Friday, July 30, 2010

Sitka & Ketchikan

Overcast yesterday in Sitka but beautiful this morning in Ketchikan. Staff tells us it has rained the last five weeks but this week not a drop. Very lucky.

I'll do some easy running/skipping today as I plan to vault on Monday morning. I have done nothing else at all as I wanted to be totally fresh and healed from any aches and pains. Feel great and ready to go.

My two new 14' 7" (4.45m) poles came in yesterday. It may be a few weeks before I attempt them but at least they are here. I added these so that I could start on them rather than transfer during a meet from my 14' 1"s (4.30m) poles. They are all built on 15' 1" sailpieces so I should get a better response off the top and picking me up at take off. I'm very active umping up off the ground and that works well with a longer sailpiece. It better as I now have nine 14' 7s and have yet to jump on one. Not to worry, I jumped on some 16' 1" poles (4.90m) the last time I was near this level.

The first three photos are Ketchikan and the last two are Sitka.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Photos From Juneau

Haven't figured out how to get this order down. I took this one with my left hand from our deck as we left Juneau. Click to enlarge.

From the Mt. Roberts tram. Our ship is on the left.

Nancy making friends again.

More from the tram.

The tram coming in to get us.

A half blind bald eagle being cared for at Mt. Roberts.

Juneau Today - Sarah Palin's Old House Down the Street

Woke up in Juneau this morning. Overcast but comfortable. Here are a few photos from yesterday. Later we will do a tram ride and get some good photos and may walk down to the Governor's house. Have a great day. Bubba

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

On the High Seas

Long day yesterday heading to the airport at 5 AM and seeing sunset at 8:50 (10:50 CDT). Seattle could not have been more beautiful as you see from the photos. Click on any to enlarge.

We're at sea all day today and will be at Glacier Bay, Alaska in the morning. Haven't yet worked out but I've been through the gym a couple of times to see what I can do.

After breakfast at 7, Nancy and I took a nap about 8:30 and woke up at 11:45, just in time for lunch. Pretty funny. You know how hard I jumped and did trampoline before I left but I was really buried in business responsibilities as well and Nancy helps out with that so we were both just dead.

Tonight is the first of two "Formal Nights" so we have to dress up. I think Nancy "gets to dress up" but I "have to dress up". YUK!! Have fun day. Bubba

PS - this is my 300th post to this blog.

View of the water from inside our veranda suite.
Seattle against the row of verandas.
Nancy on our veranda as another ship pulls out of port.
The marina we were parked next to in Seattle.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Good Day Went As Planned

Of course the main goal was to go on vacation healthy since it will be a forced 11 days away from jumping. I will do the lifting/cardio on the ship to get that soreness out but jumping today went as planned. Started on the 1362 and made 9' 6" (2.90m) and very nearly 10' (3.05m) which would tie my pole PR. BUT, it was too small so I moved up to the 12' 6"/165 and made 10' and was super close to tying my 2 step PR of 10' 6" (3.20m). I made no attempt to go to the 1365 because it would have been too big of a risk feeling as flat as I knew I would. Technically I had much better control of my jump and did not try to overpower or finesse any jumps.

I'm very pleased with the last eight days. I will enjoy the vacation knowing that on the Thursday after I return I will be at 4 steps on on my regular 13' 1" (4m) pole series.

I'll be taking an posting photos here as well as reporting when I have an Internet connection. Have a great weekend and thanks for your support! Bubba

Friday, July 23, 2010

Pretty Beat Up

I did trampoline and as planned kept it pretty short. I mainly worked on things off of my back to save my legs for tomorrow. I go on the cruise Sunday so tomorrow my only goal is to finish uninjured so I will be taking it very easy. I'll just jump on the two small poles and make no effort to get to the 1365. It will also be my last day from 2 steps or 12' (3.66m). Since last Saturday, eight days tomorrow, I will have vaulted four days and done trampoline two days so I guess I'm well. Yahooooooooooooooooo!!

On the cruise I will lift a day and do cardio the next to get that soreness out and get some serious stretching in. I will have three rotations of this. We aren't as much on the touring as relaxing and enjoying the views so there will be plenty of downtime to get to the gym. I guess everyone's idea of a vacation is different but we're just glad not to have a schedule or plan.

