Tuesday, December 8, 2009
I don't enjoy doing them, but it's important to get that lactic and other toxins squeezed out of your system, plus I feel refreshed after doing them. You get use to them after a while really, but don't neglect hitting the hot baths in there too, I love doing those.
As far as coming through Dallas, I never come there, if the Mayweather v Pacquio fight is there, then I'll be in town for sure, don't want to miss that (depending on when they fight, might be in Europe or something)
I don't have a clear idea of what I truly think I will be doing after my track career is over, but I want to move to Ft. Lauderdale and join the fire department there as well as get on as a high school coach. I tell everybody that asks me that and they always think I'm playing for some reason. This past weekend, Lolo Jones was giving me a hard time about it.
I wanted to be a fireman when I was younger and thankfully running track has placed me in a position financially that I won't have to hurt for money when I retire, so I can live out what I saw myself doing as a kid. Plus it is a great job and you're in a position to help others out and doing a civil duty is a pretty cool idea.
I want to coach in high school so I can pass on the knowledge I have as far as getting the kids in to college first and foremost. I think that is very important and I wish someone would have been there to show me the ropes about what it took to get a college scholarship. I took a lot of that on myself. I remember taking a book out of the library, getting the address to every college I thought about attending and wrote letters to all of them. I had first period off my senior year, so I'd sit in the library for the period with my homeboy Kelvin and type up and print off letters. Man, I don't know how much money I spent on stamps that year!
Thanks for asking!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Here's a sample day:
Wake up at some time between 10 and 11
Take my morning supplements, hit my protein shake
Watch ESPN First Take, while on the computer
Respond back to emails
Go get my massages or chiropractic depending on the day
Hit practice at 4
Watch more TV and internet
Go to sleep
Typical day, every day, gotta love it!!
Here's a typical day on the road:
Wake up for breakfast depending on the place, some spots it's not even worth trying to make it to breakfast to eat runny eggs.
Go to lunch
Sign autographs for the crowd outside the hotel
Hit the track for practice
Sign autographs for the crowd waiting outside the hotel again
Shower and get a massage
Sit in the lobby and swap lies with people til dinner
Take an ice bath
Watch Slingbox til I go to sleep
Pretty fascinating isn't it...
I don't have much coming up as far as social events. I've got to go to Indianapolis for the USATF convention. I have to do a photoshoot and talk to kids as apart of the Win With Integrity Program. Should be fun! I'll update some pictures and stuff from the events.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I feel in order to be successful in any avenue or venture, goals are important. In order for me to say that I want to go to the Olympics again or something like that, I have to set the gears in motion now to set that up in a few years. You're not going to be able to roll of your couch in the spring of 2012 and say "Hey, I think I am going to shoot for the Olympics." More often than not, you won't achieve that because if it were that easy to do, your goal wasn't challenging enough to be a goal in the first place.
I set long term goals that are difficult to achieve because if something were easy, everybody would do it.
Opportunities that come about by chance are equally as important. I have had several chance meetings/opportunities that presented themselves that allowed me to capitalize on a long term goal I set for myself. The most important of these were when I met my current coach Brooks Johnson out in Sacramento in 2004. Without such a meeting/opportunity, it's no telling what I may be doing right now. I may have met another coach without as much knowledge and been out of the sport by now.
I am very private, and I wish I could say you won your bet, but it looks like you will be offering up that dinner to whomever it is you were betting.
I have questions for you: Why is inquiring minds spelled like that and why would you make a bet on something like that?
Thursday, November 26, 2009
It's Thanksgiving and it's a time to give extra thanks for the blessings that have been bestowed upon us. There are less fortunate people in this world than you and it is important to remember that when things are going rough, a lot of people have it a lot rougher than you!
There are so many things in my life that I am thankful for, from you loyal readers and fans to being brought up by the most amazing person in the world.
On a training note, things are going very well, I have been out training for two months and I have no injury symptoms and that is something I am very thankful for.
My top five most thankful things are (in not particular order):
- The God given talent and blessings that I have been given
- My family and close friends
- My mom meeting a great guy and finally getting to enjoy the finer things in life
- Being myself and not having to live this life as someone else
- My fans
I am thankful for everything at all times, but this day just magnifies the importance of giving thanks and realizing where all blessings come from.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
He is the father of two amazing children and married to a lovely wife who's beautiful inside and out. I can not imagine the suffering that he is going through right now. I can't think of the
pain that I'd be going through if I lost my mother.
Mrs Shepherd took care of us so well back when we were freshmen in Drew Hall. I use to destroy the care packages she would send, talk about going through boxes of Reeses Peanut butter Cups and all kinds of snacks! I was an adopted son of hers, always having Shep forward my requests for the next package.
Although I had talked to her for years, I finally got to meet her at Charles and Robina's wedding in 2005 and she was all that I expected and more.
Today, make sure you hug your mother extra tight and if you can't do that, just place a call, tell them you love them and make sure they understand how much they mean to you! If you may not be on speaking terms with them, it's time for that to end, life is too short. Without them, we have no life.
I will keep the Shepherd family in my prayers.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
When we all got in on Friday, you know my first stop was over to Bren's house! Had to see my favorite person in the world!
Friday evening, we hosted a meet and greet at my mom's house for all of the people who decided to volunteer to assist my efforts. I had a good time meeting some coaches in the area and listening to them share old stories about my coach Brooks. He sure is a legend in this track game.
