I couldn't wait to write this today because the title hit me between the eyes several times during today's long training session. Sometimes a team wins the Super Bowl or the World Series and the following year they aren't even in the playoffs. It took SO MUCH to achieve that goal that it becomes very difficult to engage again when you get back to the grind of training. The reality is that at the highest levels the difference between 1st and 3rd, and even 4th and 5th is minuscule. You can''t just cruise along and hope to grab excellence. Excellence must me grooved in with long and consistent periods of high quality training.
Right now I suck as a pole vaulter and an athlete and I'm glad. It caused me to get pissed at myself and to engage again. NOW I'm having fun! Example - I had the temptation to move up poles today just to make the bar rather than refine the technique that will make me jump higher later. I stayed on the small poles and worked away even though my technique was off and inconsistent. Part of that is because I haven't consistently stretched, or done my strides, etc. - THERE IS NO ENTITLEMENT!! I deserve nothing and I must start over like everyone else. My slate is clean for this next year and I am nobody. I like that!
As stupid as this sounds it really turned my practice and my outlook around. I ignored the weights I used before I went to Australia and went down to the ones I could handle properly. I ran with good rhythm and form rather than trying to run fast. Attempting to run fast felt awkward because I have missed my stretching and strides. So I took what was given and made the best of it.
Suddenly I couldn't be more excited about next year. I felt the natural urge to be complacent, recognized it, and kicked myself in the butt HARD and turned around my attitude to one devoted to what got me on the awards stand in Sydney in the first place. It's a rebirth and it feels great.
FYI - my final weight training is almost identical to last year except I added front squats, deep back squats and deadlifts. I kept the machine weights because I need muscle density to prevent injury. I have a good combination of power, strength, and conditioning lifts. The only other change is I am sprinting on both vault days and doing my longer runs on Monday between the two sessions.
That's it for today. I'm very pleased at what was accomplished today both mentally and physically. I enjoy every component of my training and I'm set to move forward toward my first meet, five weeks from today. Have a great day!! Bubba
PS - we will not make the trip to Kamloops for Indoor Worlds. With June in the nursing home needing some family attention, there are just too many logistics to work out in order to make it a vacation. Remember that the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games end only two weeks before this so many people are staying over. If I hadn't gone to Australia I would be there but since it's two weeks before Nationals in Boston, I just can't swing the time.