Friday, August 26, 2011

The Start of World Championships

Can I be honest? I've been a little sad and dejected these past couple of days. My event at World Champs starts tomorrow and here I am sitting on the couch eating bon bons for breakfast. Of course that's not true…but only because I forgot to buy some when I was at the store. The truth is, I had been on my emotional rollercoaster over the summer season but when i returned home from Europe I had made peace with the idea that my season was probably over at the beginning of August. I was looking forward to spending time with my friends and family and having some summer left to enjoy stateside. And all that happened and I was in a good space. But then I started reading articles about the championships, and seeing pictures of the village, and reading everyone's tweets about the buildup to competition and it hit me. Hard. I'm not there but I should be.

I feel like the girl sitting at home the night of her prom while everyone is out having the time of their lives. Except this is not because anyone didn't invite me, because being able to go was purely up to me.

Despite all these depressing emotions, I feel like it's a good thing that I care so much and I do plan on watching as much of the event as I can over the next week, whether it stings a little or not. Disappointment can be a great motivator. I want to make sure I use this fuel all next year so that when it comes time to secure my spot for London, I am fully committed and capable of doing what I need to do so that I'm not sitting at home stuffing my face with bon bons when I should be representing my country on the biggest stage possible and proudly competing to the best of my ability.

Until then, I need to make a quick run to the store...

Monday, August 15, 2011


When it comes right down to it, I really am a humble gal about most things. I don't walk around thinking I'm the best thing since sliced bread and telling everyone in earshot how fabulous I am unless I'm at home and my little sister needs reminding. When it comes to anything concerning physical appearance, it's far to subjective to consider yourself superior in pretty much any category, and if you live in Southern California, the absolute capitol of Superficialdom, you can easily look around at any point and time and find someone who has a better this, a bigger or smaller that, and a far better defined anything, EXCEPT, in my case, ABDOMINAL SECTION.

I have a pretty amazing midsection if you tend to be partial towards stomachs that are defined and ripped. And I realize that there are plenty of people that aren't, and that's totally okay. It doesn't really negate the fact that that is what mine looks like. It's pretty much fact rather than opinion. You might think that sounds incredibly arrogant, but I assure you it's not. Once I'm done competing I plan on flattening it out just a bit if possible and laying off the Ninja Turtle look, so it's not my optimal stomach, and besides, the fact that I carry such little body fat is directly proportional to the sad truth that I don't have fat lumps on other parts of my body where I reaaaaallly wish I did. So, I promise you there is no reason whatsoever to be jealous.

All that to say that last week I put out on social media that I was going in for a casting for some ab infomercial where they needed background people with "ripped, defined abs." I was already pre-selected to be seen through my agency, because I just don't believe in going to open, random castings when what they are looking for is so subjective. But in this case, I figured not only do they need 8 people, there just isn't really something I am more qualified for. I am pretty much a shoo in. Of course I should have remembered that one time I didn't get that commercial when they were looking for a long jumper, with curly hair, approximately 5'6, with brown skin and a dimple in her right cheek.

So, I went to the audition. i let them take pictures of me in a sports bra and shorts and then film me using their gadgety little ab machine that didn't make my abs sore AT ALL, but caused me to really take notice of my hip flexors and inner thighs. (Note to consumers: if you really want a ripped midsection, don't bother with gadgets and machines). They said they would be in contact by the end of the week to let me know if I got the job and give me all the pertinent information. That was last week and I never received a phone call.

I'm pretty sure I didn't get the job. Did they want all blondes? Was there a height requirement? Would I have made the main talent look subpar? One will never know. But I just have a hard time believing that 8 people walked into that casting with more "ripped, and defined" abs than me. But then again, this is Southern California, and maybe I haven't been looking around hard enough.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

End of Season

I'm back in the good ol' U S of A now and my trip home signifies the end of the 2011 season for me. I'd like to say I went out with a bang, but the truth is it was more like a handheld sparkler than a fireworks show. The reason for that is nothing more than the fact that I was at the end of a five week span that saw me do 10 competitions in 7 different countries. In fact, during one eight day time period I somehow fit in four competitions. To say the least, my body was understandably wiped out. That is not the type of schedule you would draw up for peak performances, but it is the kind of schedule you make work when you know that these five weeks will be the last opportunity you have to go out and work for a very long time.

