Wednesday, April 29, 2009


So for the past 4 days, I’ve been in Toronto, Canada getting treatment/therapy for my Achilles. It’s been some pretty intense days with everything from ultra sounds to various injections to hyperbaric chamber therapy.

About a week ago, while I was doing my research about the various treatment options, I decided to come to Canada to seek the help of one of THE best Sports doctors around. He has treated many, many superstar athletes, many whose names you’d very easily recognize. The normal protocol for a partially torn Achilles such as mine is 4-6wks in a non-weight bearing cast with crutches, followed by another 4-6wks in a weight-bearing boot, followed by the beginning of physical therapy. A very circuitous, tedious road at best and then the results are not the best as far as the strength of the tendon anyway.

Dr. Galea is world-renowned and he employs a completely different approach that yields far better results in far less time. As it turns out, he lived up to all the hype and then some. He’s a very charming, laid-back, cool, unorthodox guy and it was my distinct pleasure to meet him. He took great care of me and I will forever be in his debt and if all goes well, I should be walking without casts, boots or crutches in two weeks time and beginning my PT.

Now back to this hyperbaric chamber therapy. I have one word for it – NIGHTMARE!!!!!! I don’t know if any of you are claustrophobic but I am. Without going into the details of why this type of therapy is extremely beneficial, let’s just cut to the chase – you have to stay in this glass tube, fully enclosed, lying on your back for an hour and a half!!! Suffice to say, I STRUGGLED, Lord have mercy and I had to do it 3 days in a row!!! The second time I did it, I had a bit of a panic attack and almost freaked out.

Me in the "torture" chamber, lol! Yeah, that's a fake smile....when they were just about to pull me out!!!

I can laugh about it now, but trust me, it was no laughing matter at the time. And then just to add insult to injury, for two 5minute intervals while you’re in there, you have to put this oxygen mask over your nose and mouth. I can assure you that unless there’s life or death involved, Jackie Edwards will never put herself through that again, lol. My dear friend Joice, told me to "quit being a drama queen", but I’m sorry Ms. Joice, just based on your description alone, the chamber you go in does not compare neither in size nor in experience – there are no books or laptops or anything at all allowed in with me – not even my earrings!!! And even if it is, oh well, I won't deny the fact that I was really afraid/nervous/scared....

Anyway, I did have one free evening and my roommate Erica’s parents, whose home I stayed at, took me to Niagara Falls. It was a great break away from the rigors of the therapy.

Me and Erica's mom at The Falls

I do want to say that the Witter family has gone above and beyond in showing me kindness and hospitality and I will forever be grateful.

I’m on my way back to LA tomorrow. Treatment is done. The healing process officially begins and I for one couldn’t be happier.

Friday, April 24, 2009


If I could've foreseen myself being injured last week Saturday, I would've never guessed that in the wake of such a terrible setback, that I would be doing so well....emotionally, at least.

I got my MRI results back and as was suspected, I do have a partial tear in the middle of my Achilles tendon, about 4-5cms. in length. That being said, it could be worse. Apart from swelling, there's no further damage to my foot or calf. I've already begun some pretty intensive therapy and since I don't need surgery, I've been looking into some other innovative and effective treatment options and let's just say, I'm feeling a lot more hopeful than I did a couple days ago:-)

Additionally, I am amazed at how when you find yourself at your lowest, how people, both friends and strangers alike, step up and show you so much compassion and love. From the number of people that have opened doors for me, carried bags for me, to the lady who pumped my gas for me, receiving some beautiful get-well flowers:-), to all the daily texts and calls and bbms from everyone just checking on me and making sure I'm OK, I just feel blessed to know that people care. They really care. And I'm telling you, it helps SO much!!! Don't get me wrong, these crutches really suck but I'm just saying, it could be worse!

Pic of my poor foot:-(

Last night, I received an e-mail from a young man from the Bahamas who I do not know (I hope he doesn't mind that I post the content of his e-mail here), telling me how much I have impacted his life and it just lifted my spirits all the way up.

