Carmelita Jeter on recovery road
My summer already has had a lot of ups and downs. On May 18, I strained my right quadriceps badly during a 100-meter race in Shanghai, China. That led to a ton of rehab. Getting worked on every day sped up my recovery process. Still, it was with a partially healed -- but not yet 100 percent quad -- that I left U.S. soil on June 27.
My journey overseas took me to Birmingham, England. I was so excited for my first race back and even more psyched that it was in England because I had a great 2012 there. I was ready to see what I could do in the 200 meters.
As soon as I got to my hotel in Birmingham, I walked to The Mailbox, a perfect spot for shopping and restaurants, to grab some food. I went to Nando's to get some very good chicken since I was craving it.
I was very nervous the day of my first race (yes, I still get nervous!). I was mostly worried about whether my leg would give out on me. I wanted this road to recovery to start here and keep going. I was scared about my injury returning, but I knew I had to get over the mental part. Once the gun went off and I began to run, I thought to myself with each step, "I am OK. I am OK. I am OK." I finished the race, taking seventh, and I could finally tell myself, "Yes, you are OK!" I'm not used to taking seventh, but it felt good to have that first run behind me.
My next stop was Lausanne, Switzerland. The drive to the hotel was about an hour, so I got to see country life and city life as we rode around. I also had an amazing time there doing a kids' clinic. I arrived on the field in a helicopter, and it felt amazing to have that experience. The kids were an inspiration.
On race day, I was excited because I knew my leg was better. I ran a very hard curve, but I got a little tired at the end and placed fifth. That was good progress for me after more than a month off from racing. I was happy with that. Rome was not built in a day.
Now I'm in Budapest, Hungary, where I will run my first 100-meter race since Shanghai. Since all the rest were 200 meters, I'm thrilled about this one coming up tomorrow. I will get out there and start putting my race together.
It gets hard to be away from home for so long. I miss my loved ones, my cats and the small things like cooking in my own kitchen. Living out of a suitcase becomes very trying at times. But some things make me feel at home. Honestly, when I'm in a country that has great lamb chops, I feel most at home. I just love lamb chops!
I'm able to see my family and friends' faces by Skype, and being able to laugh and joke with them makes me feel a lot better about being away for so long.
When it all comes down to it, I love my sport. Track and field means so much to me. The click of that start gun keeps me passionate. ... Until next time!