Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Other Circuit

In Europe, all meets are not equal. There are the big dogs, all the way down to the little Chihuahua’s. You will find most of your big meets in large cities…Brussels, Paris, Rome, London, Berlin…all those places you’ve marked on your map and hoped to visit one day. And then there are the cities you may have never heard of in your life. Lovely cities, mind you, just not the ones on everyone’s tourist radar. Usually the smaller meets are there. You fly into Venice then drive 2 ½ hours to Rovereto. Your plan lands in Berlin, but you are headed to some small town in Poland some 3 hours away. These places are what some of us athletes lovingly call the chitlin' circuit. I’m not sure where the name originated, but it seems to fit. They aren't the big meets, with all the glitz and glamour and big sponsors, but oftentimes you take what you can get and you make the best out of it--sorta like chitlins. :)

Some athletes go there because that’s all they can get into. There are a lot of athletes and only 8 lanes on a track. Golden League meets and Super Grand Prix meets are tough when you aren’t top in the world. Some athletes go in between big meets because going to a small meet is still better than housing and feeding yourself in between competitions. Other athletes have realized that it’s easier to make more money coming in first at a small meet than sixth at a Golden League meet. And still other athletes, especially field event athletes, have no choice when the meets that have their events are few and far between. One of the above reasons, or some combination, brings most athletes to a meet in a place that they can’t find on a map at least a few times a season. I’m at that time in my season now.

There are probably not many meets on the European circuit I haven’t been to. Thanks to my age and my rollercoaster of a career, I have pretty much seen and been to them all. Being here now is much more enjoyable because I understand their purpose and I can reap the benefits. Sure, my friends and colleagues might be on Eurosport this weekend, but I had no desire to test out how fast I was at this point of the season in front of millions of people. (and THANK GOD I didn’t.) I’ll trade the 4 star hotel for the ability to plop myself down in a quaint café and drink a cappuccino for 1 euro. Like I said, there are no tourists in these places! And most of all, I can relax because the stress level just isn’t the same. I’m still trying to figure out how to recharge my battery and unfortunately the body is taking its sweet time with that one.

I’ll be back for the grand finale in a couple weeks and there will be no hiding at that meet. Until then, cut me some slack if you happen to uncover any meet results during this time. The internet does a good job finding out stuff even when a GPS can’t locate you.

P.S. I've never had chitlins in my life...but I wonder if they taste better than horse. Anybody know???


anonymousnupe said...

First of all, chitterlings taste great when done right. You can't just eat anybody's chitlins. I only eat my Aunt Bert's or Aunt Betty's. That way I know they're clean. I've watched those women work for hours over a sink meticulously annihilating every foreign, inedible molecule inside some pork intestines. So when you're on the east coast (of the U.S., that is), holla at your boy, and I'll holla at them for ya.

And, as you might have guessed, the Chitlin Circuit has origins based in race relations. It was the route, or circuit, that was safe for black performers, athletes, race car drivers, etc., during Jim Crow-ism mainly.

And finally, for recharging your battery try a technique called "Tapping." I'll let you check it out on youtube or Google for yourself so as not to bias you too much. But approach it with an open mind. It actually works!

j buck said...

"Tapping" Brianna?.....I suppose I could fly over for a few days. Ha! w*nk!

Wiiqi said...

Forget the taste of Chitlins, the smell is a sensation that will challenge your will. Never tried horse but I will say it is much healthier than beef. Bison is a good red meat you may want to consider. As for running underground, I always preferred the intimate setting.

Bianca said...

Enjoy every cappucino and Italian conversation. I'm so jealous of you :)

Miss you soon and everyone confirmed for our girl's SD weekend. I'm moving a few things in on that weekend too!

Brianna said...

@nupe...with a name like Aunt Bert, she has to know how to cook them right.

@wiiqi...i've heard the smell is quite atrocious

@bi...i can't wait to hang. no seriously. i really can't wait!!!

Anonymous said...

that is often most charming small towns
less money and more charming, reality

people are more simple

You're lucky to travel around the world
I'm stuck on my island lol

you're still a great champion
not to underestimate
that is interesting what you say about Track and Field

take your time to do a little something to recharge his batteries
talk with friends
just strolling
talk to me lol

your blog is intresting
sam de face book
sam the french

j buck said...

Forget Brianna tapping! I got Eric now! Ha!

Thanks Anupe! I youtube'd it and I like this! Good stuff! For those of you not on my Facebook page to watch the video, here is a link...nice stuff, very cool!

Jasmine said...

As your only vegetarian friend, chitlings would never get my approval! :)
Miss you and can't wait to hang out soon! :)

anonymousnupe said...

J Buck, that's dope, but I meant this kind of tapping:

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