What I will say, however, is that I left Europe far better than I arrived--and that is true in both performance and attitude. I came to Europe probably in the best shape of my life and I couldn't do anything with it because mentally I was still the #1 guest at my very own pity party. But thankfully, I realized soon enough that that party was a real drag. Truth be told, if I could have stayed in Europe another month and done 10 more competitions I totally would have. Athlete's always like to say how they can't wait to come home but home for me right now doesn't seem all that great, and the gelato isn't nearly as good. Over the years I have really come to appreciate competing and living in Europe and all that being away from home has to offer… for the most part. There are a few things, however, that I am glad I will not have to deal with for a while.

Here is a list of my top 10 things I won't miss.

10. Lukewarm drinks. Nothing is cold and ice doesn't exist… so there you go.

9. The worst internet connections. Ever. There were literally times I would wait 15 min for a page to load.

8. European breakfast. Scrambled egg soup, hard bread, and mushrooms?! Eww. In fact, at one hotel this was ALL that was offered. And yes, you could bounce that roll off a wall.

7. Siesta time (in some countries) during the day and Sundays when all of civilization just shuts down. I'm used to what you want, when you want it, mentality. If I forget to eat lunch before 13:00 (that's 1 for the yanks) or don't go to the grocery store before Saturday, I end up with starvation as my only option.

6. The non-existence of lines. We are not a herd of animals and I stick out like a sore thumb, so please get behind me and wait your turn.

5. Cold, rainy weather. It's summer, but the majority of time I got ready for competitions dressed like this..

4. Smoking. Everybody. Everywhere

3. Sandwiches, especially when that is the only thing offered at airports. Hard bread, one slice of the most thinly sliced meat you can imagine, and butter.

Beds not made for full-sized human beings and put so close together that you should be married to the person sleeping next to you, but instead it's a person who doesn't speak your language and prefers to be a nudist all day. (sorry…can't include picture of nudist)

1. The Euro. And all other forms of currency I encountered, that put my measly American dollar to shame and forced me to dread conversion calculations.

That being said, the things I actually enjoy and appreciate about being able to live and work on another continent would make a much longer list than this one. I'm bummed to be home, and I am even more bummed that it is going to be many, many months before I get to compete again. But, everything happens for a reason and I plan on making the most of my time off. Mostly eating.

Monday, August 1, 2011

My First Street Meet

Let's get the important details out of the way…

I chose Eye of the Tiger.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, you need to make sure you visit my Facebook fan pageonce in a while because there are times when I really could use the help of the masses. Like when i am trying to remember songs I like or convincing my mother black people don't like exploring the wilderness as much as white folks do. I digress. In reality, a more appropriate song would have been "Singing in the Rain", even though I wasn't singing and even though that song is not in the least bit motivational. The part that makes it relevant is the rain, and it's the only song I can think of with rain in the title. And if the song happens to mention cold temperatures and a nasty side wind, it would have been that much more appropriate on Saturday.

I don't know what it is about parts of Europe, but they refuse to have Summer. When we were competing they told me it was 10 degrees. I had to find someone who remembered how to do the calculation from Celsius to (stupid American)Farenheit (read: found someone with an Iphone) to find out that was a blistery 50 degrees. And did I mention the rain and the wind?!! Oh yea, lovely jumping weather.

Beyond that though, I was determined to have fun. As soon as I heard that there was a street meet for long jump in Germany, I begged my manager to change my plans and send me there instead of Budapest, which was on the same day, even though I had been wanting to visit Budapest for ages. I had been to a couple of these street meets with my pole vault buddies this summer and they were just so much fun. For starters, you are the only event and so everyone that shows up is there for you. Did I mention I do long jump? We don't ever get attention like that. There is usually a dj involved, hence me picking a song to jump to. Oh.. and beer is also often present, which adds to the festive environment and makes it enjoyable to the crowd no matter if you jump far or not, because they're basically at a party! I'm telling you… it's a blast.

As you might have guessed, I didn't actually jump far. Nevertheless, I'm glad I went. These are the kind of meets that remind you how fun this sport can be and makes you appreciate that aspect of it. Next year, I will be back, and I plan on bringing the sunshine with me.

Does this look appropriate for late July? I literally put on every item of clothing I could, and I still was freezing. Maybe it's because I'm from California.

Our competition site... so cool!!

The "thanks for coming" gift was a 2 liter beer. Gotta love Germany!