***Congratulations to the Great Gator Football Team for their Win against Kentucky!***

Sunday, September 26, 2004    

If you missed last week's K-Mail that explained my "dismissal" from Florida's Track & Field Team,
Click here to read all about it!

This week, I wanted to share some reactions to my announcement and some updates on my training. What is really remarkable is that all of this contributed to a record day on our website on Tuesday.
 

.... It's Hurricane Karen!!!  

Do you like my theme song?
(when the page first loads you should hear the disco song "I will Survive!")

Well... although I have heard that some people are referring to my latest K-Mail as "Hurricane Karen!"... it's no joking matter... by the time you see this K-Mail, we'll be dealing with another REAL STORM!

WOW!!! Here comes Jeanne! Florida's 4th hurricane in 6 weeks!

Gainesville may experience 60-80 mph winds, and classes are canceled for Monday! (Darn, no accounting!)

I am prepared: plenty of water ( they now have Fiji water at Publix Markets!!
Check out Fiji WATER! YUM!), peanut butter, bread and the usual survival stuff. During Frances, I had to live off of my supplies for 5 days!

You also need a flashlight. We didn't lose power during Frances, but you never know! I enjoyed a warm shower this morning...last time we had cold showers for days.

If you missed my K-Mail talking about our last Hurricane, 
here is a link to it!

This has been a very interesting week for me!  I would like to thank everyone for your kind words of support in emails, posts, and phone calls. Your support means a lot to me-- thank you! -- Karen :)

Special thanks go to all the people who were supporting me on the Gatorsports.com forum, Dyestat, and Trackshark.  I feel really special to know such wonderful people.  Thank you to all of the athletes, track fans, coaches, and Gator fans!!

To see A SAMPLE of the posts & emails I have received, CLICK HERE!

I have received many, many emails from you asking for some more details on what happened.  Here are some K-Mail "You're Fired" FAQs:
 

1) What and WHERE is “Jurassic Park”?

In my last K-Mail, I told you that I practiced in a place I called "Jurassic Park" before the Olympic Trials. Some of you wanted to see what Jurassic Park REALLY looked like—it's a jungle out there! And yes, it is possible to get in a good throwing workout, even if you don't have access to "traditional" facilities. Where there's a will, there's a way!!

Jurassic Park is very quiet—except for the bugs!  What can I say—I’m in Florida, not California!  Luckily, I did take a Insects class so I was able to identify the bugs that I saw while throwing!



When I first saw this place, it reminded
me of the jungle in the movie “Jurassic Park,"
so I began calling it that.

You can almost hear the "raptors"! 

This is where I TRAINED for the Olympic Trials!


 
 
Not only does this place have real alligators,
but it has SPIDERS.  I don't like spiders! These
spiders look like
California spiders on steroids—They are HUGE!!  I almost walked into this guy.
By the way, I learned in "bugs" class that
these particular spiders are dangerous!
 

Here I am training at the REC Center!

It's a great place to mingle with all the regular Gator students. Many of them never saw a Gator athlete training before! It really pushed the guys
to watch me lift!

This is where I got my Olympic Trials Weight  Training done! Again, you have to be creative in your workouts sometimes.

 

2) Did they really take you off the roster before letting you know you were "dismissed?"

Yes, I disappeared from the online roster almost a week before I received a dismissal letter. The roster thing actually started to get pretty funny.

The first clue I got was that somebody emailed me and asked why I wasn't on the Florida roster any more? I looked, and  (click here) here's what I saw:

We asked the athletic department what was going on. They added the 2004-2005 roster (no me, and I still hadn't heard from the coaches). The 2003-2004 roster had disappeared completely! Finally, they got it right. 

3) What is an “Exit Physical”?

Sounds kind of scary doesn't it? I still hadn't had any response from my email to Coach Jones asking if I was still on the team, but I started to get voicemail and email from the team trainer about how I was supposed to come by right away for an "exit physical." I'm guessing that this isn't exactly typical procedure for Florida.



Our trainer is
a graduate student intern, and I am not including her name.

I don't hold anything against her, I think she is just trying to keep her job.

 


Karen,

I need you to stop by the training room
sometime this week to do your exit physical.
I am here every afternoon as well
as 6:30-7:15 AM.

Thank you,

XXXXX
 
Track and Field Athletic Trainer
University of Florida
Sports Health

 

 

4) Has there been any more "mean stuff?"

Just a little, there is a small band of people out there who have been critical, but the vast majority have been very supportive. What is interesting to me is that I heard from a lot of athletes and former athletes who have had similar experiences.

A) HARASSING EMAIL: I like to look at things positively....and this has been an educational experience. If YOU ever DO get harassing emails, here's what I did and what you can do , too!.....

B) NO INVITATION: Florida recognizes its SEC Championship teams at half-time at a football game every year, and Women's T&F won the SEC indoors last year. Well, I heard that last Saturday's game was going to be the one, and of course, I wasn't invited. If it hasn't happened yet, I wonder if I will be invited?

C) REDUCED SERVICES: As a student with dyslexia, I was very concerned about my ability to use services. I emailed Coach Jones , but he never answered. I then asked my academic advisor, and she said that I could keep the services for this semester, but not next. At least I know now.

5) What was the attorney's letter about?

One of the comments we heard a lot is that people liked being able to read the contracts and dismissal letter and come to their own conclusions. Some of you wanted to see the letter I mentioned from Coach Judge's attorney.

I actually thought about posting the letter, but since the attorney's son is a Division I athlete, I thought that wouldn't be fair at this time. But here is the key part of the letter:

"I am well aware of your assets and will have no problem in pursuing them to a proper judgment."

This letter was a reaction to several emails that my parents sent to the Florida administration expressing their concerns about how I was being treated at Florida. I can assure you that my parents weren't telling anything but the truth.

6) So how is your diet working?

See for yourself below.....



Whoa! That's me on the left at the end of my soph year in high school when I was competing in powerlifting....120 pounds ago!

Look how much I have changed!


Here's the new me!

I have been lifting and conditioning a ton!

I am stronger , faster and lighter than ever!

I still have a long ways to go, but this is a start.

--
Karen

Although I'm sad about not throwing any more, I feel really happy with my new life! I have more energy for school, and I'm joining a student club in my major and looking into studying abroad.

Fortunately for me, at a big school like Florida, there are always plenty of great things to do!

Best Wishes,

Page 2.... Fan mail!

Page 3 ... How to hunt for an anonymous Emailer!

 UPDATE!!! You won't Believe it! More...... in PART  3


Remembering those who lost their lives to terrorists on and since 9/11.


Back to Karen's home!
 

Opinions expressed here in my K-Mail's are my own, they don't necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone else, or any organization. I have tried to make sure what is here is accurate, but I can not accept any responsibility for any mistakes, omissions, or anything else regarding the content of these pages.