Sunday, June 29, 2008

I'M OFFICIALLY.........IN LIMBO!!!!!!!!!!!

So, I took my flight back to Orlando today and unfortunately the news is not good. It is also not bad. To be honest, my fate is unknown. I did NOT win my Olympic Trials. The collegiate girl that I had mentioned in my prior post ended up setting a personal best and winning the long jump. To say that I am extremely disappointed and disheartened at the moment would be a HUGE understatement. I did not compete well. I am physically prepared and so I have no excuses. My technique fell apart and that proved to be my undoing. I finished 2nd by 5ins. and although the Olympics does allow for three representatives from each country, there are a lot of qualification requirements and standards that are far too detailed to get into right now.

Suffice to say, as of right now, I am tentatively on The Bahamas Olympic team and the girl that won is not, reason being I have the Olympic B qualifying standard and she does not. She has one further opportunity to make the standard and should she do so, then I would then be forced to make the A standard which is 9cm further than my current qualifying mark. Slightly confusing yes, but these are the facts as best as I can explain them. The deadline for qualification for the Olympic Games for the Bahamas team is July 8 and so we are both under the gun. I needed to have won. I should have won and I did not.

I barely slept two hours last night and now my pity party is over. I have work to do. I also have one further opportunity to take my destiny in my own hands and I intend to rectify what went wrong yesterday. The test of a true athlete is not that you fail, but moreso, how you respond to that defeat. I am not a quitter. Never have been, don't plan on starting now. First, let me say thanks to all of you who read my blog and have lent me your support and good wishes, in spite of the fact that I am not an American.

I am however, going to disallow any comments for this post or any others that I may write until my fate is known next weekend. I do hope you understand but I cannot allow myself to wallow in empathy or sympathy right now because it comforts the pain, it eases the reality, it dulls the harshness of it all and I need to deal with the stark truth. My back is against the wall and I am nothing if not a fighter. I have been here before. I qualified for the 2000 Olympics in my last chance meet, on my last jump and ended up going to the Olympics and finishing 7th in Sydney out of a stellar field of 40 plus of the world's best jumpers so I know how to get the job done.

It's funny, as I was standing in line at the airport today, the lady right in front of me was wearing a t-shirt and on the back it said, "Don't Quit! Fight the Good Fight of Faith." I Timothy 6, vs. 12. Call it karma, call it fate but there's a reason she stood before me. I can choose to lay down quietly or I can choose to fight for my life and I choose to fight.

All I ask for right now are your prayers and I in turn will do my best to ensure that I make that trip to Beijing. Thank you all for your understanding. Your Bahamian long jump friend.....

Friday, June 27, 2008


Just a quick check-in to let you all know that I made it home safely yesterday. The one hour flight from Orlando to Nassau was barely enough time for me to flip through my magazine and doze off before it was time to land.

Usually when I come home I am overwhelmed at just how humid it is here, but I guess because I've been in similar weather for the past few months, it basically felt the same.

I went straight from the airport to the track and did a warmup and I felt really good. I did find out that this year I will have more competition than I normally do because apparently there's a collegiate girl who has been jumping pretty well and so I really have to have my act together tomorrow. I expect to do very well and anything short of that will simply be unacceptable!

Our Trials start today with the 100m heats and finals, men's LJ, heats of the men's 400m,etc. I'm probably not going to go out there tonight just to be innundated with questions and answers about how I've been and what I've been doing. Everyone means well, but with a big day ahead of me tomorrow, I need to keep my focus and if that means sitting quietly tonight and watching TV or whatever, then so be it. I'm sure I'll catch up with everyone tomorrow.

Anyway, so that's it for now. The next time you hear from me, I will hopefully have some good news to report!

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Prompted by 12Kyle, I figured I'd give a brief update on how my preparations are coming along. Time has flown by and believe it or not, my Olympic Trials are this upcoming weekend in Nassau, Bahamas. The women's long jump will take place at 5pm on Saturday afternoon. This year has been a lesson in diligence and dedication and with less than a week to go, I am finally feeling confident about what I know I can do.

Year in and year out, whenever I go home, something about the atmosphere and the expectations and the excitement of it all, always brings out the best in me. The home crowd is always very supportive, the location of the long jump pit in our National stadium is right near the stands and so the energy that I can draw from the crowd is great!

For such a small country (only around 300,000 people), The Bahamas is a powerful little track nation. To continuously produce medalists at every major championships in everything from the gold in the women's 4X100m relay in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney to the silver in the men's 100m at the World Championships in Osaka last year to the gold in the men's high jump last year also, I am proud to represent such a great country.

