Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ask Me Anything

Today I get on a plane and head to Eugene for the 2009 National Championships. I don’t compete until Sunday so I’ll have a few days to relax and get mentally prepared to do battle. As it is a fairly well known fact that this weekend is an important peak in my season, plenty of friends, family, and strangers have offered their version of pep talks, encouragement, and inquisitions as to my state of mind and preparedness. To my knowledge, everyone means well, and in the big scheme of things that is what is important. Do all the questions totally make sense or are they the best thing to ask an athlete preparing to compete at a major competition? Maybe not. But then again, I wouldn’t know the proper thing to ask a surgeon right before he does a big procedure, or what to say to Obama before he delivers a big speech. So, off the top of my head here are some questions I’ve been asked recently, and my attempt at answering them in my best layman’s terms.

*How far do you think you’re going to jump?… The Lord has blessed me with a lot of gifts, but unfortunately seeing into the future isn’t one of them. I am not the type of person who guesses what my mark might be. I prefer to adopt the mindset that whatever it takes to jump on that particular day, I’ll be capable of jumping it.

*Who is better than you?… I suppose that if they awarded places based on previous performances, we could all stay home and save ourselves the anxiety. But I’m assuming that those who show up do so because they feel they can be the best on that day. At least that is my mindset.

*Are you really nervous?… Right now? No. There is always going to be a fair amount of nerves that accompany any meet, but before the actual day, I’m usually totally fine. At the end of the day, I do the same thing at a big meet that I do at every other meet the entire year. It’s important for me to approach it in the same manner and to not give it some uber-important meaning. It’s not life and death—it’s just long jumping.

*What are your expectations?… Simply to do my best. That may not sound like much to some and maybe you would expect for my answer to be more specific, But I’ve learned in my old age that expectations can weigh you down. I have my goals and I truly believe in them, but my concentration on Sunday will be on me and me alone and I just want to go out there and do my absolute best.

*What’s up with your outfit?… Nobody is paying me to wear a boring outfit that looks like everyone else’s so therefore I don’t. I just wear what I like.

*How is this year different?… Well, for starters it’s not last year! I’m a year older and a year wiser. It is always a beautiful thing when you can tell that you have gained valuable knowledge from past struggles. Right now I try and take things day by day and I just want to have fun and enjoy myself.

So there are a few I can remember right now. Feel free, however, to ask away if there is something you’d like to know or something you’ve been dying to ask me. I know that there are plenty of readers who are not track fans or participators and so I do my best to share my experiences and feelings in ways that give you a small idea of what my life is like. If the question is really off the wall, I may roll my eyes when you aren't looking, but I still will do my best to answer. :)


Anonymous said...

If I were a betting man I would say that all those questions are coming from non-track athletes. Anybody who has been in the same position you have would merely say. "Good luck, knock'em dead." and let you be while you further mentally prepare.

Colin said...

Hey Bri,
I must applaud you first of all. I know that many moons have passed since I last competed in a professional or amateur track event, but I completely understand where you're coming from.
So, having stated that, I'm not going to ask you a million and one random questions. I don't know if you remember, we used to speak fairly often on your blog last year, and we currently are friends on facebook (Colin Diaz). Anyways, I just want to wish you luck and all of the momentum and soundness of mind that proceeds a great outing on the track. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help. Probably isn't, but just in case there is, let me know...even if it is to chat with an outsider on the whole situation. OK? Have an amazing outing up there in Eugene.

Danny said...

Dear Brianna,
Do you ever associate any of your disciplines in track and field with chess (or chess pieces), or the game's thought process? Wishing you all the best on your next competition, and be the best piece that can win the race!
Cheers & Blessings

Diandra Ann said...

yay!!! i'll be praying for you! cant wait to hear how you do! And I cant wait to see your outfit :)

brit brat said...

When are you going to make plans to see your sister?

Jasmine said...

Who is your bestest friend?
Hint: It begins with J and ends with asmine.


anonymousnupe said...

Five questions:

1. Pronate or supinate?

2. Do those shorts every chafe?

3. May I friend you on FB, too?! (It'll be under my real name, so please don't reject me, LOL.)

4. Who do you think should be the third pick in tonight's NBA draft?

5. Where can you even buy those cool tube socks these days?

Jon Lustig said...

I assume we'll hear from you again before Sunday, so I'll save my pop-psychology goodness for later. Here's my question: if you ever sense yourself drifting into somewhere you know is a bad place mentally, is there a particular song or some bit of video you reach for which you know will put you right? For example, I've always used this song called Victory Day when I could tell I wasn't where I needed to be for doing something important. Of course there's also this choice quote from Herb Brooks (the coach of the 1980 U.S. hockey team), but if you know about that one then you know it's not really something I should reproduce here. I do have 1 bit of advice though. Don't spend the next 3 days just sitting in buildings. Go somewhere outside that is alive, like a zoo or a dog park or something. My 2 cents on preparation at any rate. Have a relaxing few days.

Brianna said... know, I don't even know how to play chess!

@brit...whenever you come to SD!

@jaz...YOU ARE! but the ones I'm wearing sunday are new so cross your fingers!...OF COURSE you can be my FB idea...American Apparel, aren't they AWESOME! :)

@jon...I don't know if I have a particular song. I have my songs I listen to when I'm getting ready and they always keep me in the right mindset. I'll check out your song and see what I think. And don't worry...I won't be a hermit!

Bianca said...

Jasmine?! Yeah right! Who's got your back with J-E-S-U-S? That's right.

Nikkie T said...

Lol at Brit's comment- Which leads me to mine... When are you going to call the mother of your future Godchild!? I've been blowing you up!!
Good luck this weekend!! Love you

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

1. Where do the birds go when it rains?

2. If a space ship were to go into outer space and just keep going, what would it find?

3. What is: "What is the atomic number of zinc"?

4. How much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?

jumperkerry said...

brianna this is after the fact yet i'm wondering how do you deal with this situation.
Grace is your buddy and you've just made the team yet by the narrowest margin she didn't. Your elated for your personel accomplishment and it's time to celabrate now at any time is there any uneasy interaction between you two? Do you basicaly celabrate and not know what's happening with her or does she pop the bottle of champagne with you. I know the roles have been reversed between u two and since i know her i'm just curious as to how that's dealt with in your world?