Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Single Black Female

This must be a sign. I have had multiple people forward me a Nightline special from a couple days ago that talks about why it’s so difficult for Black women to get married and find a suitable mate. You know what this means? When they saw this special, they thought of me. Poor little Brianna, single at 29, with just a few of her best procreating years left. People, my friends and family are worried. Should they be?!! After I watched the clip, I must say it certainly didn’t make me feel any better about the situation.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I really could give two rips about being single. Don’t get me wrong…I date. On occasion I find people to crush on and it’s usually not too hard to get them to return the favor. But getting to the point where you seriously consider marriage and begin to talk about what you will name your firstborn child? Well, let’s just say I’ve yet to tell anyone I really like the name Madison.

So, the question is basically this… Are our (black women) standards too high, or are the pickings too slim? Watch the video and tell me what you think. Here are a few things I got from it…

*Don’t overlook good men who may not fit the “criteria” you think you need/want.

*Date the rainbow.

*Go for the older guy

*Don’t settle. At the end of the day, you didn’t wait this long for nuthin’!


Monday, December 28, 2009


Have you ever been in one of those relationships where the other person expects you to update them of your plans every second of every day? You’re constantly calling to check in and let them know what’s going on, and if plans change you better let them know that as well, lest they freak out on you and start becoming suspicious! Being the independent, free spirit that I am, I tend to avoid relationships like that at all costs. If you call to see what I’m doing just to be nosey, or ring my house phone at 9pm to see if I answer it, I’ll ignore it at continue watching Grey’s Anatomy in my PJ’s. Just on principal. But being a professional athlete, I am also obligated to put myself in that type of relationship as long as I want to be in this sport. The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is my clingy, needy, dependent boyfriend and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.

I just spent the last hour or so of my life completing an online tutorial to ensure that I am updated and aware of all the changes made to our testing procedures for the upcoming year. Not only did I watch the tutorial, I completed multiple games of Hangman and Jeopardy at the end of each module to make sure I was absorbing all the pertinent information. Hangman at this age? Whatever it takes, I guess. These people know that if they just ask nicely for us to read and process the information on our own, it may or may not get done. But forcing us to input the right answer before the left arm is drawn, at least ensures we put in a little effort.

After that fun-filled start to my morning, I proceeded to fill in what I will be doing at every waking hour from the start of the year til March 31st. Do you know what you will be doing on February 11th at 8 am in the morning? You might have a good idea, but I am contractually obligated to be where I say I’m going to be and be ready to hand over urine and blood on demand. And if I say on December 27th that I will be at home sipping my coffee looking over my Facebook status updates, I better be there. If I decide I would rather sip my coffee at Starbucks, I must pass that information along to the powers that be…or else. The only time they don’t want to know where I’m at is between 11pm and 6am. I suppose that’s a tad better than that one guy I dated in college who drove to my apartment at 1am to see if my car was there when I didn’t answer my phone.

At the end of the day though, we accept this relationship willingly and gladly. Sure, it’s a tad bit annoying and difficult to remember at all times that there is someone out there that needs to know your every move. But it will never be more bothersome than the people who chose to be cheaters. I loathe them far more than I could any clingy boyfriend.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


When you’re a child, there aren’t many things you get excited for that compare to opening gifts at Christmastime. You wait all year long for the chance to get ready for bed, set out some milk and cookies, and sleep as little as possible so you can wake up and see all your new gifts that Santa brought you. When I think back to when I was young, I can hardly recall the actual gifts, even though I know I must have been thrilled the Christmases I got my pink Barbie Corvette, my Nintendo, or my shiny new bike. What I do remember though, is the emotion of it all. The enthusiasm.

I also remember periods during my childhood when times were really tough and Santa seemed to be experiencing some of the financial struggles we were. Toys and presents were not a necessity and we were functioning on need alone. There were years where the best my mother could manage was to make sure we had a roof over our heads and shoes on our feet. (Payless of course, there was none of those fancy L.A. gear high-tops in our household). Christmas gifts were a luxury that really didn’t fit into the budget. Of course that’s a hard thing to try and explain to kids. Not only did I not fully comprehend what living paycheck to paycheck really meant, I certainly didn’t grasp how that could effect my gift getting. I was okay with not having much, but a Christmas with no presents seemed devastating.

