Saturday, December 31, 2011

Great Day!? Seemed That Way?!

I have a question mark because I'm cautiously optimistic yet really know nothing.  Today I jumped 12' (3.66m) easily twice from my 6 step run - 33'/10m on my biggest 13' 1" (4m) pole.  On any other day that would be very good.  I felt my groin a little but not as much as on Monday.  I won't jump again until next Saturday where I will just attempt to repeat what I did today but try 12' 6" (3.81m) a few times.  If I get past next Saturday I think I will be well.  Or will I?

On the surface I couldn't be more pleased but I know I'm on that line of getting better or being set back.  I felt "safer" today and expect to next Saturday as well.  That's why I won't bump the level and go to 14' 1" poles next weekend.

SO, currently the plan for Reno is to take a big 13' 1" pole to warm up on, move through my first 14' 1" pole and get to my big one by 12' ish, then get to my three 14' 7"s (4.45m) for the higher heights.  I'm hoping that will be a gentle enough ramp up not to knock me out after warm up.  If you remember, at Kris' in November I felt good in warm up but my leg started flaring during the break.  Hoping to go easy enough at Reno that I can push it in the meet.  To do that I think I need to start on small poles, at a low height (11' 6" / 3.51m) and work my way through.  I guess if I can get past the warm up and restart without pain, I can open it up some on real poles. 

OF COURSE I will not know any of this until Reno.  Since I jump Friday night, three weeks from now I will be done.  Hence all of the question marks.  It's critical that I don't push my jumping in practice if I want to be good at Reno.  I think I will stay on the 13' 1"s the entire way until I leave.  Have a great day and Happy New Year.  Have fun and be safe!!  Bubba

Today I salute my buddy Dean "The Machine" Gregory with Chickenfoot's, "Turning Left".  Hard to beat this "supergroup led by Sammy Hagar and guitar virtuoso, Joe Satriani.  Michael Anthony is a good bass player but I never realized what a good drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) is. -

Friday, December 30, 2011

Change of Plans

I was supposed to vault this morning but Bobby wasn't feeling well and I don't have my key from him yet. The girls are jumping tomorrow at 9 AM but my Smith Machine is supposed to be delivered and assembled between 9 - 11.  Somehow I need to get at least one vault day in even if it means waiting until Monday. 

As you can see, as of now I have no idea what the plan is as I am depending on others to fill me in.  Once I get to the next practice and get my key this won't happen.  That said, is this another way to protect me from me?  I felt my groin a little at the very end on Monday so maybe this is a cryptic delay to make sure I'm the next step ahead and nearing the end of rehab.  Whatever!!  I'll go with the flow and keep that train rolling.  Have a great day and thanks for your support.  Bubba

Aerosmith's "Train Kept A Rolling"  -  This is from 1974 with Little Richard making the intro.  Japanese subtitles.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Patience & Luck

I feel a little better today so I hope that means I will be able to jump a little tomorrow.  AND, not to be greedy (well yes - greedy), but if I can jump tomorrow I will try again Monday before I head out of town on business for three days.  Why?  Three weeks from today I am sitting in Reno.  It's kind of important to know IF I can jump and what level that may be at.  My gut feeling is that I will get past these two low level vault days and be able to go fairly aggressive at Reno.  We will see.

Today on a hunch I went to Sports Authority to see if the opening in front of the Smith Machine was wide enough to park my car into.  Right next to the set up I wanted was one with all of the same features but about 4" shorter.  Yes, this means it fits in the original spot I wanted to put the other one.  Bought it and it will be delivered next week.  I will still go to the gym to lift legs and bars but my "Day 2" will now be at home as it was a couple of years ago.  That day in the gym is just too crowded, cramped for space and a constant wait to lift.

Tonight I have my new jump mate Dan Cassidy coming over. Looking forward to it.  Have a great day and thanks for being here.  Bubba

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tough Day!!

And I thought I had a tough day!

