Wednesday, December 31, 2008


2008 started out for me with such high hopes and expectations. It was after all going to be my fifth and final time going to the Olympics and I just knew that I was going to improve upon my best ever finish at the Games (6th in 2000). I just knew it. Everything started out great. My preparation was thorough. I worked as hard as I could. I relocated. Had the coach I wanted. The training partners I wanted. I was faster, fitter, leaner. I watched video. I revisited old workouts that worked. I eliminated things that didn't. My diet was on point. Basically, I did my best to dot all my I's and cross all my T's... or so I thought.

In the end, it wasn't enough!! I would have never dreamed in a million years that a) my jumping technique would fail me so horribly and b) that I would get so miserably sick in Beijing in the 4 days that led up to my competition start date. Let me just tell you that those two things are an awful combination. And my results there showed it.

Suffice to say I was devastated, and you would think that in light of this, I would deem 2008 a complete failure. But as I've written before, thanks to my coach last year, Brooks Johnson, I was able to put it all in perspective rather quickly, surprisingly, pick myself up and really focus on all the GREAT things that I have accomplished over the years.

And that has motivated me even more for this upcoming track season! My training has been going SO WELL! I'm almost afraid to say it. I can't wait to see Brooks very soon and show him the progress I've made. I have a renewed motivation and desire and will to silence the naysayers and prove something to myself. And only to myself. I have nothing to prove to anyone else anymore. Been there, done that!

In the end, 2008 showed me just how strong I am in character. Additionally, it was a year that was great for completely non-sport related reasons. Some friends triumphed and I basked in their glory as if they were my own. Other friends struggled, but their struggles brought us closer as we sought to console one another. I got to see my parents a lot more because of their move to Bakersfield and in light of their imminent move again back to the Bahamas in July of next year, having them so close by has been great. Urban Safari Design, my interior design company is doing pretty well. Those persons who care about me continue to show me that they do. You can't put a price on that. No medal compares to that. My blogging family showed me love. Thanks so much! Others showed me that they could care less about me and I guess it's better to know who you really matter to and focus your energies there. Still, it makes me sad though, truth be told. Nevertheless, I have lived and laughed and loved and cried and laughed some more and my good days have far outweighed my bad.

I can't wait to see what 2009 has in store for me!! God's richest blessings to everyone!

Sunday, December 28, 2008


So a couple nights ago, I went to see the movie Seven Pounds starring Will Smith. Now I had heard from a couple people that the movie was slow and that it took a while to get into it. Well, let me put in my two cents. I thought the movie was AWESOME!! In fact, I need to add it to my list of favorite movies in my profile. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The way I figure it, not every movie has to be action-filled, and moving at a blinding pace. This movie was well-written and thought-provoking and moving. It made me take a moment. It was pretty deep, even heart-wrenching at times but I would definitely watch it again. Two thumbs way up! Oh yeah, and Will Smith and Rosario Dawson did their thing!

I don't really have a CD to review but I have to tell you that my FAVORITE song right now is Sweetest Love by Robin Thicke. Love, love, love this song!!! I've had to put myself on restriction, lol because I don't want to wear it out to the point where I can't stand hearing it. I've done that before. But I tell you my parents probably thought I was crazy because I had my ipod on all week and I kept replaying it and singing rather loudly, lol!! They know they loved it:) Anyway, I'm sure you've heard it and if you haven't, check it out. Listen to the lyrics. It's just a great song!! And Mr. Thicke's pretty easy on the eyes to boot....

Thursday, December 25, 2008


This is probably the best time of year! I get to spend time with my family and celebrate the birth of Christ. I went to Christmas Eve service last night and my dad preached an awesome sermon. It made me proud to be his daughter. Today will be spent quietly - relaxing, eating, watching the Lakers beat the Celtics:), opening presents, and just enjoying being together. My mind and heart will also be with those who I cannot physically be with, those persons who I love and care for and who love and care about me. You know who you are. Thanks for making my life as rich and fulfilling as it is!

