Thursday, May 29, 2014

Back in the Game!!

A few days off for business travel gave my body a little break.  I will have two three day rotations before my meet next Saturday.  Instead of doing two big days every other day, I have go back to my normal three big days with two days rest in between each repeated component.  This should allow me to get back to the strength aspect.

Today was sleds and lifting legs.  Felt refreshed and overall like I'm going to be in a good place.  Tempted to test my arm ding on the high P-Bars but smart enough to know not to at nine days out.  Even considered jumping but nixed that idea as well.  More important to get in and out of this low level meet at 100%.  Have a great day and thanks for being here.  Bubba

Sammy Hagar - "Only One Way to Rock - Live" -

Monday, May 26, 2014

Last Day/Fun Day!!

Just for the heck of it I decided to do a shorter version of today's workout with much heavier weights.  I mean, how strong can I be on my 10th straight day of lifting?  Not very, but I was able to handle some heavier weights despite my fatigue and flatness.

I'm thinking when I get back I need to switch back to my twice a week per training component model and start pushing the weights up again. I don't really see any further benefit to staying where I'm at.  Have a wonderful Memorial Day and thanks to those of you who served!  Bubba

A great summer cruising song - Sublime - "Badfish" -

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Aftershock ... Almost!!

Today was day nine and there's one day left of this 10 day "in your face boot camp".  It's been tough, rewarding and frustrating all at once.  I will be in Denver on business Tuesday through Thursday and then back it this same plan starting Friday for six days before my meet the following Saturday. 

I don't expect to jump more than needed at the meet.  Just stay healthy and keep paying the dues.  Have a great evening and thank you for your support!  Bubba

Probably the greatest Van Halen song you never heard of - "Aftershock" -

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Ying & Yang!!

As much as I felt beat up from the grind yesterday, somehow today I felt stronger while lifting, like I'm on a rebound and gaining strength again.  For the first time I could also do all of the overhead lat stuff that hurt the last time I jumped.  My meet is two weeks from today so I feel a little optimistic.  That said I will still only take my three smallest poles.

EXTREME change in my life as yesterday I found out my biggest business contract in Denver is going to wind down.  I have other business there but I'm guessing that the majority of my future work will be done right here in my own backyard. 

Of course I still have national connections but the upshot of this is that I shouldn't have to travel as much after the first or mid July.  Of course initially that means less money, but also less travel expense and less time away from home and training.  In 90 to 180 days the ship should be totally righted with my base business near home.  That's life and I intend to rebound here as well.  Thanks and have a great day!

Foo Fighters - "Times Like These" -

Friday, May 23, 2014

Embrace the Grind!!

There is nothing magic or special about where I am right now.  I'm in the no glamor grind part of training where all big results come from.  It is not fun and it is relentless.  The body and the mind are weak and it feels like there are a million other things I could or should be doing right now.  This is exactly why I stay.  The mind is a muscle and gets stronger with work and discipline.  In this case as the mind goes so does the body.  SUCKS, but worth it.  I survived another one.  Have a wonderful day!  Bubba

Pharrell Williams - "Happy" -

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Small Breakthrough!!

Continuing on with the grind that is my 10 days of consecutive lifting/sleds, etc., today I was able to do my overhead lat superset without irritating the little ding that made me stop jumping last time.  All other systems feel pretty good with six days down and four to go.  Feeling very good about the effort and focus.  Fortunately my body has not started to breakdown yet.  Hopefully if that happens it will only be on the last day or two.  Have a great day and thanks for supporting this nutcase pole vaulter!  Bubba

Metallica - "For Whom the Bell Tolls" -

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

And the Grind Continues!!

It ain't all that fun right now, but that's the idea.  Mundane and repetitive work can only be effective if you pay attention to every set and rep as if it is an individual performance.  That a great driving music is how I escape the pain.  Have a wonderful day and thanks for your support!  Bubba

Smashing Pumpkins - "Zero" -

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Marching On!!

The good and bad news about being home from traveling this week is the extended training days.  Yes I need it but wow, does it begin to take a toll.  The advantage is that in small doses this type of overload jumps me to the next level more easily.  As mentioned I'm on now day four of a 10 day cycle where I will run sleds/lift legs one day and lift hard upper/long stretch on the next.  I need it and I enjoy it but after 10 days I'll be happy for a day or two where I can normalize.  Have a great day and thanks for being here!  Bubba

Van Halen - "Hot for Teacher" -

Monday, May 19, 2014

Looking Ahead!!

Another very good run and lower lift day has me looking ahead.  I still think I will only take my three 12'4"/3.75m poles to Pasadena on June 7 so I can't get into any big trouble.  Ideally I would like to jump the first two heights from my 2 left/4 step/22' run.  I'll have to be doing a few things right to move that pole well from there but I really think I'll be ready.  If my arm survives that I should be able to open up more at our meet at home on the 28th for our Masters PV Symposium and then all the way back to normal for the Grand Haven Beach Vault on July 11. 

It feels god to start feeling good.  Gotta keep it rolling.  Tomorrow I will get to test my arm a but more on my lifts.  Yesterday it was quite prominent but it seems to be coming around quickly.  Thanks for your support.  Bubba

Living Colour - "Cult of Personality" -

Sunday, May 18, 2014

It's Hard to Say!!