We have a joke among us that you know you are progressing well in rehab when a) you can train hard enough to get out of breath, b) you can train hard enough to hurt something else.  The same applies to getting back in shape. The gym SUCKED today because I did.  Last week was OK because I was ramping back up.  Now I'm back to where I'm supposed to be and I'm slammed by just how hard that is.  I felt light headed and sick to my stomach; all classic signs of lack of conditioning.  Don't worry, I'll fix it, but mama told me there would be days like this.  I don't mind feeling this way if I'm knocking on the door to the next level, but HATE it when I'm just getting back to where I was.  C'MON MAN!!  Have a great day and thanks for being here.  Bubba

Got through training today with Bouncing Souls, "Night on Earth" -

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Adaptability - My World

I used to say that no matter where you put me in the world that I could not only survive but that I would find a way to thrive.  In 2001 I got to do just that and it sucked the life out of me.  Yes I accomplished it but it was much harder than I thought it would be and most of the change was senseless just to prove I could.  To who?  I sure don't know.  I was a dumbass!!  I guess that conditioned me to be a little more careful in some areas so I've become a bit of a weakling.

Example - just a week ago I was bitching about the gym.  A few days ago I decided it is my only option because the weight equipment won't clear my garage door and I'm not parking a Mercedes convertible on the driveway so my weights fit in the garage. I lectured myself about being a wuss and reminded me that many places we go to vault have less than optimal facilities or conditions yet we must adapt.  With this mindset I went to the gym and asked a simple question, "What is most important for me to get done here today?"  LEGS!!  So I started there and worked through and had a great workout.

Next I go to the track an Dana Hills High School.  A great artificial turf with no mud and a little padding.  Not only do they have steep bleachers but they have two ramped up walkways with different angles that I can work into a hill run.  There are 60 single steps on the bleachers and 30 double spaced steps.  I'm not strong enough or conditioned to run those doubles well yet.  THAT thrills me because I know when I can I will be ready to jump high.

My point today is that I preach adaptability and being open to change and learning because I truly believe I am.  Yet I whined like a brat that all of my training components were different.  Once I embraced the goodness of my situation I found that everything I will do here will require me to be a better athlete.  I LOVE THAT!

SO, today's song is Ten Years After, "I'd Love to Change the World", even if it's just my world.  I made a big step toward that today.  Thanks for being here!  Bubba

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Ray of Hope?!

Today I went out to Saddleback College to meet my longtime friend Simon Arkell.  Simon was on the Australian Olympic Team in 1992 and 1996 with a best vault of 19' 1/4" (5.80m).  There were about eight kids out including Tory Pena, who went to UCLA and competes for Ireland in Worlds and the next Olympic Games.  Also a high school senior girl who has jumped 12' 10" (3.91m), a guy out of school trying to get to 18' (5.50m), etc. 

I started while they were warming up, just HOPING not to hurt myself.  From 4 steps I made 9', 10' an 11' on first jumps so I'm way ahead of my last day. Went to 6 steps for 12' and blew through three poles including my largest 13' 1" (4m) pole.  Good jumps but the poles were mush.  I felt my leg a tiny bit and stopped.  If I can get through Friday unhurt I will feel like I'm going to be OK.  For now I am cautiously optimistic.

I don't expect anyone to feel sorry for me but I got sunburned today, December 26.  Tough winter that feels like summer.  Even though it was 43 this morning it will be 76 today.  Not bad.  Speaking of summer, here is an idiot defying the power of the waves at The Wedge in Balboa where I used to bodysurf.  Have a great day!  Bubba

Here's what it should look like -

Sunday, December 25, 2011


OK, I haven't even had Christmas dinner yet and I feel as fat as Santa.  I won't fight it today but will be glad to get back to reality training and eating tomorrow.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!  Bubba

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Making Adjustments

I have decided that I will work around what I have at the gym.  This requires me to go back to basics and probably delete many of the secondary or support exercises.  As much as I want the home gym it won't fit in my garage where I have room; on the side but under the garage door.  I'm not parking my car outside, and I don't want it set up outside, so no options are left.  I'm OK with this as it has probably happened for a reason.  Today's lift was a nice step in that direction.  I'll figure it out over the next few sessions.  That said, no lat pull or decline press?!  ONE leg extension and two funky curl machines?  I do secondary exercises for muscular endurance as well to strengthen the weak links.  Could be I get a small gym set for home and do my big lifts at the gym.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that after one week here I feel very fortunate to be living in Southern California.  It will be 75 degrees today and this is the view I have as I drive over the bluff at Dana Point into town each day.  Business (the reason I'm here) is great and I feel that even though my start at training has been slow, I will adapt and love the program I end up with.  Most importantly I feel fortunate to have all of you in my life, whether directly or indirectly.  Merry Christmas and/or happy holidays.  Thanks so much for your support.  Bubba

David Bowie - Changes -

Friday, December 23, 2011

Crossroads Again

I went to the gym earlier today to see if it was any better and it is not.  Too many people standing and sitting on or around the equipment or only one / none piece/s of popular equipment.  I went to buy a great home gym Smith Machine/Power Rack combo and it was too tall for my garage.  May get it any way and put it on the back deck.

