Friday, March 18, 2011

Just Another Track Meet (JAFTM) Things I learned at the Olympics by Allen Miller (HitmanPR)

My (Allen S Miller of HitmanPR) dream and goal was to treat Olympic and pro class athletes. I started out and paid my dues like everybody else volunteering at High Schools and graduating into college meets. I joined every professional group that dealt with athletes, and injuries. My first invitation was to the Ironman in Hawaii as an injury triage doctor and Chiropractor. Once I survived that competition, I was invited to travel the Track and Field Circuit beginning in Lagos, Nigeria with the All African Games ultimately moving through Europe. Then the invitation came, my appointment to US Track and Field Team in Barcelona during the world Games. There I met my mentor Dr. Jack Russell, head of Sports Injuries US Track & Field Team. We became close friends and we traveled the world together following the teams treating athletes. I was recruited by the nations of Nigeria, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone to act as their medical director at the 1992 summer games of the Olympiad held in Barcelona Spain. When I arrived, I met up with Dr. Russell prior to entering the accreditation center at the Olympic Center. I was advised that we were unable to enter the center as South Africa was arriving and they were to enter first to fanfare of the media as apartheid had been abolished. This is their return to the competition after years of absence. I was anxious to enter the games as it was the culmination of a dream. However I was scared to death and secretly said the universal prayer “please god, don’t let me screw up”. Dr. Jack Russell, Carl Lewis and I all entered the gates and proceeded to the Olympic Center to take our Olympic Oath. As we did, I became more terrified and nervous at the sheer weight of where I was and where I had come from. As the oath ended, Jack Russell must have seen the look of sheer terror on my face and the lack of color. Jack looked over at me and spelled out the initials that I will remember for all time, J A F T M. Looking puzzled I asked “what in the hell does that mean?” Jack replied, “it’s Just Another F___-g Track Meet, now let’s go to work” there was a momentary silence, and we just started laughing. I was ok, the nervousness was gone the fear gone. So when I get nervous before an event, a talk, anything, I remember the initials JAFTM and just smile.