Friday, September 17, 2010

Another Brick in the Wall

Yesterday was four weeks since my little right hamstring ding at Kris' place. As planned and predicted, I have my running power back, flexibility is increased and I'm back at full strength on all lifts. That's the amazing thing I learned from an early influence, physical therapist, the late Logan Wood. He said, "you're an athlete and you are going to get hurt. It's your job to ALWAYS come back better than when you left".

This mentality has served me well with my three years out after two Achilles surgeries, and a year and half on a hip inflammation problem that happened to be three hernias. From the outside it looks like I'm hurt a lot. Not really. Most are merely annoyances that I'm overcautious with to keep from blowing up to something bigger. But how about a year and a half of four weeks of rehab, followed by 10 days of activity, followed by six weeks of rehab, etc. That was my hip issue - for 18 months that went on. The Achilles was stripped of fascia but the micro tear did not show up so I ended up with a 7" vertical split. That was six months of rehab followed by a year of rehab all with no hope of vaulting.

So I'll take any little ding I get now over any of these other BIG issues. BUT, every time something happens I keep building the wall, brick by brick. If I can't vault I can do something to get better and it will pay off when I can. I just have to keep showing up every day and that I will.

My general rule of conditioning is that I should always be within four weeks of being very competitive. The longer I can train consistently and uninterrupted, the better I can get physically. Right now I'm still about three weeks from when I left for Sydney a year ago, yet I'm in far better shape. Now it's time to jump and do so consistently. Very excited. Thanks for being here as always! Bubba


  1. Bubba - You inspired my comeback when we met at the '07 Games in Louisville. (I use "comeback" generously - I was a very mediocre jumper in high school).

    I've been very lucky since then - I met Chip Heuser, who I've now been training with regularly for three years. Chip goes 18+ regularly in practice.

    I totally get your take on injuries. I've been through the exact sequence you warned me about a few years ago, all related to aged connective tissue - achilles, hamstrings, cuffs, and now knee. I consider each one a badge of sorts, as it is the result of a long series of accomplishments. I recover stronger from an injury, then push the next-weakest thing. It's been an indescribable pleasure to confront each one, recover, and move ahead, stronger than I was before. And the bars keep going higher. I'm now going almost as high as I did when I was 18, only now I'm 52.

    The other benefit of the experience has been the comeraderie and new friendships that follow this wonderful sport - you, the Heuser family, and everyone you meet at the jumps along the way.

    Thanks for being so generous with your thoughts, expertise and support, to me and so many others.

    I realize there will be a day when this progress ends, but what a blast until then. No regrets.

    Gray Smith

  2. Thanks Gray. Your response inspires ME. So happy you found Chip and that you are continuing to enjoy the sport. Very awesome to hear. Thanks for sharing and staying in touch!! Bubba