"Jackie: You don't know who I am but when I was in high school in the Bahamas, I heard a story on the news about a student at Queen's College (high school in the Bahamas) who was an outstanding student as well as a gifted athlete. I thought that was unique and it inspired me to not only focus on being a good student but to be well rounded as well. When I graduated from high school, I was salutatorian and won the award for the most well rounded student in my class. I also ended up getting two scholarships that allowed me to be able to get a free college education. Without it I would not have been able to attend college. Being well rounded has helped me a lot in my life and has kept me balanced. Even though you haven't struck gold in the Olympics yet, as a Bahamian I am proud of your accomplishments and how your hard work and example has affected me. - Your Fellow Bahamian"

How could I possibly be sad after reading something like that? Anyway, I just wanted to say I'm doing OK and I'm DEFINITELY not ready to be counted out just yet!


On a lighter, happier, more special is also a day to celebrate "The Truth";-) and so I wanted to post a couple quotes that signify just how I feel.

"The truth is always exciting. Speak it, then. Life is dull without it." (So true...)
Pearl S. Buck

"Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me the truth." (All day, every day, lol!)
Henry David Thoreau


Monday, April 20, 2009


Where shall I begin?

So I traveled this past Thursday to Greensboro, NC to compete in my first competition of the outdoor season. It was the perfect scenario really. I love the track at NC A&T. (I'm still trying to figure out how come such an awesome track is at this school.) I love competing there and I was looking forward to seeing everyone again. They all came in on Friday morning and I definitely got to spend some QT:-)

Well, apart from one or two things, that's about where everything began unraveling. First of all, my luggage got lost. Now every professional track and field athlete knows better than to not put their competition clothes and spikes in their hand luggage but for some reason, I forgot. Never even crossed my mind to be honest. The only thing in my backpack were some flip flops, my laptop and a toiletry bag.

Suffice to say, one trip to the airport later ($30 in a cab each way), one trip to the mall to buy replacement tennis shoes, one trip to Walgreens to buy replacement undies:( and several phone calls to Northwest, my bag never showed up until Saturday night, after the meet. Of course it would.

Turns out that my teammate from The Bahamas, Chandra Sturrup was coming to the meet so I asked her to bring me some Bahamas team uniform clothing which she did, plus a pair of long jump spikes, since we wear the same size. Having gotten everything sorted out, I headed out to the track feeling pretty excited.

Warmup went well and I got on to the runway to do some run-throughs to get ready for the start of the competition. On my second run-up, I hit the foul board which was not securely in place and it moved significantly, twisting my foot into a very awkward position, throwing me into the sand. I wasn't sure what had happened. I know that my calf was hurting and that the board had thrown me way off balance. Before I knew it, the athletic trainers were at the pit helping me out of the sand and my day effectively was OVER!

I was checked out by a doctor who confirmed the trainer's suspicion that I had torn or partially torn my Achilles tendon. She put me in a temporary cast and gave me some crutches and that was that. I cried my eyes out for at least an hour and as you can imagine, I was/am DEVASTATED!!! The prognosis for this type of injury is not good at all and takes months to heal. In cases of complete tears, surgery is the only option, so I guess we'll see....

Surprisingly, it doesn't hurt at all which is kinda weird because Achilles tears are supposed to be very painful, especially if it is a complete tear so I'm not sure what is going on. I flew back to LA yesterday and with the crutches, etc that was an ordeal in and of itself and I am going to get an MRI either today or tomorrow. My two immediate major obstacles are a) I live in a 3 story apt. and my bedroom is on the ground floor and the kitchen and living room are on the second floor. That should be loads of fun, crutching it up and down the stairs every day....NOT, lol! and b)I'm not sure if I can drive. Now that would really be a problem if I can't. I'm gonna test that out today.