There is a framed quotation that hangs in the entry way of my parent's home. I gave it to them a couple years ago and it's called Life's Little Instructions. I thought it was really appropriate to share at this time of year as we come to the end of another year. It says:

Every so often push your luck.
Never underestimate the power of a kind word or deed.
Never give up on anybody, miracles happen every day.
Become the most positive person and enthusiastic person you know.
Learn to listen.
Think big thoughts, but relish small pleasures.
Don't expect others to listen to your advice and ignore your example.
Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly.
Leave everything a little better than you found it.
Don't forget a person's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.
Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.
Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
Make new friends but cherish the old ones.
Don't use time or words carelessly; neither can be retrieved.
Judge your success by the degree that you're enjoying peace, health and love.
Smile a lot: It costs nothing and is beyond price.
-H. Jackson Brown, 1994


Friday, December 19, 2008


So last night, Sports Unlimited, the sports modeling agency that I do some work with every once in a while, had their annual Christmas party. I decided to go, fashionably late of course,lol to mingle a little bit and catch up with everyone. I was having a pretty good time talking to Katya, a pretty triathlete who lives and trains down in San Diego. I was sitting there listening to her talk about competing in the Ironman triathlon that aired on TV last weekend. It was kinda cool because I actually watched it and so I knew exactly what and who she was referring to.

In the midst of our conversation, I see this guy walk in and he looked soooo familiar that I just mentally said to myself that I knew him from somewhere. I couldn't quite put my finger on where and when we had met, but I KNEW that we had met before.

Katya and I kept talking and eventually he made his way around the room right to where I was sitting and he basically sat right next to me, said hi, said his name, Will, and proceeded to talk and ask lots of questions about my accent, what I did, etc. The whole time I was thinking, oh well, I guess he doesn't remember meeting me before, but he seemed really nice and the conversation was good so I didn't say anything.

I'd have to say a good 15 minutes passed before it finally dawned on me that I DID NOT know him, at least not personally anyway. He said something about liking chocolate as he reached for a piece of this chocolate brownie/cake thing. For some reason that jarred my memory and I remembered where and how I knew him. I'm a pretty avid The Real World on MTV fan(ok, lame I know) most seasons and I definitely watched The Real World Hollywood last season. He was Will Gilbert. The cute guy with the dreads.

In one of the episodes he had talked a whole lot about liking chocolate. Immediately, I started laughing and so he asked me what was so funny. I told him and he said he thought that I had been looking at him kinda weird. I told him that I was just about to ask him why he was acting like he didn't know me, lol!!! Oh well, at least we had a good laugh. I guess I need to do a better job separating reality tv from reality!!

You know what's the worst? I did the exact same thing, with another Real World cast member several years ago at a New Year's Eve party after a glass or two of champagne...didn't know that guy either, lol!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Today I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine who lives in Europe and after catching up for a bit, our conversation veered towards his recent realization that he seemed to be getting his way in life so much more now that he had switched gears from being the stereotypical "nice guy" to being as he put it "rude".

He said that he had struggled in past relationships because of being too nice. That he had gotten taken for granted and that he wasn't being appreciated for his good nature. He said the same thing could said to be true in the work place. That those persons who came off somewhat arrogant and forceful were the ones getting ahead. And that as soon as he changed his persona somewhat, the results were pretty instantaneous.

You know it got me to thinking about the whole nice guys/nice girls finish last saying and I wondered if he might truly be onto something. Men do seem to gravitate to women who "speak their mind" and who "tell it like it is". Even if it results in frequent confrontation. I'm not sure why that is. Maybe it's the challenge. The drama. Maybe it's the constant struggle for power and the excitement and the roller coaster ride that brings the intrigue. But how long can that be fun? Doesn't that get old after a while?

I agree, it's good to be challenged and to exude justifiable confidence. Who wants some spineless sap? But at the cost of being rude and disrespectful?? Call me crazy, but I'm just not gonna go there. It's not who I am and if had to end up being "last" because of it, then at least I'd have my integrity and know that I remained to true to who I really am. I guess on the flip side, though, if someone naturally is outspoken and confrontational then they should be who they are too 'cause there are definitely a lot of guys and girls that like that. I guess it's the people who fake it one way or the other, who are the biggest culprits.

As far as in the workplace goes, my mind goes to that movie The Devil Wears Prada and Meryl Streep's character, the powerful Miranda Priestly. She was the ruthless and merciless executive of Runway fashion magazine.
She took no prisoners and said what she wanted, when she wanted it, how she wanted it and that was it! No ifs, ands or buts!!!! She was definitely successful, as is Anna Wintour, the US Vogue Fashion editor who the movie is said to be based on. I just wonder if that's necessary in order to get ahead, particularly if you are female on the job? I don't know.