I knew it was suppose to be kind of chilly in Denver, but I really wasn't ready for what awaited us on Saturday when I got up to get ready for the camp.
It was a blanket of snow and ice out! The rental car had no ice scraper in it, so me and McLean were outside for about 15 minutes with hotel key cards trying to scrape the ice off the windows of the car. That was pure hell! Ask me where Kenta was at during this process and the answer would be, inside the lobby drinking coffee.
I am glad that my mom and Harold were forward thinking because they reserved the football field as well as the gym in case of inclement weather. We had about 50 plus kids pre-registered for the event, but I was pretty worried about if anyone would show due to the weather!
It was great to be back at my old high school, Denver East and I am appreciative that they allowed me to use their facilities to put on my camp as well. It felt weird looking at my old dressing area in the football locker room and being back in the gym, a place I hadn't seen since 2000.
We got to the school about an hour early to set up and get everything together for when everybody started to arrive.
Even though the weather wasn't favorable, we still had about 30 kids and 12 volunteers out at the site. The kids were very attentive and really eager to learn some new stuff and listen to what it is all of us had to say to them.Harold took the kids through an informative dynamic warm up session and walked them through it step by step so that they could really understand what they were doing and why they were doing it.
After the warm up, we got right in to basic running mechanics and form. After the kids got a grasp on the technical aspects, they broke in to different groups and headed over to the stations that were set up. We had two different ladder drills, square cone drill, straight line cone drill, jump rope etc.
Legendary high school coach Don Gatewood came out and really took a hands on approach with the kids. He is in the Colorado High School Hall of Fame and in the USA Track and Field hall of fame as well. It was a great pleasure having someone of his stature come out and lend a hand to the efforts.
My best friend Kelvin Doyle, a former Michigan State football player took the kids through the cone drills working on their agility.Kenta got the kids bounding better than they ever had! After his instruction, you could see the kids really grasp the concepts he was presenting to them.You know I hopped in and got the kids working on their arm action. Once you get the arms together, then everything else falls in to place.My sister came by and lent a hand watching over the babies.After we ended, the kids all received an autographed picture, camp t-shirt and camp water bottle. Big thanks to Randy, Rich and McLean for the design and product.
I really wanted to do something for the community that helped me reach the level of accomplishment I have so far. It is really important that you give something back to the community. Hosting this camp offered me a great reflection point on my life. I really understand how the kids look up to me so much and would love to accomplish the things I have and do the things that I have done. I may take going over to Europe summer after summer for granted for instance, but it means the world to the little ones. I never really realize it until I actually got with them this weekend. Being a positive black male role model in the area is something that I look forward to. I spoke to them as a group and really let them know the importance of getting their education and going to college, which to me, is one of the most important things you can do in life.
To try to help them with that goal, I am starting a scholarship fund to assist in their efforts to attend college. It will start out as something small, just providing book scholarships to kids this spring/summer, but I hope to grow that as well in the future.
I had such a blast putting on this camp! It couldn't have possibly went off as smooth as it did without Harold and my mom at the forefront getting the information out to all the people that needed it.
A real big thanks to Coach Gatewood, Coach Vaden, Chris Turner, Gary, Kellen, Farley and Cameron Burl, George Crunkelton, Yolanda, Justin and Steve Johnson, Annette Tannander and Carl McKinley for coming out and helping me put on this wonderful event. I can't wait until next year to do it even digger and better!
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I had been exclusively wearing my glasses for a week leading up to the surgery. It was really a difference for me, I never wear my glasses and for me to have had to wear them all day everyday, it was a big deal for me. I think I had a headache everyday from wearing them!
When I was headed in to the room, I wasn't very nervous at all, they told me the procedure only lasts for about five minutes per eye. It's amazing the things we do with technology. The most uncomfortable thing I felt was when they put those clamps on my eyelids so that I couldn't blink, but after that, I didn't feel a thing. I definitely could smell it though LOL. The laser buzzed for about 30 seconds and that was it, on to the next eye.
When I got home, I crashed for almost four hours and once I woke up, I was seeing very clear already. Things were just a bit hazy on the edges, but I could comfortable sit around and watch TV and drive wherever I needed to go.
The funny thing to me is these eye shields that I have to wear when I go to sleep so that I don't rub my eyes. It's pretty ingenious on whoever invented the shields part, I would have probably rubbed my eyes out of my head! My eyes do get fairly dry during the course of the night.
I have prescriptions for about four different type of eye drops, I stay all the way on schedule when it comes to doing those drops at the specified time.
I had a post-op the day after the surgery and I was seeing 20/25, basically as well as I was seeing with my current contact prescription. They informed me that my vision is at about 70% of what the final result will be. I can't wait to see what the final product will be.
To anyone considering this procedure, I would say it is a must have! I'm glad I have rid myself of the burden of contacts or glasses! It has thrown me for a loop at night though, every night, I head to my bathroom to get ready to take my contacts out. I guess 13 years of wearing contacts won't break that habit in two/three days LOL.
Dr. Filutowski and his staff were awesome and did an incredible job!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Now that the last race has been run and everybody has made it back to their respective residences, it is time for my annual review of my season.
I can not draw from a very big sample size due to my well document calf injury a few months ago, but I will not dwell on that. Usually I will get anywhere between 25-30 races in a season (indoor and outdoor).
