The beginning of this rest period didn’t turn out quite to be the magic I was expecting. Warming up yesterday I felt fairly rested and ready to go, much better than the previous few competitions I have attended, but it was still not enough. I thought I had a logical plan in mind to prevent the previous running and approach problems that have been occurring, but that logic, based on numbers, cost me. I wound up failing to clear a height once again, in track and field we call that a “No Height”. It was embarrassing and hard to swallow, two appearances at the Olympic Training Center, and two horrible looking failures in front of my friends and peers. On top of that I got to see three great vaulters move up on the national list once more, moving me down now to a four way tie for 19th in the US. I was excited for each of them, and was positively charged by witnessing there success, but I could hear a small voice of fear inside who continues to try and grow stronger. That damn voice, it knows that there now is a distinct chance that, unless I increase my season best by a centimeter or so, I may not even get the opportunity to compete at the Olympic Trials. Scary right? I know. Rumor on the OTC campus is that USATF is saying they would rather have 20 male vaulters compete at the trials rather than 25 if possible. As of last night, I am one of those guys right on the edge again, "on the bubble" as they say, and there are still 10 days to compete and post qualifying marks, and plenty of capable guys out there.
I don’t like the sound of it, anymore than you do. I try to block out thoughts like this, but they find their way through. There is a great deal to be positive about though, despite all these setbacks I still have not revealed my true capability. With some more tapering in the upcoming days I will be sharper and stronger than ever. The anxiety associated with trying to best my own mark would normally trick me into competing several times in a row, but this time I told myself absolutely not. I could compete tomorrow, but I chose not too, knowing that very capable and talented guys will be, and may push me down the list even further. I can’t allow myself to continue to follow other people’s paths, I know what is best for me, and I have to stay calm, focused and patient. So I’ve chosen to compete again on Tuesday, giving myself the proper rest my body needs, despite a strong urge begging me to try again tomorrow.
This all seems so unnecessary to me, I truly expected to have jumped higher by now. I never thought I would have to deal with this stress again, and here I am, for the third time. At this point accepting whatever fate has in store for me is probably my best line of defense. I’ve done absolutely everything in my power and can look back on this period of my life with no regret despite the outcome.