18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Perfect Moment

Wednesday I competed at the Tacoma Freedom Fair Beach Vault. Normally I get almost overwhelmingly excited for street and beach competitions, but since the Trials my attitude towards Pole Vault has been fairly pessimistic. I did my best to warm up and get into the meet but my heart just wasn't in it. I was really dragging my feet with my head down. It wasn't until I cleared my opening height of 5.26m (17'3") that lightning struck. As I was safely falling through the air after clearing the bar, time slowed down, and my inner Angels and Demons sat down to have a quiet drink and discuss my current state of being. The outcome of the treaty was outstanding, because as soon as I struck the gentle embrace of that wonderful landing pad the world around me, that once seemed so simple, came back into focus again. It said "This is pole vault Paul, welcome back my friend". I love this sport so much, and I'm so happy to be able to do it. It all happened in a flash, my attitude repaired, my emotions repaired, my spirit repaired. People say that perfection is impossible, but that was a perfect moment. I finished the competition in second place with a height of 5.41m (17'9") and was very happy with the result. I keep telling everyone, 'that was just what I needed'. I'm very excited to get to compete again on Saturday at the Alki Beach Vault in Seattle, regardless of placing or height result. I feel free again, free to just pole vault, and enjoy it. I don't need an A-standard or a few more stress filled centimeters, there are no deadlines, restrictions, or outside pressures. I spoke with my coach last week and said that I'm still setup for a new lifetime best, or even my illusive Unicorn of clearing 19', and he said stop thinking of it that way, don't put a number on your success. I took me awhile to process it, and it sank in during my long fall from 17'3" in the air. I don't need a reason other than, I get to jump and I jump for me.

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