Naming this “The Kick Off ” is, I suppose, a tribute to my first post as a blogger…..but when I pondered what to name my first blog, I thought it had to relate with the beginning of my 2010 outdoor track and field season. Either way, this blog represents my exploits as a human being, of course, but also as a “professional athlete” in the sport of athletics.
I write this as I lay on hotel bed at nearly 11pm in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. You may ask “what the hell is he doing in Louisiana?” Well, I’m here attending a Team Canada relay training camp at Louisiana State University.
Let me explain a little more about my situation. I’m a sprinter. Not a runner, not a jogger, but a sprinter. I compete in the 100 meter, 200 meter and 4×100 meter relay. And as a part of the relay, I typically compete as the 3rd leg on the team.
reeewrreewwreeeerweeereweeee…….(that’s the supposed to be the sound of a 80’s style VCR re-winding a VHS tape)
I figured before I threw myself deep into my sporting life, I’d give you a taste of who I am and where I’m from, so metaphorically I rewound the “VHS of life” back to around the year 1999. ( just hum “backstreet’s back alright” and think about how f’d up the world’s gonna be after Y2K lays the smack down on all those damn computers)
I’m 14 years old, I have dyed blonde hair, and I weigh about 130lbs. I’m boarding a flight from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island Canada. A tiny, barely inhabited island located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. (that’s where the Canamerican tag comes in, but I’ll explain that later)
The flight is on route to Sudbury, Ontario. I’m on my way to my first“real” track meet. I highlighted the word real, because at this point in history, PEI had no track, so any exposure I’ve had to the sport was at small provincial meets held on a gravel track at a rural highschool. Anyhow, as any 14 year on a plane, heading across the country, away from the parents, I’m excited as hell. I’m not at all concerned with the competition ahead, I’m just wracking my brain, trying to remember the last time I was on an airplane… needless to say, it’d been awhile.
So our team arrives in Sudbury, after a few connection flights, and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m attending my first Legion Youth Championships. A meet designed to serve as the national championship meet for athletes U-15 and U-17, with two athletes per province represented in each event. Or in PEI’s case, like six or seven athletes total. The most exciting thing about this experience for me, honestly was, it marked my first go at racing on a “real rubberized” track.
I couldn’t tell you how the meet went, or how “fast” I ran, or who won….because I don’t remember. Back then, track wasn’t that important to me. I remember the highlight of the trip was capturing a snake and trapping him/her (not sure of the snake’s gender) inside a plastic water bottle and periodically checking in on the rotting corpse every few hours. At the crescendo of the bally hoo, (probably 5 days or so) we opened the bottle and everyone within 20 feet of the bottle, instantly puked….
So that was my first memorable track experience, which will segway you up to the most recent.
Just yesterday I competed as a member of the Canadian National track and field team at the LSU Alumni Gold meet.
I competed in the individual 200m and later in the 4x100m (3rd leg). Finishing 1st overall in my heat/section in the 200m with a time of 20.74sec into a -0.1 head wind. Our relay, consisting of, in order: Sam Effah (Calgary), Seyi Smith (Ottawa), myself and Anson Henry (Toronto) finished 2nd with a time of 39.18seconds. Both performances (individually and as a team) were solid early season marks, and show lots of room for improvement.
This blog will track my exploits (over the past 10 years included) in the sport of Track and Field, (or if you’re European: Athletics) ranging from small provincial championship meets on that old, dirty gravel track at Bluefield highschool (alma mater of mine of course) to the grand stage of the Olympic Games.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll update you all on the progress, the trials and tribulations of my life as an athlete and let you in on the “pick-a-dilos” of the querky world of Jared Connaughton.
Quick Reference Points:
I’m Canadian by birth, but I have just recently gained by American Citizenship through my father (who’s an American by birth)
I’m nearly 25 years old.
I graduated university in 2008
I have a “shorkie” (Yorkshire terrier/Shi Tzu mix)
I have been in a relationship with Tamesha Graves for over three years.
I drive a VW golf that was made around the same time I was on the plane to Sudbury LOL
I train/live in Texas…….
thats it for now, but I hope to make this at least a weekly thing, so stay tuned.