I feel that I have to give myself a solid B for the season. I feel that it was a little bit above average, but didn't go as well as I would have liked it to go. Even with minimal racing, I still produced top times.
Indoor, I was able to finish with the second fastest time in the world and produced a new personal best along with three of the top five fastest times I have ever run. I lost once in the eight times I stepped in the blocks (4th in Birmingham).
Outdoor, the injury bug hit, but prior to that, I put my feet in the blocks eight times and finished first all eight times (prelims and finals). I got hurt, but more importantly to me, I was able to come back briefly and race again. Although I was racing well below the standard I had come to produce prior to going down, I couldn't have been more happy just to be out doing what I do!
With all that, I still produced the second fastest time in the world and finished '09 as the fastest American in the event for the second year in a row.
Now the offseason has come. It will be a short one for me, I have had more than enough time off. Of course I will just gradually get back in to it, but I like being out at the track no matter what I'm out there doing. The calf feels great and we've taken precautions so make sure that it shouldn't be an issue for the fall.
The biggest thing for me this fall is I am hosting a camp for Denver area kids in a couple of weeks. We have been planning this for a couple of months and everything is coming together nicely, I am really getting excited! I don't have as many resources as some major athletes, but I understand that kids look up to us no matter what and it is important to give back. There will be close to 100 kids there, so we will see how it goes!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I had a pretty lengthy phone interview with one of the writers, Sebastian del Marmol, it was pretty enlightening to him, he wasn't so aware of all the nuances that went in to the event.
I had a pretty good time with the shoot, it was inclimate weather out at Disney with the rain, so we had to move to another location.
The final pics that made the magazine are here:
Clearly I didn't need any type of photoshop work like most of these people you see gracing magazines do! LOL.
You can check out the entire article via their website by clicking HERE
I need to find my way into GQ Magazine some how, then my life will be complete!
Monday, September 7, 2009
After getting all the scans and imaging done, I am relieved in the fact that there is no structural damage to the calf and tendon that I tore earlier. The issue was the dreaded scar tissue.
The doctor said that I am lucky that I decided to stop out in Brussels instead of seeing if I could push through because I would have been right back at square one with a new injury.
The scar tissue flared up because it was not getting broken down properly with the massages over here in Europe. The cold conditions out in Brussels didn't help either. He believes that that also caused the muscle to remain in a constant state of contraction. I had been given that warning back in July about the problems that scar tissue can cause.
The doc said that I could resume racing next week if I wanted to with prolonged treatment here, but that doesn't make very much sense to me. I'm not running the risk of putting my 2010 behind schedule to run a few more meaningless times this year. Gotta know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em.
I am glad that it is not as serious as I thought and I have a massage specialist that will easily be able to break the scar tissue up, sometimes feel like she's breaking my bones as well!
Right now, I'm walking around in a soft cast that the doctor has formulated with some sort of medicine. I can't wait to take this thing off in the morning! The bad part is, I can't take a shower until tomorrow, that is some poor hygiene, I'm going to be walking around here smelling all "European" LMAO!
I will hang around Munich and get treatment for now. Beautiful place, maybe I can get somebody to roll over here with me next time to alleviate some of this boredom. Not very many athletes here this time of year.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
With that said, my 2009 season will come to an unceremonious end.
It happened it the warm-up, doing my third start to the first hurdle before heading to the call room to go to the stadium. I felt great too. Once again, there was no warning signal or anything. On my third step driving out of the blocks I felt it.
Same feeling as I had when it first happened, but not as bad. The first time, I couldn't walk for three or four days, this time, I can walk, it just hurts a little bit.
I couldn't sleep at all last night, probably from a combination of the pain and my mind going a million miles a minute.
Well now it is on to the recovery phase once again. Man this is going to be hell, but I am going all in. At least I have months to make sure I am perfectly fine again instead of trying to comeback mid-season.
I am very thankful that I got to get back out on the track for the three races I was able to compete in. I just get this feeling like this is what I am suppose to be doing. I did all the due diligence I could do on my part and things didn't work out. Such is life.
In the game of life, I'm winning anyway. The sport has afforded me a lot of opportunities and if I have to take this step back to move forward a couple more, then so be it. This is just a minor setback, I will be ok. As long as I continue to inhale and exhale, I'll keep fighting.
Next step for me will be heading back to Munich tomorrow afternoon to spend more time getting treatment. I have already formulated a gameplan in my head about the next steps I will take to make sure I can come back stronger. Hopefully the injury is not as bad this time, I will find out for sure on Monday.
For now, I will sit back and enjoy this opening weekend of college football! I'm excited.
By the way, you see the Oregon kid cold clock that Boise State player?!?! Wow, it must really be real in the streets! But how come he did that with all those Boise St teammates around and they didn't jump on the guy after he did it?!?! Wouldn't have happened back in my playing days at Howard, that's for sure.
Friday, September 4, 2009
The Memorial Van Damme Golden League meeting in Brussels, Belgium is considered the second most prestigious competition on the circuit, behind the Zurich competition.
While Zurich is a sprint based meet, Brussels focus is mainly the distance events.
This is the only competition I have never been to as far as the major meets go. They usually don't host the hurdles unless we are a Golden League event, so I've really only had one previous opportunity.
