18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Routines, Working, Playing, and Training

I don't have much new too report for the few who remain curious. I basically work crazy long hours one week a month and which week is generally relayed to me totally at random, (up to 18 hour shifts now). I try to spend my free time working on future unique Pole Vault Clinic curriculum and how to improve and promote our sport, coaching privately, training like a mountain man/pole vaulter, and being happy. It seems odd to list happiness as a chore or a routine, but sometimes you do need to look at it that way when you lose site of its importance, or it slips through the cracks of your ultimately important schedule of survival.

Speaking of routine, during an awesome training camp with Daniel Ryland and Mark Hollis two years ago, Daniel introduced us to his ideas and beliefs in the importance of "morning warm ups" or daily routines. We were all racing through a warm up every morning together, and continued doing so the following months out on our own. Over time it seemed logical to mold my own into a daily therapy routine everyday and shooting for over 100 days in a row. Then some harsh life events broke my will to continue doing so. But I started up again, 20 days in a row now, and my back and shoulders are feeling fantastic, I'll get 100 days this time around, and I'm hoping that after doing something 100 days in row, it just becomes automatic and will stay with me for the rest of my days.

Meanwhile, I'm preparing for this Mark Hollis clinic and competition("The Ultimate Vaulter"). It should be a great event, and will be awesome to have my friend in town, and a World Class athlete to train and trade ideas with for a few days.
I've been trying to create a short video trailer for the clinic and have been digging through a lot of old footage. This clip is something really fun I stumbled on from my days back in MN. Thought you guys might get a laugh out of it. Enjoy.

This is the first and only time I have ever attempted this, but would love to build one and attempt it again. If you have one and you live nearby, contact me. This is the kind of stuff you would normally find only at Daniel Rylands house.

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Side Effect of Passion

It’s November, hard to believe that the regular season starts again in a mere eight weeks. Are you prepared? I think I am, oddly enough. This year of 2012 did not play out near what I had planned for. I can remember having an extremely powerful focus, a state of mind unparalleled even by my most successful years. It was almost like a feeling of invincibility. I knew what I wanted, I knew how to get it, and I knew it was going to happen. However, when the season progressed, the months and weeks full of small defeats chipped away at that focus. I did my best to ignore this fact or even pretend like nothing was happening. I felt it all along, and at some point in early June, I lost the state of mind I worked so hard and sacrificed so much to achieve, and I did it at the worst time possible. Do I regret this fact? No. Regret is a huge waste of my precious time and energy. Divert what could be regret into knowledge. Knowledge of a mistake that can be prevented in the future, for myself and others in my web. There is always a valuable lesson in the darkness, typically blurry at first, but with time and patience it will come into focus.
I have had my “out”, as one could say, too retire. Many times now, I could have said ‘well this obstacle is too great, and it’s time for me to bow out.’ On a regular basis people ask. My answer is still the same; I am hurt by the harsh reality that is now in the past and defines my 2012. I don’t see myself continuing on four more years. I am unsure of my physical and emotional strength to do so. But I remain utterly unsatisfied. I am so much better than I have shown. I have a number in mind, and if I could only achieve it, it seems as if it would put my soul at ease. I don’t want to define my career by a number, I know that it is much more than that, but the number haunts my every conscious moment, continually eluding me with cruel taunt and malice. This is the sharp pain of addiction that can emerge as a side effect of passion for many athletes. When is it good enough? When are we satisfied? Can we even be satisfied? If not a number, than a team, a record, a legacy, is it ever enough? When the ultimate goal is achieved, than a new one presents itself within the hour.
I may never achieve my own, but as long as I am capable, I will continue to try.