Went to Dana Hills high school and ran 6 X 100m on their artificial turf field.  They have nice bleachers and a long ramp I could run up like a hill.  I have a contact for their coach so I'll see what the access will be like when school starts.

I'm meeting Simon Arkell to try and vault on Monday morning at 9.  Hope they have a good running situation.  He said he would get me a key so I could keep my poles there.

SO, optimistic but still some loose ends.  I'm ramping back up to training so it's not like I'm missing anything.  I am lifting and running as I learn my way around my options.  Thanks for being here.  I'll be glad when I get settled into a real routine.  Have a great evening!  Bubba

Thursday, December 22, 2011

From Police to Fire

For 45 years I have trained with my lifelong friend, Don Curry.  Don retired last year as a lieutenant in the Houston Police Department.  Today I met a great guy, Dan Cassidy, a career fireman.  The plan is to juggle schedules and vault together.  He will be 56 on Saturday and has the same passion we all share.

I met Dan today at Tesoro High School near Mission Viejo.  Beautiful place built in 2001, the year I left Southern California.  We had Santa Ana winds so that was a big headwind.  It really didn't matter to me since I brought the pole bag with my bigger poles.  Shows you how long it's been since I've jumped.  Bad wind, wrong pole bag?  Is that a message?  I think so.  I did a few easy swing ups on my smallest pole and called it a day.  I had some flares but nothing different than my first day back last time so I'm not concerned.

Gotta run but here's a song that's been in my head by Rush, "Something for Nothing".  Have a great day and thanks for being here!  Bubba

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sunsets & Rainbows

Just as every sunset and snowflake are different, so is every rainbow.  Driving over Cajon Pass near San Diego, Don shot this rainbow just as we came out of a snowstorm.  He said he hopes this is a sign of good things to come.  Today he asked me how an important business meeting went.  When I told him it went fantastic and that the big deal is 100% go he reminded me of the rainbow photo.  Thanks for the good wishes Don!  Don is the best friend I have ever had.  We have vaulted together for 45 years.  I won't really miss him because I know he will come visit and I still will go to Texas.  I couldn't imagine that any other way.

The truth is that I am happy by nature though I live a somewhat tortured existence.  I'm very upbeat and optimistic but I'm always pushing the pace to get better, do better or be better.  Of course rarely do those things match up but that doesn't stop my desire. Some people tell me I always look too serious.  It's funny because I like this edge.  It drives me.  Every time I have backed off and let things go at their own pace they have failed or been delayed.  Strange huh?

In short I am very happy and feel very blessed.  Thank you all for being here and your interest and support!  Bubba

"What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong -

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Return to the Sky Thursday!!

“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” Leonardo Di Vinci

Since before I returned back to Southern California, I have been in contact with people and places that I may vault.  Holidays being what they are, the opportunities are limited.  Enter masters vaulter, Dan Cassidy, who has been kind enough to allow me to jump with his kids at a local high school on Thursday.  I will of course take it super easy but I can't wait to get out there and fart around a little.  I'll only jump from 4 steps or maybe 6 and if I make 11' (3.35m) I will be thrilled.  The ONLY goal is not to get hurt yet shake out the cobwebs.

Work is hectic as I knew it would be.  Getting back into training is hard when you're getting into a new routine.  I don't like this transition period but it's needed.  As I have always said, "Impatience means that you have no confidence in your plan.  So take your time and do it right".  Amen!

Next Wednesday I am getting together with former Hungarian National Champ, Pete Kovacs and his wife and child for lunch.  I first met Pete when he came to one of our physical therapy clinics with a hamstring injury.  Since he was 6' 4" in high school and had a hammy ding, I thought WOW!!  Turned out that in a race against a pregnant lady he would come in 3rd - SLOW!!  He spent the next four years with me at UC Irvine and proved that hard work and dedication do in fact trump God given talent.  His mental toughness was also outstanding as he won the Hungarian national meet in the rain as an unranked vaulter.  One of my favorite people in the world.

