Monday, December 14, 2009

Thinking About The Future

“The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.”

-Abraham Lincoln

As I end my second to last semester of undergrad, I can't help but think ... "what next?" I mean, of course I want to go to Grad school but I'm not sure if I really want to work in Politics. I want to attain an M.P.A. (Masters of Public Administration), maybe get my J.D. (Law Degree) when I'm 30. I really want to go to Georgia State for Grad School. Or at least somewhere in Georgia because they have really good Political Science programs. Eh, still not 100 percent sure I want to work in government.

Of course, I'm going to attempt to go pro in Track and Field but even with that comes a lot of uncertainty. Like, what event will I run? Will I get an endorsement? And if not, how will I pay for my expenses? Ahh, life is coming really fast at me now. The only thing I know for sure is that I don't want to go to back to school until January. I NEED a break.

I do want to coach though. Being an assistant coach at a major university would be extra tight. I would only want to coach hurdles though. I'm selfish that way. And maybe motivational speaking too. Ugh, but I would only do that if I did great things in Track! Like get an Olympic Gold medal!!!!! I have no idea what life has in store. Guess I'm just going to take it one day at a time and follow God's plan.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Trials and Tribulations/ A Role Model

"Champions are made when no one is watching"


I know I've stated previously that I tend not to work hard, but I've failed to mention a lot of things. Knowing your potential and living up to it is two very different things. I personally don't believe I work hard because I know I can work harder. So, it isn't that I don't work hard it's I'm not working the hardest I can. Every time I get on the track to run, I put my all into it. Whether it be at a track meet or practice, I never half do it. But I thought it would be good if I gave a little Landria History lesson. Man, I've put in some HOURS on the track. Natural talent only gets someone so far and without effort it will get you no where. I've always been a runner but I haven't always been a hurdler.

All throughout high school, I kind of got individual training. I've kind always been around people who run track and aren't necessarily track runners, there is a difference. So, I was always kind of ... alone, when it came to girls at least. So, I kind of had personal workouts from Coach Cook (my high school coach), especially after most people's seasons were over and I was training for States. When I was in 11th grade, however, all that personal attention wasn't really needed anymore because we actually had a good track team! But 11th grade I wasn't just a runner anymore, I was a hurdler now, a new born hurdler, who needed a lot of attention to get the hang of things. I will say hurdles came naturally, even though I was the most clumsy girl anyone had probably ever met. So, once again I was smothered with attention. Hurdles was soo exciting, so new to me I kind of became obsessed. I would practiced for hours. Practiced started at 3, I would stay until it would start to get dark trying to perfect the race. I would practice hurdles every single day, from about 3 to 7, my coach would literally make me leave practice! He would say stuff like "Look, I'm not about to be out here with you all night, I have a wife and a life." lol... And I would beg for just five more minutes. Lol.

Fast forward to college. Freshman year, I worked hard... but there was a point in the season where I was really determined to run really fast and I went back into OCD mode. Man, I was doin a lot lol Working extra hard, and it paid off... I pr'd, then I went back into chill mode lol. I remember going to Regionals and choking, basically. I didn't make it to the finals =( I remember sitting in the stands as the ran the 100 meter hurdle finals and thinking I should be down there. Then I looked at all the times and realized my times were no where near those. It kind of hit me, "I'm not really all that fast" I was determined to be in the finals the next year. I remember thinking "Next time, that's gonna be me" Sure enough it was! Sophomore year, I worked hard came to practice did what I was suppose to do but I never really went above and beyond, just did the basics. That's why I don't think I work hard, because I just did the basics, nothing spectacular on the side, just what everyone else was doing. I made it pretty far though, all the way to the Olympic Trials! Junior year wasn't so great, but I learned a valuable lesson from Junior year. Track is 90% mental.

Now, people say "Landria is just a freak of nature, she can not practice and still be great" but how do we know this? Not because Landria just doesn't practice, it's because Landria was forced not to for a whole season. It wasn't like I was just sitting around doing nothing for a whole season lol. I strained my hamstring. I was advised not to run at all but I'm wayy to stubborn for all that lol I was gonna run, injured or not. It was just making it through that got me. I was banned from practicing by the head athletic trainer and forced to go to rehab everyday. And I was in there everyday, only missing a few here and there. I was really working hard to try and come back from my injury. I wore tape on my leg the entire season, from January until May I hadn't raced one time without tape, not until Regionals. I didn't start back practicing until the week before MEACS (Conference). It's really something to be injured. It's the worst feeling ever, knowing you aren't performing to your potential and there is nothing you can do about it. I regained myself though.

Every time I stepped on the track I gave it my all, pushed as hard as I could in that moment and I ran decent times. And that's how I learned that track is a mental game. You can literally do anything you put your mind to, even if your body isn't feeling up to par, even if the odds are against you, if you want it bad enough, if you're really hungry for it, you can't fail. I'm a hungry individual. I hate to lose, and I'm not just about to sit there and let someone beat me, I'm going to fight for it! I don't care who they are, in my mind, I'm going to win this race and if I don't I'm going to give you a run for it. That's the kind of mentality I've always had, thanks to my father. Whether, I lose by a lot or a little or if I even win, my mentality stays the same. I'm hungry. Sometimes, being so hungry you forget food is on your plate lol if that makes any sense. I always think of myself as the underdog, the one no one expects anything out of, it keeps me humble. So, I tend to be hard on myself, and sometimes others around me, but it's all love. Maybe because I expect a lot from myself and others and I don't like to settle for mediocrity. I personally believe track is about 1. mentality, 2. timing and then 3. training or becoming technically efficient , if one can perfect those, then they will be a beast.