I went to training yesterday and the facility is top notch! They have placed the same track surface down as we raced on in Beijing. 50,000 fans will be packed in there jamming tonight!
I am racing some the same familiar faces from my last two competitions. I don't have a time goal, I will just try my best to execute better than I have in my previous races. I feel like things get just a tad bit better each and everytime. We will see how the finished product looks in a few hours.
I am competing at 8:05pm local, 2:05 eastern. Universal Sports is having a live webcast of the event, so check it out.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
My start wasn't that great, I was in the back again, but I was able to get three phases of my race model together. I was able to pick up the other runners, but I'm just missing that burst at the end. I had that patented before! If it was close at 7, I would win 9 out of 10 times. I will have to rely on muscle memory to acquire that ability again.
I ended up in second place in 13.41, the world champion won the race in 13.35. I won a nice, big trophy for my efforts out there. I am a guy who loves getting trophies and prizes. I am not sure how I will get this home, but I will figure something out.
As a high level professional athlete, it is hard to understand the process and tediousness it takes to get back to the level that I once was at before I was hit with the setback. I'm out here running all out to the tune of 13.3-13.4, times that I hadn't had to work hard to run since probably 2005, 2006.
I'm glad that I have a great head on my shoulders and understand fully what it will take. I have moments where I get down, but as soon as that happens, I instantly think back to what I was doing less than a month ago, waking up, hoping that I could do some accelerated grass strides pain free. Now to be back running halfway decent and more importantly, doing what I love to do is all that matters.
I am heading out to Brussels, Belgium tomorrow morning. I am glad that I got the extra day here, that post competition sleep is important and I hate getting up at 5am to go to the airport when more often than not, you're not getting back to the hotel from the meet until 11pm.
I am going to hit the track today to do some race modeling over ten hurdles after I eat lunch. I have found myself looking forward to going to the track to run, no matter what the reason. Brooks has a gameplan and I will follow it the best that I can.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Another day, another race.
I feel like I am getting right back in to the swing of things. This is how I am suppose to be spending my summers! Not at home chilling out! I thank God that he brought me through this little impasse, I was at serious crossroads a few times about whether to continue an attempt to run this year or just scrap it and pick up in 2010.
At these competitions, I don't know why everyone feels it's their duty to start of with some variation of "Man, I know you gotta be hot seeing the results in the hurdles from Worlds...." when I first see them. But I tell them the truth, I could care less. When you are seriously injured and trying to make it back, your priorities change as does your focus. I tell them that I am just happy to be out there again, whether it was at Worlds or a race at Disney, I don't care.
I am also an individual who doesn't dwell of things that I can not control. Once I got hurt, everything went out of the window and the singular focus was to get healthy, I wouldn't have cared any more if somebody was breaking the world record every race.
I'm back out on the track tonight in Zagreb, Croatia. I ran here in 2006, came third right behind Allen Johnson (13.19) and Dayron Robles (13.20), I ran 13.23. In this race, I will be competing against the world champion Brathwaite and Joel is here too.
My focus is to run better here than I did in Zurich, to continue building race after race. I believe that I will be successful in that attempt.
We go off at 8:05 local time (2:05 est).
Saturday, August 29, 2009
This was the first race I lost since this competition last year.
I finished way down in 5th place, I can't remember the last time I finished so low, but I met all of my main objectives for the competition. I banked another set of ten hurdles in competition, I'm still healthy and I ran a better race than I did in Tallinn a few days ago.
I ran 13.33, so I'm moving in the right direction. I started the race poorly, got back in the mix, then kind of ran out of gas at the end. Aub put it quite simple, he said it was as if I had run three separate races in one. I will get my race rhythm back soon, I just have to stay patient and continue to run my lane.
I am catching a flight in a few hours to Zagreb, Croatia for my next competition that will be on Monday. Joel arrived there from Orlando this morning, so it will be good to have someone there to practice the hurdles with, it was about late May the last time we actually trained together. The opportunity to get next to somebody and actually feel the rhythm is key, we always think we're running fast until you get next to somebody else.
Friday, August 28, 2009
The comeback trail has lead me to easily the most prestigious competition in the sport of athletics, Weltklasse Zurich.
This is the meet of all meets, the competition that everyone wants to go to every year. They meeting organizers compile the most competitive fields, the food is the best on the circuit, they have the best medical staff, the list goes on and on.
I have had the pleasure of attending this meet every year since my first as a professional in 2005. Zurich is the only meet I've been to every year.
I ran the second fastest time of my career thus far at this meeting last season, running 12.98, you can count on two hands the amount of people throughout history who have run faster than that time. I am pretty sure that I probably won't be able to duplicate that type of performance this time around given the circumstances, but that won't stop me from trying to!
It has been a good feeling getting back in the mix of things, seeing some friends on the circuit again and a lot of other whom I haven't seen in almost a year. It felt equally as good back warming up with my training partner Novie, who will open up the competition tonight in the women's 400.
The race starts at 8:20 local time (2:20est) and I will face the final from this past Berlin World Championship race. I drew lane three, right next to the recently crowned World Champion who will be in lane four.
Brooks again reiterated that we will treat this meet the same way as a meet in April. I can't sacrifice my technique in order to start over competing because when you do that, it leads to more injuries and you start grooving in bad things. He stated that the main goal is to finish in one piece and build upon what I established in Tallinn a few days ago. He feels that April set up May and the same will happen here. I am very excited to have the opportunity to race again.
