If I was being completely honest, before I left for Africa I was telling myself that I wish I wasn’t going. Nothing was going according to plan. Nothing. First, it was the event I was going to be competing in. The schedule said they had the long jump, they confirmed me as a long jumper, and then, after my $2000 plane ticket had been purchased, the meet director decides to have the triple jump instead. If other jumpers had been confirmed and had tickets bought already, this would have been a huge problem, but since it was just little ol’ me, I guess he assumed he could just throw me in another event and it would be no problem. But MY plan was to jump, whether it was there or at Mt. Sac, and I don’t like people messing with my plans.
I had also decided that I was going to take 50,000 of my Delta miles and upgrade my ticket to business class for this trip since it was a long way to travel and a short turnaround. This would be my birthday present to myself and wouldn’t really cost me anything since I have a ton of miles that I don’t need and Delta doesn’t fly anywhere that I buy my own tickets to. Well it turned out my fare class was not upgradeable and the only way I could change it was to pay the increase in fare of $1000 and then use my 50,000 miles. Umm, no.
All I could do was make the best out of running the 100 and 200 and try and make some money. Starting my preparation in the 100 a few weeks early is not the end of the world. Except then I found out, the day before I left mind you, that I wasn’t even in the 100, I was only confirmed in the 200. This was starting to give me a headache. So now I’m flying halfway across the world to do an event that is not even my specialty? I get to Dakar and I’m trying to get my agent to fix this problem. I want to double, and I really need to run the 100 so that I can at least be over here doing my main event. By the day of the meet, it’s changed. I’m running the 100. But because my life is never that easy, they’ve taken me out of the 200. I won’t get into all the politics of it all, but suffice to say that I was not happy. I was trying to run the 200 for extra cash and now I wasn’t going to have that opportunity.
I let it go as best I could and tried to focus on the 100. There really isn’t much to say about the race…it wasn’t horrible, and it certainly wasn’t great. But now I’m wishing I really had another race to do. A friend of mine tells me she’s pulling out of the 200 meter race but the meet director is telling me I still can’t run it. I go over to the call room anyway, finagle my way to the start line, and manage to run the race without anyone really giving me permission. And I win. It doesn’t really matter that the announcer is calling out someone else’s name or that in the post-race interviews I am correcting the people as to what my name really is, at the end of the day it’s going to be my prize money and all the other stuff can be figured out later.
Needless to say, I was happy. Elated actually. I had been directing so much energy and was stressing out over things not going according to plan, and in the end I just had to get down on my knees and thank Him for having things work out just perfectly. I needed that money in a way I don’t even like to admit. Not to mention that it just felt good to cross the line first because that hasn’t happened for me in a pretty long time. And hellllooo…what an awesome Birthday present!
I had to catch a 3am flight out of Dakar that night so I ate, packed my bags, and headed to the airport. And wouldn’t you know, that because our flight was oversold and they needed to clear up some more coach seats, I got bumped up to business class because I have medallion status on Delta. I sat down in my big comfy seat, sipped on my chilled glass of champagne that was offered to me, and smiled. Sometimes plans change…and that’s a good thing.