Sunday, September 6, 2015

Restart OK!!

After my last jump session, I went out the next day and ran stadium hill ramps with light ankle weights and lifted legs.  These combined activities, plus the high bar exercises put a whoopin on my hip flexors. It was either too much or it wasn't.  It's either going to be "sunburn" or an injury not healed.  I had some pretty good aching for a few days so I was really concerned.

Today I was able to do all components with no issues.  I'll know better over the next few days but right now I think I'm confirmed that I'm well.  Really looking forward to digging in these next weeks.  Have a great day and thanks for being here!  Bubba

Winery Dogs - "Elevate" -

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Good Place?

I think I'm in a good place but I'll know more later today and in the morning.  First vault day yesterday since my hip injection, followed today by 10 X stadium ramps with light ankle weights, hard abs/bars and leg lifts.  If any flare is remaining it will come back on me in the next 24 hours.  I'm guessing I'll be OK but we'll see.

My partner comes in Tuesday so that gives me a hard lift day tomorrow and then nothing until I try to jump again on Friday.  We'll see what happens but right now I'm pretty pleased with the progress.  Thanks for all of your support and friendship over the years. I appreciate it beyond words!  Bubba

Chickenfoot - "Down the Drain" -

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Return to the Sky!!

As I train to move forward, I've been semi contemplating when I might try and vault again.  My hip feels OK but I wanted to be at a higher level of running and strength then when I last jumped.

I've got my partner in town on Tuesday, and I leave Saturday for a business trip, so why not jump with the kids this morning?  That would give me a good running, bars and leg lifting day tomorrow, and a big upper lift on Monday.

Result?  Headwind!  Four total jumps from 3 strides / 6 steps or 33'/10m run length, all clearances, four different poles - 9'6"/3.90m, 10'/3.05m, 10'6"/3.20m, 11'/3.35m.  The last jump was higher than the 3rd place bronze medal at last week's world championships in Lyon, France.  In a meet I'm from 6 strides / 12 steps.  Today I'm from 3/6.

I'll take it.  Great start!  Thanks for checking in as always!  Bubba

Van Halen - "Right Now" -

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Starting Over - Kind Of!!

I've been ramping up this rebuild for a bit now and I feel like I'm making progress, though slowly as the photo above indicates.  I was never out of shape, just too long in the maintenance mode to be able to advance again.  Now I'm working to advance. 

My hip was "there" as I walked around throughout the day from Sunday's practice, but no after ill effects.  I tried a couple of hills by my house today but they didn't work. Too steep for someone with two Achilles surgeries under my belt.  I'm set now with how my running will go.  Anyway I didn't feel my hip on my running attempts today, so hopefully that's the end of that.

Haven't really decided when I should try to jump, but I figure another month ought to put me easily ahead of where I was physically when I last jumped.  I also think my extended stretching will help.  I'll give it a shot.  Thanks for your support as always!  Bubba

Megadeth - "Angry Again" -

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Back From Vacation!!

Who Knows At This Point
First day to run since my shot. 11 days ago.  Felt fine but two hours later I'm feeling it a little.  Not too worried about it.  I felt strong on all of my other lifts and bars.  With eight days of running in front of me I'm excited to make some more focused progress.  Have a wonderful Sunday and thanks for your support!  Bubba

Alter Bridge - "Addicted to Pain" -

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Rollin' On to My Baseline!!

I've had three really good lifting days with one left before my "vacation".  I'm really pleased at where I am in my progress towards getting started on a real program I can keep.  Thanks for your support!  Bubba

PS - Word from Lyon is that superstar and the "Masters Bubka", Wolfgang Ritte is hurt and will not jump.  Happens to the best of us.

Motorhead - "Ace of Spades" -

Friday, August 7, 2015

Darkest Before the Dawn!!

Life has been throwing me some serious business, personal and physical issues, some or many of my own doing.  I take risks so I have great success and sometimes great failure.  I call it life.  So what else is new? 