During one of these particularly hard years, our Church stepped in and played Santa. I don’t remember many of the details, just that I had a gift wrapped in shiny paper with my name on it. My gift was this fantastic tray of crayons that included just about every color imaginable. I'd never seen so many crayons in one place in my lifetime. I could now draw flowers in Dandelion, instead of just simply yellow. The memory of that gift has stuck with me for over 20 years. Recognizing how bad my memory is, this is testament to the importance of that gift in my life. Maybe it wasn't something I fully grasped as a young child, but on some level I knew enough to appreciate people I didn't know personally making sure my family had a holiday meal and gifts under our tree. That feeling of gratefulness has stuck with me all these years.

Of course I know that Christmas is not about giving and receiving gifts. Jesus wasn’t particularly concerned with my ability to take my coloring books to a whole other level. But I do know that people being loving and compassionate and choosing to help others out of the kindness of your heart is something that Jesus is quite fond of. This display of love goes a long way. I know this because I still remember those crayons. And so for those of you who take the time during the holiday season to drop off a toy at the toy drive, give a family a holiday meal, donate your time or your money, or whatever it is that you do, I just want to say thank you.

If you have the ability to go outside your inner circle just a little this holiday season, just know that what little you do, has the capacity to have a far greater impact. It can be a blessing that lasts far beyond Christmas morning.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Spirit of the Season

There is nothing that will put you in the holiday spirit quite like going to the DMV. I should know,.. I was blessed to spend time there yesterday afternoon. I walked away with feelings of joy and happiness. Where else could I spend hours of my life standing around waiting with my fellow Americans, listening to the beautiful sounds of “G201 to window 17, melodically coming through the speakers? It’s nice of them to also have the numbers flashing up on the screen as well. I know I really appreciated it, it was like an added awareness of what was going on, lest you start to let your mind wander unknowingly or you began to be captivated on what was going on around you.

What was going on around me? Perhaps just the most interesting display of social interaction I’ve been privy to in quite a while is all. Take for instance, the lady sitting next to me. She had no desire to wait til her number was called, so she took to rushing a window every time she saw someone leave it, before the next customer was called. The lady on the other side of me thought it would be a great idea to talk on speaker to her boyfriend the whole time while her 2-year-old daughter made a playground out of her surroundings. In all fairness, she’s probably worried about getting cancer by holding her phone directly to her ear. And controlling your child is totally overrated. They’re children for chrissake! Let them run free.

I also got some great styling tips from my fellow DMV’ers. More than likely I won’t get the opportunity to try them out until some time around October 31st, but very unique ideas nonetheless. In addition to learning about fashion, I was also able to practice my Spanish. Boy, am I rusty! In the end, it was all worth it though by the time I had my number called and made my way to window 23. It truly allowed me to be more like Jesus and treat others how he would. Jesus showed everyone love and treated them with respect and compassion, regardless of how they felt about him. In my small way, I did the same. This lady was rude and inconsiderate, but I smiled just the same, thanked her for her help and time, and wished her a very Merry Christmas.

So, yes, the DMV, with their discourteous employees, ridiculously long lines and crowded waiting room, and interesting characters everywhere you turned, was the perfect way to get into the spirit. Now I think I’ll wait til the 24th to go to the Mall.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pain, Pain, Go Away...

I despise going to the dentist. In fact, there is probably nothing in life that terrifies me more. It starts the moment you sit in the chair and they tell you they’re just going to give you a quick shot that will numb your mouth. They make you believe that this little shot is no big deal, and it’s really all downhill from there. For starters, I don’t know about you but that shot hurts! So you’re already starting off in a bad place. After that, you aren’t supposed to feel any pain and everything is supposed to be easy as pie. Well, years and years ago I had an experience where that wasn’t the case and it has fueled my fear of Novocain and it’s abilities ever since.

