Forgiving doesn't mean forgetting, nor does it mean that you've given the message that what someone did was okay. It just means that you've let go of the anger or guilt towards someone, or towards yourself. But that can be easier said than done. If forgiveness was easy, everyone would be doing it. 

A grudge is a heavy thing to carry and I believe I’ve been carrying it for the longest time. For the most part I tell myself I’ve let it go and I’m just fine….. That, as an adult I can totally understand the situation and the cards that were dealt to me, plus bad stuff (this, and way worse) has happened to so many people in the world so… Kellz, you’re good. You’ve beaten all the odds…. You didn’t end up like some people said you would…. Or like the enemy intended… so all is well. Or, not so much. It’s amazing what happens to big traumas that we pack away into teeny tiny little compartments of your soul and they show up and bubble over when you least expect it. 

Now, my first inclination that something was amiss with me should have been that since the untimely tragic death of my mother I was unable to speak her boyfriend/fiance’s name. I would refer to him as just that…. “my mom’s fiancé, my mom’s boyfriend…. The devil in the flesh… the man that killed my mom, himself, and someone else….etc” but never his name. I felt like uttering his name would somehow bring his essence around me or reincarnate him or give him WAAAAAAAYYYY more respect than he deserved, and if anyone knows me they know for me to give someone outward respect is huge because I can be completely and overly dismissive to people but that also comes from my upbringing and my experiences….. hey hey…. I am working on myself… one thing at a time… sheesh!

I’ve always said I forgive my mom for everything. For all of the circumstances we were put in and for all of the mistakes she made. It was her job to keep us safe, but she didn’t, she couldn’t. There was just something that she couldn’t shake about this man…. He was her captor, her weakness, her addiction she never got rehab for. It was definitely perplexing to watch her undyingly love someone, while wholeheartedly loathing them at the same damn time. She knew the things that were happening around her, to us, was completely wrong and avoidable but he was a problem she couldn’t solve….. like I’ve always said…. Addictions happen to everyone, the best of the best, and hers wasn’t a substance, it was a person and it ended up being the death of her. Me forgiving her was never very difficult because she was a victim as well, so in telling my story I’ve never wanted anyone to disrespect her name because we were all caught in a vicious cycle.

Now onto he’s whose name shall not be spoken, and I’m not talking about Voldemort! Is there a word deeper than hate? Detest, loathe, despise…. Yeah I’ve felt all of that for him since I can remember. I felt like if I totally forgave him, that would be making what he did to me, my family, and the family of the other passengers, OK and acceptable and I also believed that if I extinguished that fire that I kept hidden in a secret compartment, that I would lose my fight all together. In some twisted way, I believed the cards that were dealt to me made me the scrappy yet person I am and I absolutely love that aspect of me. BUT, I never realized that me not forgiving him and releasing him from my subconscious was actually letting his demonic spirit live on inside of me and that was certainly not OK. 

Now, let’s rewind back to the beginning of January when Surviving R. Kelly came on and as I was laying on the floor eating popcorn and watching the madness unfold and I sat up and said 4 words to myself. I. AM. NOT. OK. Watching those women talk about their experiences and the little pin pricks that morphed into knife stabs that tuned into gunshot wounds and my bitterness and unwillingness to forgive was oozing out of these invisible wounds that I’ve had for 20 years. 

So I made the executive decision to do what my mom couldn’t and shake him…. Rehab myself so his presence would no longer be housed inside of a place that he was never meant to enter or dwell (ME). I marched myself right into therapy and I’ve had two sessions so far. I am proud to say that I can say Richard “Rick” Gomes’ name withoutfear of the boogie man. I am working on forgiving his actions and fully releasing him into whatever fate he has to deal with. I want to be free and happy and I don’t want to pass unhealthy ways onto my son, so I will continue with therapy to work through whatever lingering issues I may have from past violations to continue to forgive whatever and whoever is renting space inside of my head. I know this isn’t instant and through a long and painful process I’m learning that happiness is an inside job not based on anyone or anything in this physical world. I am becoming a stronger and healthier me so I’m looking forward to getting to know this revamped me.



Intimacy after a baby… 🙄😂🤷🏾‍♀️

Intimacy after a baby

I remember the first time I laid eyes on my now husband. He was a towering 6’2 255 lbs to my 5’4 125 lb frame. He has the biggest brown eyes and the most perfect smile. His lips are full and kissable and his little country twang made me weak in the knees. He was perfection in motion. I remember he didn’t even have a fresh hair cut and I thought he was the ONE….TWO… and the THREE. I can distinctly remember our first kiss and being so lost in the sauce that I had to giggle at myself when it was over. Jasper is the most handsome, sexy, sensual man I’ve ever seen. He was, no is everything I’ve ever wanted. 

