Posts filed under Track and Field

Celebrating Women of Color in Sports

Recognizing Women of Color on the Track

This past weekend, I had the privilege of attending the 2019 NCAA Track and Field meet in Austin, TX, thanks to my daughter who qualified in the 800 meter run. The best of the best, division 1 athletes, competed for a NCAA title. The men competed on days 1 and day 3, while the women competed on days 2 and 4.

On Saturday night, the meet couldn’t be anymore perfect. The heat from earlier in the day slowly cooled down and the competition heated up. As a former collegiate runner, it was really nice to be in the stands and not on the field. While waiting for the 800 meters to start, I was watching the triple jumpers. I was amazed at their strength, focus and drive. These young ladies were confident and jumping their hearts out! Let me tell you, the strength of a woman is an amazing thing to watch.

It wasn’t until the final few jumps and the women’s 100 meter dash that I started to focus on the spectrum of black women participating in every event. It sent chills, good chills, up and down my spine. So many different hairstyles, complexions, heights, shapes and everything in between, we were there…breaking records and making track and field history! Yes, I had a #blackgirlmagic spiritual moment and it was amazing! I was so proud.

I honestly can not think of any other sport that creates that kind of emotion in me. Yes, there is Serena Williams, Dominique Dawes and Ginger Howard and so many others, but there is something about having an arena filled with black, smart, athletic and dominating young women. Track and field embodies all of that.

I love being a woman and I am extremely proud to be a black woman, a black mother. There are definitely frustrations that come along with it but you learn, “teach”, re-adjust and move on.

My daughter? She made it to the finals and came in second overall. She got her NCAA trophy and represented women and women of color, along with her competitors extremely well. I couldn’t ask for a better day! If you are a woman of color in sports or any profession, I applaud you and I will be in the stands cheering for you. There’s a lot to be done, so keep moving forward, ladies!

Serena Williams | Dominique Dawes and Ginger Howard | NCAA Track and Field

The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.” Malcolm X 1962

Raising Female Student-Athletes

First of all, raising a kid is a challenge. From being an infant to the terrible 2s AND 3s (!), elementary school to hormonal teenagers! Yep, parenting is a challenge but SO WORTH IT. B U T when you add in athletics and extra curricular activities, life gets really busy really FAST! My girls started their athletic careers in ballet and tap classes once a week (oh, the good old days), now it's soccer, soccer and SOCCER and lots of running and track strategies to discuss.

Remember when you were a kid and you could try out for your favorite sport at the local high school? Everything was right there, with very little travel unless you won the conference title. Now, there is a club for every sport imaginable and clubs require dedication, time and money. 

For me, raising young female student-athletes was a requirement. If they wanted to do theatre or music, no problem, but in the meantime I wanted a sport to keep them physically challenged. 

All American 800m/Ivy-League Champion | Regional Soccer Champion/National Runner-up Surf Soccer

All American 800m/Ivy-League Champion | Regional Soccer Champion/National Runner-up Surf Soccer

Even though there's a 1 in 3600 chance of becoming a "professional" female athlete (in basketball alone), the benefits of being a female athlete are awesome.

BELOW I HAVE LISTED 5 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN RAISING FEMALE ATHLETES:

  1. Find a sport that your daughter loves to participate in. When your female athlete loves her sport, she will perform better, learn new techniques faster and will constantly search for ways to improve.
  2. Be supportive. This is always a hard one for parents (even myself at times). Whether your girl wins or loses, she has to know you still support her. As a parent, we will do anything to protect our girls but when they under-perform, parents can display disappointment quickly. Let it go and love them anyway.
  3. Wins are AWESOME, loses are learning opportunities. My girls LOVE to win and HATE to lose. That's normal. Instead of dwelling on what went wrong, I have them write down what went right and what can they do different next time. It holds them accountable and helps shape what they want out of the sport.
  4. Allow rest, recovery and "girl-hood". When your girl finally gets a break, LET HER TAKE IT or in my case, MAKE HER TAKE IT. Between school, sports, peer-pressure and parents...it takes a toll on our girls. When they get a day off, let them sleep in, hang out with their girlfriends and do things they love to do. This will prevent burn-out, injuries and melt downs.
  5. Stick to the plan, schedule and goals. This goes back to being supportive. This is also where a lot of sacrifice happens with both parents and the student-athlete. Your student-athlete should have a clear plan, schedule and goal they want to reach. It's up to the parents and the student-athlete to stick to all three and if something doesn't benefit them, then do not allow "whatever it is" in their life. 

Remember, being a student-athlete is hard but extremely beneficial. Student-athletes learn time management, a solid work ethics, team work, physical endurance and responsibility. These are all great aspects they will carry with them in their future, real-life settings. 

Penn Relays THIS WEEKEND!

Penn Relays are THIS weekend and the high school girls, as well as, the college women are setting the pace today. For full schedule click here. For live video click here. Watch the best relay teams in the country run at the best relay event on the East Coast. I LOVE watching all the young runners compete and wish the best of luck to all the them this weekend.

Much love to all who love to run! 

GIRL POWER at the OLYMPICS

Michelle Carter wins the GOLD in the Women's Shot Put-1st American woman to win the gold!

Michelle Carter wins the GOLD in the Women's Shot Put-1st American woman to win the gold!

First, I do not want to discredit any of the American men who are competing in the Olympics BUT THAT AMERICAN GIRL POWER IS AMAZING RIGHT NOW! The US women are dominating in their respective sports. Whether they are bringing home the gold or blessed to just compete on the world's largest competitive playground, I thoroughly enjoy watching, reading and learning about their journey to the Olympics. 

Have you noticed that the different body types that are competing? Ranging from very tiny and light to thick and beautiful! Again, proves my theory as a fitness expert, women can be perfect, amazing and powerful no matter what size we are.

  • Olympic gymnast Simone Biles. weight 104 pounds / height of 4'9" to
  • Olympic Shot Putter Michelle Carter. weight 260 pounds / height 5'9"  (first female and African American woman to win the gold in the shot put)
  • Olympic beach volleyball player Walsh Jennings. 157 pounds / height 6'2" 

Have you noticed the diversity? I have to say it because I am a little partial but black women are show what-they-got this year. I feel like I can actually see myself, my family competing at levels that we have been told we can not. Swimming, volleyball, soccer, fencing and gymnastics. Ladies, thank you for pushing yourselves! It's great to watch the Olympics with my daughters and remind them they CAN be great and they CAN compete in any sport that interests them. No matter how short, tall, big or small they think they are. The opportunities are endless.

Well, that's all I have...I need to get back to watching the Olympics and cheering on MY GIRLS!

#teamusa #girlpower #women

CONGRATS "RUNNER" GURL!

Photo provided by photographer Tim Garcia

Photo provided by photographer Tim Garcia

Special FLASH Post: Congratulations goes out to my daughter Nia for winning the HS Girls 800m dash this past weekend at the CIF Championships. This will be her second CIF 1st place title in a row! Nia is now the number one 800m runner in San Diego with a time of 2:09:07 and currently ranked 9th in the nation. Great job, Nia! Keep working hard and good luck at the California state track meet this weekend.

Also, BIG CONGRATS goes to the entire Rancho Bernardo HS track team for their overall win at CIF Championships this past weekend. Fantastic performances, great effort and so proud to see all their hard work being paid off! Good luck at State Meet, Broncos!

 

Posted on June 1, 2015 and filed under Running, Track and Field.