Speaking of plans, I will get back and get to my regular training. The Texas Senior Games will be Sunday 10/24 so that's my first meet. We go to Maine on October 1-9 and I have good training there as well. There's great hill in front of the house (70m) and I join the YMCA for the other days.

As far as vaulting I need to get the most technically out of each run so that means starting on poles that are very manageable and ending on poles and grips that I would normally use from a stride or two further back. From 2 steps I'm already up two poles and expect even more from the other successive runs.

In August I will try and stay at 4 steps but if I get between poles I will allow myself to move back a stride. Whenever I do that I seem to be able to use it from one stride closer the next time out. Hopefully I will easily be on my 14' 7" (4.45m) poles by the time I'm at 10 steps.

So if the plan is to jump 14' 7" (4.45m) from 16 steps that means I must be able to do the following;
14' 1" (4.30m) from 14 steps
13' 7" (4.15m) from 12 steps (have done 13' 6")
13' 1" (4m) from 10 steps (do that all the time and have made it from 8)
12' 7" (3.85m) from 8 steps (very regular)
12' 1" (3.70m) from 6 steps (PR is 12' 6")
11' 7" (3.55m) from 4 steps (PR is 12')

I'm expecting to be better so hopefully that means I can hit these marks from one stride closer and have a shot at 15' 1" (4.60m) from 16 steps. We'll see but you have to have a plan that makes sense and this does. The furthest I have run in two years is 12 steps though I always ran from 14 and 16 the years before. I simply did not want to move back if I couldn't carry the technique with me. Now I feel I can.

I said before I went on the field at Sydney that I don't think I could have done anything to better prepare or condition. I'm way past that fitness, speed and power now; I just need to jump in a methodical fashion while not getting hurt. I think I have learned quite a bit about that this year off, but only time will tell. Have a great night! Bubba

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Yep, had it all today. I didn't feel very fresh but I know that Saturday will be worse since I have trampoline tomorrow; hence today was the day to see where I am at 2 steps. Good - Started on the cut 1362 and my technique was very good as I almost made 10' (3.05m) on it which would be a pole PR. BAD - I started to finesse because I knew the pole was too small and THAT screwed up my timing.

Bad - Moved to the 12' 6"/165 and made 10' easy but it was too small at 10' 6" (3.20m), again. Tried to force my arms and then blew through the pole. Forcing positions is not natural. Change the pole, not the jump.

Good/Bad - Moved to the 13' 1"/165 and overpowered it and compressed it rather than rolled it. Had two very close at 10' 6" which would tie my run PR. I have only made 10' 6" once from 2 steps and today had lots of height. Again, I forced positions and my technique broke down. Sucks! The good news ia that I've never been on that pole from that run.

UGLY - When I most needed to stay upright and force my hands over the top with a straight body, I fell away and pulled my knees in. When I needed to maintain what I was doing well, I started finessing so I wouldn't blow through the pole.

NOW - these are natural tendencies but I won't move to the next level if I don't challenge myself to jump better when the bar goes up. It starts right now. I did make good adjustments in general but some were merely reverting back to trying to over power the pole rather than working with it.

I'm not a guy that believes in 7 attempts with everything the same. Like a meet, I have only three attempts to make something happen or I change something - move up a pole, a grip, back a stride, etc. Too many guys make a bar on the 10th attempt in practice and then are shocked they can't make it in a meet with only three attempts. So the rule is three misses and move on.

That's it for today. Mildly pleased but disappointed in my lack of ability to dial in rather than try to get away with blasting the pole. That may work sometimes on a big one but it just makes a small one mush out more. Have a great day and thanks for being here! Bubba

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Travel Day

Pretty sore from the jumping and trampoline. No lifting now for over a week but the plan is to get on solid footing with the new stuff -vaulting and trampoline. I'll vault Thursday and Saturday and do tramp again Friday then head off on the cruise Sunday. When I return I will do so with all training components at a ramp up level. Have a great day! Bubba

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Trampoline Day

Trying to add new/old stuff while trying to clean up tricks that were just regained. Today I was able to do a full twisting front 1 3/4. I was unable to land my Rudy (front with 1 1/2" twists), though I saw where I was missing the landing. Ended up being a double twisting 3/4 somersault. Same with the back double full (2 twists). Couldn't see where to break out of the spin there either. It will come as my eyes adjust to the spin speed.