I will be leaving on Thursday morning and although I have already met the Olympic qualifying mark necessary to compete in Beijing, it is still imperative that I go home and win and do well. Please include me in your prayers and wish me health, strength, focus and God's speed.

Just as an added extra, I thought I would post a few pictures from training recently that were given to me by Andre Brown. Thanks 'Dre, I really appreciate it. This is what I really look like on an average day at work......

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I heard this one today and I thought it really described me, both in relationships and with friends and family....

" is a very powerful force in my life. It's my fatal flaw and my biggest virtue." Nicole Kidman

Hmmm.....good or bad?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Company You Keep

"It's Better To Be Alone Than In the Wrong Company"

Tell me who your best friends are,
and I will tell you who you are

If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl.

But, if you associate with eagles
you will learn how to soar to great heights.

A mirror reflects a man's face,
but what he is really like is shown by the kinds of friends he chooses.

The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom
you closely associate - for the good and the bad.

The less you associate with some people,
the more your life will improve.

Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others,
it increases your mediocrity.

An important attribute in successful people is
their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people.

As you grow, your associates will change.

Some of your friends will not want you to go on.

They will want you to stay where they are.

Friends that don't help you climb will help you to crawl.

Your friends will choke your vision or stretch your dreams.

Those that don't increase you will eventually decrease you.

Consider this:
Never receive counsel from unproductive people.

Never discuss your problems with someone incapable
of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves
are always first to tell you how.

Not everyone has a right to speak into your life.

You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when
you exchange ideas with the wrong person.

Don't follow anyone who's not going anywhere.

With some people you spend an evening:
With others you invest it.

Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions
along the road of life.

Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships.

Happy moments? Praise God.

Difficult moments? Seek God.

Quiet moments? Worship God.

Painful moments? Trust God.

Every moment? Thank God.

Friday, June 13, 2008


In spite of what can only be described as one of the worst meltdowns in NBA playoffs history, I'm still cheering for The Lakers. I've been a Laker fan for over 15 years. From the days growing up in The Bahamas when we only had one TV channel and on that channel we had no choice but to watch Laker games because that's what they showed!!

The reason for that was because Mychal Thompson, a Bahamian, played for the Lakers back then and then years later, another Bahamian, Rick Fox also played for them and so pretty much every Bahamian you meet will inherently be a Laker fan. Plus who didn't love Magic and Kareem and Worthy?

Suffice to say, the game tonight wore me out. First I was overly excited because the lead was so large. I mean who could ever expect that a 24 point lead is not going to be enough. We have Kobe, Vujacic, Odom, Fisher. Isn't 24 enough??? So then once the lead started to dwindle, I think I wore myself out running up and down this apartment. I basically did a 2nd workout. So now I'm tired and drained and really need to go to sleep. I need to rest up 'cause now we have a whole lot of work to do come Sunday. It's going to be an uphill battle but I'm keeping the faith!!

I know a lot of people don't like them but I'm sorry I'm a Laker for life. GO LAKERS!!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

How You Feeling?........Hot! Hot! Hot!

The past couple of weeks here in Orlando have been RIDICULOUSLY hot!! I mean we have been sweating our behinds off out at the track in spite of the fact that practice has been moved to 5pm. As a result, on a day like today, we didn't leave the weightroom headed home until after 9pm!! I mean it's great for training in regards to the fact that we can warmup really well and our muscles are loose. The downside is how many tan lines I now have - around my ankles where my socks are, jog bra, half tights, wristwatch - everywhere. I almost look like a painting, lol!! I swear I've turned 10 shades of black since I've been here. Gotta love it, though. I feel like I'm back home in The Bahamas.

I started thinking about the top 10 things I like to do when it's REALLY hot and here they are:

10) It's probably the only time I don't mind walking in the rain.

9) Getting in the car and pumping up the AC to high!

8) You know what, ice baths are actually a pleasure on a hot day.

7) I haven't done it in a while but going to a water theme park.

6) Cold shower

5) Drinking an icee or slurpee

4) Laying in my bed with the AC on, and flipping the pillow over to the cool side.

3) To be honest, just get me outta that heat! Give me an indoor activity....going to the mall, movies, bookstore...

2) Competing at track meet. We're all warm and ready! Let the best woman win!

1) Going to the beach in Nassau at around 6 or 7pm or so, when the sun is not as high, but the water is still 80 or 90 degrees!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The State of Track and Field

Spurred by a question posed by 12Kyle on my last post in reference to Usain Bolt's 100m world record, I have been thinking a lot lately about how sad it is that the sport that I have dedicated so much of my life to, which has also given me more than I could have ever imagined, has reached a point where every time someone does an outstanding performance, that performance is undoubtedly going to be questioned and scrutinized.

