IMG_5107 Happy Birthday America, and what better way to celebrate the weekend than hanging with my American friends: Stephen England from England (he's not only royalty, but the country is named after his family*); Fabian from Mexico; Helena ,Dalmau and Bea** from France; Chris, Jess, Steve, Brad, Nicole, and Jonathan from USA. And to celebrate being in this great country, we ate Middle Eastern food from Sahadi in Brooklyn (greatest store ever!). The next day, most of us ventured to The 4th of July Holiday Marathon in Van Cortlandt Park to run various distances of a brutal course on a sweltering day. Throughout the weekend, I reflected on the good fortune I have been blessed with to know such a cadre*** of incredible people. What was the likelihood of a very ordinary girl from Kingston Jamaica aligning herself with these accomplished athletes and world record holders****? (And this description hardly does justice to who these people are). The reason I choose, however, to mention their athletic talents is sport has allowed me the opportunity to share in their worlds. I loved racing and seeing how much I could push myself. Getting faster and breaking personal barriers felt great. No doubt about it. And focus and sacrifice were necessary ingredients in accomplishing my goals. That said, I am glad that I was not blind to what amazing friends my competitors could be. So thank you USA and athletics for making my life better. Now off to catch a flight to see my family in Jamaica.

*I never embellish or speak in hyperbole.

**I'm all about assigning peoples' nationalities and changing them at will. Bea and Damau left England b/c they didn't like the direction Stephen's ancestors were taking the country.

*** After looking up this word, I am pretty sure I thought it meant something else. But, I am not from America and am going to pretend that in my country (which is now America b/c yup, I'm a citizen and you can't give me back) it doesn't mean a tightly knit group of zealots who are active in advancing the interests of a revolutionary party.

****This one's for real.