Now fast forward a year and imagine two high level athletes living in the same home. Our communication may not have always been 100% but our intimacy has always been over the top. Woah woah woah ladies and gentleman….. I know exactly where your minds went when I said “intimacy” and yes I was talking about sex…. but more than that I was talking about our connection, our bond, our alone time. At any given time Jasper and I would slip off to a movie, or jump on a plane to any location we wanted or even a stay-cation at a swanky hotel in whatever city we were living in….. but now…. we are in a daily routine. Mommy and Daddy mode. We’ve really stopped dating each other and the effects were felt. I gained some weight (5lbs… but that’s a lot to me), didn’t feel sexy, I really didn’t have the time to get my hair and nails done and I definitely hit a slump, the sweat pants slump. Now…. In my defense since giving birth to my son, we’ve lived in New Jersey, Atlanta, houston, and back to Jersey! I planned a wedding held in Atlanta from Jersey (which included flying back and forth several times to make decisions with an infant son), planned and carried out my husband’s football camp, arranged for Jasper’s high school Jersey to be retired and for him to also have a Jasper Brinkley Day in his home town, orchestrated all of the moves to these different cities, all while breast feeding a teething baby day AND night!!! 

I definitely wasn’t myself. I wasn’t taking pride in my appearance I was just getting by the best way I knew how. I was managing nightly feedings, diapers, bath times, and everything else that came with a baby but neglecting my husband but most importantly myself. If I had the choice of making love to my husband or sleeping…. most times sleep would win. I felt so bad for him because he craved intimacy and I was just a run down mess but through it all he stayed supportive and by my side. He told me how beautiful I was and constantly reinforced that I was doing a great job with our son. He urged me to delegate responsibilities to him and also to outside help. I always declined offers because in my mind I was supposed to handle it all…. an infant, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, taking care of my self and appearance, taking care of him, cooking meals…. etc. I guess I just thought it was ALL my job since he was going to put himself and his body on the line daily and I was his woman…. the woman of the house. I finally learned that it’s ok to let others help me so I can be the best me I can be.

Now, I have a housekeeper, daily babysitter and a personal trainer. I get my hair done and I try to get dressed up for my boo, showing my new curves, so he always knows what he has! Our intimacy level has gotten so strong that our pastors see another baby in the near future… (ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!) I can’t sit here and write that everything is so perfect, but we are making strides to date each other and to never stop competing to make the other happy. I know I’m one lucky woman to have a man who loves the hell our of me and wants to support me to live out all of my dreams and desires. He is always trying to make me smile or showing his appreciation for me, so I really don’t have much to complain about. I am working on accepting my body won’t look like it did while I was competing (nor do I want it to) but I know I have to put forth effort to stay fit and trim. I always want my husband to be my best friend and to know that I want and appreciate him just as he does me. 

Jasper has taught me we must never stop trying for each other and striving to be at our very best. We should never be comfortable in anything we do and if I start something don’t be afraid to finish it….. 

My man has 3 needs to be happy…. I call them the 3 F’s. FEED him, have FUN with him and I will let you guys figure out the last F! 

Finding my way.....

on the track I never had to find my way…. I had 10 hurdles in a lane that was all my own. I had a coach who told me how and what to run, what to eat, and what time to be where I needed to be. I grew up on the track, there weren’t many things I couldn’t comprehend and execute with practice, repetition, and film watching but life, real life doesn’t come with a coach.

 In just 4 short years my life has changed dramatically. 4 years ago I was jogging around the track on my victory lap feeling like I was on top of the world. I had just won an Olympic Medal and achieved a goal that I had dreamed about for most of my life. Everyone loved me and knew my name. I was a hero to my country, family, friends, and teammates. Now…. I’m the wife of a NFL linebacker and the mom to the most beautiful baby boy on the planet. My heart is so full of happiness and joy but I still had this what next feeling….. this feeling of it can’t just be from the podium to pampers for me…. more than hurdling to housewife….

I’ve been around the world more times than I can even count and navigating planes, trains, and automobiles is tremendously easier than figuring out life in my own lane. I never imagined living a life where I would have to follow my husband around to different cities to be able to have my family together, but one thing my track career has taught me is how to adapt on the fly… to be comfortable while being uncomfortable. So, this season I put on my big girl panties and accepted there isn’t a training manual or coach to teach me how to be the woman I need to be for Jasper or the mommy I need to be for baby J. I have come accept that nothing will be perfect and I need to stop putting these unrealistic expectations and putting self inflicted pressures on myself and just enjoy life as it comes….especially with all of the twist and turns our life entails. 

I may not be a star on the track anymore taking victory laps and winning medals but the way my son smiles at me when he sees me in the morning or after a nap… I know I’m in my right place. I’m shining because I’m learning to be a strong but humble wife and my husband loves me with all of his heart.

 I know I will find my exact what if outside of the house, but in the mean time I have some irons cooking in the fire!