Tuesday, May 27, 2008
For some reason I thought that if I qualified for the Olympics my life would all of a sudden be perfect. No stress, no drama, no negativity....just perfect. I couldn't be more wrong. So yes I qualified and it was beyond amazing, hands down the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life, but it has been anything but perfect since. I think I tried so hard all year before qualifiers to not get sick, not get injured, not get distracted... you get the idea....that the second I let myself breathe normally again my body kind of crashed. Long story short, I was competing and rolled my ankle really bad a few weeks ago. It was the scariest moment of my career. I honestly thought I had broken my ankle and I can't even describe the pain to you if I tried. All the doctors in Europe said I had to be off it, so they sent me back home and kept me out of the gym for a few weeks. I don't know why, but at the beginning I thought it was better that no one really knew about it. I didn't want anyone feeling bad for me or worrying. I didn't want anyone doubting, even for a second, that I would be fine. I think it was a way of telling myself that nothing was wrong and I was fine. So I came home from europe, a little scared, but ready to do whatever I had to do to get better. I've had the best medical team working on me every single day and an injury that should've taken 12 weeks to heal has taken 4! Right now I'm almost 100% and am so excited to be back in the gym on monday. I miss it so much. I never thought I would be so frustrated to be resting for once and not training like a crazy person, but I really am. I want to be in the gym so bad I don't know what to do with myself. I knew that I had to be patient with the injury and not push it. The main goal has been and still is the Olympics and that's all that matters this year to me. Everything I do, everything I work for is for those three days in August. I can't be more fortunate to have such an incredible support system behind me. The medical clinic has become my second family, my friends are doing everything they can to keep me positive and healthy and my family family have never left my side. I couldn't ask for anything more to get me through this...
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Wow I can't believe it's May 22nd already. I feel like I wrote my last blog a few days ago and it's been almost two weeks. I don't know where the time has gone. I looked back through my agenda, which is HUGE because if I don't write everything down I would never remember anything, and saw that every single day I've really been booked solid. I'm not used to not having my down time. When I'm training throughout the season and doing my thing, I'm all over the world and back again and always give myself that time to do absolutely nothing. It's a totally different time in my life right now though, with the Olympics only two and a half months away. I am getting so excited and the media and just simple exposure opportunities keep on coming in and I can't turn them down. This is a once in a life kind of thing for me and I want to experience it all. But it obviously doesn't come without a price. I am tired. When you're tired before you even have to go to training, it's not the best thing. I know I want it all and because of that I just suck it up and battle through it, but it's been challenging the past two weeks. For the first time in a long time, I am actually back in Toronto for over a month and my family and friends couldn't be happier and more supportive. Being the person I am, I want to spend as much time with them as I can and am finding it difficult to "do it all". I'm slowly realizing that these last few weeks before heading to China I'm going to have to make some changes. I think as much as I don't want to I'm going to have to make some sacrifices, which I'm sure everyone will understand. I would never even think twice about this usually, but this summer is so different. A lot of things are changing in September when I get back and I want to make the most of this experience before that happens. I am stressing a little bit that I have a course project due tomorrow and a final exam on monday to finish off my third year at UofT, but I think once I get through that I'll have some weight lifted off my shoulders. I should probably get off the computer and start getting ready for another crazy day, but I quickly just wanted to give my best friend Caye a HAPPY 21ST BIRTHDAY BEAUTIFUL!!! Welcome to your 20's (officially now). Much love hun.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
On May 1st the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) launched the new Olympic clothing line for the Canadian Team heading to Beijing this summer. I was really excited to see what they had come up with for all of us especially since I had seen a few pieces before the big preview. A couple of months ago I got an amazing opportunity to be one of the 'models' for HBC's new Ad campaign for the Olympic line. They chose about 15 Canadian athletes from all different sports to be involved and not only did we get to experience a real photo shoot, which was really cool, but we got to see some of the new items too. Just from a few pieces I knew the line was going to be a really different, dramatic look and I thought it was perfect for these Games. We want to come out as a country looking strong, unique and powerful and I knew the designers would deliver for us. So May 1st rolls around and Canadians got a glimpse of what Team Canada is going to look like in august. Honestly, I can't be more shocked at people's reactions. Obviously not everyone is going to like it, but I think it's getting a little out of hand. I opened the newspaper the next day and read a huge article about how horrible the outfits are. I don't know about you, but I seriously think the line is a really powerful statement for Canadian athletes. The pieces aren't plain or boring, but full of life and truly represent our multiculturalism. They make us proud to be Canadian and show our competitors we won't go unnoticed. The designs use a chinese influence because the Games are in Beijing! I read a hilarious comment on the internet from a woman who thinks that people are going to mistake us for China and not Canada. How is that even possible? I think everyone loves to be a critic, but doesn't realize all that goes into designing for our athletes. We don't want just red and white simple items that look ordinary, we want clothes that are going to stand out. Personally, I can't wait to get it all when I arrive in Beijing and I am going to wear it proudly. Thanks HBC for doing a great job, we're going to look amazing over there. All our athletes need to feel we have the support of our country behind us, especially now with the Games so close. I understand if you don't like the line, but it can't be changed so why not talk about how great our athletes are going to do instead of what they're wearing.
ps. that's my ad in stores now :)
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Welcome to the first blog ever from yours truly. As I'm sure you already know, my name is Alexandra Orlando, but I've always just gone by alex. Besides my grandma, who pronounces it Alessandra, which I love, everyone else knows me simply as alex. I do have some wonderful friends of mine who love to annoy me by calling me by my full name, but they never can keep it up for too long. And believe me if my mom uses it I know I'm in trouble. Which doesn't happen too often now that I'm all grown up and moving out (this is where my mom would start to cry). It's funny though because in the Rhythmic Gymnastics (RG) world I'm only known as Alexandra. It's almost like another persona I have or maybe it's like a part of my game face I put on when I arrive at a competition. Whatever it is, to me it sounds so professional...formal even...which I think really helps put me in that right state of mind out there on the carpet. Now don't get me wrong I love my name, but since all my friends and family call me alex I thought you obviously should too...you're going to be getting to know a whole lot more of me as this goes on so let's throw out all the formalities right now. With me, what you see is definitely what you get...
I really hope you know what you've gotten yourself into because I'm going to be experiencing the most incredible, life changing next couple of months. In 96 days I will officially be a Canadian Olympian and you will be with me every step of the way. I hope you enjoy this crazy journey I'm about to drag you along on...I know I will!
I couldn't be more excited to share this with all of you. It means the world to me to have your support. I would love to hear from you as well so please write to me (and let me know if I'm doing a horrible job at blogging or something lol).
Beijing here I come....are you ready?