Sometimes, by thinking of myself as an underdog I forget that people look up to me, especially from back home, a lot of people are glad I'm out here doing well in sports and a lot of girls want to develop into a track athlete like myself. I guess because I really don't have a role model and I never really had one, I forget that I am one, at least to somebody (especially my little niece). I've realized this more and more this year (2009) and I've started giving back and doing more as a person. I realize sometimes people think I advertise not working hard or slacking, mainly because they don't know my background or what is going on when they aren't looking, hence the quote. I do a lot of things that people don't know about. Like for example, doing the season, I eat really healthy, I shop at whole foods and buy only healthy things, bet you didn't know that did you lol ;o). But I can't let all my secrets out. Lol. Anyways, that's all I have to say, thanks for reading and remember mentality is everything, in whatever you do... ttyl =)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Off To A Great Start

"Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should accomplish with your ability."

-John Wooden

I love this quote! It's exactly how I feel about myself when it comes to track! Our first meet was yesterday! It was at Bucknell University. Even though everyone hates on this meet, I love it! It gives me a sneak peak of what's to come for the season and I liked what I saw! Take away all the track team drama and it was a pretty good meet. We did alright as a team, I was a little disappointed in the overall performance though. I expected more, but that's only because I have high hopes for everyone this year. I tend to look at performances on another level though; I set the bar pretty high, lol.

Anyways, I was feeling great on Friday when we went to the track to practice. Everything is so different when you're not injured. I only experienced two injury free meets last season (Regionals and Nationals) and it was different because I was coming off of injury and I wasn't completely sure if I would pull something or not. So, Friday when we went to the track to warm up I was feeling extra great and excited for the meet.

Saturday, omgosh I was sooo freaking tired!!!! I was up talking to my teammate Brittany (we have been roommates since Sophomore year!!) and Saturday was her birthday. I didn't go to sleep until 1am ish and woke up at 7:30. Not the best idea. But I believe that your best times happen when you didn't get much sleep the night before lol. Almost all my pr's happened when I stayed up, so it works. So, before I was nervous and excited before I ran the prelims for the 60 hurdles. The warm up was pretty good and I was feeling alright. My Coach (Coach Grigsby) was impressed with my warm up, which never happens lol. She said my blocks were actually good and everything was looking pretty tight. =) It was funny because I went to look at the schedule to see who ran first and I was like since I'm looking what's the record so I can try to beat it. Turns out I have the stadium or meet record (I can't remember which one) I got it last year lol. So, I ran the prelims. I ran a wack ass 8.70 ... I mean it could've at least be a 8.69. I was feeling great and I was sure it was under 8.5 but nope... wack ass 8.70. I mean I had the fastest time going into the finals but like I said ... I have high standards. lol. I was extra disappointed but I talked to Coach and she told me to get my lead leg down and start forcing it before I got over the hurdle. In my warm up for finals I worked on and fixed the problem (as best I could) and when I was working on it I banged the mess outta my knee... but that comes with the territory lol

So, the finals roll around. I'm feeling good! I have a nice rhythm I'm just hoping I get out the blocks like I did in the prelims. My start is clearly the weakest part of my race so I try to really focus on it. I was proud that all the female hurdlers made it to the finals!! The boys did good too. =) Anyways, I get out and I'm feeling great... then I hit a hurdle and fall! Jk. haha. Nah I finished and won the race. I was feeling really good, really pushing and getting my lead leg down and keeping my arms tight, even though I was basically running by myself. I got the feeling I get when I run fast in the short hurdles when everything becomes slightly blurry and I kind of lose control of my body... it's like an out of body experience... it's really kool lol. Anyways, I finished with a 8.42 much better than the prelims. I was extra geeked! I did a happy dance lol. Not only did I run my p.r. (personal record) the first meet! I qualified provisionally for Nationals. Last year I was off by .01!! And my teammate Alex ran a 8.74!!! I was extra geeked for her because that's a great start! Normally, she doesn't break 9.0 until mid season and she smashed it at the first meet! Our Freshman Keisha did well also =)

I'm never satisfied for long though. Gotta get down to 8.18 so I can be an A standard athlete... or at least 8.25 so I can get on the World List!! =) I also ran the 200. I HATE the 200. I would have been sooooo upset if I would have ran 25 seconds like I always do the first meet but I ran 24.89 and that was good, I was satisfied. I won that event too. I also ran 3rd leg on the 4x4. My leg was 56 seconds, I wasn't really trying though, I was actually surprised it was that fast... We were really far behind and I wasn't about to waste energy because by this time I was sooo tired and I hadn't eaten all day! Our relay ran 3:59 which is not good but whatever lol it wasn't the A team anyway. I'm kind of excited about the 4x4 A team, we are going to be good this year, I can tell. I miss Lauren, much! I wish she was still here! She was our lead leg last year.

So, I'm very hopeful of this season and our first meet went great! Once again Good Luck with finals and all your endeavors, thanks for reading ... Ttyl =)