Feature Friday Nigerian Hurdler Tameka Jameson

While there, experiencing the atmosphere, seeing other athletes that I had competed against numerous times, I was made to compete on the next level.

 

image2Tameka Jameson is a Nigerian 400 meter hurdler. She was a high school stand out and a 2 x ACC Champion, 2 X NCAA All-American, and has appeared on numerous international teams. Most people refer to her as the “famous Jameson Twin.” Her twin sister was also a track and field stand out and they both competed in the same event! Tameka is not only a trackstar but also a Mother, Athlete, Coach, and Mentor.

 

What’s your story? 

Tameka: I always pause for a minute before answering this question because so much runs through my head in a split second. Even in this moment, I have already rewinded and fast forwarded through 10 years worth of experiences that have shaped who I am today.

 

One could agree I had an unthinkable high school career, of which I owe a great amount of credit to none other than Coach Dunham! (my high school coach/ Dad) and his amazing coaching staff! I went to Eleanor Roosevelt, aka THE Blazin’ Raiders, located in Greenbelt, Maryland. I was Washington Post Indoor Athlete of the year, Gazette Athlete of the year, multi-time Indoor and Outdoor National Champion. I am currently ranked 8th ALL-TIME at 500m and 3rd ALL-TIME in the 4x400m relay for Indoor performances. Our Sprint Medley Relay remains 3rd and 6th ALL-TIME for outdoor performances. An experience I will treasure for the rest of my life.

 

I had knee surgery before my freshman year of college even began and throughout college I’ve had numerous Knicks and knacks that have interrupted really sharp seasons. Even through this I was able to have successful collegiate career, run a life time best and second best of 55.73 and 55.97, respectively, over 400 hurdles and become a 2 x ACC Champion, 2 X NCAA All-American, and appear on numerous international teams. Since college, I have gotten engaged and given birth to my beautiful daughter. I had to take some time off because of these life changes. After being away from competition for nearly 2 years, my first year back, I earned an opportunity to represent Nigeria’s National Track and Field team. God was showing me his promises because my faith never wavered. In 2014 I went on to represent Team Nigeria as the 4x400m relay alternate at the World Indoor Championships held in Sopot, Poland.

 

Fast Forward to 2015, I decided to  move back to Arizona permanently and give myself a fair chance at making the 2016 Olympic team with Altis. I can’t express how thankful I am to be here. To represent Altis and my country.

 

What I have been through has always encouraged the goals I have set for myself and where I want to go. I DO NOT GIVE UP, I DO NOT FOLD UNDER PRESSURE, I find ways to ADAPT to my circumstances and use them a stepping stones to guide me in the right direction. Its hard, but I always find a way to get the job done!

 

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Effort will get you there, mental toughness will keep you there.

 

How was your experience at the 2014 World Indoor Championships?

 

Tameka: I had an eye opening experience. Attending the 2014 World Indoor Championship in Poland was my first “real” international competition as a professional athlete. I went as a 4x400m relay alternate for Nigeria. I was beyond grateful to be chosen as an alternate at such an early stage in my season, coming off of a pregnancy and an additional year off from competition and training. I really enjoyed myself and knew, while there, experiencing the atmosphere, seeing other athletes that I had competed against numerous times, I was made to compete on the next level. It was then that I also realized just how great of a job my collegiate coach did at preparing me for the professional world. I look forward to the “majors” this year!

 

What is your mindset going into the Olympic year?

 

Tameka: It’s funny because I sat in an athlete meeting at Altis, listening to Coach Dan Pfaff (An Altis Coach) speak about mental resilience and how most “major”competitions are won by athletes who are mentally tough. I have never thought of myself as being nothing other than that. In fact, that is the approach I take in life and in my training/ weight-room. Effort will get you there, mental toughness will keep you there. If I lost a race it was not because I did not try or wasn’t mentally tough, it was simply because my competition was better than me on that day. Of course I have high expectations for this Olympic year, but I am a realist as well.

 

 

 

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The difference in the success, in my opinion, relies solely on your ability to never give up.

 

How is your training going so far?

 

Tameka: Training is going very well! It is beginning to take a toll on my body this week but that is my bodies reaction to new loads, it normally takes about a week for me to adapt then I’m good to go! The coaches at Altis are doing a hell of a job attatcking the “intricate” details during warm ups and throughout the training session to help create longevity in season. I am truly humbled by this experience.

 

 

Advice to Young Athletes?

 

Tameka: Everyone and I mean EVERYONE starts at point A. The difference in the success, in my opinion, relies solely on your ability to never give up. We all have been defeated. We all have been injured. We have all been tapped out mentally at one point in time. Keep Pushing. Your time to shine will come because you did not give up! Enjoy the journey.

 

Workout Tips?

 

Tameka: Don’t overwhelm yourself looking for fast results, little progress is still progress. 🙂

 

Burpees are a full body exercise that uses a lot of muscles in the body, this means that you can burn a lot of calories! Step by step guide on how to do Burpees.

 

  1. Stand with your feet hip width apart and your arms down by your side
  2. Quickly lower into a squat position with your hands and feet flat on the floor
  3. Kick your legs backwards into a push up position
  4. Thrust both feet forward so you are back in the squat position
  5. Jump up as high as you can with both hands above your head
  6. Repeat

 

Check out Tameka’s video demonstrating how to do Burpees!

 

Follow Tameka’s Journey on Twitter and Instagram!

 

Thank you for Reading and Please check out Next Weeks Feature Friday with American 400 hurdlerAmani Bryant!!
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Thanks for reading!!  Please feel free to like, comment, and share! 

Want me to discuss a topic?? Let me know by commenting below!

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