18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Vaulting in a Cave.

The past few days has been an amazing experience. The Cave Vault was the most unique pole vault event I have ever had the pleasure of taking part in. Hats off to the Motley Crew Vault Club, and Andrew Amsden for putting together such a remarkable venue. I can't imagine the time, and commitment it took to make such a thing possible, and I can't wait to get back there. The Cave environment was awesome. From photos you can only catch a glimpse of it. The truth is, when we were in there we barely scratched the surface of it. That Cave is 6,000,000 square feet, and 200 acres, 180 of those acres being an underground lake. I'll say again, amazing. Being in such a wonderful atmosphere around true pole vault fans is hard to describe and a delight for the senses. I drove right on down when i arrived, set up camp and lived there for almost 5 days, with the occasional outing to shower and play disc golf of course.The temperature of the cave was a chilly 58-62 degrees. A bit cold if you were sitting, not bad if you were standing or walking, and perfect if you were being active. They had very large pits, but the feeling of running down a tunnel surrounded by the earth gave me a strange sensation of being safe, like being held. I felt beyond comfortable taking jumps there. A truly magical place.
Another notable item was that I broke my streak, my No Height streak is over. The previous 6 events I had attended ended for me in the failure to clear a bar. This meet was different. I was able to make 16', 16'6", 17' , and 17'4". My goal for the competition was to relax, really relax. And I did, and it worked. I felt like i could have jumped much higher than the numbers show, but it was high enough on the day, and I was extremely happy to make some bars.
I couldn't resist the temptation to drive 200 miles south, after the meet, to hang out at Bell Athletics and spend a few extra days with one of my favorite people in the world, Daniel Ryland. The pole vault energy here is unparalleled, and if you've been here, you understand. After a few days of pole vault recharge, I plan to head back to Missouri and do some climbing (body, mind, and soul therapy) then off to Kentucky to put on a great show at the Jumpin and Jammin street vault, now that I've got my head screwed back on straight and held up high.

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