Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Guest Blog (Brit)

I'm only going to say this once so listen up. My sister is funny. And maybe I get the humor so well because we are related and all, but this is my blog and I'm calling it like I see it. It's not too often I give her props because she has this problem with an oversized head...it's almost too big to fit through doorways. Anyway, I tell you that because as you read the following blog you might be tempted to throw a compliment her way and let her know she did a pretty fair job at her first attempt at blogging. Resist that urge. I'm kidding...in a totally serious way. The topic for the day is Men and all the untruths they tell. I could have written it myself but she seems to have taken many of the words right out of my mouth. Enjoy...

Ok so many people have been telling me I should write my own blog but I've been hesitant thinking to myself "What in the heck would I write about?" I mean really, there's only so many stories you can tell about your kids. I don't have the opportunities to travel anywhere cool. And when people randomly come up to me in stores and ask a question...it really is just to get an answer. No hidden agendas or subtle flirting unfortunately.
So why am I writing on this here blog of my talented, witty, almost as cute as me sister? Well its simple...she had written a status update earlier saying...

"people put their time and energy into what's important to them. don't say something is a priority and then spend your time doing something else. that means you lie...and God doesn't like liars."

I read that and thought automatically to myself "OMG that's so true!" In my 25 years of life I have encountered liars of all shapes, colors, and genders....but men BY FAR take the cake! I don't know what it is about the male species that makes them feel the need to lie or twist the truth to a female. I've recently re-joined the dating game and already have heard some woppers! I mean, I may be a little rusty, but I'm not dumb.
Fact: A Mother is the best detective that has ever lived. She will find out anything she needs to know by eavesdropping, snooping, stalking, or interrogation.
Fact: We are(in some cases, by default) our Mother's Daughters. We know how do to the same things that they do, it's in our blood.
If you lie to my face, I will catch you. I will find the truth out. And I will bust the windows out of your car! hahaha ok the last one only happened once but in my defense he deserved it.
But when I read my sister's comment all these instances came rushing to my head of all the lines I've been given or have been told to me via girl friends that were said by men. Now looking back at them, they were just straight out lies! Allow me to share a few with you:

- I'm pretty busy at night and on the weekends so we can really only kick it during the week days.
That's a lie. No person is THAT busy. More than likely he has another woman that he entertains during those times.

- I'm trying to figure out who I am in life and don't think I could handle being in a relationship right now.
Ok that's a lie. Soul searching doesn't require no communication or fun with the opposite sex. If you're that lost, seek professional help.

- My life is really hectic at the moment and even though I really care about you, I need to focus on my career with no distractions.
Another lie! If he really cared about you he wouldn't see you as a distraction. You would be more like a refreshing break from the chaos.

-Baby it's not you, it's me. I just can't give you what you want right now.
Aww isn't that sweet? He's thinking about your needs! WRONG!!!! He's thinking about his own needs and how one of those needs is to not have to give effort towards you!

My personal favorite...
-I LOVE KIDS!! It doesn't bother me at all that you have two. But lets just concentrate on you and I for a while.
Um...ok nice try. You want to date me and just try and pretend my kids don't exists. Get the idea of robbin' the pooty out of your head because it's not gonna happen! (you'd have to have seen Jerry McGuire to know what I'm talking about)
and lastly....

-I really miss you and want to see you...I just don't have the time.
Big Fat Lie! Any person with a brain knows that when you want to see someone, you MAKE time. I have two kids and I'm a student getting my teaching degree, if I can make time to see someone ANYONE can.

I'm sorry if you've read one of these and remember it being said to you. Perhaps he was one of the few guys actually telling the truth. But that isn't always the case. If it sounds like a duck and walks like a duck.....guess what?

Please, feel free to share your own stories of lies you've been told by the opposite sex!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Disaster has Struck

This is bad. Really, really bad.

