Monday, December 30, 2013

Beat Up!!

That's me; the defiant WIMP!!
Of course I didn't expect anything different but I'm beat up pretty good from the meet.  Back to work tomorrow after a full two day break.  Can't wait.  Also had to order three new poles since I'm on the equivalent of my next to biggest one last Saturday and it was too small.  Time to ramp up again and get ready for Reno.  Have a wonderful evening!!  Bubba

Living Colour - "Cult of Personality" - GREAT guitarist Vernon Reid, and the singer, Cory Glover, was in the movie "Platoon" with Charlie Sheen -

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Good First Meet!!

Me clearing 12'/3.66m at Belton, Texas

LONG day Friday getting to the meet and transporting poles.  When I went to do my strides and stretching that evening my lower back felt creaky and unstable.  Not very settling to say the least.  Took a hot bath and got to bed early and hoped for the best.

Got up the next morning and had breakfast still not quite knowing what to expect.  Because of this I decided I would start my warm up on my smallest of five 13'7"/4.15m poles, a 165/17.5.  To my complete shock I did not feel my back at all.

My wildest dreams for this meet were to at least get to pole #4 because it is the flex equivalent of my first 14'1"/4.30m pole I hope to try in Reno.  I also hoped to at least get a couple of good jumps at 12'/3.66m.  As it turned out I used all five poles which all proved to be too small, cleared 12' easily and had a really good jump at 12'6"/3.81m.  I am totally trashed physically but am not hurt.  My technique was dead on and a result of the bars, running and lifting changes I put in place.

After talking to Kris Allison  decided to start at only 10'6"/3.21m because there were so many lower level jumpers going that f I waited much higher it would be two hours between warm up and my starting height.  Also I nhd Brazil at 10'6" and we weren't sure how my poles would feel.  So here's what happened;
10'6 from four lefts or 43' on the 17.5.  Made 11'/3.36m on the 17.1 from the same run.  Made 11'6"/3.51m on the 16.6 from five lefts or 53'.  Made 12' easily on the 16.2 though the pole felt too small.  At 12'6"/3.81m I moved to the 15.7 and didn't quite move it so I went back a stride to 63'.  My last jump was a good one but that pole was too small from there.

Hard to find anything wrong with my first outing.  At Reno the intention is only to jump on my 14'1"s.  Thanks so much for being here and for your support.  Hoping for bigger things soon.  Bubba

Van Halen - "Jump" -

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

The view from my patio this morning with Catalina Island in the background.  Supposed to be 73 today! Not bad for winter!!
Short lift and long stretch today.  Afterward started going through some poles I used a couple of years ago.  I was a little surprised the grips are a bit lower than I presently have mine taped but I think that's because I'm lighter.

One more lift tomorrow then off to Texas.  Thinking I need to start on my 2nd pole since I have never used it and I have two markings on it for a soft side.  I'll warm up on it and find out which one is right and go from there.  I hade mentioned before than when I jumped in Ft. Collins, Colorado this summer I had poles 1, 3 and 5 but not 2 and 4 so starting on #2 will make my next pole familiar.  We will see what happens.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate and happy holidays to the rest.  Thanks so much for being here.  I'm gaining momentum and some controlled muscle mass but I'm not there yet.  Can't wait to get back to starting practices at 12'.  Have a wonderful day!  Bubba

Motley Crue - "Kickstart My Heart" -

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


It's been an odd 3-4 days as I found out the reason for my sickness and pain was a large kidney stone, which I finally passed this morning.  Severe stomach and back pain with fever and nausea. It would seems to pass and come back around.  Because of this I've hit every other day of training but in the grand scheme of things only missed one running day.  I feel much better.  Hope you have a great evening.  Bubba

Robin Trower - "Too Rolling Stoned" -

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Back to Work!!

I feel quite a bit better today but still not well.  That said I had a good gym, bars and stretch session this morning.  I need to run tomorrow.  We will see how it goes but I'm excited to get to Texas and try to move through some poles.  Enjoy your Sunday and thanks for being here!  Bubba

3 Doors Down - "Kryptonite" -

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Under the Weather

Yesterday I woke up with some stomach pain that quickly became bloating, constipation, feverish, nausea, etc.  Not a fun day.  Today I feel better but when I got up to try and run at 5:30 I felt pretty weak and lightheaded, so I will wait until tomorrow.  Have a wonderful day and thanks for your support!  Bubba

Oingo Boingo - "Weird Science" - from the movie of the same name -

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Good Stuff!!

Of course after a three day travel break I'm met by rain on my first running day.  I went ahead and did my hard leg lifting and bars this morning and again, I'm pleasantly surprised with my continued strength games.  As mentioned, I'm not there yet but I'm getting there.

I found out I jump at noon in Belton.  Since my back is better but not great, it's highly possible I will warm up, move through some poles, clear some bars, and stop before the meet starts. I don't want to screw up Reno but I MUST know how some of these poles feel and how it feels to move from pole to pole.

