Lolo Jones explains about the tough time she is going through and how the advice and friendship of many of her top competitors but also from former men’s World record holder Colin Jackson has been an inspiration
"The last few weeks have obviously been a tough time for me. As I’m sure you are aware I crashed out of the semi-finals of the US Champs ending my dream of making the World Championships in Berlin. As readers of my diary know after injuring a hamstring in April, returning for the US Championships was always going to be a gamble and so it proved. I probably needed a bit more time to re-hab. I messed up technically and ran out of the race. The hurdles is sometimes such an unforgiving event.
"Since I returned to Europe I finished seventh in Oslo and eighth in Lausanne and the tables have now turned. From last year when I was guaranteed lanes I’m now not even making some meets. I’m now the one fighting for lanes and trying to fight my way back to the top. It feels like my rookie season all over again. It is hard because after enjoying the best season in my life last year I’m now having the worst season of my life. And it is not like I’ve been let down gently, it is from one extreme to the other. I am still down. It sucks.
"I am a real goal-setting person and to now know I’m not competing at the World Championships is tough. Still, I have had to re-set my goals are now I need to start running the times I ran last year and to make the end-of-season IAAF World Athletics Final in Greece. I plan to get into as many races I can – and if it means racing three back-to-back races I will do. I just have to be comfortable, get my rhythm back and I’ll be fine. Physically, I’m in shape. I put a lot of hard work to come back from injury. I’m just not seeing the benefits yet.
"What has been a real positive had been the response from my fellow competitors. I had four girls in Lausanne - Brigitte Foster-Hylton, Delloreen Ennis-London, Perdita Felicien and Priscilla Lopes-Schliep all come up to me and said ‘hang in there. We’ve had our tough times in the sport, too.’ You’d think the same girls I was competing against couldn’t care less. I think that says a lot about the character of the girls and the track and field community as a whole.
"During the Oslo meet I spoke to Colin Jackson, the former 110m Hurdles World record holder and two-time World champion. He experienced a very similar disappointment to me in that he went into an Olympics as World No.1 but didn’t win gold, back at the 1992 Barcelona Games. I thought I could gain a real insight from him. I asked him how long it took him to get over his Olympic disappointment and he said ‘about 18 months.’ He said ‘for some reason you don’t know why it’s not working and then all of a sudden its working.’
"It’s all about fighting and for me it is about climbing all the way back to the top. No-one stays on the top for ever and no-one stays on the bottom forever. That is what the sport has taught me."