In 1974 Don and I were introduced to trampoline and after three months of a summer, when we went back to vaulting it was like watching big screen TV in slow motion. Very easy to see where you were and to hit positions. Good conditioning too. Let's see, do I want to run 150s and 200s or spend an hour on the trampoline? Pretty easy answer.

The owners of the gymnastics place allowed us to change our schedule to Tuesday/Friday since my big jump day is Thursday. No way I could do all in one day at any quality level. SO, five days until the vacation and I'm feeling pretty GREAT about things. Have a wonderful day and thanks for your support. Bubba

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Really Good Day

Very similar to the first jump session but technique was MUCH cleaner with big prejumps and stiff body hitting the pole, to one motion swing with minimal hip break. Made 10' (3.05) from 2 steps again but the pole (12'6/165) at 10' 6" (3.20m) was way too small so I moved to a UCS 1365. SO CLOSE to getting it to roll. Not quite there. Technique grade last time was a C- and today was a B+. Actually felt like a vaulter. Two more days from two steps, then the cruise, then come back to full training and four steps for August. No hint of pain in any area. AWESOME!! Bubba

Sunday, July 18, 2010

BIG Marks Going Up

Charlie Brown set a new M55 American Record on Friday with a jump of 14' 3 1/4" (4.35m). As stated many times, with the new group of young guys coming in, it will take 14' to get a medal next year at Worlds and I have set up my training accordingly. I fully expect to be over 4.30m (14' 1 1/4") sometime next year myself should I remain remotely healthy. Training, grips, poles, etc., have all be set up to achieve 14' 6" (4.42m) so we will see what happens. Better technique, better body and two more strides (4 steps) on to my run should make a difference.

THEN, my great friend John Altendorf sent me a video of him BOOMING 13' (3.96m) in Eugene on Thursday -

Thrilled for John, but almost more excited at the prospect that he clears 13' next year when he turns 65. He is already the only man in history over 60 to clear 13' or 4m (13' 1 1/2"), so to do it at 65 would be really unbelievable. I'm also taking him to do it when he's 70. Why? He jumped the highest ever THIS year at 64.

Alaskan cruise one week from today!! Have a wonderful Sunday and thanks for your interest! Bubba

PS - Two trampoline days and one vault day and there is no sign of forearm or hip/nerve pain. Dr. Martin was right; it's well, now go loosen it up.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Patience Pays Off

I went out this morning as suggested by my physician and took it really easy on my first vault session. I'm only at 2 steps (12' run/3.65m) so what else could I do but take it easy? The objective is to get the body loosened up before I go on my cruise next Sunday so I can come back to productive vaulting. Like day one on the trampoline nearly killed me but the second day I felt pretty good. Dr. Martin says I need to get those vault days past me. He completely believes that the more I get back into vault activities, that the faster these issues will go away. "You're healed, but everything needs to get loosened up".

Thinking very small, I started at 6' 6" (2m) on a cut 1362. Made 7' 6" (2.30m), 8' 6" (2.60m) and 9' 6" (2.90m) on that pole but it was clearly too small for 10' (3.05m). I went and grabbed the 12'6/165 and started over and made 8' 6", 9' 6" and then 10'. I have never been on this pole from 2 steps and I really think the next session I will be on the 1365; WAY uncharted territory. My PR from 2 steps is 10' 6" (3.20m) so I feel very good about today. I took 10 total bar jumps with no forearm or hip/nerve issues.

As mentioned yesterday, I will just vault/stretch/trampoline this week and leave the weights and running off until I return from the cruise. Not like I haven't done enough running/lifting since January.

Thanks for your interest and have a great Saturday! Bubba

Friday, July 16, 2010

More Good News

Swamped with work so I nearly forgot to post. Saw Dr. Martin this morning and I do not have a sacral shear, but rather a strained gluteus minimus, a stabilizing muscle. His take is that it's well but hasn't been exercised, so it's been allowed to get too tight. I feel MUCH better after yesterday's hard trampoline day so I figure he's right. Next assignment? Easy vault day (2,4 steps) tomorrow, Monday and Saturday. That way, like the trampoline, I will have a few sessions to get over the soreness, which should not be construed as an injury. Long story short, go easy but use it and it will get well soon.

