Sunday, November 30, 2014

Another Ramp Up!!

I've spent the last couple of days ramping my training back up and that will continue until my day off Wednesday.  The leg thing seems far better as I ran 10 X bleacher ramps this morning, but the upper back strain from trying to sling that laser printer around is still pretty touchy. 

Ramp ups are a necessary part of training.  I had being going very hard core on all of my training with many consecutive days.  Though the break is needed and nice, getting started again isn't always that fun.  That said, I've started.  Have a great day and thanks for your support.  Bubba

PS - apparently I'm not retired just yet.  I'm planning on vaulting Thursday.

Amboy Dukes featuring Ted Nugent on guitar - "Journey to the Center of the Mind" -

Saturday, November 29, 2014


My body feels like total crap since I've not done hardly anything recently.  Add to that a little back tweak from moving a heavy laser printer.  Got a nice little spasm just inside of my left shoulder blade. 

SO, I went out to watch the kids and noticed I now have no pain or restriction to walk.  Did a few walking plants, then jogging plants, so what the hey - might as well take off a few times from two steps and land in the pit.  NOTHING - no pain.  Oh I'm sure it's there and it can come right up and bite me, but today I got of easy.  HUH?!!  Have a great day and thanks for checking in!  Bubba

Beck - "Loser" -

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Funeral for a Friend!! Retire or Detour?

In 1973, my freshman year in college, a friend of mine from the track team, Dale (Glump) came and found me at a party to tell me that a very good friend had died.  That friend, Frank McMurray stays with me today.  He was one of the nation's top pole vaulters, who dropped dead on the track of a heart defect at the end of a relay.  Gone at 17 years old, a 15'6" junior!!

Those emotions returned to me today as I again, with no warning, popped that thing in my leg after a 20% warm-up sled run.  I had just vaulted two days ago with no issues and here it is again.

The last time this happened I was so distraught and emotional that I sat in the stands and cried for 10 minutes before I could leave.  Today Nancy was out there running when it happened so I didn't have the luxury of letting my pain go until I got in my car and headed to the gym.

In the parking lot at the gym I felt myself about to start sobbing and couldn't even make myself get out of the car to go inside.  This has been going on for eight months and there is no reasonable explanation what could possibly be wrong.  Bubba Sparks the pole vaulter lies dead.  Well if not dead then unconscious with no desire to rise.

As the day went on it dawned on me that I have misdiagnosed this all along.  It's behaving exactly as a tendon irritation, and we keep treating it as a muscle.  How else do you explain that I will be able to do full weights tomorrow on leg curls?  It's a tendon fascia FLARE idiot!!  It goes away in 2-3 weeks and you can return to activity until you reach a certain point and then BAM!!!  The problem is that the flare now happens sooner and sooner. 

I jumped 11'/3.36m jogging in from 3 lefts/6 steps and felt nothing Thursday.  WHY THE &$%* is this *$^*#^ thing keep coming back?!  It's a flare!  Scar tissue settles while healing, and then gets jerked away reopening the initial irritation.  Cortisone dissolves this scar tissue clump.

MY plan was to come on here and tell you that I was retiring from vaulting, would start back over from ground zero and work my way back up.  See you all in 6-9 months.  I need the training but I don't have the will to fight the disappointment of vaulting any longer.

Then I got an idea.  Today I emailed my physician in Houston and he will inject me two weeks from Monday.  He has figured out and fixed every other weird thing ever wrong with me and thinks my reasoning makes sense. 

So maybe I'm not quite dead yet.  But I certainly know how a cat feels.  I just have no idea how they survive those 8 deaths to have 9 lives.  I gave up today.  I was dead.  I quit and I am grieving severely.  Then somehow I got this little ray of hope that I think Dr. Rand can turn into a beam of light.  For once I would like the light at the end of the tunnel to be healthy freedom and not the headlight of a train.  Have a good evening and thanks for being here.  Bubba

Here is the song I played the night Frank died, and today when I did - Elton John - "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" -
I may be dead but I'm hovering above the body in spirit waiting to be called back in.  Do your stuff Dr. Rand!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

One Foot in Front of the Other!!

