Thursday, January 31, 2008

Plenty to Say

As mentioned I coach track. My job is to stay even as best I can and make sure my athletes can depend on me when they need me. I cannot afford to get too emotional or too off center because I need not be caught up in the emotion of things and distracted by whatever the issue is. Well I do it well but that does not mean I am not human. Oh I have thoughts, and many opinions. I will share some now, cannot resist.

So this week we have one of the premiere athletes of our sport and of all time leaving his coach after one of the athletes most successful years. Without exposing details I will chronicle what I know. The athlete was recruited from high school by his coach. Within 2 years the coach had taken the athlete to the top of the world; NCAA champion, and Olympic champion, and a persinal record of 44.00. Over the next three seasons they would lose just one race and drop that p.r. to 43.45, adding two world titles and numerous sub 44 clockings. Now that is just the athletes exploits. The coach is the same man that gave us the most prolific 400 runner in history. He is the only man to coach 2 men under 44 seconds.
I have set up the scene. The word in the public arena is that it is about money so that is exactly what I will comment on. WTF! Newsflash, a coaching contract based on percentages is far better than a flat rate. Why? Simple, you run fast and get paid the coach gets paid, you run slow and do not get paid the coach does not get paid. Flat rate, coach gets paid regardless of your results. That is the basic review.
On a more acute point, how do you with good conscious offer a 70% cut to a coach that has brought you up and stuck by you. Forget my personal opinion of it, that is just bad business. By appearances and presentation this is disrespectful. Nothing about this move and offer screams business move, it instead screams "there is something else going on." Now my personal opinion is this is merely about money, I do not think there is anything more to it. I just think it is a bad business move. The offer was terrible. The impetus is understandable, no one wants to give away all their money, but dammit given the relationship and history more was owed to the coach.
Some of my friends believe the worst part is the timing. A coaching change in December of an Olympic year is bananas. What a Christmas present!
I am telling you now, the coach is hurt. No I have not talked to him and I will not, but I do not need to talk to the man to know the hurt felt from such an occurrence. I have been there at ground zero of a very similar move. Funny thing is the athlete back then was about the same age and thought he was right in his presentation. Nope, not then and not now.
The coach athlete relationship is a sacred one to say the least. It always marvels me at how nonchalant athletes seem to be about this. They bounce around believing the coach is expendable. Yet throughout the history of our sport the most successful athletes have not changed coaches. They chose a coach and stuck with them through it all. Show me an athlete that jumps coaches and I will show you a marginal one, or one "with talent". The level of trust and belief it takes to get to the mountain to is developed through time, and through wars, personal and professional. If either party takes the other for granted the bond is broken and the level of success is lessened. You can clock it as sure as you know the sun will rise in the east.

On a smaller note. A rumor struck the internet yesterday. Let me say something. Be mindful folks of what you say online. You are not as anonymous as you believe and the information you are so eager to share has real life consequences at times. Just be more careful! I know it is the internet and information is the fare here, but be smarter. I will say simply, think before you go breaking news sometimes money is affected by words.

Ok I have said my peace, I am sure I will have more to say soon. LOL

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Indoor is official

Indoors is official launched. So what did we get out of it?

Defar is a monster. Need I go on? She destroyed the 2 mile record by 13 seconds.

Boston is not a sprinters paradise that is for sure. Miki looked good winning, I was somewhat impressed. Maybe the new training with Mo is paying off. DaBryan is teasing us again. I want to see what he brings come June. Every year he gives us something to get excited about and then, poof!
Anyone catch the pre-meet special online? I loved it. In depth analysis of all the events and athletes, and some interviews. Just the way I always pictured it. A back drop, a table, and some personalities to announce and talk about the meet and sport from an educated perspective. Ato did a good job.

The meet itself was ok. Always hard to get into the first indoor meet everyone looks a step slow.

Uh, Ashlee Kidd won the 200. Kudos to her. But what has Shalonda been up to? She looked exactly the same as when we last saw her competing, nothing has changed whatsoever. Arms flailing, head swinging, and very little headed in the right direction. All I have to say is call the moving vans soon.

Khadevis! I love the fact that he said he is working on his craft. He is constantly searching for the formula that will get him to the level he desires and I have a great appreciation for that. I thought it was amusing that everyone sat behind him while he sat himself. The thinking being that KD always takes it out and if I ride him then I will out kick him. That was a tactical thing, KD is clearly the fastest 800 runner in the world. If he learns to sit and kick I think we will see some more 1:43s out of him.