Hope you have a great day!  Thank you for being here!  Bubba

Kris Dahl - "Love Me" with guitar lesson to follow -

Sunday, December 15, 2013


No mans land never felt so good.  I'm getting bigger and stronger again, and sleds again felt very good.  My back continues to improve so I might be headed in the right direction.  That said I'm halfway between where I was and where I need to be.  I know sometime in the next month or two I will start to turn the corner and be back at a reasonably high level.  Until then I will have to stay after it and be happy to at least be on the doorstep.  Have a wonderful Sunday and thanks for being here!  Bubba

Def Leppard - "Animal" -

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Only one letter separates "Belief" from "Relief", but I have found that one leads to the other.  In the middle of both words is "Lie", which is what you must do to yourself to assure you keep  moving forward.  ;-)  If it were really as hopeless as it sometimes seems we would never start a journey, much less continue.

I have always said if you are impatient you have no confidence in your plan.  With that in mind I kept some lifts that I was going to throw out in an effort to protect my lower back. 

I came out of yesterday's running with only minor soreness so to add on some abuse today I thought might be touchy.  Turns out I felt OK.  I "believe" that this plan will lead me to full health, and I have "relief" because of it.  NOW, I run and lift again tomorrow so we will see.  But for now I am at peace.  Two weeks from today I jump in Belton, Texas.  Hoping for the best.  Have a great day!  Bubba

John Mayer - "Belief" -

Friday, December 13, 2013

Sleds Almost With No Pain!!

There is reason for optimism.  I ran 10 easy sleds today (2X50, 2X45, 2X40, 2X35 & 2X30) between 40-70% and felt comparatively free of pain.  Of course I just got my injection Monday so it's too early for miracles but it was maybe 80-90% better than it has been.  As I said, I'm not convinced there is zero muscle involvement so I won't vault until my meet two weeks from tomorrow in Belton.  Overall I'm feeling stronger and more ready to think I can jump well again.  Like anything else in life I just have to stay after it.  Have a great day and thanks for being here!  Bubba

Deep Purple - "Stormbringer" -

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Finally Getting Stronger!!

I reached my bench and lat pull superset baseline today.  When I'm in the ballpark of being fit and strong enough to jump high, my bench is 8X165, 6X185 and 4X205, which I hit fairly easily today for the first time in a  very long while.  My lat pull superset is hands away and wide like a pull up, followed immediately by hands close and palms facing like a chin up.  I did 8X200, 6X220 and 4X240.

I did a better job of my stretching today with the focus on the muscles and not forcing the joints.  I think that will pay off as well.  Dr. Rand also wants me to use a foam roller in addition to just the stretches.  I have a smaller one but need to address that as well.  Have a great day!!  Bubba

April Wine - "Roller" -

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sticky Situation!!

I saw Dr. Rand on Monday and after X-Rays he determined that I needed an injection in my back at the sacroiliac joint (SI Joint).  He said I did not have a muscle running the direction where I am describing my pain, and there is nothing that can cause a catch other than the joint.  Because he injected the joint space it was not that painful.  Once the flare is gone then the muscle feeling issues should leave.

He has advised me to adjust some of my training to more directly involve the muscles and to leave the joints out where I can.  He gave me some really good ideas and suggestions and explained how what I was doing was keeping the flare from going away.  Now with the shot and my new training lessons I should be OK.

My biggest fear was that he would tell me I need six weeks for the muscles to heal but he tests clearly showed that I have no strength deficits.  Basically I'm cleared to do whatever I want as of Friday but  think I will wait until Belton to vault an focus on sleds.  Good news I think!  Thank you for being here!!  Bubba

Van Halen - "Bottoms Up" -

Saturday, December 7, 2013

RAIN!! As Expected!!

I'm sorry it's raining on a meet day but I'm so glad I assumed it would and went about my business yesterday.  Felt pretty good today and got to the gym this morning for some bars and lifting. I also got a chance to pull out me new Essx Recoil poles and discern my pole series for the indoor season.  Very pleased and optimistic.  Have a great afternoon!  Bubba

Steveie Ray Vaughn - "Tightrope" from the Johnny Carson show in 1990 -

Friday, December 6, 2013

Change of Plans Again!!

I've been watching the weather all week and there is between a 60-90% chance of rain for all of Southern California tomorrow.  I rested this entire week so my back would feel better and it did not.  I found a great massage therapist and scheduled to see her this afternoon.  And all of this means?

SO - I blew off the meet tomorrow because I can't afford to get rained out and miss a week of training.  I went out to jump today, and of course there was a horrible headwind.  I had no choice because I had to be done before my massage appointment.

NOW - I only got two jumps in on my 13'7"/165 before I decided not to fight the wind.  Surprisingly I was able to get in bending the pole from 3 lefts/6 steps, and cleared both bars from 4/8, into the headwind even though every other time I have used it I had to go to 5/10.  So into a headwind that is progress.  Very good clean positions but I don't want to risk injury by fighting the wind.  I will lift tomorrow and go to Houston Monday.  Have a great evening!  Bubba

White Stripes - "Seven Nation Army" -

Sunday, December 1, 2013

MIA - Sick!!

