Sunday, April 27, 2008


We made it back from The Penn Relays this morning. All in all, it was a successful trip, I am happy to report. First, the hurdle guys did end up setting that World Record in the men's 110m shuttle hurdle relay. They went in with that goal and it was just a fantastic feat that they were able to pull it off!!! CONGRATS guys...I was as proud as if I was a part of the team myself!!

As far my own participation goes, I chose not to specify why I was going to Penns because I was truly nervous, beyond what was normal apprehension prior to a competition. About 10 days ago, one of the National coaches from The Bahamas called me late one night to inform me that they needed me to run on the women's 4X100m relay!!! OK, again, since I wrote a few weeks ago that I ran on a relay in Gainesville, at first glance this should seem like a piece of cake!!! Ahhh....wrong!!!

In Gainesville, I ran the first leg of that relay. This time I was being asked to run the third leg. Again, what's the big difference, you say??? Oh there's a huge difference. The main one revolves around the fact that on the first leg, you only have to hand off the baton to someone, whereas on the third leg, with a running start, you have to receive the baton within a 20m zone and then you have to hand it off in the same zone distance on the other end. I have not run the third leg on a relay in over 10 years, that's right 10 YEARS!!!

To say that I was nervous, would be the understatement of the year! In addition, the race was being nationally televised on ESPN and then to top it all off, two of the ladies on my team were members of the Gold Medal winning 4X100m relay team for the Bahamas from the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. They were since dubbed the Golden Girls both by the Bahamian press and the International press. So the standards and precedents they have set are high.

I had one day to practice on Friday and just hoped and prayed that I would handle myself with professionalism and carry out the job that I was asked to do. Thank the Lord that I did a decent job!!! We ended up finishing 4th, behind 2 USA teams and one International All Star team. Of course, it wasn't perfect and there's room for improvement, but it was definitely acceptable and I am proud of myself for having the courage to debut my relay participation in such a high stakes arena. Now that it's all over, I must say that I actually enjoyed the challenge. It was a completely different experience for me and one that I would definitely do again, if called upon later in the year by my country!!!

Here's a picture of my teammates, in the order that we ran from left to right: Timicka Clarke, Debbie Ferguson (original Golden Girl -she ran the anchor leg in Sydney), me, and Chandra Sturrup (second Golden Girl - she ran the 2nd leg in Sydney). It was truly my privilege to run with these ladies and they really took the time to make sure that I felt a part of the team. Thanks ladies!!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


So this morning I flew to Philadelphia, PA for the renowned Penn Relays. It is one of, if not the largest track meet held every year in the US. I haven't competed here in years and to be honest in spite of the hype and circumstance, it's never really been one of my favorite meets, perhaps due in a large part to the overwhelming number of athletes that do come. On the one hand, it's a great thing because that means track and field is alive and well. On the other hand, they really herd you around like cattle to get all the many races off on schedule. In addition to the fact that there is no warm up area so you literally have to warm up in the nearby streets. Not a pleasant thing to do, particularly if you have shin splints like I do.

OK. That's it for the negativity! Now that I've gotten that out, I'm coming with new eyes and a fresh attitude in hopes of performing well. There is a little more pressure this weekend because I am competing for my country and once I have The Bahamas written across my chest, the stakes rise just a little bit.

Several of my training partners are here for this weekend as well, along with our coach, Brooks. The 110 men's hurdle crew will be going for the world record in the shuttle hurdles relay and they stand a VERY good chance of breaking it. So good luck to them.

Before I sign off, let me take the opportunity to wish my friend David a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! He turns 26 today! Perhaps that world record will be his birthday present to himself! Since I knew we would be traveling today, I wanted to return the favor and make sure he had a great birthday dinner a couple nights ago - David, me, Joice, Aub, Joel and Randy. We had a lot of fun at this Italian restaurant where Dave was up to his usual antics. Poor Sassy, our waitress, she had no idea what she had signed up for:) Here are just a couple pics from our night out. I wish I could post them all but I'll just share a few. And yes , it is still the same night in the bottom picture, but Dave decided to change his shirt mid-dinner!!

Anyway, that's it for now, I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


"Champions aren't made in gyms.
Champions are made from something they have deep inside them;
a desire, a dream, a vision.
They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little bit faster,
they have to have the skill and the will.
But the will must be stronger than the skill."

Muhammed Ali

Sunday, April 20, 2008


So, I had another hard day at the office!!! Track and field is certainly a lesson in patience and humility...even when you've been doing it as long as I have. My preparation was sound and mentally I was ready, but where I failed was in the execution and the technical aspects of my event.

Long jumping for all intents and purposes, is not that complicated, especially when you are a spectator. You run up to a white board at full speed and take off into the air, chest up, eyes forward, then legs extended and that's it. Unfortunately, when you are actually doing it, sometimes it becomes much more complex and your body can do some CRAZY things and let's just say my body did NOT listen to me this past weekend.

My coach told me that I should not be too discouraged because regardless of the actual result, we are still headed in the right direction and so in spite of what my own inner voice is screaming, I choose to block that out and listen to the man who has had an athlete compete in every Olympics since 1968. He certainly knows more than I!