I am finding myself on the brink of what could be the most catastrophic thing that has ever happened to me in my 28 years of living. This past weekend, both my blackberry AND my laptop have gone bonkers. They simply decided that they no longer wanted to work properly. This, my friends, spells disaster. I’m the type of person who, when asked what three things they would bring with them if they were stranded on a deserted island, would name my laptop, my blackberry, and my bible. And in all actuality I would probably think to myself that it’s possible to read the bible online off my laptop, so maybe a John Grisham book instead. But the laptop and blackberry…there are no substitutes.

Yesterday I spent the better part of two hours on the phone with the folks at T-mobile trying to figure out the Blackberry problems. On Saturday night it had shut off completely…no warnings, no smoke signals, nothing. By Sunday afternoon it was on, but it no longer wanted to be a Blackberry. Now it’s just your regular, run of the mill phone. The kind you get for free when you sign up for phone service basically. As of yet, the smart, educated, extremely helpful teenagers at the help center have not been able to offer me any solutions and I am at wits end. Or at least I thought I was…until last night. I mean, it’s a real bummer that I can’t use my phone to read emails or check Facebook status’s at every minute of every day, but if I really had to rough it, I can at least still get on my laptop and be ok. But God is playing an evil trick on me. My laptop went dead on me the same way my Blackberry did. And that is without a doubt the straw that broke the camel’s back. I went to bed last night and I prayed. I prayed for a miracle and for the computer Gods (by way of the real God) to bless me in some way so that I would wake up and magically everything would be normal again. When I woke up all I was granted was a blurry screen with a computer that has no ability to charge. It seems as if my prayers went through as a whimper.

So today I will be back on the phone with tech support for the Blackberry and scheduling an appointment at the Genius bar. I don’t know yet what I will do if I’m forced to replace these things. I suppose I’ll sell a kidney or something. You think I’m kidding…I’m not.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I love shopping at Target. The ability to go into a store and come out with 47 things you didn’t think you needed, but luckily had the wherewithal to spot as you meander up and down every aisle, is priceless. Target stops are not quick run-ins as they take time and patience to be able to fully give each section the proper attention. So, because I had a bit of time on my hands this afternoon, that is where I headed. I had already tried on a swimsuit that (luckily) didn’t look all that great, picked up a white tank top (because, really, who can have too many of those), and a package of socks, when I headed over to the toiletries section. As I stood there perusing the available shampoos and conditioners, trying to figure out if this was the week I was going to go for extra moisturizing, try to combat my frizziness, or spend the extra couple dollars and buy the salon quality stuff, , I had my spell broken by a gentleman standing next to me who also seemed to be trying to figure out the best hair care solution.

I see him out of my peripheral turning towards me. Can I ask you a question. I immediately assume he wants some help with picking out the best product to help curls stay bouncy and frizz free. Even though I didn’t bother to do my hair today, I’m sure it’s obvious that most of the time I know what I’m doing with this mop of mine. Sure, I say, flashing a friendly smile and what I hope comes off as a friendly attitude. Do you think it’s better to put cologne behind your ear or on your collarbone. Errr…Ughh…Hmmm…Ehhh. What??!! Ok, not the question I was expecting. But I try to keep my usually expressive face neutral and answer like it’s perfectly normal to ask such a question to a stranger in the middle of Target. I think behind the ear is best. Yea, I think I heard something like that before. Or whatever. I just am giving an answer for answers sake, really. Well what if your girlfriend likes to kiss you there? Seriously? Seriously! Well I guess she just gets a taste of your cologne in her mouth then. But I’m pretty sure that’s the best spot…something about body heat I believe. He stares at me for like a fraction of a second too long, just so it gets uncomfortable. Ok, thanks. And then he turns and goes back to looking at shampoos.

Am I the only one who finds that a bit odd?!

Monday, March 23, 2009

An Abundance of Confidence

I happen to be a pretty confident person. I tiptoe up to the fine line of cockiness, teeter back and forth a little on the tips of my toes, but I never quite cross it. Of course this is just my opinion. ☺ I think it’s perfectly normal and acceptable to refer to my life, and myself in particular, as fabulous. This blog title didn’t emerge overnight folks, I have spent years using that adjective in reference to myself! I just think it suits me. Hopefully you agree, and if you don’t…well the good thing about people like me is that it’s hard to shake that confidence once it’s been established.

