Thursday, September 23, 2010

Facing My Demons

No matter how much you run or lift, the act of vaulting requires a particular type of mental focus to improve. You can't just vault. You have to try and do specific things better on each jump. As I have said a million times, you have to get comfortable with the uncomfortable and then move on to the next uncomfortable. Today's goal was to start at 8 steps (44'/13m) on the first 14' 1" (4.30m) pole and just get some jumps in. I accomplished that but not without some frustration.

Started the day feeling like crap. I'm fighting a sinus infection which gives me a body ache type feeling in my head. It's supposed to rain again on my next jump day, Sunday, so I didn't want to miss the chance to vault. I did skip all bars and lifting and will head to my PCP this morning for some antibiotics.

The goal is to start to accumulate some jumps at this level as a new baseline. I had no problem moving the poles today. The longer poles roll slower so I have to really focus on completing my take off and keeping my body long and without a hip break during the swing. Knowing what to do, and even how to do it, is sometimes a challenge in mid jump. Because it's new it took REAL focus to mentally discipline my mind to do what needed to be done.

I started at 12' (3.66m) and made it on the 2nd jump on the 17.5. Jump #1 I forgot how to vault and cut off my take off. That's frustrating because the warm up jump with no bar just before that jump I hit with perfect timing. That's what this is all about; focus under fire. Made 12' 6" (3.81m) on my 2nd attempt and nearly left up 13' (3.96m) on the next pole, the 17.2 on the 2nd jump.

If I can get another day or two like this in before my trip I will be up one more pole and probably make or be super close to 13' so I can move back a stride to 10 steps. I have two more jumps sessions before my vacation so I think this is highly possible if I focus.

Again, I would love to just move back 30' and move up about six poles bigger but it is important to maintain the technical efficiency I'm building. So for my first true practice entirely from 8 steps, I'm pretty pleased with my ability to make technical changes from jump to jump when my mind and instincts are telling me not to. Small victory for the mentally weak. The mind is like a muscle and will get stronger if used. I was able to make these adjustments and show mental discipline on the 13' 1" (4m) poles, so now it's time to do it here. Have a great day and thanks for being here! Bubba

Late add - when doing heavy lat pulls on Monday I felt a spot of fairly sharp pain in the middle of my right bicep; then one that kept me out of Reno, Kamloops, etc. Almost didn't jump today and then thought I would try on small poles. Finally I decided to just go with the big pole plan as I could always stop if it hurt. Never felt a thing.

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