Sunday, October 24, 2010

Strangest Meet of My Life

One jump for the win and I qualified for next year's National Senior Games. Huh?! I got a call from the meet director asking me if I could officiate the vault. Dangit!! I asked Don and he agreed. The meet director would officiate us at 7:30 AM and then we would run off the rest of the competitions for the other 32 vaulters. Here we go;
  • We arrived at 6:45 AM after meeting at 5:45 for the drive.
  • The pit was put out last night and not covered so it was soaked.
  • They had no crossbar but we had brought ours just in case.
  • We started our part of the meet before the sun came up, in very wet conditions and under the stadium lights.
  • Due to some shifting of stuff in the garage because of our bathroom remodels going on, I somehow got to the meet without my bag that contains my knee brace, tape, spray to make the pole sticky, etc.
  • I cannot jump without my knee brace because of a hyperextended knee condition that flares my hamstring.
  • I could not grip the pole without the spray, especially in the wet conditions.
  • The pit was set up too close to the box so my pole bend was hitting the pit and straightening out before I could complete the vault. It requires many people to move the pit and we had three so we dealt with it.
  • All of this wasted because I felt absolutely spectacular like this was going to be a huge day.
  • I took a jump at 12' (3.66m) and made it very easily and moved the bar to 13' 1" (3.99m). Running down the runway I felt my knee start to click (hence the brace) so I stopped. No pain, just the warning that I acknowledged.
  • When my group jumped at 11 AM it was warm and there was a massive tailwind and the pit had been moved back so the poles could roll through. So would my jump now hold up?
  • My friend Bob Crites started at 10' 6" (3.20m) and worked his way through before making 12' (3.66m) on his 3rd and last attempt. I win because I made it on my first. Had he made it on his first I still would have won because I had only one vault to that point and he had six.
So that was my day; one jump for the win and stop. Dang maturity. It was the smart and safe thing to do but very hard since I felt so great. Oil well as they say in Texas. On Thursday I'll move to my 14' 7" (4.45m) poles and then go back to my 14' 1" (4.30m) poles on Sundays. It was and remains the plan for after today. Tough to swallow but that's life. Thank you for being here and have a wonderful Sunday! Bubba

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