Monday, February 28, 2011

Red Flag

foul. foul. foul. foul. foul. foul. The End.

That was my response when my best friend asked me how the competition went, and really, there wasn't really much else to say about it. I'm pretty sure I had nightmares last night about raised red flags.

One of my goals in life is to run really fast for about 40 meters and then jump as far as I can without going over a 1.2 meter (4 inch) board they've slapped down at the end of the runway. Those 4 inches matter and I spend a great deal of time trying to master the art of not jumping even a centimeter past where I'm supposed to. Yesterday, I simply failed that test miserably.

There were plenty of people who tried to tell me I jumped well, but I would beg to differ. The best basketball player is not the one who wins the slam dunk contest or shoots the most 3 pointers during the All-Star game. Being a good long jumper is jumping well in competition and having them count by mastering the art of taking off from where I'm supposed to. I cannot put my best up against the best in the U.S. or the World if my jumps never even get recorded.

The last time I can remember completely fouling out of a competition (recorded no fair jumps) was back in 2004 at the Olympic Trials. It took me a while to realize that an occurrence like that was not simply bad luck or unfortunate circumstance, but a lack of mental focus that you need to have in this sport. The same is true for yesterday. Fouling happens in this event but six times in a row, being just about a toenails distance each and every time, is something I need to take ownership of and fix in my head more than anything else.

The good news is (besides saving money on my auto insurance) is that I am jumping well at this point in the season. I would definitely have a bigger problem on my hands if I was recording a bunch of jumps that were terrible and having to figure out that issue to solve. I am looking forward to my outdoor season and will be ready to put my best jumps against the top competitors in the world... and have them count.


Bianca said...

I love you. Smelling foul, being fouled, or eating fowl. Now and forever.

brit brat said...

that was the past... look only to the future. tomorrow, you will be better.