Every year I promise myself to work on my mean streak, lol and it has been slow in coming:( I just hate it though, when people mistake kindness for weakness and then presume to take advantage of that. To me it's not a sign of weakness because it's actually not always easy to be "nice". There are many times when you have to bite your tongue or try and I do say try to be the bigger person. So perhaps a happy combination, maybe 3/4 nice and 1/4 not so nice is ideal, ....who knows?

In the meantime, I'm just gonna go on being a self-proclaimed nice girl and if I don't get some job or if I've had some guy pass on me because of it, then neither one was for me anyway.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


So I've been pretty busy the past several days because my favorite person has been in town and I haven't had a chance to blog. They got here on Thursday and it's been a whirlwind ever since. We went to dinner that night at this Cuban restaurant called Versailles and devoured the oxtail, rice and plantain! For those of you who have never tried oxtail, you are definitely missing out!!

Friday morning, we went to the track for a couple hours, did the workout thing, then had lunch, ran a bunch of errands and then went to the Lakers game. We weren't exactly courtside:(, but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!! The Lakers won and so that made it all the better. I can't believe I forgot to take my camera, so there's no photographic evidence.

Yesterday, I had a yard sale and I made $500. Not too shabby for a last minute idea to get rid of waaaay too much athletic gear. Then we went to the movies and saw Doubt with Glenn Close and Philip Seymour Hoffman. This movie was awesome, full of intrigue and....doubt, lol. I give it two thumbs up.

This morning we went to church at my home church here in LA, First AME. As usual, it was an excellent service. I don't usually like it when my pastor doesn't preach but I'm happy to say that the guest pastor delivered a great word. Plus, the choir saaaaang, you know the kinda "sangin'" I mean. And then sadly, my favorite person had to leave to get back to their own life this afternoon. I had such a great few days. The time seemed to just fly by, but you know what they say about time flying when you're having fun!!

I can't wait to see her again, my mother that just another week or so when I go home for Christmas!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008


So far the past couple of weeks, my business partner, Peggy and I, have been working to upgrade our interior design website. We've done quite a few jobs now and we felt that the website wasn't quite presenting us in the best, most professional light. Since we intend to really get after it in 2009, we thought that we should have everything that represents us reflect our professionalism and the quality of our work. Well that's our goal anyway.

Anyway, with a lot of late nights and emails back and forth with a friend of ours named Ernie, without whose help we would've NEVER been able to complete the construction of the website, we finally got it done over the weekend. Peggy ended up doing a lot of the work because we started it on her computer. The process wasn't as intuitive as we had anticipated or hoped so we had to rely on Ernie's help to guide us through the process. So THANK YOU ERNIE!!! We are forever in your debt!

That being said, please check out the new Urban Safari Design website and tell us what you think....

Thursday, December 4, 2008


It's time to switch gears from the unpleasant. It's time to reminisce...

So last week when I was at my parent's home for Thanksgiving (which turned out great by the way), my mother handed me a folder that contained my graduation yearbook, some old photos and all these newspaper clippings of me from my high school and collegiate career. It was a lot of fun to look back and laugh at some pictures, smile at others and say what the heck? to others. I took pictures of several of them and the snapshots turned out ok so I thought I'd share a few of them....feel free to smile and laugh with me, lol! (If you click on the pictures, you can read a little bit of the accompanying articles.)

Look at the size of my head and legs already, LOL!!!!

Me at about age 15...check out the heavy eyeliner, the baby cheeks and the popped collar...Lord have mercy...

My high school yearbook graduation picture

Long jumping as a junior athletes...look at my quads - they're the same size they are now...

I was two-time junior national bowling champion as well - don't mess with me - my high game is 264!

I won a national essay competition on Marcus Garvey

This was the picture I sent in to Stanford with my letter of application

They did an article in the newspaper once I get accepted and was offered a scholarship

Now in college, I made it to the finals of World Outdoor Championships, in Tokyo, Japan

PAC-10 Champ in the triple jump

I think I was getting ready for NCAA's

Check out the 'do, lol! I had cut my hair all the way off and it was growing back

Cartoon caricature of me in the local newspaper in The Bahamas after being selected for my first Olympic Games, held that year in Barcelona

Barcelona bound...

Hope you had as good a chuckle as I did!

Monday, December 1, 2008


Anyone who knows me, I think, would vouch for the fact that I am a pretty laid back, easy-going kinda person. I don't get upset or angry very easily and I'd rather avoid confrontation if at all possible. I also cherish my friends and my friendships very dearly. Sometimes I will forego saying how I really feel about a situation because I don't want to hurt the other person's feelings, even if I feel that they've wronged me. Yeah, kinda crazy, I know.

