I've competed in the Olympic Games 5 times. My experiences are immeasurable, my regrets are few....and I wouldn't trade them for all the world!
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
TRIP TO EUGENE
So I got back late on Sunday from my trip to Eugene and the US Track and Field Championships. I'd have to say all in all I had a pretty good time. I got to see so some of my friends, many of whom I hadn't seen in quite some time, particularly because I haven't been competing. I shared a hotel room with one of my really good friends and a former training partner, Robyne Johnson. She's currently the head coach at Boston University. We had a lot of fun catching up and reminiscing on all the shenanigans we used to get into. No need for detail:-)
Me and Robyne
My girl Steph Durst who had been running really well over in Europe in preparation for the Championships unfortunately injured herself the week prior by running in a hole at practice and severely twisting her ankle. She was hoping that there would have been some significant improvement while she was there, but this was not to be and so she was unable to compete. I spent some time with her and tried as best I could to point out the "silver lining", that once she gets better in a couple weeks, that she can just go to Europe and run as many races as she likes as she doesn't have to peak or taper in preparation for Worlds. So therefore she can just rack up the cash and let the season ending World Athletic Final in Thessaloniki, Greece be her World Championships.
I also hung out with my friends, 110m hurdlers Ryan Wilson and Kai Kelley, my friend Ross, the Sport Psychologist for USA Track & Field and also my friend Celia who is former sprinter Jon Drummond's wife. I spent some time with Coach Brooks Johnson and it was great to see Aub and Joel again but my trip certainly was lacking the presence of the one and only DO. I am convinced that he would have been National Champion again, no doubt about it. Not to worry though, the crux of the European season awaits him and all the other athletes that suffered untimely injuries - Hyleas Fountain, Bryan Clay, my girl Steph, maybe Walter Dix (although I'm not too sure on the severity of his hamstring injury) and all the others who simply were just unlucky.
I decided to leave on Sunday because this was supposed to be a fun trip for me and given my current situation, I don't think it would have been fun to watch my own event, that being the women's Long Jump. I'm a huge track and field fan but I've never liked watching the long jump. It doesn't matter that I'm not American and that I wouldn't have been vying for a spot on this team. It only matters that it makes me anxious and wistful and pretty much uncomfortable to sit there watching others do what I've done for so many years. And this is not a new thing that's come about since I've been injured, it's always been the case. Just not my thing. Congrats however to Britney Reese, Brianna and Funmi Jimoh on some excellent results and I wish them all the best in Berlin.
Track and Field is a cut-throat business. There are no second chances. No do-overs. You're either ready physically and mentally on the day or you're not. End of story. I've often wondered if the US shouldn't implement the team selection policy that both Great Britain and Jamaica employ, that being where the 1st and 2nd place finishers are guaranteed their spots on their respective teams and the third spot, while often going to the 3rd place finisher, is ultimately left up to the discretion of a selection committee so that clear medal contenders such as Dave, Hyleas and Bryan who for all intents and purposes will be perfectly healthy come Berlin time, don't get left off teams because of an untimely minor injury. There are pros and cons to either process and the debate could continue on forever without resolution.
Congrats to all those who made the team and congrats to my Bahamian teammates as well who participated in our own National Champs this weekend as well. Lord knows I wish I could have vied for a spot myself, but this was not my path this year. I guess my tally of World Championships that I've qualified for and competed in will remain at 9 (3 time finalist) and you know what, I'm ok with that.