Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lessons From Dean "The Machine"

This is how high an 8' vault looks to me today.  Beat up and trashed from training in a very good way.  "Hopping" into bed will require an effort!

My long time, "up for any psycho activity" training partner, Dean Gregory taught me a lot of stuff.  A certified genius, he read six newspapers each day but he specialized in common sense and determination.  He wasn't a big guy but he didn't back down from anything.  YES, he's still alive and I'm sure reading this having no idea why I'm talking about him or where this is going.  He's been a big supporter and great friend for 30 years so he'll be fine.

Lesson #1 - A bunch of us in the neighborhood decided we were going to go hike a mountain over behind the Rose Bowl.  I had done it once before several years before so I had a rough idea where we were going.  As we started off jogging and scrambling, etc., we noticed that Dean was walking like an old man with a very slow stride length about the length of his foot.  It wasn't long before we were out of sight and occasionally came back to make sure Dean knew the route.  About halfway up we were physically wasted and looking for shade and Dean slowly marches by.  He beat us to the top by an hour and was napping when we arrived.  We were spent, dehydrated, etc.  He calmly started his trek down.

Later we would mountain bike ride across Catalina Island for a few days at a time.  Having learned my lesson, Dean and I WALKED on our pedals with the attitude that any forward progress was good. At the top of a hill we should be fresh enough to accelerate.  Over the long run this is by FAR the best way to go about training too.  BTW - Our bikes were much heavier than everyone elses' because instead of powdered food and plastic utensils, we would freeze steaks, lobster, take bottles of wine, etc. 

Over the years I have learned a lot from Dean about a lot of things, but the go slow and never stop or take a break is the most valuable.  So many of us start and stop with different training blasts that I just have a gut feeling that Dean's way is the only way I can really get where I want to go.  So thanks Dean.  Low level forever until that feels too easy then slowly raise the level.  Never raise more than 10% and never raise both intensity and duration at the same time.  Don't be in a hurry because I have 20 months.  But 20 months goes fast so DON'T MISS!!

Yesterday I was a little bummed about the situation at Saddleback College but Simon will talk to the coach again.  I'm fine at Dana Hills and I won't worry about jumping this Tuesday.  Why?  I think I will drive down to UC San Diego and vault in a cool little meet in memory of a friend's son who died a couple of years ago -  I will just make it a practice and stay after my other training earlier this week.

A few days ago "Unknown" made a comment on this blog encouraging me toward my outlandish goals.  He said he was jumping 10' 6" and had a goal of 12'.  The first thing I thought when I read that was, "thank you". The second thing I thought was "GOOD FOR YOU!!"  The truth is that I have seen a lot of 10' 6" jumpers and far better than half of them absolutely CAN jump 12'.  In fact they are more likely to jump 12' then I am to make 14'.  But whatever your goals; GO GET THEM.  Long, slow and steady!  Right Deano?! 

Thanks for being here.  Bubba
The Kinks, "Superman" -  I can see every vault of Jan Johnson's Sky Systems 2 when I hear this song.  It's burned in my memory.

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