I think the plan is going to be vault Monday/Saturday (or Friday) and do trampoline Tuesday/Thursday, and then fill in the other stuff in between. Of course I've got Kris on it too, but between the trampoline and easy vaulting, it should come back pretty fast. He says, "I understand your caution but it's been too long since you have jumped and you need that to get it better.

Dr. Earl "Butch" Martin, Jr. is the partner in a large family practice with his dad, also a physician, who has been around since the 70s. His sister is also a physician as is her husband, who have another practice together in town. I can go to any of those four and they are just wonderful. That said, Butch is my guy as he totally gets into the whole sport/preparation and planning. Outstanding medical resource. If I need anyone else, he always knows just the right person for my situation. I feel very fortunate. Like this morning I texted him from the physical therapy clinic we run at their place and he came on back and took care of me. OUTSTANDING guy and a true friend!

Pretty exciting news. Of course I will post after I jump tomorrow. NO leg lifting as he wants me to see how each component responds without the additional irritations. Have a great night and thanks for hanging in there with me. Bubba

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Great Day - I Think

First, our "eyes were back" in focus for trampoline so we could do more stuff. You have a thing called nystagmus that makes you dizzy when you spin or rotate. This goes away very fast with trampoline. Last time I was able to do a back tuck and a barani (front with 1/2 twist). Today I did a full twisting back somersault and a 1 1/2 twisting front. Also did a 1 3/4 forward flip to my back, a build up to double flip tricks. Very fun and surprised I'm back at that level this quick.

THEN, I got an email back from my personal physician, Dr. Butch Martin, and he feels my problem with my hip is a sacral shear, which he can manipulate out. I found this on Google so I'm very hopeful;

SACRAL SHEAR - Twenty-two years ago after a morning jog followed by my usual yoga limbering, a pattern of over 10 years, I developed excruciating left buttocks and sciatic pain. Finally the following morning I saw an Osteopathic physician who diagnosed a sacral shear. It took him 45 minutes to correct the shear, with immediate relief of the pain.

I will see Dr. Martin in the morning for this adjustment.

The other good news is that my hip did not bother me at all during the trampoline session, which was much longer and more strenuous than last time. Gotta love some good news for a change. So there you go; sometimes even a blind squirrel finds an acorn. have a great day! Bubba

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fun Trampoline Day

I tried to post this yesterday but the system failed right as I hit "Post". I travel today but will have more later.

I guess they keep the same hours all year around because this morning there were only preschoolers all over the place. The room with the two competition trampolines, one with a spotting belt, was in an area no one is scheduled until late afternoon. What a deal - pay $10 and do what we want by ourselves for however long we want.

I took it very easy as planned. Probably more easy than I wanted to, but I wanted to see if the hip/glute thing would flare. I was doing simple tricks, some which required me to bounce off of my back, so I was going to try and make real sure it didn't flare anything up. It felt fatigued but not hurt but you never know with this until about noon tomorrow. I'm hoping that a combination of tramploine and the straight leg deadlifts and bench step ups will give me better strength, stability and flexibility for my lower back.

In my best days, going forward I could do a "full in, barani out", which means a forward double somersault with a full twist in the first flip, and an half twist in the last. My best back trick was a half in, half out, or a full twisting double back with a half twist in each flip. I'm hoping to progress back to that level in about a month. Today we did MANY back somersaults and baranis (front with a half twist), as well as many tricks off of our back whih help the timing of extending up the pole.

It's mainly just getting your eyes to focus at high speeds again, which takes a few sessions. When I first started trampoline years ago, I had not vaulted the whole summer. The first time I vaulted it was like watch my vault on a big screen TV in slow motion because I had so much control. Obviously I'm hoping for that as well as some good condiditomning.

That's it for today. Hope you have a had a great day and will have a nice evening! Thanks for tuning in! Bubba

Monday, July 12, 2010

Time Off & New M55 AR

Time off always sucks because your body heals short. This means that every little thing that ever hurt comes to life, especially my hip/glute/nerve pain. Tomorrow is the first day on the trampoline and gymnastics so I hope that helps loosen some things up.

This weekend Charlie Brown, brand new to the M55 group, vaulted 4.20m (13' 9 1/2") for a new American Record (AR). He has vaulted 4.30m (14' 1 1/4") so it's not a surprise but rather confirms what I say about a tough field for next year.

