I can vividly remember what I was doing on September 11th during the tragic occurrence in the United States.
Earlier that morning I was training with Lloyd Irvin in Maryland. I was in the thick of the Olympic preparation process. I remember that we trained early in the morning and were going really hard.
We were oblivious to what happened.
I remembered hopping inside of my car after training and being on the road just thinking. I didn’t turn on the radio. I was excited about having a good training session because I was preparing for the upcoming United States Open Judo Tournament. But I did notice something kind of strange.
It seemed like I was the only person on the road. It seemed like I was in a movie or something; like I was on the X-Files.
So I drove home and, of course, washed my hands and went directly to the refrigerator. I can still remember what I had. I had a pork chop and a giant size bowl of spaghetti. I was starving. And I went to my parent’s room to watch the television and I sat down, leaned forward and turned it on. And that is when I saw the second airplane go into the building and I remember saying, “Damn this is a good movie!” I was excited that I had a good practice, I was eating some good food that my mom made and I was going to be able to catch a good movie, shower up and then lay down.
Well, I kept watching. And I thought, “Damn, this isn’t a movie…is it?”
That’s when I flipped from one channel to the next, to the next and to the next and what started out as a great day, turned into one of the worse days of my life.
I sat my food down and began to cry. I heard that one of the planes hit the Pentagon and I thought to myself, “Good Lord what about Kristanie!”
Kristanie is a young lady who I used to mentor in school. We went to the same church when I was in California working for Texas Instruments and when she committed to going to Howard University, I met with her parents and informed them that I would be there pursuing my Masters degree. So I took her under my wing. When I found out about the Pentagon accident, I scramble to get to a phone. All the lines were busy.
I got back on the road and went out to Howard University.
All of the students were on campus, with cell phones in hand, trying to get in touch with loved one.
All the circuits were busy.
Finally after a couple of hours, we were able to get in touch with Kristanie. Her friends and I were relieved, but some people on campus that day weren’t so lucky.
The anguish and hurt that was readily visible and that could have been felt whether you could see or not was painful.
I don’t want to get into a political discussion and certainly don’t want to abuse this transmission with a sales piece at the end. I just want to tell you and share with you a fraction of what I think about when I think about September 11th.
I’m certainly thankful that I was spared and didn’t have to personally deal with such anguish. To those that did, my prayers still go out to them and their family.
Today, just take a second and reflect on September 11th and give thanks to the people that you have in your life today, because tomorrow is not promised.
Take care and God Bless,