Monday, August 16, 2010

Counting Chickens

Many people have asked me why I didn’t compete in London this weekend. I wish I could say that I just happened to be busy this past weekend…that instead of making the trip to London I decided to sail along the Mediterranean or something… but who are we fooling. I’m the girl that has competed in absolutely every long jump competition this year. Seriously…every one, except for the one in Daegu because I simply couldn’t find a flight that would get me to Brazil from Korea fast enough. The fact that I even considered it is probably reason enough to claim I’m insane, but that’s a whole other blog. So I guess the simple, truthful answer for me not competing in London is that they didn’t want me there.

This is not such a strange phenomena in our sport. You get into meets based on invitations from the meet director. For the most part, it makes perfect sense why you are or aren’t in a meet, but there are times when it doesn’t. I don’t ever really like to assume I will definitely be invited so my calendar is often a list of different scenarios and at the last minute I’ll know where I will end up. I don’t count on anything… except London. You see, for my entire career I have competed at Crystal Palace every year that I can remember them having my event. Why is this significant? Well, because some years I just wasn’t that good. Based on my performances, I probably wasn’t deserving of a spot in a meet of that caliber, but somehow I got in. I always got in.

So being that this has been my best season to date, I had London marked on the calendar from the beginning. In fact, I even told people to come watch me in London, that’s how sure I was that I would be there. So imagine my surprise when I’m confirming my competition plans for August and I realize there is a question mark by London. I’ve been “waitlisted.” Being put on the waitlist basically means that you aren’t confirmed for the meet but if something happens to someone who is confirmed and they can no longer compete, you’re good to go. Oftentimes in this sport you are only as good as your last meet, and my last meet hadn’t been so stellar. So I accepted my status and patiently waited (and prayed) that someone would drop out and I would be given a chance. Then, in the three days preceding the meet half of my prayer was answered. Three different people pulled out of the meet for various reasons. But as you can probably guess, it never had any affect on my personal waitlist status.

According to my calculations, I was ending the season with a large bucket of extra crispy from KFC. I counted my chickens and I was good to go. But it wasn’t to be, and my expectations ended up making the situation a lot harder to deal with. Never again will I put a competition on the calendar before I am actually confirmed for it. Fortunately for me though, two years from now there is a meet in London that I have absolute control on whether or not I get an invite. If that is the next time I’m able to see London then I will wait patiently.


steveburks said...

Then as Ms. Knowles once said, "Let's go get 'em." (London. 2012. I'm confirming you on MY calendar.)

Anonymous2 said...

Don't know what to say on that one except it's pretty F'd up, especially since you've competed there in that past.

Keith Conning said...

Brianna Glenn USA (Season Best 6.81) had better marks this season than Tianna Madison USA (SB 6.44) and Jade Johnson GBR (SB 6.39).
I understand why they would invite a long jumper from Great Britain, because they could sell more tickets. I guess they invited Tianna because she was the World Champion in 2005.
On another subject, Grace Upshaw just gave birth to a baby girl on Saturday.
Keith Conning
Vacaville, CA
August 17, 2010

Anonymous said...

it's sort of random, because i never read the comments on your blog, but for some reason, this time i did. pounds will be weaker by 2012. who cares about a little wait? and WHAAAAA?!?!?! grace has a baby?!

Allen W said...

Yes you do have control over what can happen for London 2012. Good Attitude. Way to go. As someone who competes in road races it can at times be a victory simply to get to the starting line. Finishing is the Frosting on the Cake. Obviously, what I do is not at the level that you are competing at. But, it is still competition and is fitness related. And you do have the financial pressure to do well so that you can earn a living at what you love to do. Good Luck on all that. Try not to get yourself into comparing yourself to Serena, Michael J, or other pro athletes. They all come under the umbrella of Entertainment. You are an athlete who does bring a touch of class to the sport of Track and Field. More about my opinions on this at another time. Take care and best wishes