The weather has been great and each sunset is different.  Today I got my first tank of gas and drove home from my meetings in Beverly Hills.  I have said I won't feel like I live here again until I drive home from work and get gas.  Simple tests of reality.  Vaulting, training and working on a regular schedule will be like heaven.  Can't wait.

Hope you have a great day and thank you for following my journey!  Bubba
Today's selection is "My Kind of Girl" by Chickenfoot -

Monday, December 19, 2011

Lucky Day - Going Home!!

It's hard to believe that I am already settling in to my new life of work and play in Southern California.  I'm here for business and the lifestyle but my training keeps me sane and driven.  I'm excited to get to vault soon, but today my focus is orientation.  Fortunately I'm in a period where I have a little leeway with the holidays.

I see that I now have 777 posts on this blog so this must be my lucky day.  My first Monday back in California found me in the gym figuring out what equipment was were, etc.  Of course even though it is 24 Hour Fitness things aren't identical.  Actually the high P-bar I use to swing up on is better because it is a little higher and sticks out further so I can extend past vertical.  It's more crowded but that may just be because school is out and I was late. Like everything here there is an ocean view which is pretty cool.  It felt weird eating BBQ at a place with a huge view too.  Oh well.

I was born and raised in Texas but I was destined for California as a young kid.  I loved the Beach Boys, surfing, beachwear, the beach scene, etc.  I drew surfboards and surfers on waves on my notebook in 7th grade, etc. All of the the really good and cool vaulters seemed to come from there as well.  After a particularly hot summer in Texas in 1978 I visited on Thursday - Sunday in October, went home Monday and got my stuff and moved out on Wednesday.  I love Texas but returning to California, where I lived for 24 years, seems like I'm going home.  For that I offer Alvin Lee and Ten Years After from Woodstock in 1969 -

1969 was a big year in the world for me as a young vaulter.  Besides sneaking in to see Woodstock I got my first 13' (3.97m) vault.  Little did I know at that time that on January 2, 2010, at 57 years old that I would vault 13' 1" (3.99m) to give me at least one 13' vault in SIX decades.  Yep, got at least one in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, and 10's.  I'm grateful and somewhat amazed.  Here is the video of that first 2010 vault in Belton, Texas -

Though I can't be there in person for the next Belton meet, I will be there in spirit.  Founder and meet promoter Jack Chapman sent me my number. Notice at the bottom that it has a quote I gave him that I always tell my kids.  ALL participants will have this on their number.  I can't think of a nicer honor.  Great guy and great event -  Thank you sir!!  Sorry but I don't know how to turn the photo as it looks normal when viewed separately.

I'm extremely excited for this new adventure. Thank you for being here with me!!  Bubba

Sunday, December 18, 2011

And So It Begins!

Don thought it was cool I had a view from the bath and shower.  No neighbors directly below.  Click to enlarge.

I'm pretty settled in now so that means I'm back to training and watching my diet.  So tough on these long drives and moving.  My body feels beat up even though I have rested from training.  I'm heavy because of no exercise for nearly two weeks and not caring about what I eat.  All good and/or bad things must end so here we go.  Tomorrow I will go back to the gym.  It is also a 24 Hour Fitness so I'm thinking it will be very similar to what I'm used to. Vaulting? Simon is out of town until 1/3 and I am out from 1/3 - 1/5, so the first day I could jump is Saturday 1/7.  I'm fine with that. It will probably take that long to feel like an athlete again.  Stay tuned as I am back on track here.  Have a great evening!  Bubba

Friday, December 16, 2011

I'm HERE!!!

Things went pretty well and as expected.  LOTS of driving and very little sleep.  Don kicked butt and the dogs were great.  Could not have gone smoother.  Got out to Sonora after the move out - 7.5 hours.  Yesterday we got to Yuma - 16 hours including two meals and dog stops.  Today wee made the final four hours.  Dropped the car trailer off so we can have the truck unloaded in the AM.  I take Don to the airport at 4:30 AM.  I'm supposed to get Internet tomorrow also.  More soon.  Have a great night!  Bubba

PS - Oh yeah - the truck wasn't big enough so another future trip is needed.  So I guess THAT could have gone smoother.  Oil well

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Stress Free? Partly? Maybe?