I finished 2nd, with a very mediocre distance and until the next time I compete in the long jump, I'm just going to have to buckle down some more until I get the job done!! Some of my training partners on the other hand, had some outstanding performances, one in particular. David Oliver ran both a personal best and a world leading time of 13.08 seconds in the men's 110 hurdles!! I was extremely happy for and proud of him. If things continue as they have so far already this season, we'll both be on our respective Olympic teams come August. Congrats - D.O. The King, Do Your Thing!:) LOL. Aubrey Herring also had a PR as well in the same event and any time someone can do a personal best, you have to raise your hat to them!! Big Aub, I see you!! Here's a pic of the two of them showing off their medals (with another training partner, Anne in the background) - haha!

Anyway, we're back in Orlando as of early this morning and it's back to the grindstone tomorrow. I will take today to just regroup and get it going again. I had a nice time in Greensboro aside from my own issues and I guess it's in time like these where you have to see the success and progress that others are making and pray and believe and trust that your time too will come. You know the saying...Good things come to those who wait! Well, here I am, I'm waiting.....

PS. Oh yeah, me, Joice and Dave did get presented with keys to the city of Greensboro, so I guess that was kinda cool too.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


So tomorrow morning I will be headed out on a 6:15am flight to North Carolina to compete in the 2nd annual International Friendship & Freedom Games. This meet being is being directed by our coach Brooks Johnson and our strength coach Randy Hadley has been very instrumental in the organization and preparation and if it turns out anything like it did last year, then big things are in order!!! It is being held at North Carolina A&T and they have a fantastic facility.

I am REALLY looking forward to getting on the long jump runway. I won this meet last year with a jump of 6.45m (21' 2") and I believe that I have finally put all the pieces of the puzzle together. So my expectations of myself are extremely high and supercede those of last year. My training over the past two weeks has indicated that I am prepared and if I do not compete well, it will be no one's fault but my own. Brooks has brought me to the well, and now it's my turn to drink.

My training partners are also ready. We've all done the work and it's time for us to enjoy some of the fruit of our labour. I will also be running a relay, again. It wasn't too bad the last time around so I am going to jump back in there and continue to work on my speed.

I can't believe it's already April. The really important months are just around the corner. They say time flies when you're having fun. I guess I've been having fun then because I don't know where the past two months have gone since I've been here in Orlando. Anyway, that's it for now. I pray for God's speed.

Monday, April 14, 2008



So, it is April 14th and once again it is time for me to celebrate another birthday!! To be honest, I am not a huge birthday person. I don't usually make a big deal about it. I mean it's nice for my friends to acknowledge it, but I don't need a big production made. I'm not one of those women who fears getting older either. I see the beauty in embracing it. I'm just glad that another year has passed and I am still happy and healthy. What more can I really ask for???

Unfortunately, I will still have practice later today and it's Monday so that means it's going to be hard as heck. My coach Brooks shows no's just like any other day, and so it should be!!

I already had a nice birthday dinner with my friend who treated me to a great meal. I always have fun when I'm with him. Man, I love the American black, LOL! (Inside joke.) Thanks a lot. I thoroughly enjoyed myself ;-) When you can spend time with your friends and the people that matter to you, then it's all good and today I will be surrounded by friends.

So thanks to you all for sharing the past few months with me and here's to all that lies ahead this year. Let life be great and grand and gratifying and let me be gracious, and giving and grateful!! Cheers!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Why wHy whY???

I'm just wondering......

Why do I always pick the wrong line in the grocery store, walmart, the toll booth??

Why don't my friends tell me when I have something stuck in my teeth?

Why do I stay up so late? What exactly am I soooo busy doing at 1am in the morning?

Why are my arms so muscular? Believe it or not, I swear I hardly ever lift arm weights.

Why am I OK wearing my competition uniform which is the same size, give or take, of a bikini, but then petrified to wear a real bikini swimsuit??

Why do my calves sweat when I'm out at the track working out?

Why are my eyes so big??I'm not mad about it, I'm just wondering?

Why is everyone trying to make athletes, countries, officials boycott the Olympic Games? This is my job people! Why don't you boycott your own job??

Why do my fingernails grow so fast?

Why do I have a million different tan lines?? The tan around my ankles from wearing socks every day, the jog bra tan line, half tights tan's not a good look!!

Why do people act as if they don't see me trying to merge onto the freeway?? I know you see me, so quit staring straight ahead and speeding up on purpose! Can't we just all get along?

Why am I afraid to see blood??

What's with that saying, "Bros before hos!" I don't like it very much.

Why do I like reality TV so much?

Why are my feet so small??

Why does Tyra speak so slooowly and drag her words out when she's trying to make a point? It's kinda offputting.

Why do men spend so much time rummaging around with stones, when often they have a diamond right in front of them??

Why am I still so naive/gullible?

What's with rubbernecking?? I mean you can still look at the accident and drive at a decent pace so we don't all have to be late!!

How come some people can do situps all day and have a no-pack and some can no situps and have a whole case of abs??

Why does a whole case of abs look so nice???

