I’d be a liar if I said that I wasn’t a little upset this weekend. After failing to clear 5.40m (17’8.5”) I held my head high and walked off the pit with a smile, but on the inside I was fighting a demon, and he was raging pissed.
For months now I have designed a confidence level in myself that in years past I did not understand the importance of. Last week I felt it fading for some reason. I attempted to reel it back in, but failed. I had a bad feeling about the upcoming meet and my decision to change my plan and tack another 1,100 mile drive onto my indoor season. Trying to brush it off and look past it, I took the trip and failed regardless. Now I’m confused.
Originally I hadn’t planned on wasting time on the stress that is created by the indoor season. With such a short time frame to get a qualifying mark for the Indoor championships, I didn’t want to burn to many weeks chasing after that mark. I planned to have fun and compete at places I enjoy rather than force competition to satisfy the need for the acknowledgement and personal gratification that comes with qualifying and performing at the
indoor championships. But now I find myself victim of the same trap I have fallen into year after year. With indoors on its downhill end, I’m stressed about a performance that hasn’t taken place, allowing doubt to creep in and infect my confidence. It sucks, and I’m angry with myself for being in this position again, especially this year. USA
Last year at this same time I was just starting to jump and compete again coming off of my injuries. The fact that I was even able to jump at all made me so happy, that every time I left the ground it brought me great joy and the results were absolutely meaningless to me. I need to tap into this feeling in the present and remind myself that I am medically not even supposed to be here. I am beating the odds, results are petty. I should be overjoyed that I am doing what I am doing and I know that I am going to shock people with results yet to come. Even as I type these words I am already starting to relax and feel better. Pole Vault is so much more than a result to me.
Being home for about 16 hours now, I will leave again in 4 days. Hopefully this time I will leave for the right reasons. I want to say that I will jump higher this coming weekend. The statement is a demonstration of confidence. But I have been saying that every week. The confidence is still there, but I’m starting to feel a bit like a liar. So I will say this. When I pull out of the driveway Thursday morning I will leave here with more confidence and faith in myself than I did last week, a smile on my face, and one ultimate goal for the competitions to come, to enjoy every second of it to the fullest.