One area I have been working on improving my confidence in, is in track. It’s not that I’m not confident, because I am. But I could be better. People that are successful in this sport realize early on that so much of it has to do with how much you believe in yourself. I train hard and push myself constantly, but over the years I have had my confidence shaken a bit and I know that it’s still one of my weaknesses that I have to work on. I remember back in the day a time when my confidence was in line with my ability; a time when I was unstoppable not only because I was gifted and talented, but because I believed—without a shadow of a doubt—that I simply couldn’t be beaten. It was that simple. Perhaps it wasn’t logical to some or based on any factual evidence, but that didn’t matter. Once I believed it to be true I simply made it happen.

A friend of mine told me a few weeks ago that I needed to have the kind of confidence I do in my social life, transfer over to my athletic life. At first I looked at him a bit puzzled, wondering what exactly he meant by that. He explained that it’s very clear I think highly of myself. You believe you can get any man you want. I laughed and dismissed such an exaggeration. I mean, yes, I like to think I’m a pretty great gal and hopefully a large percentage of the opposite sex would agree, but I’m not over the top about it. Right? Right??! Or am I…

Fast forward to a couple days ago and I’m having a text message convo with my friend. She’s just met the friend of a guy she happens to be into and says they’re all having a great time and that his friend is great. I suggest she introduce him to our other single friend, being that she’s in need of a great guy in her life. (That’s the kind of person I am…always looking out for my friends.) She then texts, “HE’S HOT!!!!!!” In capitals…with that many exclamation points. This must mean that his attractiveness level is not up for debate; he’s certifiably cute. So, (and I know this might knock my wonderful friend status down a notch) I text back nevermind, introduce him to me instead! Her response: I don’t know, I think he’s into tall model types with blond hair. My eyebrows immediately shot up. I am already aware by a previous description that this guy isn’t my normal type, but being that he got a whole line of exclamation points I’m betting that he’s worth stepping outside of the box. And because I have decided this, it never crossed my mind to consider what his “type” might be. And so that’s what I told her. I didn’t ask what his type was. And she laughed. Because after 15 years of friendship, she knows me. She knows that once I have decided someone is worth taking a longer look at, I automatically assume that the interest will be reciprocated. Don’t get me wrong, I know that it can’t possibly always be the case, but the point is that I always assume it will be.

So as you can see, when it comes to social situations, my confidence is sky high and basically unshakeable. Not to say that there haven’t been attempts to knock it down a notch, but for the most part they have been unsuccessful. Even if this guy decided he really isn’t into normal sized, dark-skinned, buff chicks, I’ll still think that given some time I’d be able to change his mind… or maybe he’s just a few cards short of a full deck. ☺ And if I ever learn to transfer that confidence back over to the playing field, I have a feeling it’s going to take me to a whole other level.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Decisions, Decisions...

The start of the season is just around the corner. I know that technically I’ve already competed in Australia, but that was so early I like to consider it an exhibition of sorts. The real fun for me is getting started in about a month or so and right now I’m busy figuring out the ins and outs of it all. This involves a multitude of decisions that will hopefully all work in harmony to produce peak performances at the right time. The right time should be at Nationals at the end of June and at World Championships in the middle of August. The way we plan our season and what meets we compete in, is by looking at when we want to be at our best and then working backwards from there to create the best possible opportunity for that. Some people like to compete very little and keep themselves extremely fresh, and some need many competitions to fine tune everything and get them ready.

Of course it isn’t as simple as just deciding what you want to do and having it happen exactly that way. I suppose for some it is, the Usain Bolt’s of the world have no problem getting into exactly the meets they want, with the specifications that are ideal for them. But for the rest of us it ain’t that easy. I look at the calendar and decide what meets I would want to do. After that, I have my manager try and work his magic. It’s not always as simple as who has the best time or mark. It can be subjective. Your personal and seasonal best, what country you’re from, how many people from your country are already competing, who your agent is, if the meet director likes your agent, if the meet director owes favors to anybody, if he thinks your attractive…the list goes on and on.