I ordered the two new 4.45m (14' 7") poles with the 4.60m (15' 1") sailpieces from Kris. Hopefully I'll be at a level I can jump on them soon. Have a great day and thanks for hanging out with me. Bubba

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I'm Lame

Well, not injured "lame" but beat up lame. Apparently I finally understand the way Ashley wants me doing her exercises because my lower back and DEEP in my lower abs HURTS!! Not "injured" hurt, but hardcore sore. Both feel fatigued and unstable, which according to her they are and that's part of my problems. Because of this I've decided to take a little phase break and skip this three day rotation and pick it up again on Thursday. That will still give me three more rotations before I go on the cruise.

Right now I feel strong and that I will be ready to start healthy and fresh. That said I have to not be so stupid as to grind myself into the ground. When I start feeling this rundown I need to listen and back off a rotation, so I am. I just looked at my diary and saw that I have completed seven consecutive three day rotations since we got home from the funeral in Cleveland. So 21 days on and three days off seems to make some sense. The cruise will force me out for 11 days right before I start back so I'm actually excited about that forced rest.

That's it for today. back tot the work grind. Have a great Sunday! Bubba

Friday, July 9, 2010

Another great but hot lift session in the garage. Found out from Don last night that we have been approved by the owner to work out at their gymnastics/trampoline place on Tuesday/Thursday mornings at 10 AM. We're on our own and can do anything we want for $10 a session.

I'm supposed to be on my way to Gettysburg but of curse I'm staying home with my hands full on a number of fronts. Been a good week. My injection was five weeks from yesterday and we go on our cruise two weeks from tomorrow. All of my training components are in place and improving. Grind it out two more weeks from tomorrow and I'm ready to start jumping.

Have a great day and thanks for being here. Bubba

Thursday, July 8, 2010

More Stuff

WOW, twice in a week I have "Stuff" in the subject line. Random stuff.
  • Good hard lift today in the gym. POURING rain again so no running. BTW - I lift about 150,000 pounds (68,000 kg) per week over the six days. I've been asked that a few times.
  • Not going to Gettysburg tomorrow. I really want to but I'm buried with a number of things that just have to be handled by Monday morning. Tough call but no choice. Instead I will now convert that ticket to Albuquerque for Indoor Nationals next March.
  • My lower back has been fatigued from the addition of the straight leg deadlifts and bench step ups but that's fine and to be expected.
  • I get to vault four weeks form today!!
Have a great day!! Bubba

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

More New Poles!?

I travel tomorrow so I thought I would post this tonight. I talked to Essx founder/owner, Bruce Caldwell at the River Vault and he told me he had a new pole design that was double carbon, thinner and lighter and he thinks I should switch to that. He says the 4.45s (14' 7") are on a 4.60 (15' 1") sail and would be perfect for my jump. The more I think about this the more I think I want two poles BELOW my present series so that I can ONLY use 4.45s next year in every meet. Love the 4.30s but I'm not going 14'+ on the big one but that's where I transfer to the 4.45s. TOO critical of a place in my series to make that transfer.

I will look Thursday but I think my smallest is a 17.9 that Kris had in stock. So I'm guessing we want a 18.1-2 and a 18.2-4? It WAS Bruce's suggestion and he was pretty insistent that I should do it, so I will. Bubba

PS - I'll need them topped at 4.05m and 4.10m respectively so they don’t hit the bar at 12' or 12' 6". Next year will be a huge year and I am already physically light years ahead of where I have been. I start jumping four weeks from tomorrow so time to get poles ready. Thanks again!

Mental Patience

I've always felt like "core training" was for people in the gym who didn't really want to work out. I have always felt my core is strong because of all I can do as far as trunk control on bars etc. But yesterday Sakina told me that my lower back fatigues and I loose my hip posture and that's how I get in dangerous situations. So I have really been trying to focus on every move to make sure I have my hips in the right place and my trunk tightened before, during and after all exercises. It's funny because I can feel it "shut off". Then I get it back and my range of motion and strength through it is much better.

SO, mental patience is the name of the game for me and I can already tell my body is picking it up. The way Sakina, with her masters in physical therapy describes it, yes I have upgraded my whole body except for the hinge/support points. Fortunately she says it becomes pretty automatic after about four weeks and this is week two with four weeks left to jump.