All the good intentions can't overcome the cold that hit me.  That said I went out this morning and did my running and then went to the gym for my lifting and bars.  Other than the constant hacking cough and runny nose, my speed and strength felt good.  I knew with my little All Comers meet at San Diego State next Saturday, I felt I really needed to get out and do something.  No sign of the quad or groin tightness and I was running 90%+.  So I will leave it at that.   Have a great Sunday!!  Bubba

Metallica - "Fuel" -

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Very early lift this morning.  In some areas I didn't feel quite as strong as I have been, and in others I seemed much stronger.  Whatever - just keep showing up.

My right quad thing is very minimal this morning and I also got a long stretch in for my back.  A week from Monday I will see Dr. Rand in Houston who will probably shoot my back and elbow with cortisone to finish off the healing.  They don't keep me from vaulting but they are there.

Because I jumped yesterday I could jump again Saturday but I think I'm going to leave that alone. I tend to feel better if I skip a jump rotation before a meet.  That said, for the first time since 2009 I'm going to have three meets on consecutive weekends this indoor season.  I'll see how my body feels Saturday. 

Have a great Thanks giving and thanks for your support! Bubba

Sammy Hagar - "There's Only One Way to Rock" -

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Baby Steps!!

A couple of the kids wanted to jump early, at 7:30 this morning so I decided I would jump with them.  It's warm so no headwind.  Little did I know that seven kids would show up instead of the two I was expecting.  That's great but I needed to limit my jumps because I didn't want to wait in line.

Good news - I could have probably jumped on the 4m/167/16.3 from 2 lefts/23' today but I felt it was best to move to three.  I made 10'6" and 11' on first jumps, moved back to 43' (4 lefts) and up to the 15.0 since the 15.5 was too small last time.  Biggest pole I've tried from that run in awhile.  Two out of three jumps at 12' were really good.  Decent height but couldn't leave it up. I think I've made 12' on that small of a pole only once before so I was pleased.

Bad news - short rest made my right groin a touch sore so I stopped as a precaution after the 5th vault.  In the gym I felt a little pain and light strain in my upper right quad (outside) when doing hack squats.  Both should be a non-factor when I jump at San Diego State in 10 days. I will be in Houston the following week so they will get a 17 day rest.

I'm happy I'm starting to feel like I can vault again.  Of course I will end up on much bigger poles and 12' will become my starting height again, but it's a long climb back up from being too light and making lost power.  Baby steps!  Have a great day and thanks for checking in on me.  Bubba

Motley Crue - "Wild Side" -

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Winds of Change!!

Whether I like it or not I think I have to be finished jumping really early on colder days.  I went out to 45 degrees, which wasn't horrible because the sun was out.  But the increasing headwind cut short what started off to be a very good vault day.  By the time I finished it was 55 but the headwind was too much.

I was moving my 4m/167/16.3 to the point that on a normal day I may have been able to turn up from 2 strides/4 steps, which is a baseline for me.  But the problem is that a light headwind as the sun comes up grows in strength until you just can't fight it anymore.  I was hitting my positions and my 15.5 was too small at 12' from 4/8 before I had to stop because the wind became unbearable.

I'm good at jumping in bad conditions but EVERY DAY is this way so I need to start jumping later.  The reason I haven't is because I have running, bars and lifting also, and it's hard for me to get that done, eat and then get back for the kids.  SO, I will move the kid's jump day from Thursday to Wednesday and I should be fine.  Sunday is a non-issue as I can just go out later.

ANYWAY, very please that I'm moving bigger poles and found consistency in my positions.  Just need more jumps.  Have a great day!  Bubba

REO Speedwagon - "Roll With The Changes" -

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Yes, Another Workout Done!!

I'm starting to gain some strength momentum which is nice.  Far from where I'm going  but nice.  When I train really hard and get momentum going my body kind of blows up.  I look more like a bodybuilder than a pole vaulter.  Then the next day I'm kind of back to normal.  I NEED to feel this power as I am a power vaulter, rather than a finesse vaulter.

It's  beautiful day but I've decided to wait until tomorrow to vault.  I want the extra day rest on my legs and I also have decided to stay in my regular training schedule. What this means is that Thursday/Sunday are my big days so this next week it's on Thanksgiving.  Life goes on.  Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!  Bubba

Bad Religion - "Punk Rock Song" -

Friday, November 22, 2013

Come Out & Play!!

Had a good garage lift and stretch and about to head of to the chiropractor to keep my back loosening up.  I've added some stretches plus I'm just getting stronger.  My weight was 163 this morning which feels fit yet still strong when I was lifting.  So that's about 5 lbs. more than I was this summer.  I will let it rise as it needs as long as it's trim weight.