Found out Tuesday that I have a small tear in my left hip (tensor fascia late).  My irritation was from the tendon rolling over a small bone spur.  So as bad as this sounds, I'm back to full speed in 10 days.  Unfortunately world championships are in four days. So I'm going to Maui Tuesday, the day I'm supposed to jump at worlds, and reset and reboot everything.

I decided a few weeks ago to make a move now to getting ready to return to elite training and jumping.  A review of my business travel indicates that we are highly successful moving deals along with our face to face visits.  That said, the delay between the visit and the actual start date is longer that I believe it should be.  The answer - don't travel until they are ready to start.

THIS puts me at home more and I can get more done.  Vaulting is not such the huge part of my life that training to vault is.  But if I train to vault, then when I do I'm actually at a pretty high level.  Example, I jumped 12' 1/2" in February and that finishes the year 2nd in the US (4th in the world), and was first until two weeks ago.  And that was with half assed training.  As the Jefferson's say, time to move on up.  Have a great day and thanks for being here!  Bubba

Linkin Park - "Numb" -

Saturday, August 1, 2015

I'm Baaaack!!

Tuesday I'm supposed to be on a plane to France, but instead I'm on a plane to Houston to get my hip injected for a nagging little tendonitis.  On top of that, my insane work travel has kept me in maintenance mode at best.

So why am I back?  For some reason I feel the need to commit to vaulting big and that requires accountability.  I'll start keeping a training log again and reporting here when I have significant things to report.

First up, get ready for Reno.  I've got six months to turn my maintenance into growth again and I'm excited to do it.  Thanks for being here!  Bubba

Bad Company - "Bad Company" -

Sunday, June 14, 2015


I figured out that a big part of my problem was that during my travel/maintenance training, I was having to be too conservative so I would feel good to vault twice a week.  Not worrying about the need to vault, I've made giant leaps in just the past few days of training.

So maybe I'm 50/50 on Worlds in Lyon. I cancelled what I had booked because it more resembled a vacation and I don't have that type of free time to be away.  I'm still entered though.  We will see what happens but right now I'm attacking my training without regard for the need to vault. I know how to vault.  Getting stronger and faster is more important if I'm going to use big poles.  Have a great day!  Bubba

Ozzy Osbourne - "No More Tears" -

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Thank God!!
The old me is dead and the new me is getting to know me.  One thing for sure is that I'm seriously planning to kick some major ass.  HARD lift this morning with the goal of going "Beast Mode" and putting on some hardcore muscle.  This won't happen overnight but it will happen.

I canceled my trip to France "as planned".  I just don't think the timing is right between work and my bigger goals.  That said, if things change and I'm ahead of schedule I might just zoom out and go alone.  Having 436K United miles makes this possible.  ;-) Fly in, jump and come home.  We'll see.  Right now it's 90/10 I'm not going but 100% that I will be back sooner rather than later.

Lift, run, bars, repeat and I'll get where I need to be. Less focus on jumping and more about getting, bigger, stronger faster.  Have a great day!  Bubba

Offspring - "I Want You Bad" -

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The End!?

As famously said in Seinfeld, "It's me not you".  After many years if keeping this blog I've for awhile now failed at my duties of keeping current.  Like many things in life, you have to sometimes let the past and comfortable go in order to grow and move forward.  I'm excited with new energy and hope, but it's a struggle to keep this blog up when I feel like I'm not giving my full effort to my vaulting or training.

The reality is that I have a huge business opportunity that I've been working on, and frankly it takes nearly all of my time.  My training can be considered as maintenance as best for the time being and I just don't think that's too exciting to write or read about.  If I get in the top five in France I'll be surprised and excited. 

I'm doing the best I can to hold onto what's important, and releasing the things that feel more like a burden.  I will continue to post here but not with regularity.  I think there's a link you can hit that emails you when there's an update. 