This morning I saw my sportsmed surgeon, Dr. Scott Rand, fully expecting a stress fracture on the outside of my right foot.  It just feels like bones are separating in an unnatural way followed by pain.  I tried to pass if off as a tendinitis caused by turning my foot outside to push off when my left knee was flared before the National Senior Games this summer.  He agreed it could be that but wanted a series of X-Rays to rule out a stress fracture.  Of course I told him it doesn't hurt to run and vault so I could rest it after Reno on January 20.  His response, "if you have a stress fracture you will have a new screw in it before then".  Result?  NO STRESS FRACTURE!!  SO, BIG ASS CORTISONE INJECTION that hurt so bad!!  For those of you who have not had these injections, the more it hurts the better the result.  So YEAH!!

Tomorrow I pick up Don at 6 AM and the loaders arrive at 7 to fill the truck.  Hopefully we are on the road by noon or 1 PM and will drive about 8 hours.  The plan / hope for Thursday is to get up at 4 AM and make it to Yuma, Arizona in about 12-13 hours.  That means we wake up Friday and leave at 6 and should be to the new house by 10 AM.  I'm telling you this now because I really doubt we will hit all of these targets.  How far off I don't know but considering I have done this move by myself driving straight through for 25 hours, I think this should be less taxing.

Have a great day and thank you for following this journey.  Bubba
Free - "Alright Now" -

Monday, December 12, 2011

Moving SOON!

Me with Don Curry at the awards ceremony at the National Senior Games in 2007.
Don won the gold and I was 2nd with the silver.

I pick up the truck tomorrow, get the poles from the school, have the movers load the truck on Wednesday morning, attach the car trailer and hit the road by 1 PM.  My lifelong friend and training partner, Don Curry has been kind enough to drive the truck where I can drive the SUV with three dogs.  Who got the better deal?  Always appreciate Don.  We have shared so much in our lives and he is the only one I could count on to visit me when I lived in California before.

Two weeks and two days after my meet at Kris' and I still feel that spot on my leg.  That bugs me but I won't even jog for another week so I'm sure it will be good to go. Hopefully I'll get the tendon on the outside of my foot shot with cortisone tomorrow so that requires a break anyway.  Worse case it is a stress fracture that I will deal with after Reno.  It doesn't hurt to run or lift so how bad can it be?  If I slide my foot to the outside or roll to the outside it hurts; otherwise not?  Seems to be related to a combination of sideways rotation and over pronation.  I'll see what Dr. Rand says.  I'm prepared for anything.  Just get me past Reno healthy.

I'll try to keep posting form the road but have patience.  Thanks for being here!  Bubba

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Feeling Like a Slug

It's not as bad as I thought it would be but it sucks not to train.  Trying to stay busy on packing and work, but it's still not fun.  Hope you are having a great day!  Bubba

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tough Day

This is how it feels to WANT to train and know you need to adhere to the strict phase break of zero training.  I almost broke it this morning by going up to run just before Don vaults.  But it's cold and Don can't go until a time that I am not available so that huge temptation is gone.  Hate it but need it.  Have a great day!  Bubba

As a reminder of Southern California; Jeff Beck & Jan Hammer - Freeway Jam

Friday, December 9, 2011

Searching for Balance

Life in and of itself is a juggling act.  Training at a high level is a bigger one.  Do too much and you're hurt.  Do too little and you go backward.  The older you get the finer the line and the more important the balance.

Today I had to drive three hours to a lunch meeting and then drive back.  I knew I wouldn't train.  This is exactly why I didn't train yesterday; to get two days of NOTHING!!!  I'll do some running tomorrow, take Sunday off and hit the gym Monday.  Tuesday I get my foot X-Rayed and shot with cortisone.  Wednesday I leave for California, arrive Friday and move in on Saturday.  Not a lot of training going on but I think I need this full break to jump start my overall healing.  So as much as I hate it, this is what I need.  Thanks so much for being here.  Bubba

Johnny Cash classic, "I Walk the Line" -

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day Off?