The sun is out so I'm hoping to jump tomorrow or Sunday.  Haven't decided which but since I didn't lift legs too hard yesterday, and I want to jump on Wednesday next week instead of on Thanksgiving, I may go for it tomorrow.  Have a great day!  Bubba

Offspring - "Come Out & Play" -

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Back to Reality - RAIN!!

YES, it DOES rain in Southern California and I HATE it when it rains on my jump day. Because of this I did a light gym lift as not to trash my legs too much before Sunday's next vault day.  I felt rested and strong so I really hate to lose the jump day.  That said, I can't de-condition while I wait around on weather.  Have a great day out there today and thanks for stopping by!  Bubba

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Another Tenuous Step!!

No rain this morning after all, but I did have to unload all of my poles to see what was where, while watching and waiting for the kids finish their practice.  Since I just vaulted the day before yesterday I didn't expect to feel great and I didn't.  Even though I was slow to warm up I felt decent.  That nice feeling of course was countered by the crappy head and head cross wind.  I found myself waiting on a pure crosswind to go.

The good news was that I was able to start and clear a couple of bars on my smallest 13'7/4.15m Essx Carbon Recoil from four lefts or 42'. As I inched my grip up I moved back to five lefts or 52' to keep from having to push my run in the wind.  Though I can't say my technique was dialed in particularly, I was able to control a few jumps with a few styles.  I held hand pressure forever to get in from 42' and I have not been able to do that and still swing.  From 52' I was able to accelerate and swing in one motion with hand pressure.  I was a little all over the place with my run because of the wind and my fatigued body but I'm happy with what I could do to control the pole.  I made 11'/3.35m a few times and did not try higher.  My max grip was 12'/3.66m which shoes how bad the wind was and how I felt. 

I think it's a sign of good things to come.  SO, my take is it was a good survival day. Hope you have a great weekend and thanks for your support,  Bubba
Megadeth - "Trust" -

Friday, November 15, 2013

Uncertain Plans!!

I did not run or lift legs yesterday just in case I could vault again tomorrow.  I'm out of town on business Sunday through Wednesday so this would be a shot at jumping twice this week.  Besides, ALL of my poles got back from Italy and Brazil today, plus three new ones.  That said, the chance of light rain may put a damper on this plan. 

I would love to go out and jump at 7 AM before the kids get there at 8:30 but we had to move the pit off the field for a football game tonight.  I'm going to say it's 50/50 whether I jump tomorrow but I'm hoping for the best.  Afterwards I need to run, lift and do bars.  More soon.  Have a great evening!  Bubba

The Cult - "Fire Woman" -

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Signs of Improvement!!

Skipped my two cut off 13'1"/4m rehab poles and started at three lefts (33'/10m) on my smallest 13'1 pole, 167/16.3.  Made 10'6"/3.20m and 11'/3.35m on first jumps.  Pole was too small at 11'6"/3.51m so I moved to the 171.3/15.9 and back a stride and made it easy but that pole was too small.  Moved up to 12'/3.66m and had two really nice jumps but got a little sideways on one and brushed the bar on the way down on the other.  Easy height on 12' though so I'm pleased with that considering I'm on a pole smaller than my 1st easy meet pole.  I felt good but I could sense fatigue starting in my legs so I stopped as a precaution.  PROGRESS!!  Maybe there is hope!  Have a great day!  Bubba

Metallica - "No Remorse" -

Monday, November 11, 2013

Flying Plans!!

On the plane to Denver on business. I come here 2-3 times a month. I get here on Monday and I'm home by 9:30 AM on Wednesday. This has really turned out to be perfect as far as getting in rest days. If I travel every other week like this one, I have a solid 11 straight days of training. If I get stuck going somewhere on consecutive weeks, I get a four day rotation in. On the four day I will vault, run and lift legs on Sunday Thursday so I'm certain to always get two of these days per week. 
After the past 11 days the soreness is gone and I'm not quite so beat up. On top of that I got 5 run and lift leg days and vaulted twice. I think now I'm settled in to a position where I can start putting together quality weeks. With 9 weeks until Reno I could very well be in the ballpark for a decent jump by then. 
It's important to me to be in the first few to ever jump 13' as a 60 year old, but there is more to it than that. I want the double six decades mark for 13'. What does this mean? On January 2, 2010 I jumped 13'1" in Belton, Texas. That gave me a 13' vault in six decades - 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, and 10s. If I can get it at 60 I will have six age decades - teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. As I have always said, if you don't have dreams you have nothing to come true. Enjoy your day and thanks for being here. Bubba

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Complete 180!!

For as bad as my last practice was with 2 jumps out of 12 being remotely good, today was a 180.  I only took 7 vaults and cleared 6 bars with great control of my technique.  And I completely threw out my vaulting plan for today within the first 3 minutes.  Why?

To follow DJ's chart and start at an 8' bar, I need a 9'10" grip and a 33' six step start mark.  I was gripping 10'6" from TWO steps or a 12' run.  OK - so how was this going to be better than the last practice?  Pole speed.

