Friday, February 27, 2009

alive and well

I didn't die. Or fall off the face of the earth. Or run off with a well-chiseled, no shirt wearing, handsome, rugged, sweet talkin' Aussie.

I haven't had an internet connection for the past five days. For me, that's kind of like going without water. Or maybe air. In fact, my sister texted me yesterday just to make sure that I was in fact, STILL BREATHING. So I just wanted to ensure anyone who cares, that I am. I made it to Sydney today and as you can see, I have once again been connected to the universe. That means more blogging, emails to those who deserve them, and facebook updates galore! Life is sweet.

I have been enjoying myself out here to the fullest and tomorrow I take a break from it all to actually put in some work so wish me luck out on the track and I will be back shortly to update you all on my life down under! Seriously though...if I find my sweet talkin' Aussie I might not come back at all.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Down Under

I’ve just spent the last two hours packing for what would seem like a 2-month trip. Only problem is I’ll only be gone two weeks. It’s ok though, I always feel better having over-packed rather than worrying that I might have under-packed. And being that I am super excited for this trip, I figured it was worth the extra pair of shoes…or three. For the next two weeks I will be down under, spending some quality time in Melbourne and Sydney. I’ll also be running in two meets but right now that seems like an afterthought. As much as I travel, it’s not often that I really get excited about going somewhere new. But Australia has been one of those places I’ve wanted to really visit for a long time, and now I have the opportunity. It’s summer season out there right now, which means they are in the middle of their outdoor season. For me, this means foregoing a trip to U.S. Indoors to run the 60 meters and traveling a little further down the track to run a whole 100 meters. It might not sound like much, but that extra 40 meters is going to be work! It’s a small price to pay however for a chance to see a new part of the world.

Without a doubt, traveling is one of the best parts of this job. I may not always appreciate it as much as I should while I’m living it, but I know that I will look back when I’m old and grey and be grateful for all these opportunities. I’m skimming through my passport right now looking at all the countries I’ve visited; France…England…Greece…Belgium…Germany…Qatar…Switzerland…Sweden…Estonia…Jamaica…Ireland…Spain…South Korea…Italy…Poland…Japan…Senegal… Czech Republic…and those are just the ones I can read clearly! And now, after approximately 20 hours of flying, I will have one more. See you in a couple days!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Is this offensive?

This is a cartoon that ran in the New York Post today. I've already read how Al Sharpton feels about it, and as you may have guessed, he is outraged. I think it's important to try and form my own opinions about things of this nature that sometimes may not be in line with the Reverend's. However, at first glance (and first read), I did detect racial undertones and I'm trying to figure out if that was purposeful or a misinterpretation. I know that I have a diverse group of people that read my blog so I'm wondering what your thoughts are.

**Edit: In case you don't know any of the back story, police shot a rabid chimpanzee in Connecticut for attacking a that is where the inspiration comes from, I believe.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happily Engaged.

That hand up there is mine... my left one to be exact. And that big rock you see? It’s on my ring finger. But before I start getting freaked out messages from my mother, I want to assure all of you that there is no breaking news…quite the contrary, actually. These days I seem to be a little disappointed in men, at least the ones in my life. In these instances I usually do one of two things – I grab attention from men in general just because it’s fun and makes me feel desirable, or I want zero attention from all parts of the male species. Right now it happens to be the latter.

If I had my way I would have spent the weekend consuming pints of Ben and Jerry while watching The Notebook on repeat, but instead I was convinced to spend some quality time with folks in Phoenix. I actually had a good time and enjoyed myself but being that it was also All-Star weekend and I was forced to be social out and about and go to the game and everything, I felt like I needed an extra barrier between myself and the vultures that descend upon the city any time an event like that takes place. The last thing I wanted to deal with was pickup line after corny pickup line from every Joe, Mo, and Larry I came across. So while we were walking around the mall Saturday afternoon, I saw this little sparkler at Nordstrom’s and I decided that I would be engaged for the weekend. Now I know any self-respecting woman would have been able to tell in an instant that this cubic zirconia was far from the real deal, but it flashes nicely and does the job at a quick glance.

Now I know that honesty is the best policy and yadda, yadda, yadda. But this weekend I just didn’t have time for that. I didn’t want to explain that whatever you are trying to sell, I’m just not interested in buying. So I flashed my ring instead. And it was great. So much easier than only having a boyfriend and still explaining that that also means I’m not in the market for new “friends”. Whatever. I’m a fake. I’ll own it for now.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

He's just not that into...


You first heard about it on Oprah. And then you read the book. And then, if you’re anything like me, you couldn’t wait to see the movie. And you loved it. I know I’m a sap for any movie targeted towards emotional women, but that’s ok. I would venture to say that most women can relate to some parts of this movie. And if not, I’d like to talk to you after this blog post. Maybe you could be my mentor… Or my idol.

