Monday, July 18, 2011

An Offering

Give the act to me.
Purged of hope and ego.
Fix your attention on the soul,
Act and do it for me.

from "The War of Art"
-Stephen Pressfield

The following is an excerpt from an email I wrote to my best friend Friday morning while I was on the train headed to a competition...

... I just finished that book and while some didn't resonate completely, the last page totally did. Do your work as an offering to God. Not for any other reason or to gain anything from it. I do my part and He does His. And after I'm done with my part, I don't worry about it. The fruits of our labor are not what we have control over. He's given me these talents and this purpose and my job is to do my very best and leave it at that. Oh how simple and yet complex. I don't know... That's just what spoke to me based on what I'm dealing with right now. Life is so complicated, hard, unfair, stressful...but it's really not. I just make it that way. I care so much but maybe I'm caring in the wrong way...

I wanted to share that bit of personal correspondence for a few reasons. For starters, it's very honest. It wasn't written as a blog post I wanted to share with people and make sure was worded just right or had some deep insight attached to it. Also, it was written before my competition. So, in hindsight I can tell you the difference it made in my soul and not just have this break thru moment after I happened to have a good jump on friday.

This past month has been a crazy roller coaster of emotions for me. But I feel like since I read the last page of that book I've turned my corner. And whether that turn continues to produce good jumps or not is inconsequential in terms of the bigger picture. It's centered me again and reminded me of what I believe in my heart to be true.

I believe very strongly about the purpose and meaning of our lives and what we are supposed to do with our gifts and talents. As I grow older, it becomes so much clearer to me... And yet. And yet I still lose sight of that when I hold on too tightly to the fruits of my labor. I don't leave everything on the field, so to speak, I hold on to it and let it validate things that aren't true. And I begin to let the emotions of all of that get the best of me.

I know plenty of people might not agree with these sentiments completely. You can be a professional athlete and be motivated by fame or fortune or even certain accomplishments that you believe will define your career. But for me, even though I don't think I necessarily need to let go of my goals or aspirations, I want to operate from a place of feeling like I'm giving back to the place where the gifts came from. An offering. I want to let go of my ego, do the work to the best of my ability, and give it back to Him. The idea of that makes me happy and feels me with a deeper joy than I have been experiencing as of late, and for that I am grateful.


Artista said...

I think you have a great talent, not only in a long jump.
You open up your heart so easily and this is wonderful.
You're famous, winning, but you transmit to be just a girl, down to earth, loving your life with its surprise and essential things...
So i hope every best thing for you.

Sorry for my grammatical errors but here in italy I didn't have a great teacher... but probably I wasn't a great student :-)

I saw you in Padova, wow, fantastic when you were with your fans. I hope to see you in Lignano too.

Good luck! :-)


Bianca said...

I'm so proud of you. Let me know if you're free on either Wednesday or Thursday.


Meet Organizers said...

@Brianna --- Twitter: Folks got a nice ralph lauren serving bowl as a gift in italy. Nice bowl, but I hope the maids have plenty of family to give gifts to..

Why would you give it away? Seems kinda ungrateful and disrespectful to the meet organizers. They invited you, you win, and then you spit on their gift. Sad.

And what makes it worse is you then Tweet about it, spitting in their face twice.

If I were them, I wouldn't invite you back. You are selfish and ungrateful to the hand that feeds you.

Grow up.

Anonymous said...

Please ignore the "Meet Organizers" comment that has appeared here.
This individual obviously never won anything and gave it away as gifts. I have been there. Many a gift, flowers, cash, jewelery, vases, clothing, etc.. that we Athletes receive are given in LOVE to people around us and to total strangers. I have travelled the world over and given away more than I could carry to all the great international community that supports me. And the real MEET Organizers don't care how we disburse these gifts of love to the community. If fact, I've been given extras after the meet was over. Signed it and gave to people who drop it on internet for sale! Still, not a problem here. We are lovers, not haters of people.
People like Bri would give there last dollar to help a stranger. So. dont talk about what you obviously don't know about. Give in your way, we will give in our way. All together, we all win. Giing brings out the best in us. Peace

Anonymous said...

You are a thoughtful and reflective person. Understanding yourself and how you work is important to living the life you want instead of the one that is thrown at you. Keep it up.

You are a joy to watch and your blog is a good read. I am an old track and field fan. My daughter (now older than you with three girls of her own) was a runner. I still follow the sport.

I saw your win the other evening on an Italian channel in Saudi Arabia. It was nice to see you and to see your wonderful smile as you were signing all of those autoographs at the end.

With your brains, your thougful reflections and the quality person you look to be you will succeed and flourish. Keep it going!

Brianna said...

@paolo...your English is great... Thank you so much for commenting. I am in lignano!

@Bianca... Love you!

