18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

Monday, December 30, 2013

Team Tuxedo: Get Ready for the Summit

Team Tuxedo: Get Ready for the Summit: Every pole vaulters favorite event of the year is right around the corner. The Reno Pole Vault Summit is such a wonderful event that sneak...

Monday, November 4, 2013

One Year

One year ago I felt like i had become inconsistent with my back therapy. It was easy to feel the difference in how a felt, slept and trained. What started as a ten day challenge quickly turned into a 30 day challenge and so on. An easy goal of committing to doing therapy everyday rain or shine, sick or healthy, busy or free. After the 10 days breezed by I decided to go for a month, then the 100 day goal followed which went by quicker than I expected, so I shot for one year. I'm pleased to announce that Saturday Nov 2nd 2013 I have done back therapy everyday for one year and now that I'm here I think it only makes sense to shoot for two. The ultimate goal of the experiment is to train my brain to do it everyday without thinking. Making It as necessary and automatic as breathing.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Character Development

This is an excerpt of something else I just wrote that I felt like sharing.  

My goals as an athlete linger, but I am no longer capable of pursuing them fully. A new set of priorities and responsibilities are steering the vehicle that is my life, and pole vault has been placed in the back seat. It will always be there, making chatter and occasionally kicking the back of the front seat, but it will never again be the primary driver.
As a high level athlete you are forced to design a perpetual state of consciousness that is entirely focused on your event, training, and psychological health. In this state, material things, media, financial survival, and even family and friendships are pushed into the back seat, always there but quietly competing for second place. It takes an immense amount of time and effort to shape this persona. It’s almost as if you are creating a character for a movie, and you are stepping into it, without any after thought of someday needing to step back out. You don’t look further ahead than your athletic goals, you can’t, because if you do, it can invite or represent the option of failure, and failure does not fit into the formula, thoughts that propose any minuet level of probability of manifesting stress must be eliminated. In your minds eye, there is no such thing as life after your athletic career. 
For more than a decade many of us stand inside of that character, working tirelessly everyday to reinforce its walls, making them impenetrable. Then, like a flash of lightning, that other life shows up.........

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Team Tuxedo: An Awesome Pierson Visit

Team Tuxedo: An Awesome Pierson Visit: It’s been a crazy three weeks after the birth of my son. It was strange and awesome to be a father on father’s day. Meanwhile, we have had ...

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Team Tuxedo: Summer Practice Schedule

Team Tuxedo: Summer Practice Schedule: I actually have people interested in coming out as soon as June 5th and June 9th. I just pushed it back to the 12th on the flier because...

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Team Tuxedo: Backyard Record

Team Tuxedo: Backyard Record: After 5 weeks of mostly physical boredom, do to fear of a medium threat knee injury, I decided that it was time to test it out. I started pu...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Glue

For whatever reason, the glue that has been holding me together for the past few years is starting to give way. My back has been feeling great but my left foot and my right knee aren't behaving like I'd prefer. I was speaking with Steve Chappell of UCS down at Mount Sac last week and he had a great line for it. I said "I guess I'm just getting old." and he replied "Your not old, you've just got high mileage."
Training has been more creative than usual as my schedule continues to be very complex. Despite the injuries and lack of time I have managed to stay extremely fit and light weight, and each time I vault I'm on much larger poles than I expect to be (poles I have jumped PR's on). With an absence of direction in the pole vault, I've allowed my other obsessions to take up space in my life again, Mountain Biking and Rock Climbing mostly, and its been fantastic. I've also decided to start coaching and allow athletes to share my training grounds with me. It's great to be working with vaulters again.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Pole Vault Family

                                                            Backyard session 3/10/13

I'm realizing that I've become a Pole Vault fan again. That may sound strange, but let me explain. For years I have been trying to avoid searching and reviewing pole vault results from all over the world because at times it would bring me down, feeling as if I was being left behind or having a poor season. But now when I see great results I'm full of excitement and pride. Pride for our sport as a whole. Although we compete with each other, we are all a big family and in this together. In a time of economic crises, where budget cuts and fear effect all of us, Track and Field being a smaller sport in the US seems to come up on the budget chopping block all to often and at all levels, and with the potential to be dangerous and expensive Pole Vaults removal number one on the list. When I see great results and success despite the odds against our sport I swell with happiness and pride. Thank you to all of those who continue to persevere; from facility access, to coaching, to competing. Long live the Pole Vault family.

If you need some fresh inspiration today, look at the results from NCAA Indoors.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Making Time

There has been a lot going on in my life. If you’ve stuck around you are probably close enough to me to know most of it. I will get into greater detail another day but for now I will leave you with this. I didn’t care about the indoor season and almost skipped it entirely. I can almost count on one hand the amount of days I pole vaulted between practice and competition (3 meets, 3 practice days). But some competitions are just way to fun to pass up on. I work two jobs, and neither pay well. But I get by, I still have time and capacity to train as my regiment has remained intact, and I’m happy and having fun in these Sierra Foothills, my version of Neverland.  