I rarely have injuries, mainly "dings".  I'm sorry that I have become the master of dings.  Normally those are small annoyances that are gone in 3-14 days and seem to come and go from nowhere.  This weird little arm thing is like that.  But add to that my two hamstring issues and it has not been a productive year vaulting thus far.  That said I feel deep inside me it's going to end up being a great year as my speed, strength and technique have really come around.  It's just getting my body used to the new and improved tools.

Today I was able to isolate where the arm/shoulder issue is in my lifting so I can monitor the progress.  I'm not always so lucky.  Sometimes I have a ding that I can't seem to make hurt during a lift or stretch, yet t keeps me from jumping.  At least this one I have a fighting chance and it does seem to be better today, though far from ready for full activity.  In any case I am cautiously optimistic.  Have a great Sunday!  Bubba

Ozzy - "Crazy Train Live" -

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Good & the Bad!!

Well of course a day or so after I find this weird little lat/tricep/posterior deltoid ding, I have probably the best running and leg lifting session I've had since before Reno.  Rains on one side of my road and pours rain on the other side.  That said, I'll take healthy legs over any other little dings.  I'll use this time to get faster again.

Because I can't jump or do bars I will spend the next 10 days alternating between upper and lower lifting.  Sleds on the lower day and a big stretch on the upper day.  My concern is that I don't want to risk flaring this up on the June 7 meet, as it should be about well by then.  The problem is I need at least a minimal mark in order to qualify for the National Senior Games next year.  Right now I'm leaning toward only taking my smallest pole.

I'm optimistic that I'm going to have a good year.  I just have to be patient and follow the plan and not get in a hurry.  Have a great evening and thanks for being here.  Bubba

Van Halen - "Atomic Punk" -

Thursday, May 15, 2014

1st Day Back - DING!

Went out to jump and felt surprisingly good from the stuff I did on the ship.  Couldn't quite move my smallest pole from 2 lefts/22' so after two attempts I went to 3/33'.  A little rust technically but then got three very good jumps in a row.  On #5 I felt a little pain under the left rear deltoid from where I was doing those straight arm front levers a the gym.  On #2 I felt it more so I stopped.  I cleared 9'6"/2.90-11'/3.35m very easily on my smallest pole. 

SO, that's it.  I stop until I jump in my meet on June 7, where I will only take my three 12'4/3.75m poles.  I just need a qualifying mark for next Year's National Senior Games so I'll cruise easy. I'm really committed to working slowly back through all of my poles so at this point I have no ide when I will get back to the 14'1/4.30m poles.  I was hoping for Grand Haven but who knows at this point.  Have a great day and thanks for hanging in with this misery!  Bubba

Ted Nugent - "Stranglehold - Live" -

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Coming Home!!

Not quite yet!
In less than 12 hours I will get picked up to head to the airport for the loooong journey home from Istanbul, Turkey.  Not real fond of a four hour layover in Munich but it is what it is.

For the past two weeks I've done the best I can to get some type of relative movement in each day.  Much of my daily running has been up and down hallways in the hotel or ship.  Both my running and lifting have been abbreviated but focused.

Basically I run 5X50m every day with ankle weights, and alternated lifting 10,8,6,4,2 with little rest on my sets and exercises.  Lower one day, upper the next and repeat.  Long story short, these were some of the toughest mental challenges because you just flat don't feel like doing it.  But as Rush sings in this song, "You Don't Get Something for Nothing" - 

Enjoy your day and thanks for your support.  Happy Mothers Day to you and yours!  Bubba

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hanging In There!!

Just a short update on my progress.  I am running, stretching and lifting every day as planned and feeling better. Unfortunately on the ship we have a satellite connection for the Internet which is very slow and spotty.  Add to it that the more people who try to get on the slower it gets, or you get bumped.  But I'm here doing as we planned.  Thanks for your support.  Bubba

Saturday, May 3, 2014


I'm on a cruise vacation but got my first hard leg lift in today.  Tomorrow I will hit my running, upper lifts and stretching.

Below is what I posted on Facebook today about the upcoming masters vault symposium I am hosting on June 28.  Please "Friend" me on Facebook under "Bubba Sparks".  If you're not familiar with this process, I have over 2,000 "friends" from around the world, 99% pole vaulers.  Because of this I have constant updates and postings of the video of top vaulters around the world.  In fact, we saw the world record within five minutes of the actual jump.  No  more waiting and hoping TV will show something.  Join Facebook and get the inside view of vaulting.  Have a great day!  Bubba
NEED TO START GETTING A HEAD COUNT - As the Masters Pole Vault Symposium & Competition is less than two months away, I need to start getting an idea of how many we have committed to coming so we can plan food and other activities. The event is Saturday, June 28 in Dana Point, California. There is no cost for the event or the meal activities in this first year. In fact if you come the first year... you will never have to pay. On Friday evening we will have a meet/greet from 6-9 PM at my home. How many will you be bringing? The event itself is for masters vaulters and coaches, but of course others may attend. How many will be there besides you? Saturday evening we are having a BBQ/Dinner from 6-10. How many will be attending? Sunday morning we will have a continental style breakfast for those who wish to get together to talk about 2015. How many will be there? Please email me your responses to so we can start making a list. Thanks and I look forward to seeing you. BTW - LOTS of hotels in different price ranges in our area. Just Google Dana Point California Hotels. Our area is popular for it's beaches, shopping and whale watching so there are plenty of things families can do.