The only goal I have in mind is that I want to make sure I'm getting back to doing the technical things I use to. Tune in to the meet, it will be a great one! Send up some prayers for me!
You can catch the meet on the web at www.universalsports.com it starts at 2pm eastern.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I ran 13.46 (-0.6w) in less than ideal conditions. I could care less about the time, I know that I need to build my race callousness back and get back in to the swing of things race wise. I am just happy that after a near four month layoff, I was able to finish the race pain free and win.
Now this competition is nothing close to the caliber of individuals I will be racing on Friday in Zurich, but I needed a starting point. On the flip side, all these guys competed in the recently run World Championships. Brooks and my main focus was to get a marker which to work from. We were treating this meet like it was the Disney Invitational in March, I'm basically starting all over again. Next meet will be like the Florida Relays.
Today, my start sucked worse than usual and my technique started falling apart toward the end. I was basically "thuggin'" it. I was able to run down everybody within the first few hurdles aside from Shamar Sands who I didn't catch up with until way late in the race. He finished second with 13.50.
Everyone who knows my style, knows that I will get better when I get a couple of races under my belt and get the competitive juices flowing again. I will clean up the certain areas I need to, but like they say "Rome wasn't built in a day", well this comeback won't happen overnight either.
I was extremely nervous, first thing in the morning. Today is race day. Finally I am back in action.
My last competition was nearly four months ago, 1/3 of a year has gone by since I last put my uniform on! I know that this is what has lead to my extreme nervousness. It's sort of the feeling you get before your very first competition of the year. You're hoping that all your fall training and practices leading up to the first time under the lights went exactly as you and your coach planned.
Me, I just want to get out and get back under the lights again. It is funny how we sometimes take for granted something as simple as pinning your bib number on the front of your competition jersey or doing the preparations we go through before we head out of the hotel to catch the bus to the stadium.
My good friend and hurdle legend Allen Johnson is in the field today, we sat in the lobby of the hotel and talked for a good three hours after dinner last night.
I usually have several goals I want to achieve in every race, but here, I just want to finish the race and have a good performance. I have been over a minimum of ten hurdles at least 12 times in the recent three weeks perfectly fine, but I'm just hoping that everything will be okay and I will have some good news to report back to you guys later on tonight.
Friday, August 21, 2009
When the season started, I planned on being in Germany at this time, but my destination was Berlin, not Munich where I am currently. We all know how life throws you curve balls, so I'm swinging for the fences like Albert Pujols and getting ready for my homerun trot!
Everything is clear, scans look good and I'm itching to get back out.
How about the World Champs?
Usain Bolt? Doing what he did twelve months ago, but even better! He's great for the sport. They are having a segment on him right now as I type on ESPN's Mike and Mike in the Morning.
My friend and genuine good guy Dayron Robles was injured again, don't know what it is with the hurdles lately, but we haven't seemed able to get the best guys in the World lined up on the track at one time in years. Hope he has a speedy recovery.
A guy who was on nobody's radar at the beginning of the season Braithwaite, wins the hurdles gold. He was my pick once Robles went down even though that went against everything I believed. I just never think I guy who has never been in a final before wins the hurdles on a world stage and I wouldn't pick a guy to even make a US team in the event if it's his first final. But there are always exceptions to the rule, this is the first I can remember.
I feel like I am watching the CARIFTA games, LOL! In 2007 in Osaka, the carribbean islands on 16 medals, 4 gold, they have 17 already and 7 gold. It's three full days left and they aren't done. Goes to show that in this sport, things change faster than Bolt runs 100 meters!
Team USA had 14 golds in '07, we've got a measly 4 now, maybe we will be able to at least get half of that total this time around.
P.S. Please can the USA managers put Terrence Trammel on the first leg in the 4x1!! (Trammel-Wallace-Doc-Tyson can compete with the Jamaicans I think, given everyone's healthy)
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I can count on two fingers the amount of times I have false started: 2006 at the meet in Zaragoza, Spain and this indoor season at the Florida Invitational (if that competition was a "real" meet, I wouldn't have been hit with it, but whatever.)
If you think about it, it's never your top flight guys who commit this infraction. Can you recall when you saw Terrence Trammel, Dayron Robles, David Payne, myself, etc false start, let alone false start out of the competition?
Now I do understand that stuff does go wrong sometime and false starts just happen. I believe that at your major meets (Olympic Games, World Championships, National Championships) the rule in which we are governed by now should be used, but at your Golden League, Super Grand Prix meets, this zero tolarance for false starting should be in full effect.
Do you know how hard it is in that restart? The thought that always comes to my mind is "We could have been done already!" But you just have to focus and re-focus.
A quick thought of mine goes back to the 2008 Olympic Trials where one individual felt the need to false start every single round, too bad he was in three of my four heats.
I don't understand why hurdlers think that they need to get to the first hurdle before everybody else, just to give it back later on down the track.
Off the top I my head, I can think of these instances in which the guy who was first, didn't finish with the win:
2000 OG- Colin was out ahead of Garcia
2004 OG- Liu was a hair behind Terrence, but went on to set the Olympic record
2005 WC- Allen touched down first, Ladji wins
2006 in Liu's world record race, he comes from behind
2007 WC- Terrence and Robles were out stepping Liu, who once again comes from behind and wins the race and runs sub-13
Personally my Olympic Trials win as well as first sub-13 performance were of the come from behind variety.
