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!!
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..