The hurdles were an interesting study. Like Blanton, Antwon Hicks is teasing us again. He looked good out there. I have been watching him for years and he is one of the talents that lives in anonymity. Nice to see Joel back healthy and mixing it up. but I tell you what I like the most is the big dogs were all at home training! What you do not see in the hurdles is where all the action is happening. In the most competitive event in track and field, the notion that five men under 13.02 are at home training because they know it will take prs to make this team! The US is about to enjoy the greatest era of sprint hurdling the world has seen. And that is saying a lot!

I am excited for one reason. I love the competition and I now have more energy to go out in the morning and train my troops for June and August.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Text Messaging

So today my boys went out to run indoors. They wanted to know where they stood and what they could do out there. Oh yeah they want to make the indoor team too. So everything went fine, nothing spectacular out there from them, they have been training hard and heavy and the times showed as much. And then came an innocent 4x400 run. My boy goes down just past 200 and twist his ankle in the process.
Now I of the "We hate indoors!" club am less than amused by this occurrence. What are the odds one pulls in a 400 at the 200 mark? That is odd to say the least right? So now I am about the added business of getting his head back in the game and getting his body healed up for the real season. This is the extent of my anger and rant, it is the Olympic year and none of this matters to me. It is January and I have months to work with. From my boy to his competitors, see you in Indy and we will be just fine.

You ever had your day be filled with nothing and all you wanted as to be busy. I spent far too much time alone today. I feel like the sick kid that did not go to school. The walls started to close in and then I had to go to work. What's worse is I cannot do what I want to do. Phew, never thought doing nothing could be so tiresome! LOL

I am waiting now for 6Pm so i can watch the Glasgow meet which went off some 12 hours ago and I know all the results too. Yes, I am a certified track junkie. I even watched the Pregame show from Boston. It was pretty good too. The sad part was it looked just like I thought my podcast would look if I ever did more than just thought about the damn thing.
I keep writing this thing believing I am going to write the masterpiece. I mean, not that I want to be a Pulitzer winner or anything, but I try to do more than just ramble. I am full of opinions, just every time I sit to write this blog my head goes all over the map.

Oh yeah, Obama won South Carolina. The Clinton's will come out swinging for the fences now. I wish Obama and his family the best as they weather the crap the Clinton machine is going to sling at them. So far so good but with Super Tuesday coming, this is now life or death for Hillary. I think odds are she will find some more tears for the people this week too. I am happy that the country has come to see the politics finally. I grew very frustrated in the 90's with the politically game Bubba put us in. And no one noticed until now. Better late than never. Now we will see what Obama is really made of. Lord protect them all, the trial is just beginning on this thing.

Thank the heavens for text messaging. Remember all those thing you wanted to say but never had the nerve to say them out loud, well that is what text messaging is for. You ever notice you can have an hour long text conversation but only talk for 3 minutes. My wife will talk to me for an hour, if I try to call she will not answer! I will get a text that says, "What?" LMAO Most times I do not mind, she thinks I prefer it anyway. We have kind of flip flopped that way. Now I am the one that wants to talk. Some times text messages get misconstrued, the emotion and tone is lost. I have had plenty of text arguments based on a clear loss of the humor in the translation.

Friday, January 25, 2008

No title

So real briefly...

Politics - Obama for President. Why? While I would love to be deep and well read, I will break this down to its basics. I like the man. I think he embodies everything the country has been asking for during the past 12 years. Conservatives cried when Bubba was in office, and Liberals have cried since Dubya has been in office. While I believe Bubba did far more damage to the country than Dubya ever has, I also believe the outsider approach is exactly what we all need now. The Clinton machine is all politics. The republicans have good substance but little by way of charisma and that something that captures people and makes them feel good about their representative. Now some will read this and think what shallow drivel, well my answer to that is, the presidential election is always shallow and always comes down to the drivel. Hell, Hillary cried last week for the votes.

Football - How in the world did the Giants get to the Superbowl? Eli over Peyton? WOW! I know how, it was their front four and Favre succumbing to the cold. That simple. The Superbowl will be good if the Pats keep playing as they have been. However, if the mid season Pats show up we will be treated to a blow out of epic proportions. I commend the Giants for getting there through toughness, much in the same way they did it in 1991 and beat the Bills. Same scenario if ya think about, high powered offense with gaudy numbers against the blue collar-like team with an efficient QB, a stout defense and relying on a running game. And we all remember wide right!

Baseball - Too boring.