The fact of the matter is I like to consider myself a strong, independent woman. And I am, most of the time. But when I saw this movie, I saw myself in more of the scenarios than I care to admit or own up to. Except here I am, admitting to it and even taking it a step further while I broadcast it to the world on my blog. I have been that girl, probably on more than one occasion. And in the spirit of sharing, because I just saw the movie and liked it so much, and because we are coming up on the holiday that celebrates love and reminds those of us who aren’t in it how pathetic we are, I’m divulging a few secrets. I’m going into the memory bank and thinking back to all those times when I acted as if I was the exception and not the rule. When life would have been that much easier if I’d just admitted to myself that he just wasn’t that into me. (As crazy as that sounds…)

The following are some of my 'not so greatest' moments...

*I was dating this guy who would sometimes take forever to call or text me back and he’d often say he didn’t get my text. I used to have two cell phones so every time I would text him and then not hear from him in what I thought was the right amount of time to text back, I’d text myself from my other phone to make sure my text messages were coming through.

*I had a boyfriend and he broke up with me. (I know, shocker) So in my pathetic, heartbroken state, I made him a CD of all the love songs that reminded me of him or what I hoped would remind him of me. I mailed a copy to him and then had a copy for myself that I tortured myself with on a daily basis. I was thinking (hoping) he’d listen to the CD and then realize how much he missed me. It didn’t work.

*I used to hang out with this guy that would always make plans with me last minute. This is a pet peeve of mine but for some reason I really liked hanging out with him and I just knew he enjoyed my company as well. I just assumed he wasn’t the type to think in advance. So, when I would think that there was a possibility that he would want to hang out, I’d just keep my schedule open or only half-commit to other plans. And then I would send a random message or something that would hopefully jog his memory and remind him that he TOTALLY wanted to hang out that day.

*I was in a long distance relationship and were going through a tough time and arguing constantly. At one point he just didn’t want to be on the phone anymore and I felt like I just couldn’t make him see the light. So I flew to North Carolina from California unannounced. I can’t say he was that happy to see me.

*Everything was going great. We talked all the time… we hung out on a consistent basis… he whispered sweet nothings in my ear…the usual. And then slowly it began to change. The conversations were short, he was busy, and there was no whispering. So when I asked him about it and tried to figure out what was going on, he explained to me that he still really liked me, he just had a lot going on and it was hard. So I bought it. And I continued to just be available because sooner or later he’d come around and things would go back to normal. Riiight….

*I’ve been known on occasion or two to “accidentally” run into someone. I guess I figure that if they see me in person they will be instantly reminded how fabulous I am.

Ok, so as you can see, I have slipped up a time or two, thinking that there was always a reason or excuse for the behavior when in reality it was quite simple. He wasn’t into me. Not like he should have been. Not like I wanted him to be. And all I really had to do was chuck him the deuce and be on my way.

I’m hoping that maybe you’d like to share a story or two of your own though, so that I can be assured that there are other like-minded souls out there. And if you aren’t sure, just tell me a story anyway and I’ll let you know what the real deal is!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Irish Champ

I am very pleased to report that after my competition this weekend I am officially the Irish National Champion in the Long Jump and 60 meters. *Applause* Now, I realize that this title would hold much more significance if I actually happened to be Irish but we all have to start somewhere and I happen to believe that I just might be 1/16th Irish as well as probably a whole bunch of other things. I might need to check with Mom and see what other Championships I can sneak into while I’m out here.

All jokes aside, I was actually quite pleased with my first real competition of the season, especially in the long jump. I have mentioned it briefly on the blog before, but there has been a lot of nervous anticipation regarding my jumping this season due in large part to the switching of takeoff legs and me having absolutely no assurance as to whether that bright idea of mine was going to pay off. I am happy to report that so far things seem to be on the right track and I am beyond relieved that after such a short time I am already in a competitive place and look forward to shocking some people this season. Of course it will be only you guys who realize I am out there jumping off of a different leg but even if they think I’m jumping off the knee I had surgery on they still might think it’s pretty impressive. And of course if they ask what is different about me this year, I’ll tell them. There’s no reason they shouldn’t know what a stud I am. ☺

In other exciting news, I have also begun to debut some of the new competition outfits I told you about a few weeks ago (see here). I know I am going to disappoint some of you with the extra skin I am covering up but the longer tops seemed to be more fashionable. I do have one half top I haven’t worn yet but it might have to wait for outdoors. Anyway, I would love your opinion on what I have so far and that will help determine the direction I go this season. (Based on whether or not I agree with you of course.)