I usually start my season with some early meets that don’t really count for anything and allow me to get the jitters out without anything on the line. (money, points, etc.) For the past umpteen years my first meet has usually been in southern California at Mt. Sac Relays. I’ve been competing at this meet ever since I’ve been running track; that’s 15 years! It’s been the biggest meet of my season (high school), homecoming (college), and the site of a few personal bests (professional). Beyond that, now that I travel the world to compete it usually is the only place my friends and family see me compete and the fact that it usually lands on my birthday weekend is a chance for me to add a little celebration into the mix.

So the plan was to be the same this year. Go to Mt. Sac, compete on my birthday, celebrate with friends and family afterwards. But then I was given another choice to compete somewhere else instead, for points AND money. It involves getting on a plane though…to AFRICA. Not quite the low key meet up the road like I was expecting. Although the decision might be cut and dry for some, I’ve been struggling a bit. Not only do I feel comfortable starting my season off at Mt. Sac which is right up the road and involves no traveling, it gives my coach a chance to see me in competition and it’s low pressure. But…this is my job. And when you have a job I suppose a key component to that should be to make money so if I’m given that opportunity, especially with the state of my finances, I really need to consider it. I just have to make sure I don’t overdo myself. That will make three long trips already this year, with more to follow come May. And like I said before, my goal is to peak in June. Now that you’ve heard my pros and cons, what are your thoughts? (keeping in mind of course that I won’t really take them into consideration all that much unless they end up agreeing with mine.)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Going Green

I’m all about doing my part to help the environment. I’ll turn off the water while I brush my teeth, combine bags while shopping at the mall, put the recyclable items in the appropriate trash can, and always have thought it would be a good idea to purchase some of those nylon bags to take to the grocery store. I have yet to actually get some and use them, but the thought is there nonetheless.

Here at the training center there is a huge push to make this place as green as possible and for the most part, I’m all for it. They took away the cups at the water cooler and I faithfully remember to bring my water bottle with me at all times. They forego trays in the dining hall so as to save water and I balance my salad plate, food plate, silverware, and cup like the seasoned former waitress that I am. They purchase new energy saving washers and dryers and I head to the store to make sure I purchase some new, appropriate soap that is made especially for these machines. I really try and do my part.

But the buck stops here.

Today the maintenance guy stopped by to change our shower heads and I thought nothing of it. That is, until I was in the shower with a fine mist trickling down. You know when you go to an amusement park in the heat of the summer and you are super relieved that they’ve thought to put out those misters to keep you cool as you wait in line? That’s what my shower felt like! I soaped up and then literally used my hand to help get all the soap off. And when I attempted to rinse out the special conditioner I use once a week, I knew I was in trouble…my hair still felt like it was loaded with Crisco. It just wasn’t happening. I had to turn the water back to the faucet, get down on my knees, and force my head underneath to properly rinse out my hair.

Listen, I love the earth and all and I want to preserve it just as much as the next guy, but I just don’t think I’m willing to sacrifice a clean body and build-up free hair. I am on a mission to get my old shower head back as soon as possible because I didn’t realize it’s value until today. It’s priceless.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Larger than Life

I almost thought about snapping a picture with my camera phone but then I thought better of it. People always think that’s discreet but I will tell you from experience that it’s not. I can’t really remember a time I’ve ever asked to take a picture with someone or requested an autograph but in this instance I simply wanted one so I could post it on my blog and have a picture to accompany the story. But after I realized that wasn’t worth the cheesiness of it, I changed my mind. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

