It’s been about a month since I last stepped on the runway and just as much time since I shared a new blog post. I’m hoping to be doing both of those things a little more regularly (even if it’s once every other week). Last weekend though, I made my way down to the Bahamas with a few of my teammates to compete in their National/Open Championships. Since Haiti doesn’t have a National Champs of their own, the BAAA (the track and field federation down there) has always been kind and cooperative enough to give us the opportunity to compete at their own championships. The Bahamas is strong in a number of events and with Leevan Sands being a World and Olympic medalist, the triple jump is definitely one of those strong events; so you know I was excited to get some great competition and not have to fly more than 3 hours to find it.
Training has also never been better over the past month. If you’d like to know why, see for yourself –
I’ve been working on fixing my jump phase by timing my arms better since it was flat in both Jamaica and Brazil. The whole timing/synchronization of the arms adjustment also helped my step phase as you can tell.
When the show got on the road down in Freeport last Saturday, I felt great, the crowd was engaged (even if it was only to cheer for Leevan) and I was ready to put up a big mark. Things didn’t exactly go that way though. I ended up fouling all of my respectable jumps, but at least they were jumps that I could live with…had I gotten a white flag on any one of them. Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t great or even as good as the above training jumps but they were 17 meters+ and I can’t complain about 17 meter jumps. There’s also the fact that the runway had a 6 foot long jump board which meant that I wasn’t getting as much going into my jump phase as I would have liked and lost nearly all of my speed each time I landed on it.
I fouled a total of 4 of my 6 jumps and took one from way behind the board but here are a couple of those fouls –
Now, something has to be said for the pit we were jumping into. Typically, there’s nothing better than hitting a pit when it is nicely raked and properly dug up. This pit over the weekend couldn’t have been any further from that. The pit was so hard that when your feet hit it, they slid out from under your as if you were trying to jump on concrete with cleats on. They tried digging the pit up after each round but it didn’t help at all and every jumper left the pit limping thanks to a sore tailbone. It wasn’t a good look; to say the least.
All in all, the trip was a great one. The Bahamian Federation and population in general were amazingly helpful and accommodating which made the trip that much more enjoyable. As far as my runway issues are concerned, I’d actually prefer fouling to the stutter-stepping I was doing all last year because it means that I’m finally running all the way down the runway and probably that I just have a better drive phase. I compete again next weekend in New York, as opposed to a month from now so I’ll be able to get a rhythm going finally which is great because I’m anxious to fix some things from last week and get a legal jump that reflects the level I’m ready to compete at!
P.S. — Photo credit to my teammate Alie Beauvais