Friday, January 31, 2014

School of Rock!!

Injuries are not only humbling, but like it or not, cause great introspection and anxiety.  As I finished my stretching today, the title song from Jack Black's movie, "School of Rock" came on.  In that movie, Jack Black "infects" his students with the rock and roll bug.  It reminded me that I'm never too old to learn and I will always want and need to be a kid.  I need to keep rocking in order to keep moving forward and to keep my spirit growing.  If you're not growing you're dying.

The lessons I've learned, and me fighting myself to follow my plan, proved correct today. Just two weeks after a major hamstring strain I was able to do full lifting and stretching.  Though very cautious, I was surprised to be able to do everything and feel good doing it.  How?  I did the hardest thing I have ever done in my life; NOTHING for two weeks. Normally I would be active on my leg in 24-48 hours and this time I left it alone to heal without the constant daily agitation.  The result is I feel much further along and optimistic.  Have a great day and thanks for your support!  Bubba

Jack Black - "School of Rock" -

Monday, January 27, 2014

I'm Back. Sort Of!!

My hamstring one week after Reno!!  OUCH!!
I left Reno on Sunday morning and by the time I got to Denver on Monday I was well on my way to feeling really bad.  By Tuesday night I had a horrible cold and flu.  I somehow made the flight home but spent the next several days in bed.  Of course I'm on the road again until Wednesday night and today is the first day I feel almost normal, except I'm tired.  So practice will resume Thursday after a 13 day break.

Of course this hamstring injury was pretty severe so slow to start and caution are the best remedies.  The game plan will be to run and lift heavy for two weeks and when I can sprint without pain or caution, I will start to jump from 2 strides/4 steps on my 13'1" poles.  Last year before my breakthrough I spent extended time on these poles before moving on.  That's the plan.  Hopefully I can jump at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs on March 2, and that be the last day on my 13'1" poles.  That's the new target. Thanks for being here.  Bubba

Back to basics for me means going home - Alvin Lee & Ten Years After at Woodstock - "I'm Going Home" -

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Sorry for the delay as Reno was tightly booked with competitions all day Saturday and a 4 AM trip to the airport this morning.  Long story short - I jumped well, winning my pit at 3.51m/11' 6 1/4", the promptly strained my hamstring on the next vault and had to stop.

I expect to be totally healthy in six weeks.  Until then it's back to the grind.  As always thanks for your support!  Bubba

Megadeth - "Peace Sells" -

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Made it to Reno without incident.  My stride stretch tonight was probably the quickest I was able to get loose.  Though I have certainly accomplished nothing as of yet, it "feels" like I'm going to be better on the runway tomorrow than the way I felt the night before Belton.  Oh yeah, they moved us back to Friday night instead of Saturday.  I was a little concerned I may be to flat if I had to wait until Saturday.  We will see what we shall see.  Thanks for your support! Bubba

Megadeth - "Kill the King" got me through my pre-meeet workout tonight -

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Holding Pattern!!

Some soccer tournament is dominating the field today so I went to the gym to do my lift and bars.  I've hit everything pretty to very hard over these past few days so I opted for one heavy set of six and only one bar set for each of my two exercises.  Now I will wait until halftime of the second football game and try to go out and run sleds.  Have a great Sunday!  Bubba

Whitesnake - "In the Still of the Night" -

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Lay It On The Line!!

Lay it on the line?  Wrong picture! ;-)
I made the decision long before Belton that I was going to Reno with only big poles and trained accordingly.  Belton went well, but starting on the equivalent of your biggest pole in a meet like Reno is a bit frightening - but I'm doing it because I trained for it.  I trained to be a beast.  I've been a 225 lb. bodybuilder and 160 lb. vaulter so I know how to work my body  My wake up weight is only 165 and that's fine because it's a lean 165, but at some point it may be a lean 175.  Why?  After I finessed my way in and out of last season at 160, I heard the words of my friend and fellow SWT Alumni, Scott Henning (19' 1/4"-5.80m), "You've got to be a big bad ass ninja"!! And I will!!  Have a great day and thanks for your support!  Bubba

Friday, January 10, 2014

Winding Down - Almost!!

I have two more sessions left before my phase break resting for Reno.  Today was another strong day yet I felt a little sore from yesterday's sleds and legs.  Actually more stiff than sore but a long stretch today seemed to help.

I've got the remains of a kidney stone to pass so it's messing with my back.  Tons of fluid and it will pass.  The difference this time is that I know it's not  back injury.  I was eating more salty stuff than usual and I have always drank a lot of diet drinks throughout the day. I've since cut that back and drink a lot of plain ice water.  Anyone that knows me knows that I prefer iced tea to water but doctors orders I am slamming water.  I'm certainly not worried as it's more of a fairly painful inconvenience than something that can hold me back.

Have a great evening and thanks for you support!  Bubba

Alien Ant Farm doing a remake of Michael Jackson's, "Smooth Criminal" -

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Preparation Nearly Done!!

I don't know that you are ever truly prepared but they have the event on schedule regardless.  At nine days out I have a lot left to do but I'm feeling like it is all doable and manageable.  I've always said that impatience means you have no confidence in your plan.  Anxiety is a partner of impatience.  Right now I feel good about both.