Only Robles world record race and 2008 Olympic Gold come to my mind as major races where the guy won start to finish.
I'm not going to claim to be an aficionado of the history of 110 hurdling, I only started paying attention recently. I'm sure people can point out instances going against what I said, but I'm sure the runners they will bring up aren't going to have to deal with this new rule anyhow.
Bottomline, I nor anyone else has heard of a 13.7 meter hurdle race, so why all of the jumping? I chalk it up to either bad coaching, teaching athletes to anticipate the gun instead of react to it or the said athlete allows the nervous energy to control him instead of vice versa or the guy is just doing it on purpose. I tend to go with the guy doing it on purpose.
I have been flat out told before by a notorious false starter "I am faster than 95% of you guys (hurdlers), so I'll take one and make you guys sit even longer on the re-start."
Do I agree with his assesment, no, but can you blame him? If they aren't going to punish you for it, you might as well take advantage.
I would never do it for the simple fact that I DO NOT want to feel the wrath from one Brooks Johnson for false starting. I can not even write what was said to me on that Monday at practice after I did so in Gainesville, nor the three page email I received prior to that. The FCC might shut me down! LOL.
I am happy that the IAAF finally took notice and became proactive in this situation.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Enjoy the read.
East High grad hurdles the odds
By Chris Tomasson
The Olympic bronze medal sits on a dresser in David Oliver’s Orlando, Fla., home. With the odds he overcame and as hard as he worked for his medal, you better believe Oliver isn’t going to tuck it away where it can’t be seen.
“I’m not going to put it in a safe-deposit box,’’ Oliver said. “Hopefully, nothing will happen to it.’’
It was Aug. 21, 2008, in Beijing when Oliver, a 2000 graduate of Denver East High School, became an unlikely medalist. It happened in the same decade Oliver had to write letters to Howard to beg school officials to give him a track scholarship. And it came barely a year after Oliver was pretty much an unknown in the 110-meter hurdles.
Oliver, though, burst into world track prominence in May 2008 in Qatar, when he clocked a time of 12.95 seconds, then the ninth-fastest in history. Then he won the U.S. Olympic trials in June and took the bronze in Beijing to cap quite a summer.
A year later, Oliver, 27, can’t walk down the street like he used to, especially in nations where track and field are big.
“You go around town, and a lot more people know who you are,’’ said Oliver, who clocked a 13.18 in Beijing to finish behind world-record holder Dayron Robles of Cuba and silver-medalist David Payne of the U.S. “I want back to China (last September), to Shanghai, and people followed me around with cameras. . . . When I was in Australia (early this year), people would say, ‘I think I’ve seen you,’ and then we would strike up a conversation and it would dawn on them who I was.’’
Last October, when Oliver made his first return to Denver following the Olympics, it was a big deal at East High School. A video was shown at an assembly, Oliver addressed the students, and then it was mayhem.
“It was kind of crazy,’’ said Oliver, who said that visits to his blog have taken off since last summer. “At the end, the kids went on the stage for autographs and pictures. It was definitely a mob scene. The kids were really excited. They had to get me out of there quickly. It was amazing the support I had.’’
Things have been quieter this year for Oliver. He did set a personal indoor best in winning the 60-meter hurdles at a February event in Stuttgart, Germany. And he was pleased with how his outdoor season began in May, when he clocked a 13.09 to win the event in Qatar again.
Shortly thereafter, Oliver felt something pop in his left calf during training. With Oliver’s coach, Brooks Johnson, saying his condition initially was “misdiagnosed,’’ it was not until late July until the injury was deemed a torn calf muscle.
While he was trying to figure out what was wrong, Oliver mostly remained on the sideline. He pulled out of the U.S. Championships in June in Eugene, Ore., meaning he wouldn’t be able to compete in this month’s World Championships in Berlin. In late July, he returned to his training track in Orlando to get ready for his next meet, expected to be Aug. 24 in Estonia.
“The U.S. Championships just didn’t pan out, but overcoming that incident is just part of being professional,’’ Oliver said. “But I don’t want to push it. If you go out there and start running slow times, you hurt your reputation. I’m taking a solid month (in Orlando) to get my legs back.’’
While he’s working his way back into the groove, the one-year anniversary will arrive of when Oliver really put himself on the map by becoming an Olympic medalist.
“David is very keenly aware of the fact that he is no longer a face in the crowd in his sport,’’ Johnson said. “He carries himself very well and is aware of the responsibility that comes from success and exposure.’’
While Oliver is now thinking more about getting fully healthy, he does pause at times to realize how far he has come since being lightly recruited out of high school and mostly unknown as he continued to improve his times throughout the decade.
“A few years ago, I wouldn’t I have penciled myself into the position I was at with the Olympic Games,’’ Oliver said. “That keeps me motivated. I think my story is an inspiration. . . . I never had anything from a silver spoon. I had to work for what I got. I didn’t have everything handed to me in college.’’
Oliver hopes there will be a “lot more medals’’ in his career, including one at the 2012 Olympics in London. If he wins another Olympic medal, don’t be surprised if a safe-deposit box again is shunned in favor of his trusty dresser top.
