Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Jamaica Mon

This weekend I get to really start competing. Everyone knows that real competitions start once you get on a plane and have to fly ridiculously uncomfortable distances to have a little stiffness and jet lag thrown into the mix to really count. My first competition will be in Jamaica, a country I visited and competed in once before. Why don't I take a second and get all nostalgic and tell you about it…

The first (and last) time I went to a competition in Kingston was back in 2008. It was one of my very first meets of the year and I was excited to be going to an exotic location. Meets are always that much funner when you get to throw in a mini vacay on the side. So, I get off the plane looking for the nearest Sandals resort, some nice shops to buy my rastafari necklaces and such, and all the beautiful locations I was going to photograph and add to my scrapbook. And then I was quickly introduced to Kingston. Kingston is not the Jamaica of postcard notoriety. I had stupidly assumed that the whole island would be one big, happy all-inclusive resort with Bob Marley playing in the background, and people eagerly handing me a rum punch to enjoy at the beach. But no. That Jamaica is a 3 hour trip from where I was, and I quickly took in my new surroundings. This side of Jamaica couldn't be more different than where the resorts are located but I appreciated it for what it was.

Now…about the competition. Like I said, it was one of the first competitions of my season. Unfortunately for me, it was also the beginning of my downward spiral that led me to surgery and the end to a season I had such high hopes for. During the competition it seems that a couple pieces of cartilage broke off in my knee and lodged in places they shouldn't have. The crazy thing is, your brain doesn't know such a thing has happened. One minute I could run and jump, and the next… I couldn't even walk. It was a bizarre thing that I would come to understand better in the week that followed, but at that moment all I knew was that my knee would all the sudden not be able to bend and be excruciatingly painful, to almost normal, and back to excruciating again. All I could do was cry. Obviously.

So now I feel extremely blessed to be going back to Jamaica a completely healthy jumper(relatively speaking). I know this is going to be an exciting meet with an electrifying atmosphere and an opportunity to really compete well. I think it's important to take note when life brings you full circle and you find yourself in a place you've been before but now can have a whole new perspective on. I try to take nothing for granted when it comes to opportunities like this. I had tried to get in to another meet this weekend and was a bit bummed it didn't work out, but then I remembered my last trip to Jamaica and I decided to appreciate fully my opportunity to return and make new memories there. And hopefully eat jerk chicken.

4 comments:

Bianca said...

REDEMPTION!!!!

Which, ironically, is my favorite Bob Marley song :)

zion1971 said...

I like your blog. Great insight, perspective and "keeping it real".Wish you the best and hope to see you in action at the national stadium.Peace,

Cindy A. said...

Best of luck and be blessed, whatever the outcome!

polevaultdream said...

Great jumping! I hope you got some of that jerk chicken that was outside!