Speaking of the "core training" I see going on in the gym, I also notice that everyone has a water bottle yet I'm three hours in the hot sun and never thirsty. I also read that the average new gym person has to overcome 2,400 calories just in pre-workout, during workout and post workout drinks and snacks. The bad news is they then feel like they can eat more because they worked out. More power to them!! I bring this up because I train my butt off and still have to watch my weight and I don't do any of that stuff. Life's not fair, I know. ;-)

LOVING the training. Very nice to be back on six days a week training with all components in play except for vaulting. In a year I should be in the best shape of my life. If not, I only have myself to blame. Have a great day! Bubba

PS - Just finished reading, "Just Don't Fall" by Josh Sundquist. He lost his leg to cancer at 10, went through a year of chemo, and then decided he must be a ski racer in the Paralympics in order to earn a USA uniform. He makes it but what a ride! Highly recommend this book!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

More Stuff

When my topic is "Stuff" it usually means I have a few little topics without much really to say. First, I'm getting ready to post on that the National Senior Games Track & Field part will be June 17-24 at the University of Houston. They have three or four ways to vault but only one with a really good wind and it's on the track straight so no chance of that. It's highly possible that they can have three pits going, ALL with either head or crosswinds. Everyone has to jump in it but you may have some people pass it up since worlds are three weeks later. Well Sacramento is not a great place to jump either so Houston will be a good warm up.

Lifting continues to feel good. Today I added straight leg deadlifts as well as bench step ups to reinforce that back/hip issue that causes the nerve pain. Sakina will check my form on Ashley's exercises this morning and then I'm set.

I had mentioned before that this feels like getting ready for football training camp. Train, train, train but come in totally healthy to begin vaulting. I start jump four weeks from Thursday and 10 of those will be total rest because of the cruise. Of course I'll do some stretching and a few other exercises but I won't "train" while on the cruise. At this point I am starting to feel like I will really be ready.

The only adjustment I possibly see is that I may jump from two and four steps in August and not just two. Texas Senior Games are at the end of October and I at least need to be to eight steps by then. My PR from eight steps in 13' 1/4" (3.97m). I'm not in a hurry to jump high as much as I am to jump well and improve my technical efficiency by going up the pole better. That takes lots of jumps at heights just out of your reach so the rule will be to get hip height twice and then move up.

I noticed both yesterday and today that my abs and "core" have gotten so strong that I can get vertical with straight arms on P-Bars from a seated "L" position without using my arms to press forward. When you first learn this it feels like ALL arms and now I can just do it with my abs/core. Never had that before. Even on my rollbacks from the high P-Bars today I tried to completely abandon my arms and was still able to raise to vertical from a dead hang with no pre-swing. NICE!!

Yesterday my garage stereo died so I had to use my MP3 and headphones - HASSLE. Today I set up the little stereo that Nancy had in her office at school and connected both sets of speakers instead of the one I did have. PERFECT!!

Have a great day off and thanks for being here! Bubba

Sunday, July 4, 2010

No Watching Meets

I was thinking yesterday and again this morning during my training that I am sick of watching meets that I am supposed to jump in. I warmed up at Reno and then stopped as a precaution, watched World Masters Indoors in Canada and then went to the San Marcos River Vault. Sorry but I'm done with this unless I'm there coaching. That's why I didn't go to the Quintana Beach Vault - a missed day of training while I feel like crap that I can't jump.

Very good and complete training day today. I'm pushing all of my lifts up and added in the final bar exercise I've been holding off on. On my secondary lifts I either have 18 reps or 12 reps depending on the day of the week. I used to do 1X18 or 1X12 but now I do 12,6, or 10,8 or 8,6,4, etc. I want to lift as much as possible with perfect form. I was also able to run my 10 50m hill/sleds at a very high level with no issues.

I wanted to do some big pole plant drills this morning but could not find the 1675 Altius. Tough pole to lose as big as it is so I'm sure I have hidden it from myself. I'll do a more thorough inspection on Tuesday.

I'm going to see Sakina tomorrow to get some clarification on my exercises vs. soreness vs. lingering slight nerve pain. I need this to be totally gone soon and I think I'm really close to that. More importantly I don't want it coming back. I understand how it did so I will avoid that as well as strengthen the areas they suggest.

Today is my sister, Sue's, birthday. For the past 10 days we were the same age. That was a big deal when we were little kids. We don't see each other that often as she lives about four hours from here. It's not that she's four hours away; it's that she is an hour and a half away from the main freeway (I-45) that I go by on my way to something else.