120 days. That is what my journal reads. This is the number of days that I have consecutively completed therapy for my poorly designed spine. When they were handing out bodies, someone should have taken a moment to match my personality with an indestructible vessel. Unfortunately, situations like that only happen in Fairy Tales and Mythology. So I am bound by the ongoing quest for knowledge, followed by physical routine bordering on the religious and an unequivocal patience paired with a presence of mind for a healthy and active lifestyle in the present and for many years to come. One hundred and twenty days without a miss. My goal was a mere one hundred. Triple digits seemed admirable, but as you all know, once one goal is achieved, it never seems to fill that empty space it had reserved in your pride. So now I’m chasing after 365 days. If I make it that far, who knows? It’s an interesting and fun challenge. At times embarrassing and others empowering. For example, last night after work I was doing therapy on my friend’s living room floor at 11:30pm. On long road trips (which are a weekly event now that I travel for pole vault, and work) I find myself doing it at gas stations and restaurants, hotels, fitness centers, public parks, parking lots, and regularly inside my place of work (which I can’t really disclose specifically on the internet unfortunately). Sick or healthy, rain or shine, amongst tragedy, celebration, positively charged days, and days shaded by the darkness of the negative, I always make the time, and so should you.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Reno Recharge

I must say that the 2013 Reno Pole Vault Summit was one of the most exciting and memorable Summits to date. I would like to say thank you to everyone who works so hard to make such a massive and complicated event possible. I would also like to say thank you to everyone who attended. Winter travel can be difficult and people brave the trip from all over the country and even from all over the world. Its all those crazy vault fans and athletes that make this event so very special, so once again, thank you.

My story continues on. I wanted to be indifferent about my outcome in Reno, stay relaxed and enjoy myself. After watching the event on Friday night a small unplanned fire was lit inside of me and a powerful hunger for success on Saturday grew overnight and into the next day. So what wound up happening was that I tried to hard. You here that term often and sometimes I think it starts to lose its meaning, but that's exactly what I did and there is no better way to describe it. I tried to hard and it cost me. When coaching the vault I am constantly teaching athletes about the importance of relaxing on the runway emphasizing posture, position, and mechanics rather than focusing on pure speed and power. When you finally get it, you realize you actually feel like you are doing less work but running faster, hitting better positions, and ultimately jumping on larger and larger poles. I created a common problem for myself this weekend by forcing my run. Caving to the excitement and trying to move down the runway much faster than I did the previous week, my pole drop was still timed up for the slower approach, meaning I was planting the pole late on each approach and while rushing it down into the box I got into a very bad position (leaning back) at takeoff. That being said, I enjoyed the extra speed (or feeling of speed, not sure what the numbers are yet) and honestly didn't realize that I was able to move that well right now, finishing on a bigger pole than I jumped my 2012 season best. My back is beat up from my mess of travels and competitions over the past two weeks, so a one or two week break from the vault is imminent but when I return I plan to try and time up an earlier pole drop for a more aggressive approach in hopes to yield better more forward body position at takeoff and higher results. Timing, as they say, is everything.

Do to the complexity and importance of my life outside of this sport, I operate on a week to week basis on focus for my own, most likely short, future as a vaulter, but at the moment the good old Reno Recharge has me all kinds of inspired.

I do want to start writing about ideas I have to help support the upcoming group of post-collegiate athletes. Times are tough, and they are going to need our support more than ever. Enough talk for now, but we will start to tackle this next time. Regards, and stay relaxed.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Daniel Ryland: Reno

Daniel Ryland: Reno: It is the week that for most of the years I pole vaulted I could not stand the time going by so slow waiting on the day I packed my poles an...

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Privilege

    I don't have a terrible amount of time to write, but for almost a week now I have felt a strong obligation to write something. Earlier this week my good friend Ben Allen was in town, and I let him know that on Tuesday the temperature was supposed to hit 60 degrees and that we should not pass on the opportunity to vault under the sun. The indoor season has begun, so I thought it was a good idea to try jumping from a competition approach (full run, 18 steps, "9 lefts" if you live on the west coast) since I hadn't done so since October. So I threw myself at it with a workout goal of being relaxed and care free regardless of the outcome, no technical goal at all, just emotional. To my surprise, on my second trip down the runway I was off the ground and sailing through the air, an involuntary scream of excitement blast from my lungs as time slowed down and I gently drifted back towards earth from heaven. In that moment I remembered, I remembered everything, the first time I bent a pole, won a meet, stood on a championship podium, the times it was taken away from me and the powerful feeling of wanting it back, all the years of laughter and joy all compiled into a fraction of a second. Pole vault makes me so happy, we are all so blessed to be a part of such an amazing sport. As I departed the pit, and strolled back down the runway, I thought back on all those times I was angry, anxious, and even sad when I was pole vaulting, they seem so strange and foggy, inappropriate and out of place, and I see now just how utterly stupid that is. I try to compare it to something else; like winning the lottery and tearing up the ticket cursing the sky on your bad luck and horrible existence. How is it that we are able to pole vault and not just be grinning ear to ear the whole time? Doesn't seem right, and for me that has changed. From now on, every jump I take is a gift and a privilege,  never again will I let it feel like an obligation or a chore. This is and always will be my most beloved and favorite activity on the planet.
    So next time you 'no-height', have an undesired session outcome, or don't reach a competition goal, smile about it, and laugh because I would bet money you get the privilege to jump again within the week and their are probably billions of people on the planet that wish they could do, what you can do.