Well today something happened between a couple of very good friends, or at least so I thought, and myself. I was made aware of something that has transpired that has hurt me to the CORE. I would've never dreamed in a million years that anything like this would've ever happened. Not in a million years. That they would think it OK. Although perhaps their was no intent on their part, it doesn't change the facts as they are. And it has upset me. Very much. I am left questioning whether or not my friendship meant anything to either one of them at all. I guess not.

Suffice to say, I think my feelings are irreparable, unfortunately and there is nothing that can be done at this point. It is what it is, as they say. I'm sure I'll get over it, hopefully sooner than later, but in the meantime, I can only say that I enjoyed the friendships while they lasted...

Thursday, November 27, 2008


No matter how many years I've spent in the US, this is always one of those holidays that is a little weird for me. You see we don't have Thanksgiving in The Bahamas. We have something kinda similar-ish, called Harvest but it's something that we celebrate at church where you bring cans of food and other fruit and vegetables to donate to those in need. So I never grew up with the whole Thanksgiving tradition and every year I'm never quite sure what to do when everyone else is making their way home to celebrate and spend time with their families and friends.

Most years I do nothing but sit and watch TV, or go to a movie, or volunteer somewhere. Two years ago I went to Orlando for Thanksgiving and that was fun. This year, I'm joining in with everyone else and going to visit my parents since they live so close by and we're going to make a Caribbean attempt to recreate the whole turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc. meal. I'll let you know how that goes...

In the meantime, I do have so much to be thankful for, in particular my family and friends because without them, really my life would be pretty meaningless. And so it is with that in mind that I've decided to post some pics of me and the people that I am most happy to have in my life (well the ones that I have pictures of anyway...:). I'll try to find photos that bring back a good memory, hopefully for them, and myself.

Last year Christmas, I made my parents and my brother do their version of The Karate Kid, lol!

Me and my best friend/business partner Peggy in the limo going to the American Music Awards a couple years ago

Me and Joice got presented with keys to the city of Greensboro this year at The International Friendship and Freedom Games.

Me and my roommates Erica on the left and Coen on the right at our Christmas party last year

Me and Dave at his birthday party earlier this year. We had a lot of fun that night!

I couldn't resist adding this one...we were at the pre-meet dinner in Doha, Qatar last year. It was funny seeing everyone in the native attire. The things athletes get roped into doing, lol...

Me and my relay teammates, Timicka, Debbie and Chandra earlier this year at Penn Relays

Me, my dad, my mother, a couple of her sisters and some of my cousins a couple years ago in Maryland.

Me, Brianna and our friend Shevonne on a halloween boat cruise last year. Bri and I still aren't sure what exactly we were supposed to be...

Me and my girl Grace at our Christmas party two years ago

My boys David Arnold and Chris Spencer at a New Year's comedy show two years ago

My friend Nicole and I at our friend's wedding a few years back

Me and my teammate Lavern getting ready for the closing ceremonies at the Commonwealth Games in 2006

My boy Kareem. I think he's given me more advice from the "male perspective" than anyone. I'm forever in your debt, man...

Chandra, Christine, Debbie and myself leaving the party this year in Stuttgart. We were some dancing fools that night, lol! We had a ball tho...

SO......I hope you all are as blessed to have as many good friends as I do. HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYBODY!! Don't eat too much....

Saturday, November 22, 2008


So a few weeks ago, I did a post called Mini Preview where I showed some before and after photos from a job that me and my business partner Peggy were working on. I said then that I would show the rest of the pics when our client had her "reveal" party for her friends and family. Well that party was today and I would have to say that it was a a resounding success!!! We did a display board of before and after shots at the party and let the work we did speak for itself. It's one thing to think that you've done a decent job but if others don't agree, then perhaps your perception is not what you thought it was after all. It was really great to have such positive responses from everyone. Here are some pictures from the other rooms that I didn't show before. Feel free to say what you think....

Guest Bathroom before...

Guest Bathroom after...

Guest Bedroom before...

Guest Bedroom after...(we turned the room around to face the window and used a sofa-bed loveseat instead of a bed)

Kitchen before...

Kitchen after...

Living Room/Office area before...