I have always told vaulters that with enough pole speed we can always find a consistent jump.  The last practice I tried to force everything with minimal pole speed.  This makes the timing to critical, especially when your legs are trash.  So today I just jogged in from a stride further back and really had a great and fun day.

I ENDED on a pole that is BELOW my normal short run start pole yet still had some great jumps. Height wise I cleared 9'6", 10', 10'6" X 2 all on first jumps before having a miss.  The 2nd clearance was on pole #2.  I was too far out on my first at 11' and then made it twice.  Perspective - 10' would have gotten me the silver medal in Brazil!!  Lessons learned. 

I feel like I'm in a real good place to move forward.  Thanks for being here.  Off to Denver for business until Wednesday. Have a great Sunday!  Bubba

Going real old school with Accept playing "Balls to the Wall",  Their singer gives his best Bon Scott/ACDC imitation -

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Bentley - 2000 - 2013 - R.I.P.

Lost my big black dog Bentley yesterday to a growth that had taken occupancy and quickly grew to over 1/2 of his stomach.  Best and most loving rescue dog you would ever want to meet. 

Great lift this morning.  Fun jump day tomorrow!  Peace!  Bubba

Because I need it - Motley Crue - "Kickstart My Heart" -

Friday, November 8, 2013

Little Things = Big Things!!

As I go through my training I have revelations from time to time.  The first thing I noticed was that near the end of this last season that I wasn't doing all of my stretches and I wasn't holding them as long.  I had also dropped out the PNF segment, ALL trying to protect the nagging ding under my leg between my hamstring and butt.  I've added them all back in and feel better already.

When I vault and feel lost, like yesterday, I go back and start at 8" using DJ's chart, here - It's based on physics and you really can't do anything wrong or you won't clear the bar.  It's also a fun way to get a lot of jumps in.

Finally, if you're on Facebook friend me at "Bubba Sparks".  I have nearly 2,000 "friends" from the vault world.  Because of this I "Share" and "Like" videos and stills that you may not otherwise get to see.  Very cool way to follow the vault community.  Thanks for being here!  Bubba

A very young Ted Nugent with the Amboy Dukes - "Journey to the Center of the Mind" -

Thursday, November 7, 2013

As Expected!!

A couple of days ago I semi decided that I would try and vault today.  I know the first vault day during hard training is usually horrible because you feel like crap, but I figured since I'm starting on my smallest pole why not.  YES it was all that I expected as I remotely hit TWO decent jumps out of 12.  Then I went to the gym and current PRd in everything.  That's just how it goes early on.  Rapid speed and strength gains yet no vault timing because your legs are trash.  Oil well as they say in Texas.  Onward.  Thanks for being here!  Bubba

System of a Down - "Toxicity" -

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

It's a Long Way From Here!!

My weight was 165 this morning and I had another great lift and stretch.  As much as I want to be at the next level, I need to earn that again.  Sure I started in good shape and uninjured but it's quite another thing to regain the explosive power I let slip during my "maintenance" lifting and weight lean down that back fired. 

I may be starting to look the part but it's a long way from here to there.  Hopefully I'll be good or decent by Reno in mid January, but the reality is, by mid summer I should be kicking ass physically at least. 

The good news is at the end of August there is an indoor meet in Ft. Collins, Colorado that gives me one more shot to jump 13' indoors this year if I miss it during the traditional indoor season.  Have a great day and thanks for your support!  Bubba

Offspring - "I Want You Bad" -

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Embrace the Grind!!

I'm at the point in my training that the newness is over and I'm settling into the grind.  Or, "another brick in the wall".  Actually today was a heavy lift day as my reps were 6,4,2 instead of 8,6,4.  Still, I enjoy the process. The focus it takes is therapeutic and a great escape.  I always feel better when it's over but I also enjoy the challenge of focused effort on every rep of every component.

My weight has become a bit more of a mystery.  After stating that I'm waking up under 165, which is a bit heavier, and on my way to getting back to the 168-171 optimal range, I woke up today at 166.  Tonight before my bath I was 169 after dinner.  Because I drink a lot of iced tea with my meals,  may wake up at 167 ish tomorrow.  Why?

I did not lift legs for six months and was only in maintenance mode on my other lifting. My NORMAL weight is waking up between 168-171.  They waking up under 160 for nine months was not normal as I have not weighed that little since my freshman year of college.  I think that once I became less restrictive of my diet, and jumped up all of my lifting, that my body has leapt to get back to it's normal place.  Once my strength catches up then I should be ready for some bigger jumps.  Until then the focus must remain on strength, conditioning, bars and flexibility.  Thanks for being here!  Bubba

Pink Floyd - "Another Brick in the Wall" -

Monday, November 4, 2013

Well THAT Sucked!!

