and grown so much in a short period of time that despite the recent performance, you still are probably a better athlete now than you ever were. You understand the the little things that people often take for granted and that in itself is gift.

If you really feel as though you've taken your last jump, then I wish you the best in all your future endeavors. But I challenge you to read your own blog, take some time and reassess the situation. Fate has its own clock and you don't decide when the alarm goes off. The only thing you can control is your preparation and being ready to embrace opportunity. You are an angel to many and I hope you know that!

Tish said...

my heart hurts for yours.

Anonymous said...

Are you in jail?
Are you sick?
Did someone you love die?
Did you just find out you have aids?
Did you just hurt someone?
Are you one of the starving, sick, children in a poverty stricken country?

So what!....you didn't make the Olympics!

Look at all these people here who couldn't give a rats ass if you made it or not but still care about you!....And half of them don't even know you!

I'd say you have already won!

Head up, count your blessings, and onto the next adventure!

All my best,
http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=151729262

Anonymous said...

I ran across your blog by accident months ago and I read it almost daily because you seem so cool. Anyway... I'm sad with you right now. I truly feel your pain and I don't even know you. Don't beat yourself up. You gave it your best shot and all of us fans are proud of you. I know that your friends and family will cheer you up soon. Just be strong girl.

BB

The Cajun Boy said...

I can't even begin to imagine what you must be feeling. And I'm certianly incapable of stringing together a few words to soothe your pain, and I doubt that anyone can. But take pride in knowing that you've already done more and gone father than countless thousands of others. You're an inspiration to many and seem so have such a golden heart. Your life will be beautiful. You will smile again. And you and the world will be better for it.

Anna Peterson said...

Psalm 34:18-19
"The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all."

I hope you know that the Lord has crazy awesome plans for you not just 10 years in the future, but for tomorrow and the next day and the next day. He knew how much you wanted this, and He is there to help you through it. He knows why He gave you this athletic gifts -- and He is always GOOD to you. :)

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." ~Romans 8:28

Anonymous said...

A wise woman wrote the following about her life;

This is my journey. I am thankful that I have had the opportunities I’ve been blessed with that has brought me to this moment and this specific point in time that would not have been possible without all the ups and downs. Each and every part of it was for a purpose. In my head I had created a path to the top that was a straight shot and instead I was given the scenic route filled with detours and obstacles I never imagined. But I see the person that I have become—not just the athlete, but also the person—and I know that I am better for it. I believe in my heart that today will be special. But more importantly, I know that the journey has been extraordinary.


Brianna, life IS the journey and the twists, turns and bumps are what make it unique. I am reading a small, yet powerful book called "The Last Lecture." One particular chapter talks of brick walls in our lives. On page 70, Randy Pausche States the following, "brick walls are there for a reason. They give us a chance to show how badly we want something." Take a minute to mourn the loss, lick your wounds, regroup and reassess. You'll discover what it is you need to do and which wall you want to attack in life.

I love ya and am so very proud of not only your physicall and athletic accomplishments, but most importantly, the woman you have become. xoxxooxx

Julia

old teammate said...

I wish I could give you a big hug right now. I could only imagine the pain but just know, that pain is only temporary.

From reading the comments, you have a lot of people you know and don't know that support and care about you. Not that my opinion really matters but I would:

let myself feel this pain and continue to feel it and let it run its course and remember what it is like.

Then, I would use that as my motivation in whatever future endeavors come my way. But I believe you have a lot more jumps and at least 1 more Olympic trial in your body.

Whatever you decide to do, do it for you because it's in your best interest. When you come back to Tucson, hit me up and I'll give you another case of water :-)

Keep your head up, no matter what happened you still are a hero to a lot of people, especially young ladies who are aspiring to be like you.

Erin said...

Just wanted to say thank you for sharing your journey! Good luck in your next journey, I am sure God has lots planned for a person like you!

michael pope said...

first of all i want too thank you for youre effort you are still a olympic champion to all of us. please don`t beat youre self up over this, i myself went through the same thing in track & field. no i am not a world class athlete but i know the hurt and pain . but like i said you are still a champion thank you for letting us in on the ride . good luck in the future. i know you don`t need it you have it all ,till the next episode. god bless

Anonymous said...

I will say this:

I too failed at something. I spent 4 years working my hardest on something that I thought I believed in. In short, someone else made the decision that my career would end early. My world turned upside down. I found myself jobless, depressed, and devastated.

That was one year ago. For months, I could not get out of bed, I gained weight from eating to make myself feel better. I cut relationships. I trusted no one. I finally started to feel slightly better about 8 months after the fact.

I am saying this to you, because I feel your pain. You will not believe it when people tell you that it will get better. Words of encouragement will fall on deaf ears. Life will seem to have lost it's zeal. In short, it will suck.

The only thing that has gotten me to the point of being OK (A year later and I am still hurting), is one phrase.

"Allow yourself to mourn the death if this dream." Just let yourself hurt and time will lead you to the answers you need.