Track - indoors is upon us. Fresno was a waste of time and money. 55m? 160m track? Look if you are going to endorse a meet on the west coast then do it right! It was embarrassing to watch that meet online. More athletes than fans. Odd distances that do not correlate to anything. Now we have Boston and the Razorback Invite. 200m banked turns, 60m events and names that have actually done something in the sport. Quality over quantity fellas. I am no fan of indoors but I am looking forward to seeing what my boys can do in their current state. Not really looking for the victory as much as a solid effort with minimal stress out there. Then come on home and keep training.

The weather here is atrocious! Seriously in good old southern Cali we have had rain nonstop for 24 hours and the temperature has not been over 58 degrees in a week. Now to you thick skinned folks not from out here, this means nothing to you. But to us thin blooded left coasters it is down right frigid. And has caused me to cancel practice for 2 days. We did lift though so all is well.

I want to say kudos to my Bruins for bouncing back from that terrible SC loss. And for putting together the best coaching staff in college football. Don't worry, USC we will gloat just as much you have over the past few years. Look for my Bruins to bring home a national trophy soon. You heard it first!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Here I come

So the clouds are lifting on my head today, it took a little while, kind of like a June morning where the sun does not break through until 1PM. So I am able to write with a little more light in my words than I had yesterday. So what shall I talk about? And for those wondering this is my mind at play, free to roam as it does all day long. I do not know why I cannot say these things, but I sure do think them. The funny thing is if you asked me to about something specific i would get writers block and it would never happen! But let me just sit at the keyboard and type and you will get a masterpiece out of me eventually.

So below I answered a question about how to spin this drug crap. That question is a complicated answer. Not so in difficult, rather complicated in parts and levels. There is grassroots approach. There is the media. There is the elite level athlete. There is the world, and then there is the domestic audience. All these pieces have their own answer. And I have not touched on the testing procedure itself, that is a story i will link you to. I have a friend that wrote out what we thought would be a comprehensive testing program that will be tougher on those that want to return also. Not enough time or focus to write all of that right now. But I think you get the drift.

So i was browsing around and read a few other blogs of people I know. Man, how impressive. This track world has educated folks in it, believe me. I think that is why we get in so mch trouble. We think we are smarter than the system. And we for damn sure believe what we have to say and think is the law! You show me a track person and I will show you an opinion you cannot change. LOL

I want to send a shout out to Brianna Glenn and David Oliver for two very different blogs but impressive ones. Brianna keeps us abreast of her comings and goings (good luck with the knee) and David keeps us up to date on the Florida crew(s), man I did not know so many of you were down there, visiting or otherwise. And I still do not believe Robbie did 51 push ups. LOL

Here in LA we are doing something we rarely do, letting the troops out for indoors. A couple of folks will go to Boston and a few will go to Arkansas to find out if they still know how to run fast. Expectations on the coaching side are minimal, we just do not care. Expectations on the athlete side is moderate. They moreso want to get away from training and see their friends and all the stuff that comes with track meets.
I expect them to compete hard and represent themselves well. Timewise I want the clock to say healthy! We have a team to make in June, this is nothing more than a fancy practice and serves very little purpose for me. I am happy to see some races though. Fresno was dry but at least it was a meet.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Nothing can be so heavy

So it was cold today. Yes I know I live in LA and I have no idea what cold is. Well, someone from Ohio even admitted it was cold out today, and it is raining for special effects. So suffice it to say it was not a chipper day.
You ever notice how your worst thoughts come out on dreary days. Why is that? You go to bed happy or at least content, then you wake up to clouds and you feel your whole body make the necessary adjustments to the pending depression. LOL Here I am running practice filling like I am in quicksand. Yelling instructions around the track and thinking who has a gun so I can end this misery. Then came the wind and the rain! GREAT I feel a lot better now. Did I mention I was cold?
The worst part is everyone has questions, I mean it is practice right? So now I have to think about someone else for a few moments of my misery. How dare you all intrude on my self flagellation, I was busy having a wonderful time wallowing and making me feel worse. Thank God for small miracles, the more I talked the better I felt.
Then practice ended and there was nothing.
Nothing can be so heavy at times. Dreary and cold, and I am sleepy. The perfect mix for happiness right? Well, it is for some but not this kid.

