07.03.12 Personal

The Olympic Hopeful

very hotel was booked. We were on three waiting lists for a hotel room when we decided we needed to change our plan. We scoured Craigslist for a house to rent and booked it just before we departed to Eugene, Oregon for the Olympic Trials. When we arrived, we stared at each other in was as if we walked into a 1962 time capsule. Orange shag rug, a large photo of Marilyn Monroe hung on the wall, and a ceramic owl perched over the fireplace. While I was reading A Sailor's Manifesto that hung in the green bathroom, Melanie brought out a record player and we swayed to Frank Sinatra as we tried to air out the house.

Three days later, we sat on the orange shag rug with glasses of champagne. We toasted to hard work, dedication, glitter headbands, no more Paleo diets, wearing the cutest outfit on the track, and to life. Tears were shed. On Sunday, Brianna jumped wonderfully (her jump would have qualified her for the past two Olympic Trials), but all of the top three long jumpers jumped their personal best. Not one, all three.

It was hard to watch my best friend face the most disappointing moment of her career, but there was beauty in her grace. I've watched her give her life to something she believed in...and hold her head high even when things didn't work out the way she'd hoped. Brianna showed me life is about picking up the pieces, duct-taping them the best you can, and limping on because there's another chapter waiting to be written.

Before we headed to the track on Sunday, we started the day with Mexican food...

Just outside the track, a festival was constructed and we spent a lovely afternoon wandering in the warm sun...

A girl can dream, right?!

The problem with having a twin sister is that she thinks it's still cool to photo bomb a picture...

I know this isn't the best photo, but this was Bri's longest jump of the day and we're incredibly proud of it...

Where's Waldo?

I wished there was a Kiss Cam at Hayward Field, but seeing Brianna on the big screen was second best ;)

When I look at this picture, I see how much Bri is hurting...she masked it well, but if you know her, it's laying just below the surface...

...but it's also nice to know we can make her truly smile at a moment's notice.

Here's to picking up the pieces, duct tape, and starting a new chapter...
Comment (56)
Share on