Speaking of updates, I jumped yesterday in Pasadena and made 11'/3.35m.  Not special on the surface, but my plan was to duplicate what I will do in France.  Yes I have been training but not jumping, so I was surprised that my start pole, which I thought would be too big was actually too little.  Yay for small victories.

The big takeaway from yesterday was that I cleared my opening height of 10'6/3.20m on my first attempt after a 90 minute sit without a run through.  International competitions do not allow run throughs so I wanted to mimic that.  Also first jumped 11' but at 12', suddenly my biggest 12'4 was too small and too short for my current abilities.  I haven't been on that pole and now I need to go to longer bigger poles.  Yahooooo!! 

I'll stay in touch when I have the time or something to say.  My next life after this business deal matures is the same as the previous one, vaulting and training and then you'll see and hear more if me.  Thanks as always for your friendship and support!  Bubba

Linin Park - "The End" -

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Not Optimal!!

It's never optimal to miss a week of training, but I traveled all week and then did 1/2 of our house move yesterday.  Somehow I felt remarkably fast and strong and I'll take that any day. I'm home this entire week so I will get a ton done.  Have a great Sunday!  Bubba

Metallica - "For Whom the Bell Tolls" -

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Getting There!!

Great four day training cycle.  No vaulting but hardcore lift, bars and sleds.  Really took a step forward this week.  It's a good thing because this will be a busy week.  Fortunately, I now need the break.  Thanks for your support!  Bubba

The incredible musicianship of the Winery Dogs - "Hopeless" -  Thanks to my buddy Dean "The Machine" Gregory for introducing me to the band, and going with me to see them.  Fast recovery from your back surgery Deano!  Love you Brutha!!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

At it Again!!

Meeting in LA at 1:30, plus rain on the way means no vaulting today. Good thing as I wanted to watch my left hamstring a little. Felt it a bit on sled #1 but never again from 2-10.  Good hard quality training all around.  Getting out early so I don't feel rushed is the key.  Thanks so much for being here!  I'm trying really hard to stay on track.  Bubba

Winery Dogs - "I'm No Angel" -

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Getting Tougher!!

Sorry but I've lost my ability to post photos and don't have the time to figure out why right now.

Had a good two days of lifting and then went out to jump this morning. Felt pretty good but on jump 3 and 4 I felt just a hint of a left hamstring twinge so I stopped.  Hate it but it's needed.  I'm doing the best I can to play pole vaulter but it's a big juggle with all of this business and travel.  My gut feeling says I should just do what I can and not worry about it.  I would just stop for awhile but I remember how hard it is to get back. 

Momma said there will be days like this and here's another.  I love you mom and miss you terribly!  If you have your mom with you let her know how you feel often.  I did and it makes it a lot easier now that she's gone.  I feel like she's still with me though it's been 6 years.  All the best!  Bubba

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

Friday, May 8, 2015

Grunt Work!!

Great friend and many time WR and national champion, Gary Hunter says that because of his work schedule, he must focus on intensity.  Because of my work schedule, I'm going to try and do the same. 

Gary says he has 45 minutes max, whereas I normally spend 90 minutes.  Today I lifted heavier with a little more stretching in between.  Hoping that works.  Have a great day and thanks for checking in.  Bubba

Blue Cheer - "Summertime Blues" on American Bandstand with Dick Clark in 1968, a classic -

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Fighting Through Rain!!

I knew we had a threat of rain but for awhile it looked really nice.  After lunch it started to get bad fast so I rushed out and tried to get a vault session out of the way.  Of course when you do that you have errors.

It was starting to rain pretty hard during my 2 and 4 step takeoffs, and then got kind of nice for a few jumps. About jump #5 it started coming down in buckets, so I got #5 and 6 in and got out of there.  By the time the pit was covered and the poles were out away I was soaked.  Oh well.   I'll give it another shot Sunday. Have a great evening!  Bubba

PS - 11'/3.35m from 3 lefts/6 steps/33' run/10m, and once from 4/8/43'.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Grunt Work!!