Today I’m headed to the doctor to get a Novocain shot and I’m not feeling all that great about it. In fact, I’m a little bit fearful that after it’s all said and done, I’m still going to feel pain. But instead of the shot being in my mouth, this time it will be in my ankle. The doctor felt that something he saw on the MRI might be causing me pain, but he’s not very certain. So he will numb it, I’ll go jump at practice, and hope I don’t feel any pain. If I don’t, that means I have at least figured out where the pain is originating from and that is half the battle. If I do though, it’s going to be just like the dentists visit all over again

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What I do for a living

Today I was almost going to blog about the horrific day of travel I had yesterday, spanning 14 hours, with nothing to eat but a biscoff cookie and some peanuts (due to the absence of any type of money), and landing in a city that was not my destination. But since my last blog was already a bit of a rant, I wanted to make sure I didn’t start to sound like the bitter black woman. You know the one…

So instead, I am choosing to write about a subject that was brought up by the person I spent the majority of my day with, the guy sitting next to me on the plane. Now, this person had the potential to make me write a rant as well, seeing as how he didn’t spend much of the time in solitude, the way I like to spend my time flying. I board a plane ready to enjoy my solo time and sometimes that can be severely interrupted by one simple question.

"So, what do you do for a living?"

There are two reasons I normally shy away from this question. For starters, it is not a short answer. I can’t simply say “I work in Marketing” or “I’m a personal trainer” (if my muscle definition is obvious that day), and let that be that. Saying you’re a professional track and field athlete comes with loads and loads of follow up questions. What does that mean…how do you make a living…when do you compete…who do you run for…how fast can you run a mile…what school do you go to (they missed the ‘professional’ part)…did you ever run the 440 yard dash…what do you think of Marion Jones…how do you train… and then the question that always gets thrown in there that is my other reason for hesitation, have you ever been to the Olympics?

Because people associate track and field with the Olympics, they figure all of us have been. I feel like it’s a lightweight disappointment to them. Or maybe that’s just my own insecurities. I don’t know. But after a conversation I took part in this weekend, I learned about the importance of talking openly and freely with strangers about what we do for a living, and being excited about it. I know that I need to be better at networking and chit chatting with folks I don’t know. All my friends will tell you this is not my strong point. But you never know whom you might be speaking with and how they might be a great contact now or somewhere down the road.

I also just need to appreciate the fact that people care at all. 10 years from now when people ask what I do and I tell them I do market research for company X, they’ll simply nod politely and go back to their magazine. At that point I’ll want to add that in my past I use to be so good at something, there were only a handful of people in the world who were better. I’ll want to explain in great detail what I do on a daily basis and how that talent has allowed me to travel all over the world. I’ll surely be flying in coach, as I will no longer be flying over 100,000 miles a year. So I should definitely be grateful for those individuals who seem interested in what I do for a living and want to know more. These people could become fans of our sport, and perhaps even a fan of me! Shoot, some might even become a loyal blog reader…you just never know.

Monday, December 7, 2009

An Open Letter...

Dear Purse Thief,

I’m writing this letter for two reasons. One, there is a very good chance you might read it. Once you look through my belongings and type my name in Google, this blog will come up as the second entry. (Yes, I google myself. Don’t judge.) Second, I feel the need to vent and my doing so here just may prevent the next person from being careless with their belongings and ending up in my same predicament. I would like to start off by saying that I am very angry with you. You ruined a perfectly good evening out with friends and colleagues. I was having a fantastic time until you decided it would be a good idea to take what wasn’t yours and leave me high and dry. Let’s take inventory on the stuff you walked away with.

First is the purse itself. Thank God I left my Michael Kors back in the hotel room! I have no idea if you’re a man or a women but you definitely got nothing in the handbag department as that little clutch can be replaced without breaking the bank. I breathed a sigh of relief on that one. But I’m guessing that’s not really what you were after anyway.

The cold hard cash. Bummer for you, as it was less than $50 bucks, but bigger bummer for me as it was the only cash I had and I was stuck all the way in Indianapolis for 3 more days. Something told me not to even bother bringing cash as I would be surrounded by plenty of male friends, but I stuck it in there anyway at the last minute. You made me beg and plead for each cup of Starbucks coffee and meal I needed to consume for the remainder of the conference.