My schedule conspired against my ability to choose to take a day off in such a way, I had to book a phone call at a time where I couldn't go to the gym.  That call was to my sportsmed superstar, Scott Rand, MD to see if I need an injection for this hot spot on the outside of my foot or whether it is a stress fracture.  You notice I have never mentioned that here though it has bothered me off and on for a couple of years.  I think when we get older we keep more stuff to ourselves.  At this point I need to know where I stand on this foot - pun intended.  It doesn't hurt to do so many things (like vault) but how it hurts on other things worries me.  Have a great day!  Bubba

Deep Purple's, "Burn" -

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Free Falling - Been in That Jungle Before

One wrong step?
While I was in California things kept stacking up for me to get done before I leave town on our move / drive a week from today.  As those things added up I saw only a few places I could workout.  Strangely, that's OK with me.  Here's the story that says it is OK to do NOTHING for 10 days, if I choose that.

In 2009 at nationals in Oshkosh, I got a light groin strain almost exactly like I have now.  It was a tiny ding so I kept screwing around with it.  The result?  Four weeks later at the National Senior Games at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California I was forced to watch.  HATE THAT!!  I didn't dress, take my poles, NOTHING!!  Forced vacation because I was stupid.  I MADE myself do NOTHING on that 10 trip.  Why?  Eight weeks from my return I would be vaulting in Sydney, Australia in the World Masters Games.  Like Stanford, the trip was paid for and I was going.  Unlike Palo Alto I was not going to risk watching.  I knew that ONE wrong step and I was back to square one or worse.  I learned that lesson and won the biggest meet of my life.

SO, I'll take this time off and let my leg heal.  After Stanford and that 10 rest I made really fast progress.  I need to make myself do the same.  Why?  Besides the obvious, being sick of not jumping because of my own stupidity, in eight weeks I have the National Pole Vault Summit in Reno.  I have no intention of watching there.  Lessons learned.  Have a great evening and thanks for being here.  Bubba

Jungle Boogie -

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

California Dreamin'

Every time it rains there is snow in the local mountains where skiing is 1.5 hours away.

Tonight is my last night in California in a hotel as a visitor as a week from tomorrow I will be living here.  I've really enjoyed my time back in Texas but I am so sick of traveling back and forth to California it will be nice to be in one place.  Not to mention that the weather is more consistent for training. 

One thing many don't know is the diversity of nearby attractions.  From my home in Dana Point I am half way between Los Angeles and San Diego - 1:15 hours away.  I'm 1.5 hours from the desert in Palm Springs, the mountains, Catalina Island, Hollywood, etc.  I'm 30 minutes from a large outdoor amphitheatre with great acts like we get in The Woodlands.  I'm 45 minutes from Disneyland and Anaheim stadium where they actually play major league baseball instead of the minor league team the Astros have.  Of course we don't have a football team but that just means we get to see the best games.  Sure there is the crowds, traffic, cost of living, etc.  But I lived here with it just fine for 24 years.  Something about walking out into your living room and seeing the Pacific Ocean that melts all of that other stuff away.

I will definitely miss my family and friends in Texas but from a work and business opportunity perspective, I need to be back in California.  As always, I plan t make the best of it.  Have a great day and thanks for your support!  California Dreamin' -  Bubba

Monday, December 5, 2011

New Brand of Humor

I was coming back from a lunch meeting today in Beverly Hills and I said to one of the two people I was with, "that guy who just went into your office looks just like Russell Brand".  The wife and office manager said, "that IS Russell Brand".  He does his thing and I do mine so I come out to catch the elevator and Russell is waiting by it alone.  Suspiciously next to him is the mailman's cart full of mail.  I say in my best British accent, "I know you're not the mailman". He says, "oh yes; today I am playing the role of the mailman".  We both laugh and rode the elevator down together, just the two of us.  Kind of cool.  Have a great day!  Bubba

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Can't Win Them All?

Two Winners - American Recordholder Jeff Hartwig & Starstruck Boy

This was going to be a different type of post today and I will get to it after this paragraph.  I went to the gym early this morning so it wouldn't be crowded and I would have plenty of time.  That all worked well but two sets into it I felt so beat up and run down that I went home.  As you know I don't do that often but sometimes the best choice is to quit.  I've had a very solid three weeks on training so to feel horrible today did not need to be met with me being stubborn.  It just felt like the right thing to do.  I know that we make 100% of our progress during rest and my body is clearly stating that it needs rest.  Can't win them all!

