As the picture suggests I not only came out with the victory, I also had a great time in a great atmosphere that the meet provided. I was able to get one-on-one time with fans (QUEEN TEAM WAS IN THE BUILDING!) but also the music was bumping and the crowd was lively. I'm super excited to see how the series develops and continues to grow.
The actual race was just OK to me, one of my competitors false started and while they called it back they didn't eject anyone which was good. The only drawback is that sometimes it's a bit difficult to for me to refocus and not hesitate when the gun goes off the next time, in an attempt to be sure I don't false start. Soooo needless to say my start wasn't that good but I am impressed with the second half of my race per usual and my competitive nature that helped me storm to victory! I am so thankful for the opportunities presented to me to showcase my talent and meet people along the way whose lives I've touched. I've included some photos below from my Summer Series experience for you all to enjoy! Until next time!!
"What is a Track Queen?" I'm sure that question has crossed your mind a few times as you scroll through the website and social media posts boasting the hashtag #TrackQueen and I'm here to tell you! Well, at least tell you my interpretation.. See, being a Track Queen stretches further than just "A girl who runs track." (BUT shout out to our TRACK GIRLS!) A Track Queen is a lifestyle of your own making that involves a BOSS ass chick who is focused on achieving ALL the goals she has set for herself. Goals, on and OFF the track! A Track Queen is a track girl with that extra sprinkle of something that strives to be the best version of herself and looks to inspire others through her ways and example. Get it? TRACK QUEEN!
Now that THAT'S cleared up, I would love to hear your interpretation of what a Track Queen is to you. And while you're at it...head over to the SHOP tab to snag a TrackQueen shirt to call your own! :)
Until next time!
FIRSTLY, WELCOME BACK AND WELCOME TO QUEEN HARRISON.COM!!!!!
After a disappointing fourth place finish at USA Championships in Eugene three weeks ago I was a bit discouraged—not in my ability but because this marked the first time (and last) I failed to make a major international team after being in the Championship final.
Known to be what I may regard as “clutch” in the heat of battle I am always able to perform my BEST when it counts the MOST and make THAT team. Whether I come in with the slowest qualifying time or battling an injury that year, or “randomly” plucked the dreaded lane 1 or lane 8, I could find a way to make THAT team, but not THIS time. But this post won’t be about USA Champs and why I didn’t make the team, it covers a whole different set of woes.
Immediately following the final and an emotional post-race interview I was approached by one of the hard working ladies of the USATF about considering running in the Pan American Games this year in Toronto. Being careful not to let my emotions get the best of me and scream “NO!” to everything/everyone coming my way, I simply nodded, smiled and took the paper she was handing me in agreement as I continued on my way.
After what seemed like hours of genuine sympathy, “good job” text messages, and pity hugs from friends and strangers, I finally made it back to my hotel to properly sulk and then move on. In this time I also decided that participating in the Pan Am Games was the right option for me even though it was not the international team I originally imagined running on I was excited at another opportunity to represent the USA.
I regard myself as patriotic—not in an “all-encompassing, we’re the best, America does no wrong” type of patriot but for a simple reason: my dad fought for it. And despite any negativity and injustices created in this country there is a small piece in this nation that I regard as mine and for me because MY dad served in the Army to make it mine. So yes, I feel privileged to serve the United States of America also in my own way.
So I signed and filled-out all the necessary paperwork, sent in my departure and arrival city information and excitedly waited for confirmation to know I was ready to go!! But what I received was an email telling me that the cost of my ticket is outside the allowable USOC (US Olympic Committee) stipend limit and in not so many words, if you want to run you gotta PAY! HA HA HA! Wait, you guys are JOKING right?
So, you all ASKED ME to be on this team and you all WANT ME to run and win AND you all are NOT PAYING US one dollar if we win or lose and NOW on top of that, you want ME to pay the excess costs of getting there?
Now, let me be clear with y’all: I didn’t request for a business class ticket and of course they would have booked me on the LOWEST CLASS FARE they could possibly find, so to not be willing to pay for my ticket costs and offer up a measly $750 stipend is more than insulting, it’s just wrong. I am a professional athlete whose job is to literally “run the World” so me needing my flight to depart from France, where I am racing beforehand, and return me home should not be uncommon at this time of year and therefore should have been PLANNED for.
To put it in perspective, think of your job and let’s imagine (and hope) that you are doing a great job at it! You’re constantly one of the top performers at the workplace and your boss commends you for your efforts frequently. Your great work lands you with an invitation to the “Annual Business Meeting” where you will not only showcase your workmanship but also be a representative of the entire company (and if done well could lead to a $$ raise for your boss and the company).