Driver’s License. In case you were wondering, it’s not my current address but you live in Indy so I would assume you aren’t planning to visit anyway. It’s been less than a year since I lost my last one but I suppose it’s not that big a deal unless I’m forced to visit the DMV in person. What really makes my blood boil is that shiny highway patrol sticker I have on there and one can only hope that their kind, caring uncle reads this and finds it in his heart to replace that.

Credit Cards. I have no idea what you were trying to purchase at Wal-Mart for $400 dollars, but you probably didn’t realize I make a living being speedy, so I had those cards canceled before you even thought of all the cool things you could buy on my dime.

Passport. The good news is it wasn’t mine but the bad news is it wasn’t mine and so I had to feel extra guilty for losing a friends passport, not to mention only form of identification. I suppose this frees me from being asked in the future to carry belongings for other people in my purse so that their pockets aren’t bulging, but in the meantime I have to also deal with someone else’s disappointment while dealing with my own. Not good.

Blackberry. A good businessman might realize that people will pay you not to steal their blackberry. I tried calling all the people you called on my phone before I turned it off to have them relay that message to you, but to no avail. And let’s talk about that for a second, shall we? You’re a dumb thief. Obviously I can easily look up phone activity and see the numbers you’ve called. I even think the older gentleman I got a hold of was willing to help me out, he just couldn’t remember who it had been on the phone from that phone number by the time I called him. He even tried calling it again to see who answered but by that time I had shut the phone down so you got lucky there. I now see the importance of keeping your phone locked, even if you don’t have a nosey significant other who might want to snoop. A blackberry contains far too much personal information that you may or may not be interested in. Luckily for me, you won’t be able to run to the tabloids with the pictures I have stored, but that doesn’t make me feel any less violated.

So basically, you suck. I learned a valuable lesson and will never again make it that easy for a punk like you to disrupt my life like that. But the offer still stands… I will pay you to give my Blackberry back. No questions asked.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


So…Tiger. I’m pretty sure I don’t really need to say more than that as everybody should be able to ascertain what I’m referring to. This isn’t a gossip site. I prefer to leave that drama to Perez Hilton. What I’m most interested in discussing on this blog, is the aftermath of the whole situation and what we as a society have come to expect, and even demand from our celebrities, namely athletes.

To me, this is what’s most fascinating. I’m not gasping in shock over “transgressions”, but I am slightly stunned by the majority of people who seem to believe that they’re owed an explanation of some sort as well as a personal account of details so that they can fully judge and come to their own conclusions. Because of his status as the world’s top athlete, he is obligated to make private matters public and let us all ascertain the severity of the situation and how he should now be viewed.

I’m no celebrity. There are probably a few thousand people in this world that know who I am that I have not personally met. Next to Tiger that’s like a backyard swimming pool compared to the Pacific Ocean. But yet even on that extremely small scale, I’m sometimes amazed at the ability of some to critique and analyze portions of my life that don’t involve them. So, I personally feel that in Tiger’s case, being an “alleged” adulterer should only matter to his wife and to his family. Why should it matter to me? Why would I want it to?

Is he supposed to apologize to us because we made the choice to look up to and admire him? Perhaps if his chosen profession was a priest, but as far as I know, he’s just a really good golfer. He hits small white balls into a hole with enormous success. I fail to see the correlation with moral perfection in that line of work. Granted, I see how his “image” has helped to amass most of his billion-dollar fortune. But that is also the work of large corporations creating an ideal so that they can get us to buy more Gatorade and Air Max sneakers. I must be honest with you. No matter what happened, I’m still going to drink Gatorade on occasion and I’m not giving up my Mach 3 Turbo. I’ll even wear Nike…if they pay me. And just because I choose to purchase those products, I don’t feel like Tiger Woods owes me an explanation for anything. I’m not going to believe that asinine story about his helpful wife beating out the back window with a golf club to save him because he was trapped in his car after he inadvertently hit a tree for no reason…but I have no problem with that fabrication if it’s what he chooses to put out there.

Personally I just think we should let him be. If you want to be a fan of his golf game, do so. If you want to nominate him for husband of the year, think twice. I just don’t think we should have expectations of perfection, nor should we think he has an obligation to explain in detail each and every mistake he makes. Would you like to tell millions of strangers all about the biggest mistakes you’ve made in life? Probably not.

If you think differently, I want to know why.