18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Turning 30 and the Legend of Laurens Looije

Today is my 30th birthday. What can I say besides....Holy Shit. Where did the time go. In my mind time stopped after my 21st birthday. I remember it like yesterday, "its legal for me to drink? Thats no fun."
Not long after the year of my 21st, I met one of my favorite people to date. Do to chance we met and became great friends, but more like brothers.
Laurens Looije is one of the greatest Dutch Pole Vaulters of all time. During his time and training camps with us over the years in Pocatello, he was between 31 and 34 years old. Every time someone, who didn't know him, discovered his age, they were shocked by the numbers coming from his mouth. Wise in his years but young to the eyes. Lau was one of the most fit, strong, fast, truly powerful and healthy people I knew. He had amazing technique, advice, life experience and his jumping was just something special to witness. He brought so much pure power down the runway that it was like you were anticipating an explosion to take place at the point of impact. Spending time with him over the years, friends locked in amazing adventures, he made me realize that I wanted to keep pole vaulting at an elite level long into my 30's. I would say to myself, I want to be like Lau when i grow up (but really meant, at that age. Cause I'll probably never really grow up), and I would repeat it to him and others. But I wasn't just talking or joking, I was being serious.
November 27th 2010, here I am, way up in some beautiful mountains, officially 30 years old, I look at myself and think, I almost pulled it off Lau. Not quite, but dam close. Speed, strength, power, wisdom, desire, friendship, life experience, I did pretty well. Health on the other hand. I just couldn't quite pull it off brother. Its not my fault that my body can't keep up with my desire and dreams. But that doesn't mean I can't remain patient and still pull a rabbit out of the empty hat. You helped me learn that anything is possible when a pure passion and love exist's for it. Thank you for that.
I miss you my friend.

1 comment:

  1. Paul,

    My good friend! Such nice words and knowing you it's all meant! You did however forget about our other resemblance...GOOD LOOKS;-).
    It's been a long time and we must make a plan to meet up and have fun.
    I hope your injuries are getting better. I know how much something like pole vault can mean to a vaulter like you. Wishing you all the best and talk to you soon buddy.


    ps: Keep at the good 'blogs'...I am Legend!...What makes that Jeff Hartwig?