Just what I needed today - sleds, legs, and bars!!  Have a great Sunday and thanks for your support!  Bubba

Candlebox - "You" -

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Late Saturday Update!!

After my lift and stretch this morning, I was preparing to go out and vault tomorrow. Change of plans.  I went out this afternoon and jumped.  I really want a full 10 X sleds day and a hard leg/bar lift day tomorrow.  My other concern was if there is a big headwind tomorrow morning like there was today, I'd have to wait until the afternoon to do the long workout.  So I jumped today and will hit the rest hard tomorrow morning.

I was super careful on my run, but jumped 11'/3.35m easily from my 3 left/33'/10m run.  I got to my 4th pole (of a 9 pole series) from that run for the first time in awhile.  It felt so much easier than six weeks ago when I upped my protein and food.  Now I wake up at about 164 instead of 158.  I feel like I might have a shot to have a decent year after all.  Have a great evening  and thanks for checking in.  Bubba


I'm in the unique position to see an idea I created for a healthcare management services company, blossom into the largest deal I have ever participated in my career.  My work has only begun, as myself and my physician and executive partners embark on scaling the operation into a massive company.  To say this cuts into my training time, and mental availability, is a drastic understatement. That said, if the program works as planned, in a few short years I can do nothing but vault and train if I choose. ;-)

I'm hitting the training and vaulting as hard as I can on my four day rotation. I need this for my own sanity.  What's interesting is that the time I am spending is not much different than what I have spent the last few years.  I'm confident I can still compete at a high level, but probably I have to accept I may not be in a position to medal in France. That's OK for now.

Example - yesterday I'm setting the garage up to lift and my partner texts me to see if I can be on a conference call regarding lab services with six people on the call.  No problem I say, "When"?  IN TWO MINUTES is the answer!!!  An hour and a half later I'm done but so was my window to finish my lifting.  So I do most of it this morning, but not too much since I want to vault tomorrow.  This will continue to be a frustrating challenge, but in the long run, I can't miss the opportunity of a lifetime. Have a great day!  Bubba

Aerosmith  "Dream On" -

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Worst Vault Day Ever!!

Like an idiot I didn't run a step or stretch since Sunday, so SURPRISE, I was so flat  had zero timing even though I felt good. I'll try again Sunday.  Have a great day!  Bubba

Sunday, April 26, 2015

No Go On Vaulting!

Big rain yesterday, so the box is flooded it's cold and there's a pretty big headwind.  That's a signal to stick to my original plan, which was run 10 stadium ramps today, and start vaulting again on Thursday.  And so it is.  Have a great day!  Bubba

John Mayer - "Waiting on the World to Change" -

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Another Good Lift Day!!

I hope to jump tomorrow, so I incorporated a little run/skip in between my sets and stretching today.  We'll see how it goes but I'm optimistic.  Definitely feels nice to be a little heavier and stronger!  Have a great day and thanks for checking in!  Bubba

My brother from another mother, Dean "The Machine" Gregory, my former roommate and training partner, turned me on to the Winery Dogs.  In this short interview/play you can get a flavor of two of the members of the band -  Billy Sheehan and Rich Kotzen are outstanding, but the drummer, Mike Portnoy is amazing!!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Two Days!!

Getting stronger!!
I got back in town Wednesday, and yesterday I went out to run and lift legs. Surprisingly my legs felt pretty good, so I decided to skip the leg lifts and try to vault Sunday.  It's my intention to run/vault/lift legs both days but I think this first week, one day of all is enough.

Today's upper lifting continued to improve.  Over the last month I've managed to gain four pounds (2 kg) from some extra protein drinks and a little more food.  Not feeling fat; just stronger.  Hopefully that starts to help my vault. Have a great Friday evening!  Bubba

Deep Purple - "Burn - Live from the 1974 California Jam" -

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Back to Work!!

My one week phase break got extended due to a bad cold.  I had hoped to have a full Thursday-Sunday kickass rotation but my sickness limited me to only Sunday.  Travel this week, as seems more often then not, and then I will return to slam Thursday-Sunday next week.  Have a great Sunday!  Bubba

Aerosmith - "Eat the Rich" -

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

And the Clouds Parted!!