It's really sad actually. Track and field used to be thought of as the one true sport where you you used your raw talent, speed and power to compete and based on your natural God given ability and how refined your technique was, the best man would win. There are no plays to learn, no teammates to rely on (except in the relays of course), no trick plays, no ways to circumvent the clock, the measuring tape or the bar. You either run the time or you don't, jump the distance or sit down, clear the bar or it's going to fall on the ground and we don't get style points, as I think I mentioned on a post some time ago. We are measured purely on our output, day in and day out.

Even if someone does something fantastic in the middle or early part of the track season and then doesn't step up to the plate when the Big Dance comes, no one will care. In the sport that I love so dearly, it is often said, "You are only as good as your last race". Sad, but true! You'd be amazed at how many times an athlete who was running consistently well in the first half of the outdoor season or during the indoor season has to face the cut throat reality that if the Olympics or World Championships come around and you don't make the finals, all of a sudden those lanes that were open to you in Paris and in Rome in July are all of a sudden unavailable in Zurich and Brussels in August and September. Track is DEFINITELY a fairweather sport and the meet directors and managers make no bones about it. It is what it is as they say.

That being said, I am finding it increasingly disheartening to know that when an athlete does finally make a breakthrough and produces a magnificent result, instead of being rewarded solely with kudos and congratulations, the ominous eye of disbelief and scrutiny looms heavily. I have heard the comments and I have defended many. I am probably too ready to accept, to believe. Just because I NEVER would, I trust and believe that my friends and peers in the sport would never. I am an eternal optimist, almost to a fault. I am probably too trusting and gullible and that sometimes serves me negatively both on and off the track. I am always ready to give someone the benefit of the doubt and I hope against all hopes that my trust and faith will not be dashed. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't.

But I am choosing to still have faith in my sport. To believe that when hard work and talent and atmosphere and competition combine themselves, that anything is possible. I am choosing to believe that there are just some athletes that are more talented. There's a reason why 2 athletes can do the exact same workouts with the same coach for a year and one can produce results head and shoulders above the other. Those reasons often lie equally close to talent and technique.

I have made it to the Olympic finals. I have made it to the World Championship finals. I have competed against and beaten Olympic and World Champions and I have NEVER taken any illegal performance enhancing substance of any sort. Heck, I forget to take my multivitamin sometimes so I know what is and isn't possible. Notice, I did not say that I have never failed a drug test. There's a difference because it has become increasingly evident that you can NOT fail a drug test for years and be the dirtiest athlete ever.

Anyway, I am here representing all those of us who do it cleanly, who do it proudly, who do it the hard way - the blood, sweat and tears way, who survive the ups and downs of this sport and who at the end of the day look boldly into the mirror and see ourselves looking back and smile, knowing that our conscience is clear, our character never in doubt and our self-respect in tact.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

When the boys are away....

So this weekend, most of the guys in the group are on the road, traveling somewhere around the world. David and Joel are in Berlin, Aub was in Belgrade and now he is in Zaragoza, Spain and so a couple of the ladies in my training group, Anne and Moushami and myself thought it would be a good time to have a night on the town. I haven't been to a club in quite a while and in spite of some forewarning about what to expect, I decided that it was about time.

First I couldn't decide what top to wear. I had on a grey blouse at first, but so many times when I wear this type of top, the questions about do you run track and why my arms look the way they do are more than I care to answer so at the last minute I decided to change.

I know my arms are still out in this top too but somehow it looks different and maybe because it has bright colors, your eyes tend to be drawn to that instead. Anyway, Moushami came over and we left from here. I wasn't sure what to expect.

We ended up having a pretty good time. The music was pretty good and I hadn't danced in a while so that alone made the night fun. It's always interesting for me to go out and people watch. The outfits, the interactions, the moves that guys try to make and what alcohol does to some people is all the entertainment I need.

We stayed for quite a while and to be honest I don't know what time we made it home but suffice to say, it was all I could to fall into my bed and surprise, surprise I woke up with a headache this morning. I've spent the entire day on the couch watching TV. There were two different track meets airing today, one from New York from last night where the men's 100m world record was set by Usain Bolt of Jamaica in 9.72 seconds!! The other was the meet in Berlin where Dave ended up winning the hurdles, again. He sure is having an outstanding season thus far. Congrats to them both!

Anyway, that's it for my weekend. Training resumes tomorrow and life goes back to normal but it sure was fun to get out and "let my hair down" for a change!