Okk now that I have shared my sadness, let me close with something worth reading. I went to a function this weekend. It was a black business affair, I was in the room with some of the most successful black people in the country and the affair was for kids. I cannot tell you how special it was for me to be there and how divine it is. It is a program started by a friend from college that I have kept in touch with but we have never done business, or talked it beyond the passing, "We need to get together!" Well circumstances that can only be labeled as ordained brought us together at this time and believe me when I say I am so proud of him. My wife was blown away, and I am pleased that our friendship is fostering a business relationship now. I am not mincing words when I tell you this partnership is saving my sanity and possibly my conscious life. As we all know nothing can be crushing when you are a man trying to nurture and care for your family. Your mind thinks all angles and goes to extreme lengths to appease the natural urge to protect. I am happy, in some small corner of my heart there remains God, keeping me standing, only God is keeping me up. Thank you.

I will keep you guys posted. Things around me are in transition I am positive it is a good thing happening, I am waiting for the revelation that will show me what I feel is in existence. Ok i am stopping this blog because it is depressing me, too cold and dreary tonight.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Track introduction

Okay so I coach track and I love track and I talk track as much as I can stand. I have sacrificed a lot for this passion of mine, and I regret some of it too. However, I will make this work and I am making it work and I am so pleased some of you can enjoy my work, i know I do.

So let me touch on a few topics. Where to begin.
Drugs. Let's start at the bottom and work upward. Everyone get off of Marion now. We are human no matter how much we like to be perfect we all falter, ALL OF US! Some of you are at fault now for carrying your anger despite the fact that she has been caught and sentenced to prison in connection to her cheating. Outside of going back in time and rerunning races there is nothing more you can demand as repentance. Nothing more folks. You will "block your blessings" harboring anger at this level. I am disappointed, I am hurt, and I do feel sorry for her as a person. She is a mother and a wife, for me that is greater than the athlete, and her family and her are suffering. That I cannot dismiss as a consequence of her transgression, even though it is, I see it for what it is tragic.
BALCO is the worse and best thing that ever happened to the sport. The soft under belly has been exposed from top to bottom and now we are dealing with the healing of the tragedy. The fallout is ugly and sinster, but how much longer would we go on living the lie without Kelli White and Victor Conte being exposed. And not just track but all the sports, cycling, body building, football, soccer, baseball, etc.

What I love about track is.... I don't know. All of it. I mean being at the meets, training the athletes, traveling, and competing. The individuality and the raw clash of the human spirit is not comparable to any other sport in the world. We grow up racing from light pole to light pole, across the school yard. We always want to know who is the fastest one, who can jump the highest, the farthest, who is the strongest. I get it all in one setting. Track is universal. No language barrier in track. Hell you can blow your whistle twice and fire the gun! It is pure fun for me.
The guys I spent my young adulthood with had a saying, "When it becomes work it is time to retire!" They are all retired now. It is work for me, but it was always work for me, of course I was not the one running everyday then or now. LOL So I keep doing it.
Track has ALWAYS been a family affair for me. I grew up looking at my uncle set the wr on the wall of my house everyday. I started running because he ran. I started coaching because he asked me to. Now I have my own legacy to pass on. I married one of my athletes, and we have a son. He will run. Not because I want him to or will ask him to, I just know he will by looking at him. He knows his mother runs and he is my son. We are loyal and very inspired by what our parents do in my family, he is the same way. I will not be the soccer dad or stage dad, I will let him be himself and stay out until he ask.

I love hurdles. I was a hurdler in high school and I love it. I relate to it, it makes sense to me. Long and short hurdles. I understand it like breathing. I feel it, I do not even have to think hard on it to figure it out or make plans for my people. It is my little corner of the track universe. Just as Poli Sci was easy for me as a major, hurdles are easy for me as a coach. Being a hurdler I can talk to my athletes like I wanted to be talked to, other events are not the same.

Enough for today, time to work or do some honey-do's... I will try to keep this blog fluid and not all about track so stay tuned you never know what I might talk about. It is election season and I have plenty of.... more later

Friday, January 18, 2008

Who I am.

I am the person that wrote every word you are reading.
I am the person that decided to use my voice publicly and not keep it to myself.
I am a husband. I am a father. I am a coach. I am a mentor. I am a leader.
I am exactly who I thought I was!
I am who I am.

