18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Ultimate Vaulter Pole Vault Clinic

The Ultimate Vaulter
Mark Hollis   vs.  Tuxedoman Paul Litchfield

On December 8th and 9th 2012
Location: TheYolo Striders Vault Factory (460 Harter Ave. Woodland, CA)

Come to a Pole Vault Camp and Competition that is the first of its kind.
All athletes in attendance will be split into two teams based on lifetime best.
Team Hollis, and Team Litchfield.

Each team will be coached under one of these great athletes for an intense day of instruction, then compete against each other the following day, too see which Team will be crowned the Ultimate Vaulter.

Day 1: Instruction will be different for each team. A curriculum specifically designed by Hollis or Litchfield to get their team to have a high learning curve and give them what they feel are the most valuable tools needed to compete at a winning level the following day.

Day 2: The competition will be held on two runways parallel to each other. Where Hollis and Litchfield will take each team through a pre meet warm up, and then coach each team member through the entire competition. Athletes final heights will be scored on an IAAF scoring table, and the highest score wins.

But that’s not all. During the competition if a vaulter goes out with three misses, and their coach thinks they can make the height to stay in, they can “buy” that athlete an extra attempt with a specified point deduction from there teams final score. The higher the bar, the higher the deduction.

Then Hollis and Litchfield will go head to head in a show down. Due to ceiling restrictions it will have to be from short approaches, but will still prove to be exciting as they push each other to the point of hitting the ceiling. Hollis and Litchfield’s final heights score will be doubled for the overall total, and they can also buy extra attempts with the permission of there team.   

All proceeds will go to maintaining and improving the Yolo Striders Vault Factory, and the Mark Hollis and Paul Litchfield training funds.

Ø Go to Active.com to register: https://cui.active.com/camps-reg/login?a=283139402
 Ø Early Bird Registration ends December 2nd at 11:59 PM.
Ø Online Registration ends December 7th at 11:59 PM.
Ø Early Bird Special: $200.00
Ø Regular Registration: $225.00
Ø Same Day Registration: $250.00

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dog Shit and Television

There is always a certain level of stress following you around as a post-collegiate pole vaulter, I would say as an athlete, but I’m not sure how it works in every discipline. Obviously you don’t have to be an athlete to have this same dark cloud following you around either. This stress usually spawns from financial problems, social pressures, and family needs. To get deeper into the details of each is not my goal right now, you can use your imagination to drum up plenty of scenarios to support all three. I am more interested in the discussion of dealing with the stress on hand and creating a healthier emotional atmosphere around ones self.
It comes to us all and it comes in many forms, how each of us deal with it and press on makes us unique and strong. For me that comment has a literal meaning lately. Everything I have been doing to block out the negative has been physical. So much to the point that I have had too mold my training around it this past week. When some people have a hard day, week, month etc., they like to go home, eat food, have a drink or a smoke or both, and turn on the television until they melt into a zombie state, forget there problems and fall asleep. This seems to be, I would say the ‘natural order of things’, but a more defining term would be the ‘unnatural order of things’. It’s a routine that has been created since the dawn of the television and has been passed through a handful of generations. On an even further tangent, everyone blames fast food chains for the obesity problem, I bet if you had the data and could go back far enough the correlation between obesity and television is much stronger.
But I digress. The point I was trying to make is that this terrible anti-stress routine that has become the norm in modern society actually has a negative effect on me. I realize that it is like throwing a newspaper over the dog shit in the kitchen, rather than cleaning it up, and while I’m sitting there I feel a growing sickness of guilt for wasting precious years of my life with mind numbing activity when my precious gift of time on this earth could be used for such greater purposes. That thought alone provokes another tangent that is an ongoing conflict in my mind about seeing time as having much greater value than currency, but I will save that for another day.
Back to the TV: The BLS American Time Use Survey says that the average American watches 5.11 hours of television daily. That is insane, do you understand how those numbers pan out over time? These are rough numbers mind you, but still.
5.11hrs/ day
= 35.77 hrs/ week   : You’ve already lost a day of your life awake (1.5 days actually)
=155.85 hrs/ month: Now you’ve lost 6.5 days in just a month, almost lost a week.
=1865.15 hrs/ year : Now you’ve lost 77.71 days, which is over two and half months.
How long does it take, to lose one year off your life spent awake and in from of the television? Every 4.7 years, you lose a year of your life to the television.
Think about it.
So, I have a hard time sitting there even when I have completed a great deal of tasks throughout the day. That is the situation I have been attempting to address throughout this incessant ramble. 95% of what helps me relieve stress is physical. Working out works better than anything, not only do you kill time, remove your mind from the outside stressors, create a wave of endorphins, but you gain a lasting confidence of accomplishment that will carry you for hours. But you can’t work out all day, so then what? I’ve been doing a rash of manual labor around the property, things that have needed to be done for years, are finally being taken care of, and each time one task is completed I feel a lasting amount of gratification and boost to my overall confidence. These daunting tasks, that we continue to ignore, hang over our heads and will eventually grow into terrible monsters in the back of our psyche, haunting us on a daily basis. There are other things, indoor things that I need to complete as well, but I save those, for when the sun is down.
So what am I even trying to say today?
Fight stress with exercise. 
Complete the tasks you continue to brush aside to experience relief and joy.
And stop watching so much damn television. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Halloween Pole Vault Clinic and Competition