Michael Phelps is kind of puny. I don’t mean that in a bad way, I’m just being honest. I thought he was going to be this massive, colossal figure that exuded a presence over the entire room, but he did not. He blended in. It was hard to tell him apart from all the other disproportionate bodies gliding through the dining hall. Of course I don’t mean that in a bad way either, I just have always found it amusing how swimmer’s body are so triangular – large, massive shoulders that give way to an itty-bitty waist and a missing derriere. Phelps falls right into that category, as I would have imagined, except he just seems to be missing about 20 pounds and 5 inches. This is all based on my perception of him; I have never actually seen the guy in person until last night. I suppose if the T.V. can make Tom Cruise look like a normal sized person, it creates giants out of our athletes. Such is the case with this man.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Guest Blog

Today's blog comes to you by way of my best friend. Before you role your eyes in agony and close the tab, let me assure you that many of my friends write far better than I could ever imagine. And lest you think it's just my laziness at work, I will tell you that I did plan on writing...but she was typing away by the time I woke up this morning. And in a moment of sheer genius, the plan was hatched. We have spent the past 3 days together so her stories are mine anyway. I kinda like this idea, so perhaps you may see more of it in the future. Enjoy...

O great and wonderful jersey knit and elastic bands, how do I love thee? Let me recount the ways...

I've been best friends with the same girls for over a decade. Like a jigsaw puzzle, each of us are extremely different but fit harmoniously together as one. We've been there for each other as our parents fought brain cancer and breast cancer, divorce and infidelity, financial prosperity and financial despair. As we shift into adulthood we are sharing similar experiences as the generation that preceded us; career crisis and career shifts, marriage and near marriage breakups, health crisis and economic crisis. The puzzle pieces of our lives are falling into place and together we are beginning to form a picture of something intricate and beautiful. In the meantime, we are still proverbially spread out over the kitchen table and looking like a hot mess as we figure out where we are suppose to go.

As with puzzle assembly, sometimes you need to walk away and take a break from looking at the same pieces over and over. This weekend one of my best friends and I stepped away from the puzzling life we lead and relaxed poolside at a spa in Arizona. But I have to note that if we resembled puzzle pieces, she'd be the beautifully ornate, multi-complex, center piece that held all the other pieces together; I'd be the bottom left-hand corner piece with the trademark logo placed strategically upright, just so you can know what direction its suppose to be place. Yes, we're that different.

Different in just about all areas of life. She's a professional athlete, I'm a professional eater. She's a professional model, I'm a professional reader. She has an six-pack of abs, I have a keg o' fun. She dates millionaires, I date... uh... well, I don't date. See? We're that different.

Which brings me to joys of jersey knit and elastic bands. I was having a clothing crisis and needed serious intervention. I heard a voice from the next room and it almost made me stab my eyeball out with a toothpick, You can borrow the dress I wore yesterday. She couldn't be serious. I think it'll fit well. She was serious. Her waist is the size of my right thigh and she offered her dress to me. Maybe the sun was too much for her to handle and she's delusional now.

I stepped into the closet and pulled down the dress like Indianna Jones in the Temple of Sin, cautiously, curiously, carefully. I slipped it over my head and felt like I had just escaped the rolling ball of death because the dress fit?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!? Yes, it fit. The professional model/athlete/world-traveler had offered me the holy grail of fat girl fashion. I twirled in it. Yes, I spun around like a five year-old in her Sunday best.

I just realized that I've given jersey knit such a hard time for being cheap and made in sweatshops in third-world countries. And elastic, who knew it could make anyone feel like a model with a six-pack?

O great wonderful jersey knit and elastic band, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Domestic Life

I’m visiting the family this week. At this very moment I’m sitting in the living room, smelling the scent of frying tortillas as my sister makes tacos for dinner, listening to the sounds of SpongeBob blare from the television my nephew is sitting two centimeters away from, and constantly on the lookout for a falling child or a missing phone as my niece makes her way around on the new set of walking legs she’s discovered. This all came after my attempt to take an afternoon nap, being that I was a bit tired after being awoken just before 8am because, you know, there are small kids around and all; Kids that do not know the first thing about whispering. This is not my comfort zone. Not even close. I’m not sure when the feelings of domesticity are suppose to overcome me, but it hasn’t happened yet.

