Monday, June 28, 2010

Tenacity



I am stubborn. But let’s just say I have tenacity. That sounds a little better, doesn’t it? Whatever the word, the point is that once I set my mind to do something, there really isn’t too much talking me out of it. This weekend’s competition reminded me of that fun fact about myself. In fact, it reminded me specifically of a competition in college where I exhibited the same characteristics I saw in myself this weekend.

I included the following video because it reminded me so much of the competitor I was, and the competitor I am now finally starting to be again. That video was from the 2001 Pac-10 championships where I ran the 200 meters. If you look closely (basically, if you aren’t blind), you can see that my leg is heavily bandaged. The trainers did that as a precaution because when I arrived at the meet I ended up tweaking my hamstring and had a slight strain that was really bothering me. They had done all the non-helpful treatments – stim and ice…ultrasound…light massage – and basically it just came down to my call. Obviously, I chose to run. And that’s where my stubbornness comes in. Was it a smart move? Maybe not. I had already won the 100 meters and I had Nationals in a few weeks. But in that moment, all I felt was that the race was mine and I didn’t just want to hand it over to someone else. When my competitive juices are flowing, I don’t know how to back down.

Which brings me to this weekend. I came into Nationals feeling amazing. I knew I was going to jump well. As an athlete, once you know something, all that is left is going through the motions. At least that’s how it is for me. So when I got out to the runway and went to do my first approach, imagine my horror when I felt my hamstring grab in the first few steps. Did that just happen?!! No, no, no. I tried to go again and I still felt it. Cramp? Strain? Spasm? I had no idea. So I relaxed, tried my best to calm down, and then made a decision. Go for it. Was it a smart decision? Maybe not. But sometimes as a competitor you don’t know smart. I altered my approach slightly as to not push out so hard from the start, and then I just became a competitor. By the time I went to do my first jump I just convinced myself it was ok to jump on and wasn't bothering me.

As I sit here now...all the way in France by the way...my hamstring is extremely sore and tender to the touch. But I was 3rd at Nationals and I jumped a new personal best. If I had to do it over again I can't say I would do anything different. I wasn't at my best physically, but I found a way to be successful anyway. It's the same tenacity I saw in myself back in college and I quite like the competitor I was back then. It boils down to focusing on what you can do and not thinking about your limitations.

This is in no way an endorsement for competing when you think you may injure yourself further. I do stupid things sometimes and I'm just blessed they end up working out for the best. I have no idea how to turn off that part of my competitive spirit. But when it does work in your favor, it shows you that you don't have to always have things perfect to do big things. Sometimes you just go with what you got and make that be enough.


***I am expecting major props on the evolution of my sprinting mechanics in the last 10 years. thanks in advance. ;)

12 comments:

gene said...

I am a new follower, as a result of seeing you this past weekend. Congrats on the PB! Very inspiring post, as I often wonder if I should go through with things, even when the feeling is 'right'. enjoy the afterglow, enjoy France!

Anonymous2 said...

Congrats to you. Good series of Jumps. It might just be me but the gold shorts are looking better and better. Don't know if they are shorter or fitting tighter, they just look good, especially when you are getting out of the sand. Hope the hammy is ok.

Jasmine said...

I got teary-eyed watching that video clip again...makes me think it was just yesterday...

brit brat said...

I'm just looking at how fried and dry your hair use to be....was that an orange-ish tint?
lets be glad THAT'S improved.

Anonymous2 said...

This blog topic made today's headlines on trackandfieldnews.com

Wiiqi said...

What did I tell you, leave the black uniform at home. However gold does not high light your gear very well; hot pink material with soft patterns.

I remember that race and you certainly have improved. Still not getting the lift off the board, keep in mind that a high jumper and basketball player had better results. So speed is not the issue to reach 22 feet, perhaps the injury will help to compensate and attempt something new with your jumping. I was happy to see your victory (top 3 is a winner) and improved distance.

Enjoy the next two months in health Ms. Glenn.

Jennie Finch said...

Love you Bri! Im teary eyed! You got me! So proud of you and the stubborn competitor you are! Big hugs & cat claws para tu from Venezuela!

Brianna said...

Thanks for the support guys! Hope the new readers come back for some repeat visits :)

@ brit...I was actually going to mention something about my hair. I should've known you wouldn't let it slip though

Nicole said...

Hi Bri! I'm really enjoying reading your blog and it was so neat to watch your video! I love your spirit and I'll be praying that God heals up that hamstring ASAP! So jealous you are in France! Have fun!! :)

Anonymous2 said...

Do you know your schedule of upcoming meets? If so can you list them. The results are easy to find, just need to know which ones you are in. Thanks

Brianna said...

I wish I did. I should do a better job updating my website, but the problem is I usually don't find out til last minute.

As of now, I have Lausanne on the 8th. Everything else is waitlisted or up in the air. :)

Antonlove said...

That race was STACKED! And, you still pulled it through (even without your much improved sprint technique).