I went out to jump this morning, a day early because I'm leaving town on business tomorrow.  As is common lately, there was a GIANT headwind so I decided to go home and try later.  I figured that after lunch I might be a few pounds heavier, and the afternoon tailwind might allow me to finally relax on the runway and maybe I would get some quality jumps in.

When I get a tailwind in practice I'm always very careful not to use it. In other words I do just the opposite of what you might expect.  Rather than using it to run faster, I actually relax and maybe even run slower.  I do this because I need to know I can duplicate that run in average conditions.  The difference is that I'm not fighting the wind AND training fatigue.

A couple of years ago I was kind of where I am now in that I was using smaller poles and a lot of pole speed.  The problem was that I lost the ability to hit big poles.  Somehow in warm-ups at Reno that year, it clicked back and I suddenly had that big hand pressure feeling again. Three weeks later I jumped 13'1"/3.99m as a 59 year old.

Today I decided that I was going to force myself to find pressure. The method would be that I would jump from 2 lefts/4 steps/23' even if I had to wear spikes.  I had my first take off with no bar from that run and I knew I could get it back.  I made 9'6" on my second attempt and 10' on my first. 

I knew the pole was too small for 10'6" so I moved back a stride to 3/6/33', and up a pole.  Though the pole was too small I made 10'6", next pole 11' on first jumps.  I stayed at that run and went to a bigger pole and made 11' again. Moved back to 4/8/43" and boomed 11'6".  I then moved up another pole and blew through badly at 12' and stopped.

Huge breakthrough day with control on every jump.  I over-hit the bottom and committed to my swing every jump and that's what got me in.  I'm back.

Now this is a phase break as I will do nothing for a week as my body prepares for me next level. When I return I will go back to lifting legs on both jumps days instead of one, and will run 10X sleds three days a week.  It may take me a while to regain the conditioning to move back to these poles, but when I do I should be at the next level.

Today I used six poles from three runs.  I have three poles left which means I could easily jump 12'6" on these poles.  Suddenly very optimistic.  I knew that today was the day I had to quit forcing myself to jump in bad conditions and just get a good practice in.  Thrilled by the breakthrough.  Have a great day and thanks for the support.  Bubba

ACDC - "Thunderstruck" -

Monday, April 6, 2015

Fight Time?!

I've always said that masters vaulters train for big meets like fighters train for a big fight.  About 8-12 weeks out fighters go away to a training camp and begin ramping up to what they believe will be their optimum physical and technical fitness for the appointed day.  On 4/11 I will be four months out from France.  I'm training for it like a fight.  As bad as yesterday felt, I really feel like I'm making progress and I still have time to really improve.

In 1997 as I prepared for the world championships in South Africa, a friend sent me a T-Shirt of Bart Simpson vaulting on a bending pencil.  The caption said, "Shut Up & Vault".  During warm-ups in South Africa we had a giant headwind and everyone was complaining because they wouldn't turn the pit around.  I went down and cleared 4m/13'1.5" in my warm-ups and the officials loved it.  One guy from Slovakia was bitching the most and the officials started laughing, pointing at my shirt, and telling him to shut up and vault.

I need to find this inner fighter and shut up and vault. So I will.  Have a great Monday and thanks for your interest in this frail old man!  Bubba

Winery Dogs - "Time Machine" -

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Anatomy of a Dog Crap Day!!

Frustration is high; probably the highest it has ever been without injuries being a part of it.  Yes I'm still unhurt but can't seem to get any forward momentum.  Everything I'm about to say is fixable, but the fact that I didn't pisses me off.  So this is not whining but merely me bitching at me because I know better.

In Southern California the wind comes off the ocean, but in the morning it's a headwind.  It's 50/50 going to be a hard headwind if you wait past an hour after sunrise.  Yes I can wait until later when it's a tailwind but it screws up my day since I have a long leg lift and bars afterwards. 