Have a happy and safe July 4th. Thank you again for your support. Nancy tells me that I always say that to you guys but I do because I mean it. Thank you!! Bubba

Saturday, July 3, 2010


I saw that for Nationals that my friend Charlie Brown (yes, that's his real name) just turned 55 and has a mark this year of 4.30m (14' 1 1/4"). In January Gary Hunter will turn 55 and I believe next year that Bill Halverson also turns 55. So right there are three guys at 14' (4.27m) or higher this year that will be 55 before Worlds. You also have me, Kirk Bentz, Ralph Haynie and Murray Mead all over between 13' 5 1/4" (4.10m) to 4.13m (13' 6 1/2") so any of us can get to 14'. So there will be seven guys at or above 14' next year. The shock is that right now the American Record is 4.13m (13' 6 1/2") yet we should all be over that next year and that is just the Americans. The reality is that it may very well take a 14' jump to get a medal next year at Worlds. I'm fine with that. Sacramento is a hot and dusty with swirly winds so it's unlikely to PR there. That said I need to jump high at average places all next year.

Saying you are aiming to jump a height and making it are very different things. I know that by DJ's chart, with my efficiency, if I can consistently grip 13' 9" (4.20m) I will vault 14' 6" (4.42m), so that's the goal. If that happens then I should be able to call up a 4.30m (14' 1 1/4") jump when needed.

Last year I gripped 13' 3" (4.05m) from only 12 steps and the pole was too small. I have no problem moving my grip up but I want to progress to that with my technique in tact rather then just jacking it up and then trying to figure out the timing there. I'll begin by pushing my grip early, even from my two step I will see how high I can grip and what pole I can get on. This should position me perfectly for the 14' 7" (4.45m) poles with the 15' 1" (4.60m) sailpieces by 10 or 12 steps, while I expect to compete from 14.

Sure, this is far away but the planning is now and always being adjusted. Have a great day and thank you for you support and interest! Bubba

Friday, July 2, 2010

Late Storm

I guess I should say early as it POURED for a few hours starting at about 3:30 AM. This is the remnants of Hurricane Alex. Fortunately I had no outside training today but watched it from my lifting in the garage.

Yesterday was four weeks since the forearm injection so I went ahead and bumped up a few more things to see where I was. Surprisingly right now my strength is higher than it was right before I went to Sydney so I will try to keep building on that. I've also built back up my running from that little back/hip thing that caused the nerve pain. That issue is getting better everyday as I continue to do Ashley's exercises. So except for not vaulting, I am stronger and faster than I was for Sydney which was the best I have been as a master. But vaulting shape is a different animal so I can't declare myself in phenomenal shape until I've jumped AND trained for a few months.

A week from today I go to Gettysburg but I may end up having a conflict on that which would make me stay home. Hope not but it is a possibility. Three weeks from Sunday we go to Seattle to catch our cruise to Alaska. The Thursday after we return my real new life of regular vaulting and training begins. CANNOT WAIT!!

Have a great day and be safe out there! Bubba

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Small World Again

Good lift this morning. I felt strong but avoided certain exercises that tend to flare my forearm since today is the four week mark since my injection. I figure another two weeks it will be perfect so I'm lifting big where I feel no affects and leaving out the lifts where I can feel it. Not bad reasoning I don't think.

We're in Texas so that means everyone has a truck. I have the Mercedes convertible for the "family car" for me and Nancy but our Honda CRV hit 50,000 miles so that means go get another truck to carry poles and all of Nancy's gardening projects. It takes a beating. We decided to step up a little to a Nissan Murano since this truly is a "utility vehicle" for us. So we go to the same dealership where we got the Honda, at least owned by the same family but next door. They send us over a young guy to see if he can help us. Within one minute he says, "excuse me but aren't you really involved in the pole vault"? Of course I looked at my T-shirt and it had nothing to do with vaulting but I said yes. He said he was a sprinter at The Woodlands High School several years ago and that I coached his best friend, a 15' 6" jumper. An hour later we drove away in the new vehicle and renewed a friendship. I remembered him after he connected the dots, but what a small world.

Have a great day and safe 4th! Bubba

PS - found out that 24 Hour Fitness IS open on the 4th so that means no doubles this weekend.