Sunday, March 29, 2009

BACK WHERE THE SUN SHINES

Orlando - home to Mickey, Minnie, Disney World, Universal, Sea World and for the time being.....me!! Florida is also known as The Sunshine State and it's called that for a reason. The weather at this particular time of year is PERFECT. It's warm (70-80 degrees) but not hot, if you know what I mean. The humidity that rolls in around May and June is not here right now. You know - I'm pretty sure the weather in heaven is something very similar to March and April in Orlando, FL:-)



I've been back here now for about a week for some good old fashioned spring training and it couldn't be going any better. It's been great to see everyone - Brooks, Dave, Aub, Joel, Randy and Kenta and all the ladies - Moushami, Tiff and the Jamaican trio. Over the past several months Kenta has been giving me training advice over the phone but a few weeks ago when he told me he was coming here to train, it was pretty much a no-brainer that I would come back at the same time. How can I beat being able to be around some of my favorite people and being able to get the best coaching at the same time??!!

Suffice to say it has been going extremely well even in such a short period of time. Between Brook's wisdom and guidance and Kenta's knowledge and technical skill, I am as excited as I've been in quite some time. It's been great to see what I've been doing right and correct the things that I've been doing wrong.

Everyone is training really hard right now and there is something to be said for being "in the trenches" so to speak, together and being able to benefit from the support and motivation that a training group inherently provides. I pray that everyone will bear the fruits of their labour this season. Anyway, that's it for now...hopefully you all had a great week. I know I did;-)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

NEVER APOLOGIZE....

...for being successful. Only haters want to keep you at their level.

...for using proper English. Keeping it real doesn't mean you have to speak Ebonics.

...for crying. Just wear waterproof mascara...

...for being frugal. Just because you save your money instead of blowing it on the latest fashion "emergency", doesn't mean you're cheap!

...(on the flip side) for treating yourself to something special. Sometimes you have to show yourself some appreciation.

...for having the biggest, craziest, most ridiculous dream.

...for having a good-sized forehead, a gap-toothed smile, and large, expressive eyes. There are people out there who like that...even in combination;-)

...for saying NO! (I'm still working on this one.)

...for pursuing what makes you happy. Even if you need to quit your job, transfer schools, or move across country, always do what you really want.

...for being clumsy.

...for having an appreciation for all different kinds of food, music and men but having a favourite one of each.

...for not wanting to have conversation during the movie.

...for being low-maintenance and proud of it!

...for being a girl and loving a good game, a fight, or Sports Center...

...for being modest.

...for not understanding something. It's the fool who doesn't ask questions!

...for having biceps, small feet or junk in your trunk, lol.

...for being emotional or sad when it's time to say goodbye.

...for laughing SO hard, your head literally hurts and you actually can't breathe.

...for being spontaneous!

...for just being who you are!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My name is NOT Stella, LOL!

I don't know what to make of it but if I get one more 18-24 year old boy/man approach me and try to chat lyrics to me, I'm just gonna have to get a T-shirt made that reads in big bold letters "MY NAME IS NOT STELLA", lol!!! See...that's not me in this picture:)



I guess it's a compliment of sorts because apparently they think I'm a lot closer to their age than I am but it really and truly cracks me up because it seems that the older I get, the younger my would-be suitors are. The thing is I NEVER lie about my age and I always assume that once I break it down for one of these college kids/ recent graduates/ young men that their eyes will open up really wide, deer-in-the-headlights like, that they'll do a 180 and run for the hills, but time after time after time, that is not the case, lol. What's up with that?

So then my next response is either a) I'm not available and/or b) I could probably be your mother or at the very least your auntie. These responses don't seem to work either. They usual comeback is "I'd love for you to be my mama" or "I don't see no rings on your finger". Perhaps it's the environment I'm in, competing in track where there are lots of 20 somethings but this situation seems to occur even when I'm not at or around a track. I'd have to say within the past 2 weeks alone, no less than four 24 year old and unders have come at me and I've politely said thanks, but no thanks...

Now, clearly for those of you who know me, you know that I certainly have NO issue when it comes to dating younger guys;-), but c'mon - 18? 20? - give me a break. My name is NOT Stella and I am not trying to get my groove back!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

JOHN WITHERSPOON ROAST

I mentioned in my last post that the reason for the "struggle" I had with that dress, lol was because I was trying to figure out what I would wear to the roast/toast for actor/comedian John Witherspoon. My roommate Erica and I went and we were told that the attire was "half way dressy"???!!!