Now because it is a part of your contracted agreement with your boss you don’t get any MORE money for going nor penalized for not going, but you are flattered all the same because it is a testament to your hard work and is an honor to attend. There’s a small catch though, you have to pay the hundreds of dollars for your international flight out of pocket… would you still be OK with that? Would you feel as honored? Some of you may say YES and chalk it up to the business while the others would probably be taken aback by the request. It’s almost like rewarding and taxing someone at the same time. SAY WHAT!? lol
The days of amateurism in Athletics are far gone and at this level where this is my career now, running for “free” is not much of an option. This is not a hobby of mine and while there aren’t many things I enjoy more than competing over hurdles, this is not for play; it’s for pay.
But despite it all I, Queen Harrison and the other Pan Am athletes this applies to, have decided to chalk up the costs and still go and participate in the Pan Am Games because the reward for racing, representing America and doing what I love outweighs the cost of my flight there. So, I will go race to WIN and bring the Gold back to y’all! *and TEAM ASICS
What do y’all think—am I being selfish for wanting my travel fully paid for? A diva? And with all the money that the USOC is raking in, am I the only one who feels like they can definitely AFFORD to pay for ALL the athletes travel but just won’t?
I say, if it’s important enough for us to wear a USA jersey on our chest than it’s important enough to take us seriously.
Until next time…
Disclaimer: The purpose of this post, and all my posts, is to share my experiences, my opinions, and most importantly MY thoughts.
Well, have you?! Have you missed me? Because I for sure have missed writing and updating you all with my life and goings on! The reason for the absence was because I'm in the process of rebuilding QueenHarrison.com, my website, and it was suggested that I postpone my blogs while the site is being built so that we can switch my blogs over to the website and all my blog traffic would go THERE instead of here on blogger! Whew, needless to say it is taking WAY longer than I expected and I'm tired of not writing so here I am!! *By the way, feel free to go check out queenharrison.com right now to see the direction the website is headed*
So much has been going on since my last post! I've been training like a maniac, attended the Bronner Brothers Hair Show, featured in HypeHair magazine online, shot a commercial in LA for my first gig as a "model", a couple guest spots on radio stations, and getting fresh and fabulous for magazine photo shoots! I even went on my first overnight camping trip in the woods where I spent the NIGHT OUTSIDE!! lol Of course I won't go into details about all that because that would be a 3 page post but I definitely wanted to touch on some of the really really cool things!
This past Thursday I spent the whole day in Atlanta, GA! After dropping my girl, and fellow elite hurdler, Kristi Castlin off at the airport I headed down to celebrity photographer Drexina Nelson's studio for a photo shoot for Today's Black Woman magazine! Talk about excited!! To be amongst the pages where strong beautiful women like Erykah Badu, Mary J Blige, and Jennifer Hudson have graced the covers is especially an honor and I can't WAIT to see the piece, big or small, and hang it on my wall! Here's a BTS shot from the shoot, it's amazing how a little makeup and straight hair can bring the fierceness out of a woman, huh?!
Well that's it for the comeback kid haha. I'll be back next Monday to touch bases and also share all the excitement I have going into my FIRST MEET OF THE YEAR!! Yup, April 5th in Gainesville, FL at the Pepsi Florida Relays! GET HYPE, it's QUEEN TIME!
Thanks for the support and even checking on me when I hadn't been writing but I'm back so get excited.
Until next time enjoy some candid photos below. *MUAH!*
After over a month, and what my coach refers to as "vacation" (AKA my time in Cali at the training center), I am officially BACK to being an East Coaster FULL TIME! I just got back to South Carolina on Saturday to resume training with my coach and today was the first day. Boy am I pooped out! Obviously I had been working out while I was in California but it's definitely a different ballgame training alone versus training with your coach and the group.
I think it's safe to say that everyone is excited and happy that I came back and, while leaving California and all its glorious weather was more bitter than sweet when I stepped off the airplane into 30 degree weather, I am also happy and excited to be back and back to work.
Training has resumed but my life as I knew it has not settled down quite yet. When I left South Carolina back in October I had to move out of my townhouse that I was staying in because the bank wanted to sell it and if I wasn't the willing buyer than they had to free up the property for someone else. So, when I came back I came back HOMELESS! lol Of course I'm being dramatic because with resources and loved ones spread throughout the Southeast I would never be stuck without somewhere to go but TECHNICALLY I was homeless. Until today!! Woo hoo! After searching online, driving around, and visiting numerous complexes I finally found my new place I will call home and it's so cute! Slightly smaller than my last place and I had to give up the jacuzzi tub that once lived in my master bedroom, but perfect nonetheless! So I'm excited about that.