Nothing really to report.  I keep showing up and doing the work.  Not so beat up anymore, and feel some momentum from my consistency.  I'm still crawling though, with walking not that close by.  Have a great day and thanks for being here!  Bubba

Foo Fighters - "Pretender" -

Sunday, November 16, 2014

OK - I Think?!

My body felt like such crap last night that I decided about 2 AM that not only was I not going to run or vault today, but I wasn't even going to the gym.  My heel bruise, the inside of my leg, my right hip, my horrible tennis elbow on my right side, my back, ALL bugged me to the point that I knew if I did anything I would be injured.  I woke up and took the dog out at 4:30 AM and was even more certain.

I got up at 6 and started moving around and wondering if I shouldn't go out and at least go through everything  but the vault part at a super low level.  Something happened along the way and I'm not sure how.  I was able to do everything, had three very good vaults and completed my entire workout with issues.  You got me.  I don't get it.  But I'll take it.  Have a great evening.  Bubba

White Stripes - "7 Nation Army" -

Friday, November 14, 2014

It's All a Blur!!

I'm in a pretty good routine of consistent training.  The days a flipping by and I'm getting the work done.  I feel like I am, and can continue to gain momentum here.  The best part is that I have jumped two days and will again Sunday. 

Yesterday was not a stellar jump day but it was more about pole selection than vaulting ability.  The 1340 UCS was too small as was the 1345 from 2 strides/4 steps/22'/7m.  The next pole is a UCS 1350 which should be about the equivalent of my 12-4/155, so I bailed on it and went to my 155.  That pole was a little bigger jump of a stiffness jump than I wanted in the middle of vaulting.  I took two jumps, cleared 10'/3.05m and stopped with seven total jumps.  I will start on that pole Sunday and hope to make some progress.

Overall my body seems pretty good but I will remain cautious and within myself.  Have a great day and thanks for checking in!  Bubba

Blur - "Song 2" -

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Grind On!!

Two strong lifting days, with an easy run session this morning.  Off tomorrow and then jump Thursday.  Last time I used a 1330 and took one on a 1440 at the end.  I'll start on the 1440 Thursday and hope to get back to my normal start pole, the 12'4"/155 on Sunday.  Tiny poles from 2/4/22', but beats the heck out of not jumping.  Have a great day!  Bubba

John Mellencamp - "Stand for Something" -

Sunday, November 9, 2014

For Those About To Rock?!

I have so many mixed emotions as I work through my training and training plans.  I see on Facebook that time is flying as kids are ready to go for their indoor season and I'm again, not jumping.  What a CRAP year with a hamstring explosion at Reno, re-injured in Colorado Springs and then new dings right after I get back to a decent level of jumping.  I missed more meets this year than ever because I never got well.

You always wonder if you will ever be able to jump again.  Even worse, you ask yourself if you throw in the towel and quit seriously training.  And then other days you just defy logic and say "screw it".  Today was one of those days.

I only ran twice this week because on my day of 6X100 and 4X50, I felt a little plantar fasciitis and knew I needed a break.  I remembered that I only get this when I wear ankle weights on longer reps (never on sleds), but it was too late; I needed a break for a few days.  Dammit!!!!

Today I got to run sleds and the first thing I think is, "I bet 10 sleds will flare a bit, maybe I should do five.  Of course five sleds is my warm up for vaulting, so why not vault after the sleds"?  Message to self - "Are you f'ng stupid you dumbass?"  Answer - "Yes!"

Forget that I don't have my gym bag with tape, spray, knee brace, etc; I grab two poles and crossbar.  I have a 1330 and a 1340 and I'm jogging in from 2 lefts/4 steps and clear 7'6", 8'6" and 9'6" with no pain, or hint of pain anywhere in my body. 

