Yesterday I had a wonderful back yard vault session at a friends place, followed by a short but sweet ring workout. I had a goal in mind during my jump session that can only be described as unorthodox. My goal was to grip to high on to big of a pole and get rejected from the pit multiple times until eventually forcing my way in and taking jumps where I barely make the mat. The main focus being that the poles felt too big, I felt uncomfortable and I forced myself to start and finish jumps regardless of the constant temptation to quit midway.
I was jumping from shorter approaches so the danger was minimal to nonexistent, but I must say, I just had a blast. It was so much fun, to fail, on purpose, then turn around and ultimately succeed with forced effort. It was a lesson I wouldn’t teach to many others, but I know it’s exactly what I need at the moment. The series of poles I have been traveling with are a bit odd. I have a 15’ 195lb, borrowed from Idaho State University which was once left behind by a former vaulter and friend, a 15’ 7” 190lb and 195lb on loan from one of my former athletes and good friend who in seasons to come will be one of the USA’s best, and from there on I have 16’5” length poles and above. So every time I make the switch from those 15’7”s to a 16’5”, the difference is more than I can handle. Even though it’s a logical change in flex number (stiffness rating) and grip height (the measurement of height where my top hand is placed on the pole), and I will most likely land safely in the pit, the change in poles makes me feel to far away and I tend to bail out of (or incomplete) jumps.
So I’m mending that problem. Sunday or Monday, I will perform the same session on even longer poles, with higher grips, from longer runs, and take it even further in the next session. It’s a much more primitive way of looking at such a complicated event which boasts hundreds of books, videos, articles, essays and theories revolving around different scientific and mathematical insights, but sometimes you need to just stop and realize, “your using a stick, to jump over another stick” and generally its not the guy with the biggest brain who takes home victory, it’s the guy with the biggest balls. Calculated risk, some call it, I think we to often over calculate. Sometimes it’s easy to forget these simplicities, and I’m glad I’m taking a moment in training to remember.