18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Time seems to be racing by very fast, and many things which need long preparation, are right around the corner.
Monday morning I took my dog for a ghostly quiet walk in the snow, I stared up at the grey clouds through the thickness of my cold breath and thought to myself; I can't believe that large outdoor competitions are getting underway this week. In the past 3 weeks I have picked up a pole twice. Once for a big event, once for a small event. Both were fun, but also a lot of work, and yielded embarrassing results. Now I have one month before our first Fuzion meet. They are smaller and were created solely to save post collegiate athletes money, and bring about marks for the USA Championships despite the impractical methods of the modern machine of track and field in the US. We put them in play for everyone else, but I would like to take advantage of them myself as well.
And yes, they are all sanctioned, and will have certified officials present. So come jump high!
I find myself wondering though. Can I be ready in time? I don't intend to jump for 2 more weeks, with renewed dedication to physically therapy thanks to friend and trainer, Alex Tapplin. He saw that I veered off the right path, losing site of the importance of some things, and the unimportance of others. He has been a huge part of guiding me back and I'm thankful for it.
Vaulting for me at this stage has seemed to be a lot like the old saying "its just like riding a bike". I don't need to be doing it on a regular basis. My body always knows what to do, and my mind is very quiet. Not like in the past, when I was healthy, and I let my thoughts run so far away, my composure was left wanting. Now when I do jump, I am so happy to set foot back on the runway, it overwrites any shred of doubt or disillusion, and i start my approach full of the emotion of joy and emptied of rational thought. It is a wonderful feeling, and as I look back on my career, its the same feeling I had on all of my breakout performances. How can you harness it always? I'm not sure that you can. But striving to do so is definitely worth while.
But I'm on a tangent again. Those tend to dominate my stories. I was talking about the upcoming weeks. I have a calendar in front of me that maps out my life until the end of June, and the calendar from there to October will be near to completion within a week. Its nice to have structure, but the excitement of the unknown has always had much more appeal to me. Looking at my future on paper, makes me wonder more and more if I can make it happen. But with that uncertainty comes the unknown.
This answers my own question. Time to continue moving forward, and leave meaningless doubt behind .


  1. Hey Paul! Just wanted to say I love reading your blogs and it is great to hear the real, unsugar-coated stuff from experienced vaulters like yourself!! :)

  2. Hi Paul,

    This was a great post, very insightful and well written. I have enjoyed following your blog. Wish you the best of health and luck, and hope to see you in Jonesboro again sometime.

    Roy Jackson
    (Tyler's dad)