Today was day 2 of legs.  I do this following day 1 but only once every 14 days.  Today I did 8,6,4 deep squat, bench squat, lunge and bench step up.  Yesterday was hack squat sled, lying leg press, leg extension, seated leg curl, lying leg curl, seated calf and standing calf.  Of course this was after running and bars.  On most days I would have also jumped yesterday.  This plan works best because you beat your body/legs up all at once and therefore recover faster for the next rotation.  So today's legs were actually considered "active rest".  I think they were mainly hard because  have not done them for awhile.

As mentioned I need to gain some muscle mass but my weight needs to come up slowly and the right way.  Before my big meets this year I woke up every day just under 160 lbs./72.72kg.  Now I'm trying to be under 165/75kg.  At first I was like, "yeah right" when I saw 161.7 as my wake up weight.  But yesterday I was 164 and today I was 164.7 so I'm getting closer.  I think I can be leaner so I will stick with this weight goal for November.  Ideally I think I will be at just under 170/77.27kg.  I need mass to be a power jumper.

I've got lots of other things swirling around my head but the goal was to get through today first.  Yahoo!!  Have a great da and thanks for being here!  Bubba

AC/DC - "You Shook Me All Night Long" -

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Strong Fast!?

Day one of my middle rotation of four days, which sits between two three day rotations before a three day break.  I probably could have jumped a little today but the plan was to get through the first 11 days first.  I was surprised at how little soreness I had today compared to yesterday.  Of course I lifted legs today and tomorrow I have Legs2 which I only do once every two weeks.  Have a feeling that won't be fun the day of or a few days after.

I'm working on my speed in a bit different way this year.  I'm doing the Jim Hiserman 14 week rotation X 3 -  On set #1 I'm running with sled and 5lb. ankle weights, #2 with just ankle weights and no sled, and #3 just me without ankle weights or sled.  I have previously run sleds exclusively because I needed power on the runway and the ability to cover ground.  But what I noticed was that I had no control of my running when not attached to a sled.  Sure I was faster but was a bit lost.  Today I felt like I was flying.  I think this is by far the fastest I have run in practice in a few years.  Great progression and I can't wait to see where I am in 14 weeks. Have a great Sunday!  Bubba

Great bass and lead guitar play by Mr. Big - "Addicted to That Rush" -

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Avalanche Coming!!

I often tell athletes that an avalanche began as a snowflake.  Consistent effort and momentum allows that to grow into a snowball, and then at some point an unstoppable for of nature.  If you're not trying to bring this type of physical and technical wrath you will never reach your goal as a pole vaulter,  As Scott Henning used to say, "You've gotta be a big bad ass ninja!".  That's what I'm after - BEAST MODE!

There are power vaulters and finesse vaulters.  I am a power vaulter.  This year I found out that power vaulters can't perform in finesse bodies.  SO, 6:30 AM in my garage before the sun comes up, I'm lifting my ass off so I can be to our high school PV kids 8:30 AM practice on time.  Momentum chip gained.

I've mentioned that I don't listen to music when I train for a message, but rather for a beat that won't let me stop.  Today I thank an ultimate rock survivor, Dave Mustaine of Megadeth.  He had 11 rehabs and found God before learning he could truly rock.  Thanks for kicking my butt today when I wanted to quit MANY times!  Bubba

Megadeth - "In My Darkest Hour" -

Friday, November 1, 2013

Paying Dues - AGAIN!?

As mentioned, last year was the most challenging as my business expansion had me traveling nearly every week from January through early summer.  I kept my training intensity high with the goal that if I could maintain my physical strength, work on my speed and technique, I could still improve.  Really I had no choice and it worked for the most part.  The problem was the missing six months of leg lifting while protecting a ding at my hamstring / glute attachment, on top of strict dieting, which both together dropped me 10 lbs. (4.5kg) and some strength and deep muscle conditioning.  So today was hard but GREAT!!  I'm "engaged" in the process again.

I need to get back up about 6-8 lbs. but it has to be done the right way.  I understand my body and I'm typically in the weight range anyway, but paying my dues in the weight room is not exactly that fun.  Its not that it's so hard it's that I hate feeling like a wimp.  But in reality that's the humility I need.  Thanks so much for your support!  Bubba

Paying again in the words of Metallica - "Sad But True" -  Thanks for grinding me through the grunt part today boys!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Day ONE!!

Hit the track just before sunup for my running.  Being my first day of the 2014 season I didn't want anything to make me start running late and rushing.  We have a football game at our stadium tonight so I couldn't get to the sleds as the entrance to that shed was blocked off.  Nonetheless is was good running - 3X30; 2X40+1X40; 40,30,20.

The gym was a bit of a nice surprise lifting legs.  Though I didn't push the weights I have not lost all of the strength I though I might have with no leg lifting for six months.  All in all it was a good first day.

I may be unrealistic but my goal is to be back on my 14'7"/4.45m poles by Reno.  I know from experience it takes me about two months to change levels on strength and power and I'm starting at a pretty good place already.  IF I jump in San Diego on 12/7 it will probably be on my 13'7"/4.15m series.  By Belton, Texas (north of Austin) I should be on my 14'1"/4.30m and then on to my 14'7" three weeks later at Reno.  Fortunately my poles overlap so I can be on a big 13'7" that is weaker than my first 14'1" and otherwise. 

