Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Lolo Jones: Truly Inspiring
Lolo Jones's story reads like so many other athletes and individuals who have triumphed over countless obstacles. The best part about it, at least for me, is that no matter how many times I hear of or read of stories with such a team, it's always inspiring.
For the most part hearing about similar things over and over again usually evokes a reaction of 'oh, not this again'; you know like those movies that although are given a different name the story remains the same. The effect is reversed when one is presented with real life stories that tell of heroes/heroines who against all odds, rise to the top.
This is the story of Lori Jones. She came from the humblest of beginnings; living in a church basement; attending eight different schools in eight years; living a life absent of a father who was either away on duty in the Air Force or doing time in jail and living with four different families while attending high school. She was raised by her mom who often held down two jobs to support her family of six.
Nothing about Jones's life was stable. Nothing except for the fact that she knew at an early that she wanted to be a professional athlete. With this in mind, Jones refused to relocate with her family to Forest City, Iowa and pointedly told her mom that the reason for this was that there was no track at the school there. This was the beginning of a whole new life for the young Jones.
She enrolled in Theodore Roosevelt High School in Des Moines where she excelled in the classroom and began building the foundation of her career to come. While at school she earned the title of Gatorade Midwest Athlete of the Year and set and still holds the 100-meter hurdle record with a time of 13:40 in the Iowa state track meet.
Jones's specialty is the 60 and 100 meter hurdles. Her accomplishments include winning 3 NCAA titles, 11 All-American honors at LSU where she earned a degree in economics, she won indoor national titles in 2007, 2008 and 2009, she won her first World Indoor Championship title in 2008 and was the Silver Medal finalist at the 2008 World Athletics Final. Her performance in the 60 meter hurdles is the second fastest time for an American. Gail Devers holds the number one spot. It's safe to say that 2008 was a very good year for Jones.
One look at Jones will reveal that she's not your average all American. This is because she is of French, Native American, African American and Norwegian descent. This combination has given Jones a very unique and distinct look. Her skin tone is hard to categorize but is truly beautiful, she's got sexy eyes and an amazingly beautiful smile. Add all of these attributes to the fact that she has the immaculate body of a true athlete and the result is swoon, thud and sighs. Yep, I'm reduced to actions and not words *more sighs*.
Lolo currently resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and her sponsors are Asics and Oakley. She has had some unfortunate incidences in her professional career. The most significant being her participation in the 2008 Beijing Olympics where she was favored to win the 100 meter hurdles.
Jones was well on her way; putting distance between the other hurdlers when she clipped the 9th (of 10) hurdles and stumbled causing her to finish in 7th place. She was close to tears on the track and cried openly afterwards in the corridors. It was a truly heart-wrenching experience for Jones and many others who watched and supported her - Americans and non-Americans alike.
Over the years Jones has shared her success with her alma mater and others in her state/community. Her contributions include track shoes for all of the members of the track team at Roosevelt High School, monetary donations to improve the surface of the track and provide other equipment as well. She also made a monetary contribution to a single mother who was greatly affected by the Iowa flood of 2008.
Jones has had her share of successes so far in her career but I'm sure she has a lot more to offer and look forward to seeing her realize those goals. I have remained somewhat reserved in creating this post but that is at all no indication that Jones isn't utterly HOT because damn, she is!
She can reduce any woman or man to a blundering clutch just by being in the same room. I can see myself knocking over the waiter, tripping over the chair and landing face down because I couldn't keep my eyes off of her as I was making my way to my table in a fancy restaurant.