You know it was a guy giving that kinda information out. Of course, it was my boy Chris Spencer who invited us and of course I asked him, what the heck does half way dressy mean? He didn't have an answer so Erica and I just winged it and hoped that we wouldn't show up and be either over or under dressed. Neither one is really good! As it turned out, thankfully we blended in well and didn't stand out one way or the other.



There were about 10 comics, including Guy Torry, Sheryl Underwood, Mark Curry, Paul Mooney, Earthquake and Tim Reid. Chris and Tommy Davidson were the hosts. I have never been to a roast before and I was shocked at the level to which the comedians take it when they are bagging on each other. They would say the craziest stuff to one another and then they would roast Mr. Witherspoon. I mean they went "really hard in the paint" as a good friend of mine always says. I was surprised that nobody broke out into a fight, lol. I guess you have to have some really thick skin to be a comedian. From talking about Tommy and Mark Curry both being on drugs to talking about who Kim Whitley had or hadn't slept with or who didn't have a career, whose teeth looked like chiclets or who was fat, skinny, gay - you name it, they said it!



They REALLY got on Sheryl Underwood. Somebody called her "attractively challenged"; another person said she had a role in the new Michael Vick movie as one of the dogs; another person said that she was the only person to be president of her sorority and it's mascot; and still another person said that when she was out walking with her boyfriend, a little kid came up and asked the guy if that was his new puppy???!! I don't know if the harshness translates as I type it, but trust me when I say that sometimes I didn't know if I should laugh, cry or cringe!

Oh well, when all was said and done, we had a really good time, ate some good food and met some cool people. Mr. Witherspoon was definitely worthy of the honor and I was happy to have been in attendance.


****You know what song I'm really feeling right now?? Eric Benet's "Chocolate Legs". Love it:)****

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

BLOGGER FAMILY

For the past 3 days, my good friend Julia has been in town visiting from South Carolina. I met Julia because of this blog. Her blogger name is Jewells and I'm sure some of you know who I'm talking about.
Initially, we just commented on one another's blogs but last year when I was down in Orlando, she happened to have to come there and so we finally met in person. She met the whole crew down there and since then we've become and remained pretty good friends.

So when she told me that she had to come out here to LA for a conference, I was happy about that and suggested to her that she stay with me, which she agreed to. She got in on Saturday and since then we've hit everything up from the PAC-10 Championship basketball game on Saturday afternoon, to Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles that night. On Sunday we went to Venice Beach, which somehow I've managed to never visit even though I've been here in LA for a few years now. I'll definitely go back. We had a great time there. Then we went to my favorite Cuban restaurant, Versailles and I killed the oxtail once again.

Yesterday, we had a low key evening but since she's a makeup artist and since I have no skills when it comes to putting on eye shadow, we decided to play around and let her work her magic on me. I really liked how it looked and I swear one of these days, I'm gonna learn how to do it. If you click on the pictures you can really get a better view of her handy work.




The funniest part of the evening came when I decided to try on a couple outfits because tonight I am attending a roast/toast for comedian/actor John Witherspoon - you know the "Bang, Bang, Bang" guy. As you can see from the pictures, I had some "problems" getting the dress that I had tried on off. Maybe I should have taken off my t-shirt and sweats, I don't know but between the one leg of tights and shoes and getting stuck with my arms over my head, we both almost died of laughter and Jules decided to take a couple pictures of me in my predicament, lol. And then to add insult to injury, after all that, neither the dress nor the tights are a go....







Anyway, she came with me to practice today and then I took her to the airport right after. It was great having her here and I thoroughly enjoyed her company. Hopefully we'll have the chance to get together again soon:)

Friday, March 13, 2009

LONG TIME NO SEE....

So I'm sorry to post another video clip again, but I was watching Oprah today and they showed this clip about a lion named Christian and a couple of Australian guys who used to take care of him. I thought it was really something special. In case you haven't seen it, I just had to share it. It speaks for itself....



I, for one, was really surprised that this was the outcome because really and truly, anything could've happened! Such a great message at the end too:)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

FLASHBACK

Have you ever heard a song and it just puts you right back to a particular place and time? Happens to me all the time. Well I was listening to an old CD last night and it brought back a whole bunch of good memories. In the fall of '06, on a trip I took, I was introduced to the singer Avant and his album Director that was out at that time. I guess I had heard his music before but I never really paid attention until then. Since then, he has become one of my favorite artists and every time I hear him it puts a smile on my face:) I think I loved that whole album really but this song in particular is the one that got the most play. Love it...

