18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

Monday, May 30, 2011

Deviation Born of Hesitation

After a long 4 hour day of coaching solo on Sunday, my lower back locked up significantly. Climbing on and off the pit, putting up bars and bungees, and demonstrating technique, took its toll. For our competition, the runway opened for warm ups at and I finished coaching at . I hopped in my car and raced home to change clothes and put on my game face, then raced back. There was some false hope in the back of my mind that after my warm up I would be able to relax on the sidelines while other athletes jumped at lower heights, put my feet up and the pain and tension in my back would subside, but like I said, false hope.
 I managed to get off the ground a few times in warm ups and even pieced one or two jumps together that looked encouraging. But I was all over the place. Maintaining confidence I still had my sights set on clearing an 18'1" bar that would most likely be enough height to ensure me a spot on the runway at this years USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. After making 17'1" with ease I still struggled to find some kind of rhythm and had to take 3 attempts in order to clear 17'5". Breathing heavily, and trying to revert my focus away from the group of muscles in my lower back, that felt something like quick drying cement, I passed the next height of 17’9”. This is a height that I have already cleared this season, and with a healthy body I wouldn’t mind popping over it again, but in my current state, at that particular moment, it didn’t seem logical. As results will show, I did not manage to get over 18’, and didn’t even get to have 1 good attempt at it. This was extremely frustrating to me but I only have myself to blame. I had 2 fantastic approaches and takeoffs only to be followed up by a cowards finish, in the act of preventing myself from swinging upside down. Dammit! It just didn’t feel right too me, but it was right. So Wednesday, before the competition starts, I’m going to peek in the front of my pants, make sure my balls are still there and turn every jump up that I plant. I will not walk out of that facility with regret. I hate regret, I don’t normally do it, and I felt it Sunday night. It pierces me now, like it pierced me then. Piss on regret, it’s not my style, and it shouldn't be yours. It's a word and feeling that should be stricken from existence.
Up to this point in the series, I have learned from every meet, and brought new knowledge and confidence to the following. This one felt different from the rest, but I still feel as if I learned something important. The previous competitions left me calm, focused and confident. This competition has left me pissed off, super focused, overly confident, and even more pissed off as this sentence goes on. I’m out for blood Wednesday and failure is my enemy.  

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