So I take it for what it is realizing I'll be down a pole or two and maybe back a stride or two in order to use a pole that's normally too small.  That's life and my choice.  I know too many people who train in tailwinds and then struggle in meets.  I would rather have it the other way around.

We have a brand new $20,000 pit and it was left uncovered yesterday and overnight meaning it was soaked.  So massive headwind and soaked pit; what a great start to my vault day.  That's OK as I need two vault days and I have the poles to adjust.

I start on my smallest pole and it moves easier than normal but I can't jump on it from 2 lefts/4 steps/23' because I'm now 158 lbs.  So I move back to 3/6/33' and "finesse" the pole and don't get in.  Then I hit it and go almost off the back of the pit. 

Grab the next pole and have a ton of height but I'm not quite in far enough.  After three jumps I see I've skipped a pole so this one should be stiffer because it is.  I move back to 4/8/43' and go up a pole because I now this one will be too small. 

Two crappily timed jumps and then BOOM - I finally nail a good jump. Next two are really good and then I move back to 5/10/53" and up a pole.  Can't time it to turn up.  The grip feels too low from 5 but the pole is to stiff from 4.  Can't take it anymore and leave.

I sit in my car contemplating retirement. I'm sick of no progress and all of this hard work.  Somehow I drag my ass into the gym and literally talk myself into every single rep of every single set as I almost just get up and quit about six times.  I made it and I'm happy.

I need to get my weight back up but I don't want to feel fat. Big challenge to make that happen but I will.  Have a great Easter and thanks for your support!  Bubba

Sheryl Crow singing my feelings - All I Wanna Do (Is Have Some Fun) -

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Carrying On!!

The revenge of course is on my own body!!
Two hard lift and stretch days and ready to vault on my smaller poles tomorrow morning.  Have a great evening!  Bubba

Van Halen - "Eruption/You Really Got Me" from Jimmy Kimmel a few days ago -

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Working on It!!

First day on my 4m poles and it was weird.  Listening to what Kris said, I just kept moving my run back so I wouldn't try to run hard.  Finally found a groove on about jump #8 of 12 but it's something I can work from at least. 

On 9 of the 12 jumps I was running from 53' gripping low on my smallest pole.  Since I'm not used to running that far in practice so early, I took it real easy.  The pole was too small but rather than move up and struggle, I stayed put and relaxed even more.  I think I can build off of that.

The plan is to do this on my fresh days, Thursday, and go back to my 3.75s for Sunday, the short rest rotation day.  Not thrilled but it's workable.  REMEMBER - it's day ONE!!  have a wonderful day and thanks for checking in on me!  Bubba

Dire Straits - "Sultans of Swing - Live" -

Sunday, March 29, 2015


I didn't lift legs Thursday because I had taken 16 jumps and wanted to try and jump again today.  I felt flat, which is an indicator I should have lifted.  Remember me commenting that I recover faster when I lift after?  I need to remember that.

In any case, had a big headwind and feeling crappy, I took 9 jumps and called it quits.  That used to be a good day. Had to be back a stride to use a small pole and still had to work too hard to get in.

This said, technically I'm getting some consistency and confidence in my jumps.  I was going to start using 4m poles on my fresh day Thursday but I may choose to stay here on the 3.75s.  We will have to see.  Thanks for your support.  I will carry on!  Bubba

Living Colour - "Open Letter to a Landlord" - Vernon Reid is a GREAT guitarist.  I read where another famous guitarist said he was the only one he knew that could name every note as he played it, no matter how fast he played -

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Feeling Weak!!

It's inevitable that when you train consistently you're going to have days that you just don't feel strong.  Today was one of them.  It's super important that I finish these days and pay attention to every rep on every set.  Not anxious to move the weights up; just get it done right. I survived!  Have a great day and thanks for checking in!  Bubba

Winery Dogs - "Criminal" -

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Lookng Up!!

