18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

Monday, September 24, 2012

Whirlwind Month

What a whirlwind journey. All in all from August 29th to today I’ve traveled roughly 6,000 miles. 2,000 was by plane, but still 4,000 by car, not too shabby. I am finally back home, but feel as if I should be busy with something. I know deep down that the best thing for me is a few days rest, but instead, I’m going to be training all week, and then do a two day pole vault clinic over the weekend (that isn't full, by the way.....)

After leaving Pocatello, Ben Allen and I raced up to Oregon to pay our respects to Keegan Burnett, and spend some time with his family.  It was a sad but beautiful visit. We stayed at the Burnett house and learned more wonderful things about Keegan and his family and friends than I could have ever imagined. I look forward to seeing them again in the near future.

Western Oregon is such a beautiful place. I always feel a strange connection with it while I am there. I would say the underlying mystique, is due to the fact that I was born there, but I think it has more to do with all the trees and green surrounding you everywhere you go. We had to be back in Northern California to work on Monday (that’s correct, I am employed now, believe it or not). Ben tested the limits of his engine as we flew to the coast. Short on time we got to hang out around the shore for about 18 hours before making the journey south.

Deciding to take the “scenic route” we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. Driving through the center of the Redwood National Park, we found ourselves on some of the windiest, broken roads I’ve encountered, stopping for herds of Elk blocking the road, watching Eagles fly, and eventually following 30-40miles of dirt road into what seemed like nowhere before finding pavement again. It was a beautiful drive, and I’m glad we did it that way, but unless you have about 14 hours to spare, I don’t recommend it.

After making it to the Hotel at about 3am, we woke up the following day and worked hard long hours over the next 4 days, bouncing back and forth from Sacramento, Ione, and San Francisco, at the end of which, we decided to go camping in the Sierras. Passing by home on the way, we threw a few things in the Subaru and headed up the mountain. With visions of catching high altitude lake trout, we failed miserably, but we did do some of the craziest mountain biking I’ve ever done, continuing to challenge and surprise us both around every corner, turning backpacking trails into a biking playground. We did get lost at one point and had to carry our mountain bikes on our shoulders for about 2 hours, while we climbed large granite slabs, and blazed our own trail through the brush. That was pretty brutal, but it was a great weekend. I ache all over. 

I did make it home, for how long? Probably not very. What is next? More of the same I think; work hard, play hard, train hard, travel a lot. I’m still not sure what level of commitment I have towards my own athletic career.  I’m ready to start working off the debt it has left me, like the extra body fat one puts on after years of turning a blind eye to its continued growth. I will train, I will pole vault, but my priorities have been modified. It can work, in 2005 I had one of my best seasons while working part-time at a Newspaper, part-time coaching at Idaho State, and part-time running a private pole vault club. I was a little younger, yes, but you can be the judge in 2013.

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