Brianna Glenn’s So-Called Fabulous Life

September 1st, 2011 in Articles by 4 Comments

Television, magazines (and sometimes obscure running Web sites) often make the life of a professional athlete synonymous with money, glamour, and fame. And although some athletes achieve that lifestyle, there is more to who they are than what you see on TV. Professional sprinter/jumper Brianna Glenn shows many sides to the “so-called fabulous life” of an athlete through her blog, “My So-Called Fabulous Life,” which is gaining a cult following among track junkies. She documents her feelings about her triumphs and heartbreaks, as well as the hurdles she has overcome to stay on track towards her Olympic dreams.

“[My] blog is about me,” Glenn says on her blog profile. “My life, athletic career, friends, family, dating life, adventures, travels, musings, and anything else I feel compelled to share. My life is sometimes fabulous and sometimes not but it’s mine and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

While Glenn says she is not the “most decorated athlete,” she has accomplished many impressive feats: She won the 200-meter dash and long jump at the 2001 NCAA Championships; she competed for the United States on the 2001 World Championships 4×100-meter relay team, and was a finalist at the 2009 World Championships in the long jump. Despite a few set-backs, Glenn hopes to add “Olympian” to her resume.

“Competing at the 2012 Olympics is the plan,” Glenn says. “I enjoy the fact that [track and field] is my job, but my ultimate goal is to be an Olympian, so that’s kind of why I’m still doing it after so many years. I feel like I will be in a good position next year for making the Olympic team.”

Glenn has had her sights on the Olympics for a long time. Her hopes of competing at the Olympics in China were shattered in 2008 after she was forced to end her season due to knee surgery.

“I was really excited [in 2008] and I thought I was in really great shape,” Glenn says. “And for all of that to just kind of end when I was not ready for it to, it was just a big down point and was depressing.”

There was no traumatic event that caused the need for surgery, just years of wear and tear that eventually stood in the way of her Olympic dreams. In the end, after having surgery and placing all doubts and thoughts of retiring behind her, Glenn re-committed herself and another four years to her dream.

“I had surgery and I had a lot of changes—I had to learn how to jump off of a totally different leg, but in the end, it was just a different journey than what I thought I would be on, but it’s worked out for me.”

And it has worked out, despite the difficulty of switching jump legs – which  may not seem like a big deal to non-jumpers. (Just as everyone has a dominant hand that they write with, every jumper has a stronger leg they jump with. It may not be as hard as switching from batting left-handed to right-handed, but switching jump legs takes hard work and repetition to have success.)

“It was just kind of like starting over—not totally from scratch—but from rehabbing, and trying to make myself stronger and trying to come back… and still believing in myself and believing that I had what it takes to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish.”

Glenn now has a long-jump personal best of 7.00 meters (nearly 23 feet), and she cites making the 2009 World Championship team as the best moment in her career.

“It is my best moment as well as the accomplishment I am most proud of because of what I fought back from. You’re always going to have the moment that you PR or the big championship that you made that you won, but for me, coming back from what I thought was my lowest point and being able to turn that around in one season and be back on top [was a lot to be proud of].”

Brianna Glenn Budweiser AdIn between the emotional rollercoaster of her athletic career, Glenn decided to use some of her best assets to supplement her income. So, she became a model and has appeared on the cover of Hampton magazine, in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, and in a few Budweiser ads.

“I have never had the desire to do the runway type of modeling because I am not 5’11” and I don’t weigh 99 pounds… It’s not a dream career for me, just more of a way to make extra money and to have fun.”

Glenn’s ultimate goal is to become an Olympian. But in the end, whether “Olympian” is another line on her resume or not, Glenn says that she wants to be remembered for more than her athletic ability.

“I have been an athlete for so long, but I don’t want that to be the one thing that defines me. Learning how to persevere, fight, and believe in yourself no matter what is important to me. It all comes from inside. So if someone could look at me and my career and see that—what’s inside of me—if they could see that about me and that I had all of that inside of me then I think that’d be cool.”

Glenn advises two simple things for up and coming athletes: to always remember why you do what you do, and to always have fun.

“We all want to win and get first and get the gold, but that is not always in any of our control… but if you learn to stay focused on what you can control, then that is one of the best things you can do for yourself. You have control over the work you put in and whether or not you do your best… it’s all you can control and all you can ask of yourself.  Also, I would say to remember to have fun—it’s just a sport, just something that we do. At the end of the day, if you’re not having fun then you’re doing it wrong.”

To read more about Brianna Glenn’s “So-called Fabulous Life,” click here or follow her on Facebook here.

D’Ambour Lewis is a junior sprinter and jumper at the University of Maryland (Renaldo Nehemiah’s alma mater, coincidentally). She is a journalism major. Contact her here.

Photo credits: Brianna Glenn

 

Author: FasterThanForty

4 Comments

great article… even if I’m slightly biased because of the topic. 🙂 thanks for taking the time to learn and share a little more about me.

brianna

9/1/2011

You are finding your rhythm and your groove with that pen young lady. Super job!! Very nice story as well. Offers great personal insight into the “fabulous life” of elite level athlete. It isnt all cake and ice cream as folks often think. Thanks for sharing Sister Glenn.
…And Budweiser is now the best looking beer I’ve ever seen. 🙂 LoL!!

“Doc”

E.M.Fingers

9/1/2011

Great Article. Very interesting. Always good to hear a comeback story. Hoepfully this young lady will accomplish that goal of being an Olympian.

“Auntie Dre”

A. Collier

9/2/2011

And thanks to Brianna for being generous with her time and letting us develop the story… Certainly we are rooting for you next summer!

FasterThanForty

9/2/2011

Leave a Reply