I stop and go to the gym with hyper focus on lifting and bars.  Funny how when you can jump ,these other training components have real urgency.  Don't get me wrong, I do them perfectly even when I can't jump, but today I did them joyfully with hyperfocus. 

I might actually be able to jump again.  Just four weeks ago today I got that shoulder ding in Las Vegas.  The key for me is that no matter what has been going on with my body, I have continued to do lots of running, lifting and bars, and today that conditioning is starting to show up. 

Have a great Sunday and thank you for your support!!  It means a lot to me that you keep checking in no matter how ugly this gets.  Somehow I keep getting up but I have no idea how anymore.  I'm just glad I did today!  Bubba

AC/DC - "For Those About to Rock" -

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Moving On!!

Seems like regular training. Cautious out of habit rather than need, but that's probably the best place to be.  Two more days in this five day rotation, and then I take a two day break.  Hope I make it.  Have a great day and thanks for checking in!  Bubba

Megedeth - "Skin 'O My Teeth" -

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Surprise Continues!!

I had my first big chest/back lifting today and everything went super!!  No arm or shoulder issues over six exercises and 25 total sets.  Another run/leg/bar day tomorrow where caution will be the operative word.  Thanks for your support!  Bubba

REO Speedwagon - "Riding the Storm Out" -

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Reverse Surprise!!

I took 10 days off because of 3-4 weird dings, and today returned to full training in ramp up mode.  Started with sleds w/ankle weights for 2X50, 2X45, 2X40, 2X35 & 2X30.  I felt fast with no limitations.  Huh?  OK - about time I get a nice surprise instead of another body breakdown.

Moved to the gym where I do 3X5 high bar front levers, like you see online except I don't swing at all because that kills the muscular effect.  Then did a set of 7 and a set of 3 parallel bar Bubkas.  So 25 bar exercises after having tennis elbow so bad I couldn't brush my teeth.  I felt NOTHING!!  Like it never happened.  Another nice surprise.

Leg lifts were uneventful as usual and of course I'm not complaining about that.  I have a big upper day tomorrow and then arms/shoulders Wednesday.  Tuesday I repeat today except I run 5X100 and 5X50 with no sled and lighter ankle weights.  After these four days I should have a much better feel for where I really am. 

One thing is apparent; as much as I hated it, 10 days off of everything was the right move.  It reminds me what the great Mike Tully used to tell me about his "rehab" from injuries.  "I go to the store and get a 12 pack of beer and come home and watch TV.  Repeat until I can vault again."  Well I don't drink alcohol, but the 10 days rest sure did the trick.  Thanks for hanging with me.  Bubba

Van Halen - "Standing on Top of the World" -

Saturday, November 1, 2014


When I jumped 10 days ago I felt a weird little strain near my elbow on my right arm.  Felt like a really bad tennis elbow flare.  Later that day I was moving some stuff and apparently strained it further.  I couldn't even brush my teeth with my right hand.  Day one I couldn't reach my mouth, and day two I couldn't put enough pressure to brush.  On top of this, it has really been bothering me that my left deltoid I strained in Las Vegas was not completely gone after three weeks.  Long story short, I bailed on all training for 10 days to let everything settle down.

Tomorrow I start back with an eight week ramp up to jumping, where I will focus on conditioning my body while bringing it back around to full strength.  As you may  remember my body does not make testosterone so I am injured easily, especially when I haven't been lifting.  I'm down to 161 again because of this so I've gotta get back to hitting the gym hard and get back to 165 as my wake up weight.

To accomplish these goals, I want a long running start before I get to any vaulting at all.  At that point I should be able to take many more jumps at a low level in order to further condition myself.  The bottom line is I don't expect to jump at Reno.  If it happens then great, but I'm not expecting it. 

If I want to be ready for France I need to take the long view.  I had too many dings turn into injuries this year and I can't afford anymore lost time, so I'm opting for slow but sure.  Have a great day and thanks for your support!  Bubba

Van Halen - "Bottoms Up" -