Good sleds and lift today.  Could have felt better but did not feel bad.  Of course I'm not supposed to feel optimum for nine days so I'll take that.  On the bright side I got my two new poles taped up and as of right now my pole bag is packed and ready for Reno.  Yahoo!!  have a great day and thanks for your support!  Bubba

Black Eyed Peas - "Anxiety" -

Sunday, January 5, 2014


I've come to realize that there are some benefits to last years struggle to move decent sized poles and grips with my lower weight.  Applying those same, "whatever it takes" efficiencies when I was 5-6 lbs. lighter, have begun to pay dividends now that I am regaining weight and strength.  How so?

Today I pulled out the poles I jumped well on last year, including the 4.30m/14'1"/16.1 pole I vaulted 3.99m/13'1" on.  I noticed that I am gripping a full hand (3"+) higher than I was last year on a pole that is lighter.  In fact all of my grips are already 3-4" higher than last year.  How does this happen?

First, normally when I lose weight my grip goes up and I am able to use bigger poles.  But as my friend from Great Britain, Allan Williams told me, you hit a point where that goes in reverse.  You can't grip high or use big poles anymore at all.  I had NO IDEA this would happen when I decided to lose 10 lbs. in order to move from a 13' to a 14' vault. 

The good news is that my grip is already up and I'm also starting to move some bigger poles.  My current wake up weight is 165, whereas for the summer meets it was 158.  My normal "best vault weight" is 168-171, so I can only hope this continues to improve.  Have a great day and thanks for your support!  Bubba

Van Halen - "Aftershock" -

Saturday, January 4, 2014


I felt like crap today for a number of reasons and that's OK.  Tomorrow is my last training day before a three day break so this is about when my body starts to tell me, "NO".  That said, my sleds were very good again, and that is always a main focus.  If you feel good on the runway you can usually jump well so quality running is huge.

Two weeks from today I jump in Reno.  I feel like I will be ready but you never know until you get there.  I'll just stay after it.  Today when it sucked the most and seemed relentless, Megadeth's, "Holy Wars" got me through -  A great driving song for 6:43 about the idiocy of our country fighting people around the world who kill for religion.  What a waste of our own humanity and youth.  Have a great day and thank you for being here!  Bubba

Friday, January 3, 2014

Another Brick in the Wall!

As boring as it seems, today was another quality lift and stretch session.  I'm really trying to focus on the quality of each rep of every set that I do.  In fact I would have to say that I'm doing fewer exercises and stretches yet getting a better result just because of this.  It's not that I ever cut corners, it's just that I'm really trying to maintain focus as a mental discipline exercise.  I like it.

I was thinking today how much different my training is then when I started back after my Achilles surgeries in 2005.  Then I was obsessive about my plan and it's execution.  I'm just as devoted but I'm a hyper listener to my body and think nothing about changing the entire day if I have to.  Before it was almost a failure if I didn't complete everything as planned.  Today I may cut something short, make something longer, add an exercise or drop one simply based on intuition. 

At first I had a hard time with the idea that I was not "sticking with my plan", but now I feel I'm training much smarter and getting better results and, knock on wood, I'm I injured less.  I never would have thought that 10 years ago.  Whatever works baby!  Have a great day and thanks for being here!  Bubba

Pat Travers - "Boob Boom, Out Go the Lights" -

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Good Lift Day!!

I always dread my first hard lift day after a big meet because I never know if I will be strong or weak.  Fortunately it was strong today.  Hit my benchmark numbers in bench easy - 8X165, 6X185 & 4X205.  Another week or so and I will hit a 1 or 2 set at 225.  My other supporting lifts and stretching were good as well.

My schedule is cleaning up as it looks like I will go Reno on 1/17, jump an outdoor al comers in SoCal a few weeks later, then indoors at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, followed  by the University of Minnesota the next week.  The only "casualty" is Albuquerque, if they even have that special event.

Also I have three new poles on the way.  About a month ago Bruce Caldwell at Essx was sending me three poles smaller than my first three 14'1" poles.  I asked him to hold off since I had 13'7" poles at those same equivalent flexes and hoped to need bigger ones later.  Later is now.  In Belton my biggest 13'7" was too small from 63' so I now have a 16.7, and a 15.8 on its' way, and they are making me a 16.2-3.

Hope everyone ad a great new year.  All the best to you and thank you for your continued support!  Bubba

Motley Crue - "Shout at the Devil" -

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Off To a Shaky Start to 2014!!

The first pieces of the 2014 puzzle are in place!!
Very good quality running, bars and lift this morning.  In fact my hands are so shaky from that session I can barely type.  I went ahead and listened to my body and took three full days off instead of two, and I really felt physically much more able to give a full effort than had I started while I was still to beat up.

This is going to be a tough five days before I leave town for Denver next Monday.  I will come back and blast Thursday-Sunday of next week and then I'm on the road again Monday through Wednesday.  I head to Reno the Thursday after I return.

I think my plan is very good.  I learned what I needed to know in Belton and have three more bigger poles on the way.  Now it comes down to being very sharp but fresh and strong, combined with my ability to hit the longer poles.  So far so good, BUT it IS only 10:20 AM on New Years Day.  Have a great day and New Year! Bubba

Midnight Oil - "Beds Are Burning" -  This song plays during a section of Jan Johnson's Sky System II.  I have heard t so many times I can picture every photo, video and transition as I hear the song.