Thank you! Your comment has been saved.
Hugo Tepe - Go Ducks! Ahem... I mean U.S.A! ;)  07.10.12 - 11:42am
Robyn - I just teared up a little for her with that second to last photo. Congratulations to Brianna for giving it her all and going for it. I'm always so impressed by athletes, and whether she made it or not, this stranger who I've come to know through your blog is already such an inspiration. Cheers to all of you! xo  07.09.12 - 8:40pm
Millie - Love you Bri!!  07.09.12 - 10:17am
Sheila K - Duct tape the pieces. Brilliant! Next time you're looking for a rental, use Craigslist scares the be-jee-bees out of me. They have no trust & security. :)  07.07.12 - 10:06am
Marissa Nicole - Good Friends. Good Friends.  07.07.12 - 8:07am
Bob Owen - Great post and love your B&W processing too!  07.07.12 - 6:43am
Christina Dely - You are such a wonderful friend Jasmine. I am sure your support meant the world. Beautiful images as always! :)  07.05.12 - 12:48pm
John Cain Sargent - This makes me want to cook dinner for your friends and have everybody over for a game night. Praise God from whom all blessings flow, even those in disguise by disappointment. In a man's heart he plans his course but the Lord determines his steps.  07.04.12 - 3:48pm
Mercedes - So sweet of you to share this. It had to be hard to watch, but bravo for being a great encourager. Bravo to her for keeping her chin up! Go Brianna!  07.04.12 - 1:58pm
Elizabeth - I hope she does not give up and she will be able to try again!!! I am proud of her accomplishment. She should be an inspiration to many young girls and women out there because heaven knows we need GOOD role models. God bless you Brianna you are amazing and gorgeous inside and out.  07.04.12 - 4:51am
corey - J man your stories always seem to hold my attention span.. I love that and this story is great makes me wanna hear "NEVER Give UP" by Robin Thicke.. btw, Brianna is beautiful.. very much..  07.04.12 - 1:56am
Tara Brown - Small world. One of my friends was also at the Olympic trials for jumping. He'd been training so incredibly hard and he finished 5th, missing the cut. :( So hard to see our friends put so much of themselves into this and have it not work out...but hopefully next time it will happen!!! So proud of his journey, just as I'm sure you're proud of Brianna's.  07.04.12 - 1:54am
Malinda Warder - Wow! What a great reminder of how not to get stuck in life. Be grateful for where we're at even if we're limping and held together with duct tape:)  07.03.12 - 6:48pm
Kiki - WHAT! Im confused! Why are there two of you in some these photos? IS THAT YOUR TWIN? OMG! Wait! I might be seeing things or something.....I'll look again  07.03.12 - 4:02pm
Sara Mac - It's been a while since I posted a comment here and reading this blog is such a delight! Congrats to Brianna for going for her dream. I hope this experience only brings her to more opportunities to share her talent.   07.03.12 - 3:51pm
LEOLAK - Love this post! Brianna should be very proud of her great accomplishment! I am sure great things are very much in her future! What great friends you all are!! Beautiful to see!   07.03.12 - 3:33pm
Ashli - Sounds like she did wonderful! Congrats to her and all her supporters. Quick photo question - I was wondering what lens/settings you used for the shot of Brianna at the Mexican place (with the back on JD's head I think). Thanks!  07.03.12 - 3:11pm
Mindy Metivier - Congratulations to Brianna for doing her best and shooting for the stars!!! Big hugs to her!!! You're all so sweet to make the trip up there to support your dear friend/sister. Here's to Brianna!!! I wish her well in her next chapter!!! I know she will succeed with flying colors!!! :)  07.03.12 - 2:23pm
Evonne & Darren - To be able to qualify for the Olympic trials, Brianna is already a champion and she's blessed to have friends like you and JD! We all know that Bri will do great things in her life and this is just one little part of it! :)  07.03.12 - 1:42pm
Christa - What a story. Good luck to Brianna on her next chapter, whatever it is...she's very lucky to have friends like you.  07.03.12 - 1:40pm
Bobbie Brown - Oh wow. This gave me chill bumps. LOVE the images and the story they tell... I am sad she did not make the team, but proud that she went so far (and I don't even know her! haha! but I am proud for her :) )  07.03.12 - 1:40pm
Sydni Jackson - Congratulations to Brianna for making it to the Olympic Trials and doing awesome!! Fame doesn't equate to success, I think she is a hugely successful already!  07.03.12 - 1:19pm
Jackie Lamas - I have three very close friends and when one of them goes for something we are there cheering them on. and when one needs to pick up and move on, we move on together. such a beautiful friendship! thank you for reminding me :)  07.03.12 - 1:02pm
Marie - :( You totally shoulda used that pic from Bri's blog...then everyone could see how awesome her outfit really was. She's a rockstar!   07.03.12 - 12:52pm
Heather Bird - I don't know Brianna, but have visited her blog occasionally since a time way back when you posted something else about her. I was so crushed for her when I saw that she didn't make it and had tears in my eyes, just reading the title of your post. What an incredible friend you are and how amazing that she made it that far! Love the photos of you four!  07.03.12 - 12:45pm
jenn blake {scout} - tears of sadness for your friend. what a moment that must have been to see her fight for what she wanted so badly. lucky to have had great friends there to pick her up :) great post jasmine!  07.03.12 - 12:35pm
Ashley Goodwin - Ya'll are amazing friends, what a great support to have you all there! I anxiously watched to catch a glimpse of her and when we saw the scores, I too was crushed. She is freakin' INCREDIBLE, there are tons more great things in store for her I am sure of it. And I see ya'll had a hard time listening to the "people wear athletic clothes to the field" rule. HAHAHAH.   07.03.12 - 11:34am
Abbey L - God wont give Bri anything she cant handle<3 she will do great things<3 love this post<3  07.03.12 - 11:25am
Sharon Carrey - Jasmine..thank you very much for sharing these pictures. I'm so glad I could add these to my own album. I'm so glad that Bri is blessed with you "bombers" to make her laugh even at her most vulnerable times. Thank you so very much! ~Bri's Aunt Sharon~  07.03.12 - 11:24am