Friday, August 7, 2009
While I was out at the track for a training session yesterday, I wasn't too sure how things were really going to shake out. I went out with what I wanted to get done in my mind, but you know how when you plan something out in your head, it rarely goes as planned. Things end up looking a whole lot better "on paper" than they actually turn out in reality.
With this said, I wanted to get back to some serious hurdling in training. All of us athletes know that the hardest thing to overcome in regards to a serious injury is actually the mental part of it. Tears, bone breaks, sprains and strains all heal with time, but it's something about the process that takes place between your left earlobe and right earlobe that is the hardest to get past.
I have been training and working out very hard, but I had yet to take it up a couple of notches because I was apprehensive about the possibility of a re-injury, but I ended up just saying to hell with it, it's no better time to see what I'm feeling like than right now.
I placed 16 hurdles up on the woman's spacing and told myself lets see what happens. I started out five stepping, just to see if something would go wrong. I was good doing that for two reps, then I made a decision to spike it up and let's hit it. I was able to go full speed on my calf for multiple reps, spiked up, three stepping and it felt like I had never left.
When I got through the first rep, about 150 meters from where I started, I got a little teary eyed. Yeah, you read that right.
This might have been the happiest I felt on a track EVER. I wasn't emotional in winning and Olympic medal, winning U.S. championships, running sub 13 seconds, making my first team, whatever you can name. In all of those situations, I was still able to compete. Even if I came fourth at the games, never made a team, never had an all-time performance, I was still able to compete. Being injured and not able to do what it is you want to do, is harder to overcome than any on track performance fault. At least when you're able to compete, there is always another race tomorrow to get it right.
Anyone that's been hurt knows that when you get over that first hurdle post-injury is the biggest step, giving you the confidence that you will be OK. During the workout, I was running out of gas around hurdle 12, but that was the least of my concerns. My hands were shaking while I was trying to send Brooks an email informing him on what I was able to do.
Even with all these off track issues, air conditioning going out at my house AND my car, my main computer being on the fritz, my Blackberry is tripping and personal heartache, I will keep my eyes deadlocked on what it is I need to do to make a successful comeback. Everything is looking right on track.
Bottom line is: I LOVE MY SPORT
Thursday, July 30, 2009
I was due to race in Monaco on Tuesday, but while in Monaco, I saw down with Brooks and my manager Daniel and they thought it best that I just wait to race. I had to agree with them. I was right on the cusp of recovery, so it was unwise to push anything this early. Brooks felt that there would be nothing gained by trying to rush the recovery and start racing. I have six races lined up beginning in late August so he felt that that is more than enough of an opportunity to have a successful season.
I don't want to return to the track and start running slow and start loosing races to people that I feel I have no business loosing to. So I headed back to the States and I have a solid month to get uninterrupted training in. I can get back on my feet and get the confidence back that the calf can respond to whatever demands I place upon it and regain my form.
When it comes to these type of situations, I feel that I need to be very smart about it. To me, my reputation for the product that I place on the track everytime I step on it, is more important to me, than trying to nickel and dime myself through meets trying to pick up a check. Nickle and dime individuals get nickle and dime results, that's a statement that I always make. I feel as long as you've got a reputation for having a great showing of yourself, you will be able to cash far more checks in the long run. I worked hard for that reputation and I'm not going to give it away easily, you know people have very short memories when it comes to this sport.
Anyway, Daniel had me pick up another first in my life, I had never been on a helicopter, so he put me on a helicopter to the airport. I took the seven minute flight to the airport instead of the 40 minute drive. It was amazing, I was just hoping we wouldn't go down in the sea!!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Right now I am in Germany getting treatments from a world renowned doctor for my calf. I had great training sessions going, but I still didn't feel like I was where I wanted to be, so I flew over this past weekend to get checked out in advance of the London Grand Prix competition which was suppose to be my European opener.
Let me rewind a bit, I got an MRI on my calf as well as other doppler screens earlier and all of the tests came back negative for a tear/pull etc. So we just went the normal treatment route and it was getting better, but like I said earlier, it wasn't feeling like it should to me. So once I arrived in Germany, the doctors did an ultrasound screen of my calf and it was clear as day that I indeed did have a tear in my calf when I did it some five/six weeks ago. It was about 2 inches in size. But during that whole time I took about 10 days off and was still training like normal. The doctor said that training on it was a good thing because it promotes healing in the area and it wasn't like I was overdoing it. I was also getting regular treatment, so it is healing fine.
I planned on flying out of here Thursday to go to London, but he wants me to play it safe and stay here for treatment throughout the entire week. He has cleared me to race in Monaco a week from today, but he wanted to monitor my progress and not rush anything so he has advised me to sit out the London meet, which is not a big deal to me. I just want to make sure that I am totally back before I step foot out competitively.
It's pretty cool here as well, I've been training in the Olympic Stadium which is a very nice facility, plus there are several track athletes here as well, so we just kick it all day and get treatments. It is amazing to me how thorough the doctors are here, it's no wonder everybody comes out here when they get hurt. You better believe where I will be if I ever get hurt like this again! (Let me knock on wood! LOL)
If anything else develops you will know! Keep on praying for me...
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
It's been a while since I last posted, stating that I couldn't compete at the nationals. I thought that not being able to compete was going to be difficult for me, but it turned out that other people were more disappointed in that fact than I was, to me, it wasn't really that big of a deal. I realize that things will never go your way in this sport 100% of the time.