Why are people so addicted to their Blackberries?? Maybe it's because I don't have one but I just wish for once they would put them down!!

How can two eyes, one nose, and a set of lips look SOOO different on everyone? I mean really, it's only 4 things - the variation should not be so drastic!

Why is blogging so much fun?? Who knew?

Sunday, April 6, 2008


If you really knew me, you would know....

....that I am afraid of any kind of bug or reptile

....that I took 8 years of piano and play pretty well

.....that I speak French

.....that I cried the last time I went on one of those freefall rides at Great America (tears actually fell, yes lame I know)

....that my favorite type of movies are Romantic Comedies

....that I often will go to the bookstore to read magazines instead of buying them

....that my father has a name that I have never heard before....Nymphas - and his middle name is Raguel. He is neither Greek nor Spanish - go figure, LOL!!. And to think he wanted my mother to name my brother after him. Thank goodness she said no!!

....that the older I get, the less I like to fly. Yes, I'm the girl grabbing the armrests when there is any sign of turbulence.

....that I was once contacted by ABC to be The Bachelorette - the one woman picking from 25 men. I politely declined.

....that I was contacted two weeks ago by NBC to be an American Gladiator. Also declined. There is a sporting event coming up in a few months that might be slightly more important:) But you never know about next year, especially after I was told about the huge 6 figure salary that they pay!!

....that I have a high game in bowling of 264

....that Im afraid to be upside down

....that I can sew - pretty much anything - pants, button-up shirt, skirt, curtains, dresses

....that I've only ever had 2 speeding tickets and the first one was for going 38mph in a 30mph zone -oh you know I was hot!!!

....that I sang The Lord's Prayer as a solo once at my dad's church about 5 years ago. Can you say nervous????

....that I can bench press about 200 lbs.

....that I don't have any tattoos

....that I like a guy with a fresh haircut and that I like a guy with nice teeth and I LOVE a guy who smells good....ahhh, excuse me while I daydream for a moment...

where was I??? oh yeah...

....that I've been a bridesmaid 4 times

....that I look horrible in anything strapless

....that I have a house in Austin, TX

....that I graduated high school at 16 and scored 1250 on my SAT

.....that I am a closet dancer - I know how to do most of all the latest dances but I wouldn't dare do them in public:(

....that I was the National Spelling Bee champion

....that I can do the splits, only with my right leg in front though

....that I am the "official white man magnet"!! They will find me through a crowd, LOL! And yes, I've been an equal opportunity employer:)

....that I sleep without a pillow

....that when I'm upset or tired or around other Caribbean people, my accent tends to be really strong

....that I've travelled to more than 50 countries

....and oh yeah - I ran that relay this past weekend and surprise, surprise, it actually was pretty painless!! I didn't fall or make a fool of myself but that whole starting from the blocks thing, yeah that needs a bit of work!

What are 2 things about you that people might not know???

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


So this weekend at The Florida Relays in Gainesville, FL, I Jackie Edwards will be running on a 4X100m relay team. Now, I know to most of you, your question is so what? You run track right? Yes, that it is correct. But what I do not do is run or sprint, to be correct....not competitively anyway. I am a long jumper which means I do have speed and to my credit, I have worked on it over the past couple of years and I have significantly improved. That's great news for my long jumping ability.

What I do not do is sprint in races, not anymore anyway. When I was at Stanford, way back in the day, I used to do it all. I ran the 100m, 200m, both the 4X100m and 4X400m relays, the long jump and the triple jump. Trust me when I say that I earned my scholarship!!! However since then, since we realised that my talent truly lied in the sandpit, I have basically left those competitive sprinting days behind. Obviously, I've run once or twice here or there but you can literally probably count it on one hand.

Fast forward to this upcoming weekend and I have VOLUNTARILY agreed to run with some real sprinters on a 4X100m relay and I am running the first leg. So what does this means? This means I have to come out of the blocks. Trust me when I say that it's easier than it looks. I don't even remember which knee I put on the ground. Then I have to react to that gun with some semblance of quickness, then I have to try to run a halfway decent leg so as not to put my team in a hole, and then last but not least, I have to hand off that baton to the 2nd leg runner within a 20m zone while running at full speed.

OK OK...that's what everyone has to do but I'm sure almost everyone else will have done this sometime within oh the last year or two or 5!!! I know...don't blow this out of proportion Jackie...this isn't The Games or anything, but it's just that thing of when you have 3 other people depending on you, you don't want to mess up. If I mess up in the long jump, there's no one else to suffer the consequences but myself. Not so in the relay.

Not to mention, that if I run OK, the Bahamas has been throwing around the idea of having me run this same first leg in the Games themselves. Now we're talking about real trauma and nerves and anxiety. All I can say is if Beijing rolls around and you guys see me standing there getting ready to run the first leg of the Bahamian Olympic team relay, you might as well know now that I will be borderline ready to pass out and I'll be really surprised if my legs don't actually fail me and leave me buckling in the blocks, or worse yet...what if I leave the baton on the track when the gun goes off....LOL!!!! I don't think I could or would ever live that down.

Anyway, this weekend is first. Wish me luck and here's to hoping I get the job done!!