What else? Oh New Years!! HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! It's officially 2014! I spent my New Year's celebrating with one of my great friends Loreal out in San Diego. Up until that point I had been living there but had yet to see what San Diego's nightlife had to offer and I must say I was pleasantly surprised because it was fun! Loreal (or Lo) is a friend and former competitor of mine that recently retired her own track spikes and took charge of the spikes of many other up and coming sprinters. I am proud to say that she is one of the assistant sprint and hurdle coaches over at the University of Southern California and a damn good coach if I do say so. So, she actually lives in Los Angeles but with the students being on winter break and me being alone in San Diego she decided to come down and spend a couple days with me to bring in the new year.
Now both of us are very much Helen Homebodies and love anything that requires staying indoors in comfortable clothing but that night we decided to hit the streets and shake a tail feather. After connecting with some fellow athletes and getting a hook up (of course) we settled on going to a spot called F6ix to dance, mingle with people, and toast in the new year. Overall, the night was fun and I was glad I went out to celebrate with someone I care about instead of staying in and watching movies on the couch. :)
Well, that about sums up my goings on lately. I'm excited for this new year and new season to see what will become of it and me! Oh, so I'm thinking about switching my MeTimeMondays instead of every Monday to the 1st Monday of the month, what do yall think? I obviously enjoy writing and connecting with everyone but I think with the season coming up I may minimize my "required" writing day to the 1st Monday of the month which will then leave room for me to just writing recreationally as I feel the urge!!
Don't be shy and please give me your input on the change because it does matter to me! I really appreciate you taking your time out of your day to wonder about my life and coming on over to 'The Secret Life of Queen Harrison' to find out!! :)
Until next time..
With a year full of so many ups and a handful of downs it's hard to believe that 2013 is really coming to an end, already! Already!? Sheesh that was fast.
For me the ups of 2013 were way up including running a personal best and securing a spot on my first international US team in the 100 hurdles, traveling the world to run and actually sightsee, having the #2 time in the world this year and starting my crossover appeal campaign! WHEW! But in the same token the downs were way down too. In August I lost my maternal and last living grandmother right before heading to Moscow for World Championships. While I prayed and hoped that the loss could help fuel me to hurdle even faster, in the end I think that my heart was broken and I was just never really able to fully recover before it was time for me to race :'(. I love you Grandma Gloria.
But with all the happenings of my year I wanted to talk about 5 things that are uber popular in 2013 that I really REALLY hope will fizzle and die out with this upcoming year.
5. Recording & Posting Kids Fighting: WorldStar and other media sites have ran rampant with videos of fighting and violence this year, especially of young people (most notably the "Sharkeisha video). While it may be funny to some it is HORRIFYING to me and in general! I mean when people send me a video to look at and it involves fighting I literally am cringing the whole time and cut it off way before it's finished. We have to better and promote more positivity! Now everyone is looking for the next big fight just to be able to yell "WORLD STAR!"
4. Health/Fitness Pushers: Don't get me wrong I LOVE fitness, eating clean and people on the quest to help others achieve their health goals however what I do NOT appreciate is my IG and Twitter being spammed by all these "fitness coaches" trying to get me to buy their product or showing me extremely unrealistic before and after shots where the before person is sad and poking their stomach out and after they're sucking it in to get abs! HA HA Help others but don't just make health and wellness a gimmick, please.
3. Fake Butts: Can we PLEASEEEEE let this DIE! They've been around since 2012 but seemed to come full throttle in 2013. I can appreciate beautifully shaped bodies just like anyone can and everyone loves to have some curves here and there but this is ridiculous! When I see women (or men) with big butts and those skinny legs I can't help but think how weird they look and how they're NOT FOOLING ANYONE!
2. "Hipsters": Being yourself, having progressive views on art, fashion, and politics is GREAT! But once a subculture becomes mainstream honey, you are no longer hip...STERS! lol Between all the thrifting this and vintage that, I just want the real hipsters to please stand up. I understand the bohemian look is cute and I indulge in Urban Outfitters from time to time myself but I'm seriously over everyone acting like they just threw on what they wanted to wear and don't CARE what society thinks. lol NEXT!
and the number 1 fad from 2013 that HAS to stop in 2014 is...