@not the meet organizers... The actual meet organizer already wrote me and told me what a pleasure it was to have me at his meet so they beat you to it... Sorry. And just as an FYI for everyone else, I actually gave my bowl to one of the volunteers who lives in Italy and who doesn't have 2 50 pound page they are traveling with getting charged 10euros per kilo their bag is overweight so it was a win win situation.

@anonymous... Thanks for having my back!

@anonymous... How awesome you got to see my meet in Saudi Arabia! It's always a pleasure to sign autographs... How cool someone wants your name scribbled on a piece of paper!

Meet Organizers said...

@Anonymous You're an unappreciative putz too!

She said she left it in the room for the maids. She didn't say she signed it and gave it to charity, to a young girl who asked her for her autograph and touched her, she said she gave it to the maid...and in fact she didn't even give it to the maid, she left it in the room like a 2 year old thrown in an Orlando swamp, in a trash bag, 1 block from her house!

@Brianna Next time don't wear your pajamas's on the medal stand. Look at the "ladies" next to you, they look like professional athletes.

Just saying, you want to be big time, well, act like it.

But then again, look at the friends you hang out with. No wonder. Birds of a feather flock together!

Don't hate on the messenger...hate the reality of the message.

Anonymous said...

Guess his mom didn't teach him "if you don't have something nice to say - don't say anything at all". Why? Why bother? I don't get it but it takes all kinds to make the world go around I guess. Great meet! Keep up the good work and have fun!

Anonymous said...

"meet organizer" is getting weird@#!

You are Comparing a piece of glass given away, to a child murdered by parents and taped and discarded????
You are disturbed about something more than this. Please leave this athlete alone. Stop using the "Meet Organizer" moniker, and get a life.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that all your Momma's named you all Anonymous too! Momma said I was the only one. lol

Brianna said...

If someone who thinks I'm so awful takes precious time out of their day to follow me on twitter, read my blog, and quote what I say... That's kind of a bummer for you when you think about it. Regardless, I hope the rest of you get the real message of this blog, as it is close to my heart.

Artista said...

Always with you, Brianna!

Tonight in lignano I'll cheer for you and for first time i can admire you, i'm so happy :-)

You have fans in Italy too.


Meet Organizers said...


No-one thinks as a whole you are "so awful". No no no, as with your jumping, you never really do look at the big picture as you are not doing in this instance as well.

Every human being makes mistakes. Do individual moments in time define who each of us are? Of course not. All of us are a compilation of all our life's actions and decisions. No, one moment, no one meet, no one decision will ever define any of us. It is only after all the leggo building blocks have been put in place is when judgment can be made of the overall creation.

You left something important and worthy of better, behind in your room. You wore your pajamas on the medal what. Who cares. Brief moments in time and learning lessons for next time.

Sincerely, I wish you Good luck at your next meet.

It is in our mistakes that we perfect ourselves and reach our true destined greatness!

Criticism of one action is not criticism of ALL. It is merely a drop in a very large bucket called Brianna Glenn.

Bubba Gump Jumping Acedemy said...


6.50 wins this meet?!

Somehow you have to dig deep when a meet is being handed to you for free. You can jump this in your sleep while eating corn on the cob, and whistling dixie.

Was it bad weather? Everyone sucked. Even Funmi and Hyleas! Geeesh!


Anonymous said...

Gorgeous blog Bri, and you are absolutely right. Thank you for sharing your heart.
People must find their God-given talent and maximize that, our time is so short and the outcome is up to Him, but we must be planting the fields and preparing for His blessed rain. It can be hard to put that in perspective when things aren't going the way we had anticipated or dont understand what His bigger plan is, but perseverance and assurance that His grace is bigger than we can ever imagine can help get through the hurdles in the road and continue forward. It is difficult to relinquish control especially when it's not going in our favor. Just know the Lord's looking down on you and loving your journey, and most importantly, loving you. You have many gifts Bri and you are using them well. Know that you're not alone on this road even though it truly seems like it sometimes!
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Heb 10:23


Brianna said...

What a beautiful comment... Thank you so much!! I am racking my brain of all the people I know with the initials jb so I can try and thank you personally but hopefully you see this

Anonymous said...

Jenny ;) we'll meet eventually!
Enjoy a slice of Italian pizza for me and safe travels back to the states!

Anonymous said...

"and the outcome is up to Him"

Hey Bri, did you hear that? Now you don't have to train anymore! Brownies and Ice Cream every night! Woo-Hoo!

Allen W said...

Looks as if you are having a good time. Good for you, so keep it up and good luck. Not much else to say, just to keep you informed that I am still following your adventures and reading up on the notes that keep getting posted here. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Would you jump with semeya........Oscar is amazing but. They both should be in the stands...they both should be boycotted

Anonymous said...

You are the Mother Teresa of long jumping-who knew?

steveburks said...

Disconnecting from outcomes is excruciatingly hard. Faulty human wiring, maybe.