My feelings towards not being able to be on that starting line were shaped by my accomplishments from last season. If last season wasn't as successful as it was, then I probably would have been way more disappointed that I couldn't compete. It was endorsement contracts, meets and a lot of other things riding on last year, but with the success of last season, I have security and I can still attend any other competition that I want to go to. I am an individual who spends more time thankful for what I do have and can do, than thinking about what it is I don't have or can't do.
As far as the calf injury goes, it's at about 85%. I am back out sprinting and doing starts over hurdles with no discomfort, so things are still pointing to a go out in London in a couple of weeks. Being injured and not being able to do what I did without thinking, has really made me miss running. It takes that old football adage "Play every play like it's your last" and puts it in to a real life situation for myself. I am enjoying every day that I go out to the track and can get back to doing what I do best.
On other fronts, my training partners have been trickling out of the country one by one for their respective competitions over in Europe. I hope that they go out there and represent themselves in a good fashion and set themselves up for future success. It's about to get to the point where it is going to be just Brooks and myself out there and I'm not looking forward to that! LOL.
Sobe Fit Magazine is coming out to practice on Thursday for a photo shoot. Brooks let me know that at practice yesterday and I was getting some grief from Kenia, Novellene and Korene for some odd reason. We will see how that goes.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
A strained left calf injury I suffered last week in training has forced me to withdraw from the championships this weekend.
It is responding well to treatment, but neither Brooks nor myself felt comfortable going out there and gambling on causing further damage to myself. I'm glad I get great advisement from my coach, I know a lot of other coaches would have had their athlete out there competing no matter what. We just didn't want to risk turning something like this into something chronic that could lead to a season or even worse career ending injury.
I realize that you can not be a professional when it is convenient for myself. Being a professional means that you have to make very hard decisions in terms of your career path sometimes. The pendulum doesn't always swing in your favor, it's swinging against me right now, so I will just hang on and ride it out. When things go bad, I always know that it has to come to an end at some point, kind of like when you are doing those repeat 300s at practice, can't go on forever! I know there is somebody that really needs to compete at the Nationals to secure some lanes in Europe that will not get the opportunity to because of injury. Someone always has it worse than you.
This is an unfortunate development, I was really hoping to defend my title successfully, but no one is immune to getting bit by the injury bug. Going to World Championships was the main goal for this season but I can look on the bright side, I have put myself into a position where I can attend any other meet in the world that I would like to go to and I still have the chance to accomplish other goals I have set for this season.
I will miss getting to see my favorite people at USATF, Susan, Melissa and Sandy unfortunately.
I will just sit back and heal up and get ready for the European season this summer with my first competition being in London at the end of July.
I'm really hoping Aub, Joel or Ronnie Ash can find a way to take the spot that I have left vacant for that team in Berlin.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I haven't posted in a while, basically because nothing much has been going on.
I wake up at 8am, go to practice, come home eat and lay around watching TV and on the internet the rest of the day. That's been it in a nutshell.
I was suppose to leave today to go race in Berlin this Sunday, but I had some hamstring tightness last week in training and Brooks said to heck with racing, so I'm not going to compete. I wish I could have run, but this race in Berlin is not the important race in Berlin. That will happen in a few months.
So I've just been training and getting ready for the trials at the end of the month. I will run somewhere next weekend though. I'm feeling like a caged animal, I want to compete, but I think Brooks knows that and is keeping me locked down.
Can't you just feel the excitement building? It's about to get real in them streets!!
Me and little Brooks hitting the ice bath today after a tough workout. Combine that workout with 100 degree heat, getting in 45 degree water doesn't hurt so bad!
Monday, June 1, 2009
Thanks fellas, now if I can only get my commendation certificate back from you guys! LOL
Monday, May 25, 2009
It was a good game, a lot of celebs were in town, Lil Wayne, Usher, Tiger Woods just to name a few.
I went to game 6 of the Celtics series and the atmosphere of this game was WAY different to that one. I don't know if everyone was relegated to the fact and conceded defeat to the Celtics in six or what.
Lebron can consitantly knock down that underhand halfcourt shot during the warmups too. He had a good game, but isn't getting very much help. The rest of the team might as well have come up and sat next to us.
Hack-A-Howard didn't work for the Cavs, he really balled out at the free throw line. He only missed five of his 16 attempts. Lebron missed four clutch free throws, he should have hooked up with Dwight Howard during pregame and worked on some shots with him.Mclean and those thundersticks have me with a slight head/earache this morning after pounding those things right next to me for three consecutive hours. I think those need to be outlawed at sporting events along with alcohol sales after halftime because people get way to beligerant aroud the start of the fourth quarter.
We had a ball. The Magic are up 2-1, I think they will win the series in six games. My Nuggets better start playing well and catch up in their series. My dream matchup of Nuggets/Magic is hanging on by a thread.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
I now officially own some space on the expansive world wide web. I know I'm pretty late, but I guess it's better late than never. It is currently under construction, Sub13 Enterprises technical director Mclean, is getting all the pieces in place now so that it will be a fully functional website. I'm pretty excited as this will give me and opportunity to incorporate all my athletic stuff with my business ventures as well.
Check it out at www.davidoliversub13.com
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Boy Bren has her hands full with all of the Taurus men in her world! Her sons, husband and grandchild. Talk about needing to have some patience.