18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hanging with the Champ

Thank you to Mark Hollis for the massive burst of inspiration.

What an awesome weekend. Having a bunch of great athletes and friends in town got me pretty excited. On Saturday everyone wanted to take a few jumps from a short run to get a feel for the facility and work out some kinks. I figured I would join in since it had been a week since I last jumped and I didn't want to pass up the opportunity to share a runway with 2-time US champ Mark Hollis. Seeing him smack the box with poles from a short run, that most vaulters couldn't handle from a competition run, was inspiring. It got me fired up and I decided to push things a little bit. Without being to technical, I was crushing poles from 10 steps (5 lefts) that I was using from my competition run a few months ago. It was exciting.
On Sunday we competed. Warm ups were a little shaky, but I don't invest a whole lot in that. Some of my best competition results came after some of the scariest warm ups ever. I started the meet on the pole that I finished the last meet on. I decided to open higher than normal because to be honest I was a little tired and sore from the previous day. So I started at 5.22m (17'1.5"). It took 3 attempts to figure it out but I managed to make the bar and continued on to make 5.32m (17'5"). At 5.42m I needed a bigger pole, which was great, and had one huge attempt height wise but still came down on the bar.
The result itself does not look all that great on paper but to me the day was a huge success. It's a 2011 and post diagnosis PR, I was on 2 poles bigger than I have jumped on this year, I was confident, I'm learning more with each session, and I was way the hell up in the air on one jump.
It's so inspiring to me, and the idea that I am capable of jumping a lifetime best after all that's happened is actually growing into more than just hope but reality.

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