I will say that my friends so far have stepped all the way up and have shown me a whole lotta love and care and concern. I know I always talk about the importance of friendship on this blog and for sure right now, I'm definitely going to need them to get through this. I'm not depressed or anything (I've told myself that that is not allowed) and I'm trying my best to keep my chin up somehow. I'm sure I'm gonna have my moments and I'm not sure how much blogging I will be doing, although it might be therapeutic in some sort of way. Please keep me in your thoughts and pray to God for my heart, my mind and my recovery.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009



I'm not usually a big birthday person. I'm always just grateful to celebrate another year of being healthy and happy. This year is not that much different except that I'm feeling particularly good!

I flew back to LA about a week ago to take care of my foot and while it's still not 100%, perhaps I'm feeling good because my training is still going well. Perhaps it's because I got to see my family over the weekend. Perhaps it's because Easter Sunday service was AWESOME! Perhaps it's because my track season finally kicks off this weekend in NC. Perhaps it's because I have the love and support of my friends and family. I don't know what it is, but I feel good!

It's uncanny how many of my favourite people are born in April too! Some of us are Aries and some of us Taurus but either way, I love them all:-) I don't have any great plans for today - practice, of course and then maybe dinner with some friends later on. With friends, family, and The Truth;-)in my life, plus a healthy mind and spirit, what more could a girl ask for? Thanks to my blogger family too for all the supportive, interesting, insightful and fun comments throughout the year.

So here's to April 14th!!! Hope to see another one roll around next year!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009


What if... could get inside the brain of the opposite sex for one whole day, would you want to?

...Obama didn't win the Presidential election? only had one week to live, would you want to know?

...teleportation actually existed?

...there was no chapstick, lip balm or vaseline, lol?

...a friend of yours committed a major crime, would you tell? (I have a friend who went to jail for his friend - ahhhh, I can tell you what I wouldn't do!!!) were stuck on an island for 6 months and could only have two things with you, what would they be?

...there were no gummy bears, sweet tarts or starburst? could only be obese or anorexic? didn't have love in your life?

...that guy in The Bahamas had never seen me jumping at that meet when I was 11?? was nighttime all day long?

...I had finished law school? (I went to Temple Law School for a year) had to pick between love or a million dollars?

...there was never a Real World Season 1? There would be no reality TV....

...they actually found a cure to just one of either cancer, alzheimers, AIDS or paralysis?

...05/05/06 and 09/08/06 had never happened;-)?

...09/11 had never happened?

...there was no such thing as racism?

...Christ never died and rose again? (Happy Easter everyone!)

***My new favourite song is Jennifer Hudson's "If This Isn't Love". I love the video and the lyrics:-)***

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


So yesterday I was standing in line at the bank waiting to go up to the teller when I saw this little girl who had to be all of maybe 3 or 4. She was standing near the display board that they have in banks that tell you the day's current home mortgage loan rate.

She was just being a typical kid, kinda running around. Her mother was already up at the teller's window being served so she didn't really see what was going on. At some point, the little girl decided to erase some of the writing on the board with the sleeve or her blouse. One of the ladies that worked in the bank saw her but didn't really make a big fuss because I guess it's not that hard to just fill it back in.

That's when I saw, this old white guy, maybe around 75/80, get up from the area where you sit to wait to open up new accounts and he headed straight towards the little girl. He started talking really loud saying "this is not a playground" and "you need to get from around this area" and "where's your parents? Parents need to watch their kids" "what kind of place do you think this is?"

So just when I thought he was done with his tirade, he then took the paper folder he had his hand and raised both arms at least head high and swatted the girl over the top of her head, with a fair amount of force and then ended by saying "get from around here". Finished with his outburst, he strolled back over to the seating area, sat down and crossed his legs like nothing had happened and the little girl ran to her mother's side.

Somehow, her mother didn't see any of this because she was busy talking to the teller but the rest of us standing in line just stood there looking at each other looking dumbfounded! I'm sure we were all thinking the same thing - oh no, he didn't!! You just don't go around touching other people's kids, much less hitting them! I wonder what her mother would've done had she seen what had occurred??? I called my mother to tell her and we both still have no idea what we would've done either...maybe old people can just get away with more...