Monday, March 9, 2009

JACKIE THE JUMPER

So I was browsing around my documents on my computer and deleting some unnecessary files when I came across some footage of some jumps from a meet at the Olympic Training Center down in San Diego from a couple years ago. It was a jumps only meet and even though it wasn't some big competition, we definitely had a lot of fun and produced some decent results. I think this jump was about 22ft (6.70m).


video


PS. Keep your fingers crossed and say a prayer for me - I have to test out my foot/heel today. I pray that I will for the most part be pain free!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

YOU CHICKEN!

I have bursitis!! What is that you might ask? It's an inflamed bursal sac. A bursal sac is a sac filled with fluid that acts to lubricate and reduce the friction between two surfaces in the body. There are hundreds of them in the body but the one that occurs between my Achilles and my heel bone, right at the back of my foot, is the one that I've been having trouble with. How can I put this nicely?....It HURTS like HELL! And when you jump for a living, that's sort of a problem!!

I've been struggling with this now for the past 6 to 7 weeks and it has progressively gotten worse. I've been getting treatment every day - ice, ultra sound, massage, ibuprofen, stretching, I even took 7 days off running/jumping to see if the rest would help. It did, only minimally. So this past Saturday, when my pain was literally a 15 on a scale of 1-10, with my options running out, I finally decided to get acupuncture.

I did some research online and then just jumped in my car and drove to this office that I found. Of course, the office I went to was closed. I am not a big fan of needles but since I was desperate, I decided to continue my quest and limp down the street a couple blocks.

Luckily I found another acupuncture office a few buildings down. This old Chinese guy came out and before I knew it, I was face down getting needles stuck everywhere. Everything was fine ie. not too painful, until he stuck the one needle directly down into the back of my heel a good 2-3 inches deep. I SCREAMED LIKE A (insert whatever is the worst noise you can imagine, lol) and for a moment, I worried that all of his other patients might run for their lives out of his office. Guess what he said to me? "You chicken!" Really though??? Was that necessary, lol? I wanna see him try it on himself and smile and laugh about it! Anyway...

It's now, 3 sessions and 5 days later and my pain and inflammation has amazingly gone from that 15 down to about a 1!! Why didn't I do this sooner??? I've been banned from running/jumping again for another 7-10 days. It's really hard to adhere to this since my foot feels soooo much better but I don't want to re-aggravate anything so I'm being a good patient and trying my best to keep still. I PRAY that this works because otherwise, I'm not sure what else to do....

In the meantime, I've been talking to Kenta a lot about technique, etc and lifting, doing core work and watching video footage of jump after jump after jump. Might as well make the best of this involuntary time off.

The one place I feel right at home is on the runway and this only me makes me appreciate that even more. I cannot wait to get back "home" next week.

Monday, March 2, 2009

BUCKET LIST

The Bucket List was a 2007 comedy-drama film directed by Rob Reiner. It starred Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. The story followed two terminally ill men on a road trip with a wish list of things to do before they "kick the bucket."

Someone forwarded me an email the other day with a list of things that was on their bucket list. I found it pretty interesting and it got me thinking about what are some of the things that I have not yet done that I would still like to do before time here on earth comes to end.

So this is obviously not a completely exhaustive list, but just a list of 20 things in no particular order that I would definitely like to do or experience at least once....

* Go to The Holy Land
* Learn how to play the violin
* Run a marathon
* Learn how to drive a stick
* Get married
* Own a pair of Jimmy Choo's/Manolo's:)
* Invent something
* Go to Wimbledon or the US Open
* Meet Oprah
* Sing the National Anthem (Bahamas of course) at an important event
* Cook oxtail (as opposed to just eating it, lol)
* Go to Hawaii
* Make it to World Athletics Final in Greece this year!
* Learn how to apply eye shadow
* Own the new BMW X6 4door or 2door. I saw one today. It is the business!!
* Become a motivational speaker
* Write a book (Does writing my Sport Psychology Master's Thesis count? It was over a 100 pages...)
* Pay off my house
* Flip a house
* Go to a BIG, headline fight in Vegas!

There's a whole lot more I want to do but these are just a few. What are some things you want to do before you "kick the bucket"?



PS. TMM,vraiment:-)