Today I quit trying to drive the square peg into the round hole!

Great advice from Kris about easing the run back and making sure I had good pole speed.  I used it this morning by starting with my first 12'4" pole from 3 rather than 2.  The objective was a relaxed run and almost too much pole speed to start.  Got in 16 jumps ending at 5 lefts.  Had I thought I could have safely taken three more jumps I would have gone to 6.  So dead on, he's right. I'll stick to this.  I also really pushed my grip from 2 steps and 4 steps. Good day technically as well.  Thanks so much for your support!  Bubba

Van Halen - "Right Now" -

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wake Up Call!!


With this information I went into training a little demoralized.  The more I thought about it, the more I'm on track to be at 12'6" myself.  But its still a wake up call.  Have a great day!  Bubba

Pantera - "Cowboys From Hell-Live in Moscow 1991" -

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


One of my favorite sayings is that "Impatience means you have no confidence in your plan".  I'm patient and therefore confident. Not perfect, but I can see all of the pieces working together now.  Have a great day!  Bubba

Velvet Revolver - "Slither" -

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Execute the Plan!!

I went out today, nervous to try the "List" as Kris and I agreed.  It went very well to a point but I also got some revelations.  From 8'-9'6" things went great.  The pole moved really fast and if I didn't jump up and swing my hips to my hands quickly I'd be into the bar instead of going up the pole.  By 10' I was really having to work to get there as my starting step was a left foot on 36'.  Kris I started at 32' rather than 33' because I was afraid I would have to reach. 

What I noticed was that my right Achilles got sore, which it never does. I normally start of with my right foot because I've had two Achilles surgeries on my left. In any case, mental note made.

Where I got into trouble was at 10'6".  I moved back a stride and still couldn't get to the box from the prescribed mid.  I guess I could have moved back another stride but it seemed I shouldn't have to do that. The bottom line is that I don't have a long stride length anyway, so pushing to get to the box is dangerous.  Actually I stopped because I felt one more attempt would strain my groin.

So the lesson learned is that I will forget about the mids, but match up the list grip to the list bar height to assure great pole speed.  Turned out I was only gripping about 2" higher than the list anyway so I was glad of that.  I can start from 2 lefts if I want as long as my grip matches the list bar height.

Overall it was great to be slamming my swing off of a stiff body at the top of my jump off of the ground.  Very rhythmical with great line ups.  I got in 13 jumps and most were pretty clean technically.  I can build off of this as long as I follow the precautions just listed.  I think that's just an age thing.  Thanks a ton Kris! Bubba

Avenged Sevenfold - "Buried Alive" -

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Please check out Kris' Comments!

Please take a few minutes and read my coach, Kris Allison's take on my blog yesterday.  They are at the bottom of the post.  EXACTLY why he's the best coach and my coach since I returned from two Achilles surgeries in 2005.  Thanks!  Bubba

Kick butt training song!  Megadeth - "Dread  the Fugitive Mind" -

Friday, March 20, 2015

Change of Plans

This is what I was about to write to my coach, Kris Allison, so I thought I would post it here as well.  Kris please shoot me an email with your input.  Thanks Dude!

OK so even with more eating of protein and lifting hard I've settled in at around 160 lbs.  Though I'm starting to move poles again, nothing big and certainly not a decent grip height.  I'm getting a push off at 10'6" and my grip is well under the bar at 11' and 11'6"  I'm trying to gain weight without the fat but that's a slow process. 

SO, Kris I'm thinking about returning to the "List" -  The reason is that my start mark (list mid mark) for 8' IS my full run from where I can jump 11' each day.  The list brings you into the box much faster, with a lower grip, which believe it or not, rapidly moves you to bigger poles.  Since I can't seem to move big poles and I'm not getting my run back before I'm too tired, it seems the list would force me to do both rather safely and in a fun way.  Thoughts Kris!!  Thanks!  Bubba

Judas Priest - "Victim of Changes" -

Thursday, March 19, 2015

I Just Don't Know!!

