Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Nationals Recap

Where to begin?

Well, to be honest for the last 48 hours I was fine with beginning nowhere. I was quite numb, actually. I didn't talk to anyone nor did I plan on blogging what I considered to be a huge failure on my end. For me, this was probably the biggest letdown of my career, simply because I believed it was virtually impossible for me not to do well. So, basically I'm saying that there just isn't much to say, and I have no excuses. I know better than anyone how mentally and physically ready I was. (or thought I was?) I read my last post and I feel certain I meant it. All that was left to do was go out and let it happen, yet somehow I got in the way of that.

Putting your heart and soul into something and coming up short is heartbreaking. I care so much about what I do, and while on one hand I love the fact that I'm doing something that requires me to give my all and pour so much emotion into getting it right, it leaves me vulnerable to a lot of disappointment and heartache. It's a gamble of sorts, and this time I wound up on the losing end with no one to blame but myself.

Of course this setback will leave it's mark on this season, and it's definitely going to overshadow a lot of other good things that have happened this year. But the season isn't over for me just yet, and the only thing left to do with this experience is learn from it. If it's in my power to fix it and do something so that it doesn't happen again, then that's what I want to figure out.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


It's the day before the meet and I'm EXCITED! I like to make sure I alway write a post before a big competition so I can go back and remember just where I was at mentally. So here is my post...more for me than for you, but I'm sharing it anyway.

One of the questions I've been getting asked constantly is what I think it's going to take to make the team. There are a good group of jumpers right now and I know a lot of us are capable of jumping very far. In years past I might of made a stab at guessing what mark will make the team based on a host of factors, but this year my mind isn't working like that. I haven't thought of a mark I will probably have to jump tomorrow and it's because I'm approaching it with the mindset that Whatever it takes, i am capable of. I feel what I jump is going to fall into placing me where I need to be. I know that doing what I can do is going to be plenty.

I haven't looked at pre meet predictions or form charts or where I'm seeded at coming into the competition. What people have done in the past or what other people think might happen in a competition thankfully has nothing to do with what actually happens.

I guess what I'm saying is that I have never felt more ready to do my best and I thank God that I am finally confident in the fact that my best will absolutely be good enough. And no, there is nothing in life that is 100% certain, but I am fine with saying I don't know what it will take to make the team tomorrow, but I know I'm as close to 100% sure as you can be that I'm capable of whatever it does take. Now it's up to me to just compete.

Thank you for your support and prayers. Talk to you tomorrow!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Every good thing must come to an end.

This will now hold true for my infamous gold shorts. Honestly, I really love these shorts. I remember the day I found them… I walked in to American Apparel and they literally spoke to me. I was hesitant at first because I just didn't know if I was the girl who would wear gold lamé to compete in just because. Turns out though, I'm EXACTLY that girl.

This was a turning point in my career as well because it was right around that time when I really started to find my confidence again. I planned on jumping well and I figured I might as well have a little fun while I was at it. I also was insistent on not being free marketing. If nobody was paying me to wear their brand, I certainly could come up with something I'd rather wear on my own.

So, while the gold shorts may have seen their last sand pit, I still have a little pizazz I hope to bring to Eugene this weekend. My new uniform will have an added logo though, as I now will be affiliated with New York Athletic Club. Even though I love putting together fun and fabulous outfits, I wouldn't mind covering them with as many logos as possible and turn myself into a running version of a NASCAR car. I think my socks could be prime real estate!

Make sure you look for me this weekend. I plan on being the girl that stands out… both because I am jumping super far and also because my outfit makes a statement. Because, yes, I'm that girl.

Friday, June 17, 2011

New PR!

Yesterday I blogged about focusing on the process, and today I'm here to tell you that I already did a good job of putting it into action.

I now have a new PR in the Long Jump, and all because I focused only on what I was trying to do. Now, granted, this was no championships or big time competition-- more like a backyard meet with a couple competitors and a few officials to make sure it counted -- but what matters most is the fact that I put on my uniform, ran down the runway, took off and landed at a distance further than I ever have before. And I actually did that 4 out of 5 jumps. #POW.

I never compete at the Olympic Training Center. Specifically because I don't like competitions to feel like practice, and that's a bit hard when it's where you train every day. I also don't like competing for free, but that's a whole other blog post. But after my poor showing in Rio and the dismal conditions in New York, I felt like I needed an opportunity to convince myself I was dialed in and ready to go. I had been working on some cues and thought processes in training and I wanted the opportunity to really put them to the test, and you kind of need an amped up situation to do that in. So I modified my plan and decided to jump.

I had a few specific things I wanted to focus on. First, I wanted to start the competition off strong. Making your first jump count and be a statement jump is a mental thing more than anything and I'd rather make a statement than sit around and have to respond to everyone else's. At times that can be difficult for me and I prefer not to have my back up against the wall trying to make a final. Second, I have been focused in training on making my jumps count. I don't think you'll ever see me completely off my mark, but I can be known to toenail foul quite a bit when I'm not careful. So I've been working on some new cues to help that not be the case.

So, here was my series yesterday…

7.00 (4.1)
6.96 (3.3)
6.85 (2.3)
PASS (i'm getting old)
6.72 (1.5)
6.87 (1.3)

My previous best was 6.81/6.84w. For those of you who are unfamiliar, only wind under 2.0 is allowable for records and such, and so my best legal jump was the 6.87. But under any conditions I have now gone 7 meters, and I firmly believe if you can do it windy you can do it legal. So, it's there. But the important part of this series is I did exactly what I wanted to. I started off strong (woohoo) and I didn't foul one jump… even with the variable winds!

