So a couple days ago, I arrived here in Orlando, the land of Disney and Mickey and Minnie. No, I am not here for fun and pleasure, although that would be welcomed, but rather I am here to train. With the Olympics coming up in just over 5 months (man - is it that close already???), I decided to do something that I probably should have done a long time ago and that is to come to train with the man that guided my college career and led me to two NCAA championship wins, two PAC-10 championship wins, 5 -time All American status, Stanford record holder (record still stands) and my first final at the Outdoor World Championships, while still in college.
Brooks Johnson was my coach at Stanford University and while it was a tumultuous relationship at first (he was brash and outspoken and I was waaaay too meek and mild), by the time I graduated, I would have to say that there have been very people aside from my parents, who have impacted my life in the way he has, not just on the track but off the track as well. I find myself all the time referring to things that Brooks said, or reminiscing on the time I spent under his tutelage. He had a special way of bringing out the best in you.
He DOES NOT beat around the bush!!!! That is putting it mildly. He is a straight shooter, to the point, no-nonsense type of guy and right now in my career, that is what I need. He expects nothing short of your best and in turn, you are left expecting the same of yourself. And trust me when I say, if you come up short on your end, he will DEFINITELY let you know. He is not the coach for the weak in spirit or in heart. You might as well check out before you check in.
There is a very good core of athletes here training as well and I hope to thrive in this environment of high hopes and high expectations. My good friend Joice Maduaka moved here from Great Britain in the fall and her results so far already show that she made the right choice and I want some of that! So that's it. For the next few weeks, this is where I'll be (save a couple trips back and forth to LA for Urban Safari business). I look forward to being reacquainted with Brooks and I know that with his wisdom and my determination, this year should prove to be my best one yet!
I gave my best...
5 years ago