My original story was about "what is winning"?  On a hot August day in 2005 I was sitting on a bus riding with other masters athletes to a luau in Honolulu.  We had just finished our national meet.  I had been out for three years with two Achilles surgeries and other life oddities.  I had miraculously gotten 3rd to win the bronze medal and I was THRILLED.  Next to me on the bus was a girl who was a distance runner.  She said she was ready to celebrate because she had a breakthrough performance.  In her six years of going to national meets she had finally won her first ribbon.  Ribbons are given at outdoor nationals to those who finish 4th - 6th places.  So neither of us "won" or did we?  I think we did!

We tend to take somethings for granted.  My first national masters meet was in Boston in 1997 and I won.  I didn't win again until 2009.  Also in 1997 I got my first world championship medal, a bronze, in South Africa.  I did not get another one until 2009 when I won the World Masters Games in Australia.  I didn't think I would win every year but "C'MON MAN"!!!

Recently I have been in touch with a guy returning to vaulting who feel that 12' should be pretty easy.  He has already "won" because he is back with a passion!  For him 12' may very well be easily attained.  For me, starting back in 1989 I felt I would jump 14' within a week.  It finally happened in 1997.

Pole vaulters are a strange bunch of people.  Not only do we help each other in meets and practice and become great friends, we really don't care if anyone watches us, or even if there are meets.  Like surfers, as long as we can jump we're happy.  I think that means we CAN win them all.  Have a great day and thanks for being here.  Bubba

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lessons Learned

My friend and late great orthopedic surgeon, Glenn Almquist, used to say if your training is hurting you but your event is not, then you need to rethink how valuable that training component might be.  He followed with, "If your event is hurting you then you need to reassess your training.  You need to step it up, attack your weak areas, or both."

My buddy and former Baltimore Colts receiver, Brian DeRoo told me if you're hurt you need to hammer that area so it doesn't happen again.  So when I had recurring back and hamstring problems he put me on straight legged deadlifts, lunges, hang cleans, etc.

Both are great advice and exactly what I am doing right now.  Hitting my weak areas harder than they have ever been hit.  In the case of my leg I feel like I might have actually woke it up and possibly made it a bit worse this week in practice.  But today's running was considerably better so I'm probably dead on with my approach.

Of course there is a limit to any "theory".  A crazy walk on vaulter we had at UC Irvine (Matt) was at the track cautiously kicking the metal bars of the bleachers with his shins.  UCI is a high academic school so I had to know what he was doing. "I'm getting into kickboxing and I'm trying to toughen up my shins".  Uh, NO!!  That won't work.

I'm beat up now from training, which is perfect since I'm out of town early next week for business.  But I really like the adjustments that I have made by adding exercises and cleaning up my running program.  I probably could have done some low level jumping today so that's a great sign.  It's even a better sign that I was smart enough not to do it.  Lessons learned!  In any case, I'll stay after it, Dead or Alive -  Have a great day and thanks for being here!  Bubba

Friday, December 2, 2011

Another Contemplation Day

Suddenly I'm getting stronger and my weights lifted are going up.  No explanation other than consistency of effort.  Pleased to have been home long enough to gain that momentum.  Off to California M-W and then move there the following Wednesday.  I REALLY have to get the most out of my training or lose ground.

I saw that Mike Sherman was fired as the Texas A&M football coach.  That wasn't surprising but the underlying story was this;
  • they lost 6 games this year
  • they were ahead in all 6
  • they were ahead by double digits in 5 of the 6
Total lack of focus, attention to detail and commitment are the only "excuses".  THAT is on the coach.  I have always liked him as a coach but he's too much of a "float down the river with few waves" type of guy as he has aged / matured.  It just reminds me I can never grow up.  I will continue as "The Trooper" - Have a great day!  Bubba

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Stand Tall

I was listening to John Cougar Mellencamp's, "You Have to Stand for Something (or fall for anything)" during training and I realized that in my present limited physical condition (AGAIN) that I had to stand tall to the challenge of self motivation.  Sometimes that can be VERY hard.  I guess it is OK to occasionally feel like a wimp as long as I don't truly believe it or act like it.  The result was a tough but enjoyable kick butt gym session.  I'm thankful and grateful I did this today.  Here's to tomorrow good Lord willing.  All the best!  Bubba