I'm doing a Halloween Clinic and Competition at the end of the month. Going to be a great time. Here is the information for those who are interested.

We all had a great time with Paul at the September Pole Vault camp. The experience was definitely one to remember. We are now gearing up for the October camp and this time we want to mix it up a bit with a Halloween theme. Come in costume, something jumpable would be best. Remember this is a limited event, only 20 participants per camp so there’ll be plenty of personal instruction and 1:1 time. The clinic will be held Saturday October 27th and 28th mixed in with an Open Halloween competition Sunday the 28th

Yolo Striders Pole Vault Factory, Woodland, CA

Ø Go to Active.com to register:

Ø Early Bird Registration ends 10/21/2012 at 11:59 PM.

Ø Online Registration ends 10/26/2012 at 11:59 PM.

Ø Camp is limited to the first 20 paid participants.

Ø Early Bird Special: $150.00 (Before October 21st)

Ø Regular Registration: $175.00

Ø Same Day Registration (If space available): $200.00

Day 1 Schedule
11:00AM - 12:00PM Registration

12:00PM - 1:00PM Introductions, Safety Discussion, Warm up

1:00PM - 2:30PM Drills and Specific Strength

2:30PM - 3:30PM Lunch, Review

3:30PM - 5:00PM Pole Vault Session

Day 2 Schedule
8:30AM Doors Open

9:00AM - 10:00AM Group Warm up and Drill review

10:00AM - To Finish Halloween Competition

Post Competition Pole Vault Gymnastic Conditioning

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Early Fall Update

I should start a blog that is opinion and philosophy outside of pole vault. You guys should see some of the crap I ramble about. When I look back through it I wonder how readers would really respond. I’m sure there are some that would ask me to seek therapy. Maybe someday I’ll release it, like when I’m on my death bed or something. Either way, this is not an appropriate setting. Anyway, I was writing before this and felt like I should say hello when I got done.

I realize that when you don’t keep up on these things you lose most of your readership, but I don’t like writing for no reason, and I especially don’t like writing if it is going to be filled with negative garble. Lately I have had exactly that. In the midst of all that garble, I did coach a pretty awesome clinic down in Woodland, CA, at an indoor facility run by the Yolo Striders. I really had a blast working with the kids and would like to thank those that came, and the Striders for hosting. It made me miss all those years I spent coaching. That has always been a huge part of my life. It has granted me with lifelong friendships, and more gratification through success than my own athletic prowess could ever produce. Although I am pursuing other financial interests outside of the athletic world, I am going to begin setting more time aside for clinics and random opportunities to coach. Not only because I enjoy it so much, but because I think I’m pretty damn good at it. It is a way for me to give back to a sport that has given me so much, and for the sport to continue to make my life more positive. I hope to be a part of it until I am no longer psychologically capable.

On that note, I am going to do another clinic in Woodland on October 27th and 28th, as a Halloween camp, and competition the following day. I will post official details and links soon.

On a training note: When I arrived home after this last brush of unplanned travels, I returned to my unorthodox and carefully calculated training regiment with full force. I didn’t have a goal in mind, still being confused about the year to come, other than the fact that I felt out of shape and guilty about the way I had been “letting myself go”. As guilty as I felt, it turns out I didn’t let myself go too far. The bad weight melted off fast and the good weight is returning. My strength and speed are surprisingly high and I’m having a good time training again. I haven’t jumped from a longer run since I was in Colorado, but I had a couple of fun short run sessions in Woodland, and I actually think I kind of looked like a pole vaulter.

This is an entry in my journal from 3/24/2012 I will leave you with today:
“Stop listening to what everyone else is saying and take a moment to listen to your heart. It knows what is really possible and it is trying to tell you. Your future is not already written. You can shape it anyway you desire.”