You have to start somewhere and for me that was today.  Onward and upward.  Thanks for being here!  Bubba

Van Halen - "Bottoms UP" -

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Back Home!!

Just got back from a few days in Denver on business and enjoying the last day of my season break.  After 12 days off tomorrow the big grind starts and I can't wait.  Of course I'm afraid of the crippling soreness of leg lifting but I need that more than anything. 

Did some bars at the gym by the hotel in Denver yesterday just to make sure my little ab ding earlier this year was not a hernia.  It's not, thankfully.  SO, I quit lifting legs in January and dropped bars in mid March; I desperately need to get back to reality on these things and tomorrow is the day.  Of course I have other concerns but nothing major and we will address those as they arise.  Have a great evening and thanks for your support!  Bubba

AC/DC - "Whole Lotta Rosie" -

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Plan!! BEAST MODE!!

I'm sure there will be small changes but here is my 14 day outline.  I travel to Denver on business at minimum the 1st and 3rd M-W per month so this works around that.  It gives me 11 days on and a three day break.  Therefore the rotation begins on Thursday.

Thursday - Speed ( set #1 with ankle weights and sled, #2 with ankle weights no sled, #3 no sled or weights.  Big pole plant/take off drills then vault.  Gym - lift legs #1, bars and secondary arms. Hack squat 8,6,4, 10,6 X leg press, leg extension/curl, seated leg curl, seated/standing calf, adductor/abductor, preacher curls, tricep extension. High bar front levers, low P-bar Bubkas 2 X to max.
Friday - Lift garage #1 - Bench/Lat Superset, Incline/Hang Cleans X 8,6,4.  Lat row - 10,6.
Saturday - Lift garage #2 - Power Sets 8,8,6,6 (standing curl, upright row, overhead press, lateral fly=1 set), 10,6 X concentration curl/lying tricep extension, incline alternate dumbbell curl/standing tricep pushdown.
Sunday - Speed ( set #1 with ankle weights and sled, #2 with ankle weights no sled, #3 no sled or weights.  Big pole plant/take off drills then vault.  Gym - lift legs #1, bars and secondary arms. Hack squat 8,6,4, 10,6 X leg press, leg extension/curl, seated leg curl, seated/standing calf, adductor/abductor, preacher curls, tricep extension. High bar front levers, low P-bar Bubkas 2 X to max.
Monday - Lift garage legs - 8,6,4 X deep squat, bench squat; 8,6 X lunge, bench step up.
Tuesday - Lift garage #1 - Bench/Lat Superset, Incline/Hang Cleans X 8,6,4.  Lat row - 10,6.
Wednesday - Lift garage #2 - Power Sets 8,8,6,6 (standing curl, upright row, overhead press, lateral fly=1 set), 10,6 X concentration curl/lying tricep extension, incline alternate dumbbell curl/standing tricep pushdown.
Thursday - Speed ( set #1 with ankle weights and sled, #2 with ankle weights no sled, #3 no sled or weights.  Big pole plant/take off drills then vault.  Gym - lift legs #1, bars and secondary arms. Hack squat 8,6,4, 10,6 X leg press, leg extension/curl, seated leg curl, seated/standing calf, adductor/abductor, preacher curls, tricep extension. High bar front levers, low P-bar Bubkas 2 X to max.
Friday - Lift garage #1 - Bench/Lat Superset, Incline/Hang Cleans X 8,6,4.  Lat row - 10,6.
Saturday - Lift garage #2 - Power Sets 8,8,6,6 (standing curl, upright row, overhead press, lateral fly=1 set), 10,6 X concentration curl/lying tricep extension, incline alternate dumbbell curl/standing tricep pushdown.
Sunday - Speed ( set #1 with ankle weights and sled, #2 with ankle weights no sled, #3 no sled or weights.  Big pole plant/take off drills then vault.  Gym - lift legs #1, bars and secondary arms. Hack squat 8,6,4, 10,6 X leg press, leg extension/curl, seated leg curl, seated/standing calf, adductor/abductor, preacher curls, tricep extension. High bar front levers, low P-bar Bubkas 2 X to max.

Music Note - If you're new to the blog I usually post a song I heard during my workout that got me through a tough part.  I have a broad taste in music than has far more to do with the beat than the message.  Too often I want to quit and this gets me through.

TODAY - Metallica - "Master of Puppets" from their 2009 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall f Fame -

Saturday, October 26, 2013

More Planning Refinement!!

Pretty familiar with that feeling right now!
I've broken down my training into MUST HAVE hardcore components and #1 on that list is lifting legs.  Thinking I'm lifting them twice per rotation but need to figure out how the rest plays out.  I quit lifting legs last year because of the underleg thing.  Once I got it shot I was OK but I was afraid to resume.  I feel fast but I need more explosive power.  Some of that comes with being a little heavier but the rest is leg lifting.  It may require a double up LONG work out on one rotation day and a split up on my long phase.  I will post the entire thing when I'm done.  Have a great day!  Bubba

Alvin Lee & Ten Years After from Woodstock - "I'm Going Home" -

Friday, October 25, 2013

In a Funk ... Kind Of!!

