18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Life of Glamour

Does the life of a post collegiate pole vaulter appear glamorous? It depends on your definition of the term. Today I find myself dragging my feet. At some point during the week I tilted the wrong way while pulling on a rake, stood up with the wrong angle in posture, bent down to pick something up improperly, sneezed with my spine in a poor position, took a bad step on uneven ground without my lower abs flexed in a protective manner,  swung a hammer without tightening the right muscle groups, etc etc, the list goes on and on. One of these things, all of these things, a combination of these things, or even something I didn’t list and is totally out of my control or awareness took place, and now another set back.

These days come almost in a perfect sequence. I thought it was happening about every 6 weeks, but now it seems more like 4. The amount of questions and clues consuming my thoughts, hell bent on solving the mystery at hand, are countless. What did I do this time? I couldn’t tell you. But I can say that I know what to do now, I know where to go from here, and I know it will pass. As annoying and frustrating as it is every time, each time seems a tiny bit less terrible for my psyche. The repetition has become routine, and the thoughts of hopelessness are fewer. Next week, I will be right on track, but this week I’m sidelined.

There are things I can do physically even in the worst of states, I call it my “when in doubt list.” This is where I go to for sanctuary during these down periods. Particularly on this list is; endless pull ups, dips, and therapy. I can spend entire days on those and not aggravate or further inflame the damage already done.

Back to the Glamour; the holidays are a time for giving. I don’t have a dollar to spend on gifts. I had to borrow money this month to pay my bills, again. I have a third of a tank of gas in my car that I have been rationing for weeks because I have no other source of income to fill it again except the change in my ash tray, and that change is dear to me. I am 31 years old and moved back to my parents property. I workout mostly in there yard, and the storage building/workshop I am sleeping in. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to eat. Sounding Glamorous yet?

Part of the point I’m trying to get at, that almost seems lost in the text, is that people don’t appreciate anything, until it is taken away from them. In my case, health and money, neither of which I have ever truly had, but I’ve had more than this.

Even in my poor state, I have a great many things to appreciate, more than maybe I deserve, and I am forever grateful for them. I would list them, but that would take pages, pages and pages. So that being said, I am one blessed and fortunate dude.

Glamorous. My life is glamorous, and being a post collegiate vaulter is as well. At the end of this month I will travel to Los Angeles and get to teach kids how to pole vault along side of the Mexican National Record holder and his coach. The following week we will train together and share secrets of being successful athletes and human beings. Pole vault has introduced and adopted me into a family of people who are like minded, devoted, loyal, crazy, and most of all trustworthy. It has taken me to Europe 4 different times (and will again) to live, train, travel, and compete while seeing parts of the world I would have never known. I’ve run down the runway and found myself clearing bars in South Africa, Taiwan, and the majority of states in the US. I’ve carried my 17’ long bag with pride through packed airports to every kind of car you can think of, on bikes, skateboards, rollerblades and even my old motorcycle. I have performed in a Cave, Casinos, Gymnastics Gyms, Basketball Courts, The roof of a Parking Garage, Parking Lots, Warehouses, The Woods, Backyards, Volleyball Courts, over 7,000' of elevation, below Sea Level, and Malls, on Football Fields, Olympic Stadiums, Beaches, Streets, and even taken a few jumps into the sand and the water. From flaming crossbars, vaulting on wheels, tuxedos, costumes and even in the nude, I’ve done it all.
I am, and always will be, a Pole Vaulter, and I live a life of Glamour.

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