Living Room after... (sorry, didn't have a shot from the same angle)

Well, there's no rest for us...tomorrow afternoon, we have a 1pm appointment with another client. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


As I think about all the things that have been possible in my athletic career, I am humbly aware that none of it would've been possible without my coach Brooks Johnson. That's why it was so great over the weekend to be able to tell him that in person. Prompted by my reader Jim and Garret, I thought I would post an excerpt from my speech that I gave on Friday night so everyone can know just how highly I think of Brooks.

"Without this next person, where would I have ever gotten were it not for the faith and belief that my he had in me and my ability? Brooks Johnson was my coach for my four years at Stanford and he flew all the way here from Orlando to attend this function tonight and so I just wanted to say a personal thank you to him for doing that. I’d have to say that our relationship was somewhat tumultuous for the first two years that I was here. Anyone who knows Brooks knows that he is a no-nonsense kind of guy. Let’s just say, he expects your best and nothing less...

...Between my gaining more than the freshman 15 in my first two years and two knee surgeries in that same period, many people would have lost faith in me. But Brooks and his wife Betsy, who was my jumps coach at the time, held steadfast to their belief that I was the best collegiate long jumper period. Through his encouragement, his wisdom and his ability to instill confidence in a girl who was overweight, far from home and unsure of herself, I went from not even qualifying for the NCAA championship meet in my first two years, to a 2nd place finish in my junior year, to a top 10 finish at my first Outdoor world championships held in Osaka, Japan that same year and to being the indoor and outdoor NCAA champion in my senior year.

I would’ve never dreamed of it, but he did. He always did. I’m so grateful to you Brooks for molding me and preparing me for the road that lay ahead. Who knew that 5 Olympics, 9 world championships, the Stanford school record which still stands today, my national record and numerous accolades later, Brooks would still be the one standing there waiting for me when I walked off the track in Beijing this past summer full of dejection and disappointment.

When I was ready to break into a million pieces, he told me that there was a bigger picture. That my career and my life were not to be defined by that one performance. That there are some things like sickness and misfortune that I can’t control. That the sum of who I am is greater than my failures. That I am many things, none of which can be witnessed on a track or measured in feet and inches. That I should be proud of all that I have accomplished in my career.

I think by the time he was done talking to me, I had a momentary lapse in reality, thinking that perhaps I had won or something. Just kidding. But seriously, if it were not for his presence there that day, perhaps I might still be somewhere hiding my head in despair and so for that and everything else you’ve done for me and with me, I say thank you. I owe the joys and the thrills that I’ve experienced over the years as a professional track and field athlete to you and you’d never know just how much that means to me."

Saturday, November 15, 2008


So last night at my alma mater, Stanford University, I, along with 6 other former student/athletes from 5 other sports, was inducted into the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame. It really is an outstanding honour and one that I would've not quite envisioned receiving due in a large part to the rich history of athletes that Stanford has had throughout the years. When you have athletes like John Elway, Tiger Woods, and John McEnroe also as former athletes, you just never know if your accomplishments will measure up.

There was a reception at first, followed by a dinner and then the induction ceremony followed and I'm telling you they did it BIG! Stanford spared no expense on the night and I'd guess that there were about 200 people there. The food was great, the company, even greater and to be able to share a night like this with my family and friends was the greatest!

Each inductee had to give an acceptance speech and I think mine went pretty well.

My former Stanford coach Brooks Johnson (he was also my coach this past year) flew all the way from Orlando to attend the ceremony and that really meant the world to me. I can only hope that I was able to convey to him in some small way all that his belief and faith in my ability has meant to me over all these years.

Aside from that, I just really had a good time. Today, Stanford is playing USC in a home game and they are going to recognize the inductees first at a tailgate and then at half time by presenting us to everyone down on the infield. I'm looking forward to that.

You know sometimes you don't even realize that others hold you in such high regard and it's only on nights like this that you can actually sit back, smile and appreciate all that you have accomplished in your career and be proud. I think it's easy to get so caught up in the "doing" that we forget to take the time to be thankful for all the blessings that have been bestowed on us along the way. Well, last I was definitely able to do that. Thank you Stanford for such a memorable night!

Me and my brother

Me and fellow inductee, Ed McCaffrey (3 superbowl rings with the Broncos and 49ers)

Me and my parents

Jumping at one of my first "professional" meets at Stanford back in the day

I invited my friend Jerry Rice to come

Stanford media guide picture from waaaay back, Lord have mercy, lol!

Me and the host for the night, legendary Stanford tennis coach, Dick Gould

Me and my bro again

The Hall of Fame Award ( actually lights up, but you can't see that in the picture)