Tomorrow will be one week since Brazil.  I'm contemplating vaulting in our Halloween Vault but I'm not that sure I feel up to it.  I'm kind of in a bit of a funk as I near the finish of my plan for my training.  I have all the pieces in my head but they haven't come together yet enough to be assigned days. I'm getting closer but not quite there.

I went to a chiropractor about the little lower back catch I have had.  I will probably go for the next few weeks to see if it will settle out.  It feels a little better but my rib is sore where he pushed down.

All in all I'm optimistic about setting out on my new plan.  I'll feel a lot better over the next day or so when I have it finalized.  Hope you have a great weekend.  Thank you for stopping by!  Bubba

James Gang - "Funk #49 -

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Putting The Past Behind!!

Every vaulter fears the no height (nh).  Before last Saturday my last and only nh of my career was 1974.  That said, I've always done very well at big meets, so that made me really look deep into what happened in Brazil so I can move forward.  It wasn't the headwind, borrowed poles because mine didn't show up, a shallow box and deathtrap pit.  I was fine with all of that as I easily cleared 4"/10cm higher than the winning jump in warm up, and I'm the furthest thing from a head case.  So what was it?

I went to the bathroom at the wrong time.  Four vaulters had been jumping together for 45 minutes so I asked to go to the bathroom.  At big meets you have to be escorted on and off the field so I had to wait to go and wait to come back.  When I returned there was only one vaulter going and he had his 1st miss with two jumps left.  This means I had about five minutes to get my 60 year old body, which had been sitting for 90 minutes, warmed up enough to jump and it didn't happen.  My first jump I was predictably out.  Jump two I probably overran a bit and my leg kind of buckled at take off.  Jump three I cleared by 2'/60cm and my pole slowly came through and knocked the bar off.  DONE!  Day over.

Usually I would have spent 15-20 minutes getting ready and jump #3 would have been my jump #1.  Because I jump with the standards all of the way back, I cut the tops of all of my poles off so the pole falls underneath the bar and CAN'T knock it off if it comes through behind me.  I didn't have my poles and I didn't warm up properly so that is that.

I WANTED a medal at this meet!!  Sure I won the silver medal in Italy in August at our version of the Olympic Games where 30 sports are contested at the World Masters Games, but this was supposed to be the easier one.  A 10'6"/3.20m jump would have given me a total of four world championship medals on four continents, Africa, Australia, Europe and South America.  I start practice at 12'/3.66m.  It didn't happen, it's done, it's over.  I understand why and it won't happen again.  I needed to address it here so I can move on.  I was ready, healthy and jumping great.  I made a mistake in not being ready to jump when they called my name.  Nuff said.  Thanks for being here!  Bubba

Talking Heads - "Pyscho Killer" -

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Life Goes On!!

As I return to my roots blog, I come with eyes wide open from a very long and challenging year.  For the first six months of the year I had weekly business travel yet somehow managed to progress with my vaulting and associated training. I had business expansion and challenges that had me questioning the time I did spend on vaulting. The goal of two medals at two world championships dissolved before my eyes when I failed to clear a height in Brazil. That all said, it's time to move forward. 
My most pressing mission is to get 13' indoors and out as only one person in history has presently done this. Since I went without any significant injury for most of the year I don't want to change too much of my training approach. It worked but I was too light. Regaining my muscle mass, more high bar and continued sleds should get me where I need to be. 
Jan Johnson told me that 1' can be gained by losing 10 lbs. Of course when he told me this I weighed 180. Dropping from 170 to 160 took me from 13'1" in February to 12'4" by June because I had lost the critical mass to hit big poles. Even though I was still strong I just couldn't move big poles and that became a real problem. My best vault weight my entire career has been 168-171 and that's where I'm heading. It shouldn't be that hard. Resuming my normal lifting patterns will play a big role and I won't be on such a restrictive diet. 
It's hard to explain the mental and emotional anguish that goes into shipping poles internationally. They arrived the night before the World Masters Games in Torino and never arrived in Brazil. Because my stated goal is to get an indoor and outdoor 13', which would make me only the 2nd 60 year old in history to accomplish this, I will skip all of the big meets and just go to ones that have good conditions. 
Finally, I recommit to you all and this blog. Because of my work schedule, and the depth of explanation needed to explain my plans, I failed you and me with very short blog entries. I'm going back to taking the time to let you know what I am planning, thinking and why. I owe that to you and me. So welcome back! Let's get to work! Bubba
My next big international meet is plan to attend at this moment is the World Masters Athletic Championships in Perth, Australia in 2016, though I may consider Lyon, France in 2014. Here is a great song for that goal by some men from down under. - Men at Work -