1. TWERKING! OK we get it, now get over it! Twerking in no way started in 2013 but I think it might be about time to let it rest in peace. I remember us trying to learn how to twerk back in middle school and hoping that our parents would never find out. Now it's everywhere including prime time television! Once Miley Cyrus decided to twerk on stage and introduce it to the mainstream (AKA mostly the "non-black" community) I knew that it was officially played out and had to be put away for good, or at least in the archives to sit until generations from now the new "hipsters" will unearth it and recycle it once again! :)
BONUS: Leather jogging pants. They're comfort and fashion all wrapped up in one but now I think they have served their purpose and are officially played out. Thank you Kanye for letting us know they were your idea but no thank you we will no longer be needing them. There are more fabrics in the world, LET'S GOOOO!! lol
Thanks for spending time with me this year reading about my what's goings on! As I always say and truly mean, I appreciate the support and love and look forward to a new year and all new stories and thoughts to post for you all!! :)
****Disclaimer: Please don't get offended if any of this applies to you or if you don't find it funny or accurate. It was done in good fun and I hope it brought a laugh or smile to your lips!****
It's hard to believe that every day only consists of 24 hours when I've had a day like mine! Today has been soooo long! Great but long.
I have a newfound appreciation for models. Honestly not just models but everyone in the fashion business when it comes to photo shoots because it is a LONG process and very detail oriented. Today I had the pleasure of shooting with a great photographer named Max Luger here in Atlanta, GA who, with the help of Nat Brown on my makeup, Kyaira Brown as my hair stylist, and an assortment of assistants and helpers on set, made me feel comfortable, confident and look oh so glamorous! I must admit that going into it I was pretty nervous because I've never had such an in depth photoshoot with all eyes on me, full glam squad, wardrobe changes, and especially never took non athletic shots, but after some time I started to go with the flow.
When you become a professional athlete, especially in this track world, you kind of get put in a box where you're looked as only an athlete and your only appeal is what you can do on the track. But I've never been content with that, not for me. I have always felt like I wanted more, I needed more, and I could achieve more...and now that I'm finally on that quest to do it I'm really excited for what's to come. I thank God that I finally was able to believe in myself enough to know that I can't wait for the track world or shoe companies to approach ME and say "OK NOW you're good enough to be the face of our brand" or "Now you're good enough to get crossover endorsement deals", I realized that I had to grab life by the horns and shake things up! I think it hit me the hardest that it was time for me to branch out when I went up to NY Fashion Week for my birthday and my boyfriend Will was up there doing PR work and walking red carpets showcasing his Olympic hardware! Now don't get me wrong I LOVED going with him and supporting but he & that helped me realize that we do have more options and that I am worth it to explore them!
Soooo it all started with hiring a publicist who doesn't manage athletes but mostly entertainers because I wanted a new perspective on how to proceed and this new set of eyes that has worked in the entertainment industry for 20 years now. And now the journey begins with this photo shoot I did today. Mannnn it was FABULOUS!
There were so many different looks! Of course I had my athletic look but in a soft, SHAPE magazine cover type of way, but there were always some edgy and sexy looks, over the top glamour and even topped it off with some shots with me in a CROWN. (Befitting for a Queen right?!)
I will admit that I was feeling kind of awkward at the beginning because I am a novice and modeling is all about angles and curves and putting your body and faces in positions that give off the best product (the best shot!). But after a while I just related it back to track and field and realized I do the same thing within my craft! I put my body (less face, but sometimes face when the camera is watching lol!) in sprinting and hurdling positions so that I can get the best product! (a fast race). Once I kind of got that correlation I got a lot less stiff and was able to get some really good shots!
Here's a behind the scenes shot my girl Tresa took while I was mid shot. It's a lot sexier than anything I've done before but I'm proud of myself for trying something new plus they came out HOT! :)
All in all today was definitely tiring but extremely productive and fun! I'm excited to see the finished and edited shots and even more eager to show you all!
As always thank you for taking time out of your day to see how MY day was and until next time...
Today has been action filled! As I type this I am on Hollywood Blvd sitting in front of a Mexican restaurant shaped like a truck about to eat. I just left from famous hair stylist Kim Kimble's salon where she personally made me a hair unit for my upcoming photo shoot! Yes, Kim Kimble (google her if you don't know). Before then I was watching the private premiere screening of the newest BET show 'Being Mary Jane' starting Gabrielle Union surrounding by stars like her, Magic Johnson and a host of others. I'm currently typing this on my phone because time and the day has gotten away from me and I could NOT allow myself to miss a MeTime Monday. No matter how late it is. My next post will be thorough and a lot longer lol. But right NOW I'm about to down this quesadilla, drive home & prepare to leave tomorrow for Orlando, FL where I'll be attending the Bowerman Awards! Fun!
Sorry for the short post but if anything this is an accurate description of my life today, quick & unpredictable LOL.
Until next time...