Mikaela - beautifully said. love the photos! xo  07.03.12 - 11:19am
Kelly Gentz - I can only imagine the heartbreak your friend is feeling. Sounds like she's pretty amazing regardless of if she made it to the Olympics or not. She should be very proud of her accomplishments. It would be a blast to cheer for a dear friend at such an amazing event (the trials). Thanks for sharing with us.  07.03.12 - 11:17am
brianna - thank you for being there. thank you for loving me. thank you for convincing me to take off the Oakleys for the picture. <3  07.03.12 - 11:15am
Susan Evans - I'm sure she has to be broken-hearted, but how very impressive that she even made it there! It's awesome that you guys were there in support of her too.  07.03.12 - 11:03am
MiaS - The people of Tucson are very proud of our Wildcat! Bear Down!!!  07.03.12 - 10:59am
Jessica Vidmar Photography - thanks for a very touching post. I don't know Brianna at all but you have a way of writing that makes me feel I do and feel sorry for her disappointments and love to see her smile : )  07.03.12 - 10:44am
Anneliese - Brianna is such a rock star. Whether she made it to the Olympics or not, she is already a champion. So much favor in her life and she has amazing friends who cheer her on..that is something that few people have in this life. Brianna, YOU GO GIRL! :)   07.03.12 - 10:26am
Mary Marantz - This post is so insanely beautiful. Seriously. It hit a nerve all the way to the depths of my soul. Hugs to you all. M:)  07.03.12 - 10:25am
Daniel Cruz - Wow. I watched some of the Olympics from home, and I was almost in tears watching competitors just make the mark, or just fall short of it. To wait and train 4 years takes so much discipline, only to almost make it. It's something great to smile at the face of great defeat, and it's even another to continue the pursuit of greatness when you rise from the ashes. Thank you for sharing this Jasmine, and best of luck to your friend with hopes of a speedy recovery. It was also so nice finally talking to you at The Fix in LA. Cheers!   07.03.12 - 10:08am
Shannon Von Eschen - You're not just a good photographer. Or business woman, wife, or teacher. You're a good friend.A very good friend. Made me tear up to see you so happy and supportive. I'm so glad I know you.   07.03.12 - 10:03am
Sandy - What a beautiful friendship... :)  07.03.12 - 9:54am
Andrea - Brought tears to my eyes. It's as if you've taken us with you on this journey. Hats off to Bri for her dedication and pursuing life dreams. Can't wait to see what the next chapter in her life brings.  07.03.12 - 9:49am
Whitney Dupuis - I think it is amazing at how much talent it takes to even get there. I know it is no consolation, but this just means she wasn't supposed to be there. Something better for her will come along.  07.03.12 - 9:45am
Cheryl - A while back when you mentioned Brianna's blog, I skipped over to her site and read quite a bit. I admired and related to her desire to use her God given talent in a way that honored Him. I look forward to seeing what else God has in store for her and her career.  07.03.12 - 9:43am
Deyla Huss - WOW this is so great! I love that your friendship seems so strong and your support for one another is such a blessing to each other Im sure. Cheers to Bri and all her accomplishments!  07.03.12 - 9:42am
Liz - Jasmine, your house experience sounds like an episode of Portlandia (which if you're not watching, you should be - IFC channel). Also have you read Dara Torres book on her last Olympic comeback? I think anyone who can even get to that level is amazing, regardless of whether they go or not, and your friend should be SO proud.  07.03.12 - 9:36am
Nadine Burzler - Just under the surface... My heart hurt when I read she didn't make it. I'm positive there's a bigger plan for her though... Now might be a good time for her to watch this.. x  07.03.12 - 9:34am
Deborah Zoe - b-e-a-utiful. and what a joy it is to have girlfriends that stick with you through life's ups and downs. Love it J:)  07.03.12 - 9:32am
Jamie - Seriously?! You totally could have stayed in our little log cabin... It's no castle, but hey, no leftover 70's shag, either... We were even out of town! Tell Brianna that we Eugenians were proud just to have her (and her sweet friends) grace our city. ;0)  07.03.12 - 9:32am
Diane Rodriguez - You are all such amazing friends for going and supporting Brianna!!! I don't even know her but this made me ache for her. She is still a winner in my book!!!!!!  07.03.12 - 9:22am
Gail - I looked up the long jump results yesterday and I knew...and my heart fell into my stomach a little FOR you guys. But all that aside, what your bestie has accomplished is TRULY amazing. I know with enough closure, she'll realize that -- and I hope she puts all that talent of hers toward inspiring other Olympic hopefuls. Coach Bri sounds nice, doesn't it? :) PS - So awesome you guys could be there for her. So so awesome, orange shag carpet and all.   07.03.12 - 9:21am
TamiPaige - Wow...what a great lesson and example. You're all beautiful, and is it weird to say that I'm so incredibly proud of her and I only "know" her through your blog? I'm excited to see where life will take her!  07.03.12 - 9:19am
Rhonda - You are an amazing friend to Bri to be there for her - You, Bianca and the other beauty with curly hair (not to leave out JD) but I'm sure her heart was full of pride to have her BFFs there with her!   07.03.12 - 9:17am
Mary Margaret - How lucky she is to have people that love and support her to take the journey with her. I'm sure she feels and knows she is truly blessed! Congratulations to her on an amazing journey!!!  07.03.12 - 9:15am
Elisabetta {Linen and Silk} - Oh Jasmine, from your words I can see that you are such an incredible friend. What a big heart you have. Your friends are lucky to have you! xx  07.03.12 - 9:12am
Lacey Rabalais - Congrats on you sticking by her side. Congrats on her sticking to her dreams. It's nice to see her grace and be honored by her friends for having it. Her triumphs are amazing, no matter what the outcome says.  07.03.12 - 9:05am
Linda Schilberg - Beautiful post! Cheers to your friend and her amazing hard work!   07.03.12 - 9:05am