1st Look: This is hard to really appreciate in the picture but the top is a bright silver, like I am a ‘Martian from outer space’ type of silver. The bottoms have 3 thin silver stripes and of course the silver headband. (I’m sticking with my headbands regardless.) In pictures this look might not make much of a statement so I call it my low-key look.

2nd Look: The top is white/black/gold with a gold zipper but those huge numbers we always have to wear are hiding that. The bottoms are more like hot shorts. They remind me of the shorts the girls wear at Hooters actually. I’ve never actually eaten at a Hooter’s but I know what the shorts look like.

**The socks add a whole other vibe to the look but these are specifically for Long Jump. I realize it may seem a bit “costume-y” but they are actually functional. It’s so annoying when sand gets inside your socks and this way that problem is eliminated.

3rd Look. All black and gold but with a smaller bottom, similar to what I’ve been wearing in the past. What I love about this top is the straps so hopefully you get a good look at those.

And just for kicks, this is a picture of my warm-up. I just love it because of the “B” on the arm. It’s like it was made for me…except it wasn’t.

So go ahead and tell me what you think. Just don't let all the folks who will more than likely comment on how my knees look funny or my nose is a little big drown you out.

**A special thanks to all the fabulous photographers out in Ireland...without them, this post would not be possible. :)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Picture of the Week: Super Bowl

Super Bowl was an amazing time. great experience...great game...and great memories with people I love. What more can you ask for? Here are a few pictures from game day...

*Pre-game party...we went to get ready for a great Super Bowl at a party that doubled as a tailgate. One thing about Super Bowl is that there is a lot of people who have a lot of money and they like to make sure you know it! This party was held in an airplane hangar. They brought in a beach area, had live music, a ton of food, and random celebrities and athletes milling around.

Inside area of the hangar. Notice the large amount of Steeler jerseys...Cardinal fans were definitely the minority!

The beach area...complete with sand and personal canopy beds.

A picture I snapped of the Bachelor. He was also a 7th string quarterback or something I guess.

Uncle Kev and JR

* Next up was the game. Quite possibly the best game I have ever watched. I thought last year's Super Bowl was exciting, but for me this year was even better. Perhaps because I really had a team I was cheering for, but regardless that fourth quarter was one for the books!

Uncle Kev and I on our way in to the stadium dressed like real fans!

We walked to our seats and were shocked (!!!) to find ourselves in a box on the 50 yard line. This was a total surprise but SOOO amazing to experience a game like that!

Taking the obligatory picture with the field as a backdrop!

I notice Ashton and Demi sitting in the box next to us. Slightly off-center but still good seats I guess. :) Everyone else was snapping pictures as well so why not.

The Boss at halftime. I'm not a HUGE Springsteen fan but I did find it quite entertaining.

Congratulations Steelers on your 6th Super Bowl victory. Not how I wanted to see it end but a great game nonetheless!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Kiss Me, I'm Irish

I’m in Ireland, and will be competing over the weekend at the Irish National Championships. I bet you didn’t realize that little known fact about me being Irish and all. In the summertime my freckles are more pronounced and I usually dye my hair a darker color from its natural reddish-blonde hue. I still can put down a Guinness with the best of them though!

Truth be told, I probably am at least 1/16 Irish but I will be running here as an American. For some reason they invite a few other athletes to their Nationals to help foster some competition for some of the top tiered Irish athletes. So here I am. I flew in today from Tampa, which I expected to be an easy trip since I had only one stop in Philadelphia and was already on the east coast. That wasn’t so. The snow and long delays caused me to stay in Philly for nine (!!!) hours. All of the sudden my decision to be Irish for the weekend doesn’t seem like such a great idea, but I’m here now so I will make the best of it.

Today has also been a history lesson of sorts. I flew into Dublin and then had to take the bus down to Belfast, about a 2-hour drive, as that is where the meet will be. Now I’m assuming that because it’s the Irish National Championships and all, I most certainly will be in Ireland. But depending on who you ask, this isn’t necessarily so. I was first clued into this fact when I went to exchange money and was told I would be receiving sterling instead of Euros. Everyone knows that the country that screws you the most when traveling and converting your money is Great Britain and the irritatingly costly pound. You give them $100 dollars and you get back 50 pounds (maybe slightly more these days). And things aren’t half as expensive either, your Big Mac will still cost you 4 pound, and for us that is about $8 dollars. Anyway…supposedly there is a bit of discrepancy as to whom this part of the country really belongs to. The British have painted the curbs as if to signify ownership, but you ask the Irish and it becomes an extremely touchy subject. So, because I am surrounded by Irishmen and am running at their championships I will claim to be in Ireland for the next few days. And if anybody cares to school me on the cliff notes version of what is really going on here, please feel free.