Believe me, I know what's important. I just wanted to make sure that I was on point like I need to be heading in to Nationals and I really believe that I am. I was already confident, but a little extra boost never hurt anyone!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Focus on the Process

If you don't constantly talk to yourself inside your head, I'd venture to say you're a little bit off. Everybody does it. Some do it more than others. I do it the most. One of the things I try to manage when I'm getting ready for competitions and during them, is the constant chatter I'm having with myself in between my ears. Yesterday I posted that "it's more important to focus on the process, rather than the outcome." I believe this to be true, I just don't know how to do it all the time. Here is a sampling of things I will probably think between now and next weekend…

I hope I win...

I want to jump 7 meters...

So and so better not beat me...

I hope I get to do a victory lap in Oregon...

Should I wear those gold shorts again...

How many people have jumped further than me this season...

What will they jump...

What will I jump...

It's probably going to take this to make the team...

I need to do better in Daegu than I did in Berlin...

Well, first I need to make it to Daegu...

……and on. and on. and on.

But I'm learning to stop those thoughts from growing and from consuming me. I haven't mastered how to not make them come in the first place, but I realize they're not what I need to be focused on. I try my best to focus on me and what I know I can do. The process. The process is simple and I believe in it. It has nothing to do with anything or anybody else, it's just me doing what I do. The beauty of that is that I have enough faith to know that if I do the process right, the result will be what it needs to be. But worrying and giving energy to anyone else besides myself, is counterproductive.

I know some people disagree. Perhaps it can be advantageous to think about beating certain people and having that be your motivating factor or focusing on the result of making a team or jumping a certain distance. But for me I'm finding that I do better when I stop letting that be my driving force and give my attention to the process. It puts me in a better place and it helps me focus on things I have total control over. If I master that, the other things take care of themselves.

I'm still contemplating the gold shorts though...

Monday, June 13, 2011

New York Recap

My trip to New York this weekend was filled with high hopes and even bigger expectations. I love that city and I always look forward to competing there. The city didn't let me down. There was a ton of great culinary experiences.. from random whole in the wall Peruvian fare to fancy Mediterranean dinners complete with $20 cocktails and everything in between. I walked the streets and people watched to my hearts content. I rode in taxis and nearly died. I shopped. Overall it was a really great trip -- except for the competition.

When I stepped off the plane in New York on Thursday I was hit with the most intense wave of heat. It was suffocating. The pilot had mentioned it was over 100 degrees but once you factor in the humidity and all, you were miserable. Not to worry. By the time I made it to the track on Friday for a pre meet warmup it was about 20 degrees cooler and absolutely perfect weather for a track meet. Storms were in the forecast but they were supposed to be intermittent and I was hoping for similar weather the next day. If you watched the meet on T.V., you'd know that wasn't the case. It was cold. It was rainy. But most of all, it was windy.

The meet directors were nice enough to put us in the pre meet portion of the meet, hours before the real track competitions got started and eons away from the television broadcast. There was probably 17 people in the stands by the time we went out to the infield to get started, but as field event folks, we are used to the love (or lack thereof). I immediately made my way up to the event coordinator to enquire as to whether or not they'd be switching the runway to allow us to jump in the opposite direction because the wind was blowing something fierce. The beauty of having sand at both ends of a runway is that you are able to choose to not fight it. Unfortunately, we were told that no, they wouldn't be switching the runway because the T.V. cameras were already set up for that direction.

Just so you understand completely, we started jumping at 1pm. The "live" television broadcast of the meet was from 3pm-5pm. It was already obvious that we were somewhat of the forgotten stepchild and had no real chance of being part of the television coverage. The most we could hope for was a snippet of the winning jump in between laps of the 5k. But instead of giving us an opportunity for decent jumps and a respectable showing, they asked us to jump into a tornado. We did our best, but our best ended up being quite embarrassing. I was 5th out of 13 jumpers, and could barely manage a best jump of 6.29. I felt like I was on the runway trying to run fast toward the board, but got stuck doing the running man in place as soon as I stood up. It was awful. Instead of getting out of the pit and seeing if you landed anywhere near 7 meters, we were stepping out of the pit hoping it looked to be beyond 6 meters. I think everyone in the competition had a few jumps where that wish didn't come true.

You can't control mother nature and I don't like to make excuses for crappy performances, but if you were wondering what the reason was for such dismal performances, hopefully that clues you in a bit. At the end of the day though, 4 other people handled the situation better than I did and so I'm not to thrilled about that. I'll just take from it what I can and make sure that's not the case in two weeks.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Facebook Experience

I've decided to change the way I Facebook. It's not a big change, really, but what it will do is let me connect with more people (I was at the profile page max) and share more of myself and my journey. So, if we were already Facebook friends, you'll now notice that I have a page instead of a profile and I've found a way for you to "LIKE" me without your active participation. It's kind of tricky on my part but at the same time, it saves you the trouble and deep down I know you wanted to anyway. If we weren't friends, I'm inviting you now to connect with me and make sure you aren't missing out on anything life changing. Things you will experience on my Facebook page include…

…Finding out where I'm at in the world and when I compete.
…Get notifications about Blog updates.
…View pictures and videos from my adventures.
…Have questions answered and be involved in discussions related to my sport.
…Lots more cool stuff I haven't thought of yet.

And if none of those reasons seem worth it, just do it because I asked nicely. Please make sure you stop on by and let me know what you think.

***my landing page was created by the lovely Tiffini at tiffiniink.com. It's kind of awesome, isn't it?!!