Sunday, April 5, 2009


“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience.” describes the word PATIENCE as follows:

pa·tience (pā′s̸həns)


1. the state, quality, or fact of being patient; specif.,
1. the will or ability to wait or endure without complaint
2. steadiness, endurance, or perseverance in the performance of a task

I have been having to exercise a fair amount of this ability to wait without complaint, known as patience for the past few months. When I arrived here in Orlando a couple weeks ago, my heel was 100% pain-free and I was as eager as I could be. On my very first day of practice here, on my very last jump that day, I re-bruised my heel! Since then, I have been doing everything I can to work around it and have gotten in as much training as I can, given the circumstances and to Kenta's credit, he has found very creative ways to still ensure that I've gotten in some quality, purposeful sessions.

I've gotten treatment and things are definitely better but I feel like this horse that's rearing to start the race and get out of the gates but the gate won't open so I'm just behind there, rattling around getting somewhat restless. But guess what?? Like John Quincy Adams said, "Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." And last I checked, there's nothing to be gained from looking at the glass as half empty!

What I do know is that my training is still going well. That I'm REALLY strong right now (I could put Shaq on my back right now and do a couple squats - no problem:-). I'm in shape. I've had the chance to work/focus on my core strength because of my "setback". Best of all, my technique is so improved because I've finally had the chance this year to make that a priority.

I was supposed to start competing this weekend in Gainesville, FL but I couldn't so I just went up with everyone and gave them all my support. My turn will come either this weekend coming or the following one. Congrats to all those who made a statement with their performances:-) the end of the day, I'm gonna keep on being patient and trusting and believing that I will end up at my desired destination. Things might be a little delayed right now but this track season is not a sprint, it's a marathon and I'm putting in a whole lotta miles right now.

(I gotta be like Bruno here and just wait my turn, lol.)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


"If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes." - Andrew Carnegie

I read this quote yesterday and I really liked it. I think that if you asked most of my friends that they would say that I'm generally a happy-go-lucky, easy-going, laid-back kind of person and that I don't take myself too seriously. (At least I hope they would say that:) One of my personal mottos is "Be joyful at all times" and I think in a large part, I have been able to fulfill that motto because I've had a goal and a passion for so many years that commands my thoughts, liberates my energy and inspires my hopes.

Of course, that goal and passion has been for me to be the best athlete that I can be! I have had the pleasure for quite a while now to do something for my profession that not only do I love, but that motivates me, that challenges me mentally and physically and that forces me to push myself beyond even my own expectations and makes me have hope that I can still be in and day out. When you can get up every day and be happy about the day that lies ahead, what more can you really ask for?

I have many friends who might make more money or who might be CEOs or attorneys or accountants or whatever and they absolutely hate their job. They do it more because they feel they have to or they ought to rather than because they want to. I am blessed because I get to do what I want to do.

I consider myself to be an eternal optimist, perhaps to a fault. I am really good at getting back up when things go wrong. No matter what happens, I really try to find the proverbial silver lining, or if I can't do that, then just to look at the bigger picture. Last year's Beijing experience was a PRIME example of me having to just dust myself off, get over the pity party and get on with the business of life! It wasn't easy but nobody died for heaven's sake. I didn't lose a limb. My friends and family still loved me. Trust me, this is not to minimize the extreme disappointment and embarrassment that I experienced in any way but more of the mentality that you have to have to put things in perspective when things don't go as planned. Last night when I was talking to my friend, he said this very thing and basically how in track we almost HAVE to be that way; whether it be because of injury, losing a competition, not living up to your own expectations, or because of naysayers, you have to find a way to motivate and believe in yourself and you have to have the thickest of skins.

So all I'm saying is, if you're not happy, whether it be at your job, in your relationship, with your friends, or in your life in general, set that extraordinary goal that completely moves you and go after it. If no one died, and your bills are being paid and you have your health and the love of those around you, what are you waiting on? Stop waiting for people or things to bring you joy, make yourself happy and do what it is that you want to do! You just might be surprised by the outcome!