If anyone has some insight about when this “switch” will be turned on, I’m curious to know. As a woman approaching 30, it sometimes seems odd to me that I have yet to uncover the domestic side of me. I like waking up and not having to be concerned about fixing breakfast for anyone but myself. In fact, I’m in real trouble because all I’m used to now is making my way to the dining hall and deciding what I want in my egg white omelet. And I can’t stand cartoons. The sound of them makes me head hurt. Not to mention that constant cartoons takes away from my own viewing pleasures. I’m also known to do laundry and then just leave the clean clothes in the basket and pick them out as needed. Just some of my many tendencies that do not lend themselves to being the good Sally Homemaker that I should one day be. I’m just not sure if I need time…or help!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

one word

I suppose I’ve put it off long enough. It’s a little difficult to inform the world that you are traveling halfway around the world for a track meet and then never mention how it turned out. People want to hold you accountable for some odd reason. By now, people that know me realize that if they don’t hear anything, things didn’t go so well. Not that it means I’m completely off the hook, because they still get around to asking, but the smart ones know that after they receive the one-word answer, it’s better to leave it alone.

So here’s my one word…


And if you really want to get complicated, you could say really bad. I could just leave it at that, and I wish I could, but it makes for a pretty short entry. I am not happy about it and I don’t really understand it, but it is what it is. The thing about track and field is that it’s totally objective. The numbers don’t lie. My numbers made me feel like I was back in high school. And yes, there were strong headwinds and cold weather conditions, but I wasn’t even competitive how I should have been. And not being competitive cost me thousands of dollars, another low blow if you ask me. I even ran another race I wasn’t planning on running just to try and reimburse myself after being robbed. Of course it’s not totally about the money, and it’s not even about poor performances in February and early March. I can get past that and I know I’m motivated to work that much harder in the upcoming months.

At the end of the day I am still glad I went on the trip. I spent 2 weeks in a fabulous country and I am grateful for that opportunity. I also am extremely happy with my progress in the long jump, although it did not show in the results. I fouled most of my jumps but I was nevertheless jumping far. That is the one time when perhaps the numbers did lie…just a little bit.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I was robbed.

There is a lot I need to be blogging about right now. I have yet to update on the first meet (terrible) or any of the adventures I’ve undertaken while being out here (fabulous). But all of that is being overshadowed by the intense frustration and anger I’m experiencing. Someone had the nerve to rob me. Me…of all people. I am the one person staying in this expensive hotel that does not have a dollar to spare and yet I have all of mine taken. It’s ironic really but unfortunately it’s the truth.

Here is a condensed version of the ordeal. We are staying in these extended stay apartments for the two weeks we’ve been in Melbourne and while we’ve been here I’ve kept all of my cash in my bedside drawer. I brought cash from the United States because I was unsure if we would be receiving per diem but we did in fact receive money for the entire time we would be out here when we arrived. So, I decided I would take my driver’s license, all of my U.S. dollars along with my Australian dollars and keep it in an envelope hidden in the drawer, underneath my undergarments. Every day I would take out cash for food only for that day so as not to overspend and make sure my money lasted me the whole time. Today, as we were on our way out to dinner, I went for the envelope to get out some cash and the whole thing was gone.

I have learned that there were a few other shady incidents at the hotel today that were probably related to my own, but so far mine has been the only cash they got away with. It’s a sucky situation no matter what, but it’s heightened by the fact that I don’t have money to lose. If I got robbed and I was rich then I’d just be pissed, but since they robbed me and I’m poor, now I’m screwed. Bringing cash with me from the States seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I’m kicking myself. And unlike my roommate, who spent most her per diem on an expensive purse, I was trying to be responsible and use mine only for food so I wouldn’t come out of pocket. So now I’m out a purse, food money for the rest of the week, and everything else in my pocket. This is the one time that I made the wrong choice when convincing myself not to shop.