That being established let's talk. I learned a lesson recently. Who I am is not what I do, but what I do defines who I am. Some of you are shaking your head saying this is not true, yet I guarantee you it is very much fact. We go through this life thinking about ourselves, how we act how we talk, how we walk, and what we think of ourselves. It is a constant chatter in our heads that at times is pleasing and soothing and at other times so much noise it drives us crazy. Well guess what, who we think we are only matters if what we do shows what we think. What you do defines you to the world. It is a simple fact but I tell you when you grasp it you will stop dead in your tracks.
People argue, talk, and communicate based on what they think of themselves, right or wrong, this point of view is the determining factor of how most people act. Very few of us think about how this is interpreted by others, and we go so far as to think what others think does not matter. I submit that what others think about us is exactly what drives us through life. Yup, the more you say it does not matter the more I know it does. We recognize the ones that do not care, we admire those that do not care, in some cases idolize them. The irony is they are thinking of themselves exactly as you think of your self. Constantly self evaluating and defining according to their internal compass.

Arm chair philosophy! LOL

Quickly, this week I set the tone for myself, set the tone for my charges, and at the end of the week took a significant step in bettering my future. I discovered I knew the answer to my question for 15 years, but it was not time yet. Today was the day I connected the dots and it was only through a secondary relationship did I even come to make the contact. There is a God and He is good!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Right now

What do you do to get past the past and move on? You live your "right now'. Not what you want the next second to be but the right now. We want, and that leads to fantasizing on the future, to thinking "down the road". What we miss is what is happening as you are reading this. What is going on as you read this is what will make your future what you wish your past was.
Set your goals, and live them now, as if they already have come to be. And smile while you do it, there is nothing worse than a miserable successful person. Kind of like a loud silence.

Accept your right now. For example, right now I know I am doing nothing of what I should be doing, NOTHING! LOL I am not supposed to be writing this blog but I figured no time like the present to add a new entry. As you can see I am not talking about much. So to end I will close with a recap of my day so far.

Practice was great, as it has been all week. It has a lot to do with what I said above. My practices are great because I make them great. I make a point to keep my head on the future and stay on course. It has made for a most enjoyable journey. I sometimes let my head wonder and think about what I will do when I do not feel so great, and you know what, I will feel the same.
The new me says this, "Expect huge things from the folks I coach!" I am not bragging or boasting, I am stating what I know from experience and everyday eye witnessing. I am a coach and I believe fully in who I coach and their ability to manifest their dreams. They are all doing a good job in putting in the work necessary to realize their dreams and desires. My job is to steady the environment, I am good at my job, it is what makes me who I am.

To my folks in the Zone, I will have something for you soon, but I think I spend all my words arguing with you characters LOL

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

So much to say so lacking the words

You ever walk around thinking if I had somewhere to talk I would say... Well the irony of the Internet is anonymous folks have plenty to say but when you have to put your name to what you write words seem to be at a premium LOL This is not what I came to talk about but then again I do not have a theme to my blog either. I will talk about everything and nothing all at the same time. It is how my mind works and how I chose to express and abuse my blog spot! Here we go...

I love track. It is what I do and what I enjoy watching. I have been in track since I was seven, I was the fast kid in the neighborhood. I was an all around athlete, and had 2 loves, track and football. I learned early that football would not be in my future, loved playing the game hated the pain. Track was different, still hated the pain but I was winning, I was good and it was fun all the time. For three years I was on top of the world, on-the-block famous for my speed, then came puberty! No one told me about this life changing occurrence outside of girls getting their "cycle". No one told me the slow kids get faster! Long story short by the time I got to high school I was a hurdler and a long jumper. Anyway, I will talk more about me later.

I will share something with you all that I think is key to living life positively and successfully. It is a word that if you tak it to heart will change your outlook on life and your current situations. It is simple, know that your manger is perfect! What does it mean? It means that the circumstances of your life that have shaped you and brought you to this very moment are EXACTLY what they were supposed to be for you to be successful and receive the blessings of your life. When I heard that it lifted a burden from me that I had been carrying for every single conscious day of my life. The why's, what for's, and how did this happen to me's all went away. I was suddenly able to accept me and what is my life. I stopped wondering how I would go forward, how I would overcome and how I would cope. I stopped regretting my mistakes and let go of the old me.
I realized my dreams are alive and I am living them as I type this. I have lived such a full life it is ridiculous. I have been to every continent on earth for free! I have been to some of the most revered places in the modern world for free! I know some of the most famous people in history. I am an international personality (not star but you know some folks around this planet know my name.)
Bottom line is when you realize everything is in place for you to be successful you will be able to reach out and grab it. Every failure, mistake, misstep, success and breakthrough have shaped you and brought you to this point. It is what it is, nothing more and nothing less. Accept your manger with all its characteristics and move forward to yourself.
Yup, my manger is perfect...