Carmelita Jeter smoothing the road
If you travel as much as I do, you miss the simplest things. When I'm away from my California home, I think about lying in my own bed and cooking in my own kitchen. I think about that weekly trip to my nail shop and my hair salon. And getting up on Sunday morning to hear the word of Pastor Noel Jones at the City of Refuge Church -- that's what I miss.
Even eating at my favorite restaurant and going for Sprinkles Cupcakes and ice cream is something I haven't been able to do all summer. There are many things that I take for granted when I'm at home.
Luckily, a care package just arrived with some of my favorite things. Aside from USA gear, I got oatmeal, caramel popcorn, beef jerky, Twizzlers and DVDs -- all the things a girl needs!
Several people travel with me, including my training partners, my agent, my coach and my doctor. My sport and the people around me keep me grounded. I love to compete and to line up to race. One moment I'm in a stadium full of people screaming and chanting, and then there's total silence before the gun goes off.
In this sport, the window to be great is short. I enjoy competing while it lasts. I keep getting the question, "When will you retire?" Right now my motivation is Rio in 2016. I plan to be on that team.
There are many things coming up this summer. I'm in Monaco now for one of my favorite stops on my European tour. I wake up every morning with a beautiful view of blue water and boats everywhere. I get to stay here for two weeks and train -- oh, and I get to shop! Did I tell you that shopping is my weakness? Who wouldn't love my job right now?
I anchored the 4x100 relay last weekend, and we won in 41.75. I have to keep training. I have plenty of running to do out here in Europe.
After this, I'll leave for London to return to the 2012 Olympic Stadium. Knowing I'll be back where I earned three medals and a world record gives me goose bumps. Once I compete in London, I'll take off for the USA training camp in Linz, Austria, as we prepare for the world championships in Moscow. That's the biggest meet of the summer and the reason I've been rehabbing and training so hard. It's the big cookie!
There are many things about me that would make people say, "Dang, I didn't know that about her!" I don't think people expect me to be so approachable and kind and down-to-earth. When I'm on the track, I'm all business, but off the track, it's good times. My family and close friends are the reason I keep my spark. I don't have "yes" people around me. Instead, I surround myself with real people who help me become a better person. My biggest fear is to be an athlete who had so much and ends up with so little.
I admire anyone who has overcome a health challenge. I spent time with the Susan G. Komen foundation after losing an aunt to breast cancer. I admire the survivors of breast cancer and anyone who has conquered cancer. It's a hard fight -- you're a warrior if you come out on top.
I have big dreams, some you might not expect. I want to be a coach and dream of coaching someone to greatness.
When I get home in September, I'll do all the things I miss and something really special. I'm being inducted into the Hall of Fame at my alma mater, Bishop Montgomery High School (Torrance, Calif.), on Sept. 6. I can't wait!