Training has been going well.  I'm stronger and faster.  My run has moved back a foot.  Today I jumped from 23', 33' and 43' = 13 jumps.  I'm jumping fairly well just not all of that high. 

I make 11' every day from 3 lefts/6 steps/33' which is fine, but I'm still fishing for constant hand pressure on the bigger poles.  If I hit it and hold it I blow through and the grip is too low.  If I hit and release I either bail out or don't get in well.  I

've come to the conclusion I just need to blow the pole away every jump and never let the pressure off.  Have a wonderful evening and thanks for checking in.  Bubba

Midnight Oil - "Burning Beds" -

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Work in Progress!!

I got 15 jumps in again today, so for that I'm happy.  I'm a bit frustrated because of my hit and miss technique, but I guess that's to be expected.  First, I'm up almost 4 lbs./2kg from last Sunday as I'm adding more protein and trying to gain back this lost weight.  This will effect timing in a good way when I'm a bit heavier where I'm comfortable.

The other issue is that the arc is fairly short so I'm having a bit of a tough time timing the jump through the take off.  If I jump through like I'm supposed to, I miss the bottom, and if I swing off the ground, I won't be able to move bigger poles. 

The few jumps I hit today felt good.  I turned under on 6 jumps that I should have gone on.  Once I bailed I saw I was easily in the pit, but when I bailed I didn't think I was in.  This will take care of itself when I'm more familiar with the poles/grips/runs, as I just start going no matter where I am. 

All of this said, 15 jumps and no injuries.  Have a wonderful Sunday and thanks for your support!  Bubba

Slash with Myles Kennedy - "World on Fire" -

Saturday, March 14, 2015


As I work so hard to refine my fitness, I realize that in five months I have time to get out of shape again!  That's a good thing to keep in mind when I'm grinding my but off in the hot garage, gym or track, so it won't happen.  Have a great day!  Bubba

One of the great underrated front me, Myles Kennedy, here with Alter Bridge.  Also love him with Slash - "Addicted to Pain" -

Friday, March 13, 2015


I re-learned a very weird lesson yesterday. As much as I feel like crap when I finish jumping, if I will go ahead and make myself go to the gym and lift legs/bars right afterwards, I recover much faster.  Most days after jumping I'm moving slow and kind of hobbling around the house.  Last night and today I feel actually pretty good. Glad I lifted yesterday ... and today! Have a great day and thanks for checking in!  Bubba 

To Dean "The Machine" Gregory, longtime friend and music guru - Winery Dogs Live - Elevate/Other Side from Sonicshpere 2014 -

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Long Jump Day!!

Part of my overhaul for this light weight (158-160) is to have a pole I could start at from 2 lefts/4 steps or 22'. I was able to jump 10' and almost 10'6" so that felt like progress.  Made 10'6" and 11' from 3/6/33' run.

Technically fairly hit and miss with no real constant solid hand pressure jumps, but I'm sure that will be back next session.  The surprise was I got in 16 jumps.  Normal I'm 6-9 jumps so I guess this shows my harder lifting and running is helping my endurance. 

I had no pain and it was really nice to have an extended jump session, no matter how low the level.  Have a great day and thanks for your support! Bubba

Queen - "Tie Your Mother Down" -

Sunday, March 8, 2015


Working hard and every moment I reach and strain I believe!  No matter how hard it seems and no matter how hopeless it sometimes feels.  I MUST believe or why bother!!  Have a great day!  Bubba

John Mayer - "Belief" -

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Focus on Goals!!

The hardest part of training is starting.  Once I'm in the rhythm I'm good and will get the most out of each set and rep.  The key for me is just to get out of the door early so I never feel rushed, and start with weights I can control.  I have a meeting this morning so I got up at 5:40 AM and was lifting by 7.  That gives me more strength that any weight lifted or rationalization as to why I can do it later, or make it up, and then don't. 

I find myself healthy and ready to jump a full week earlier than expected.  That said I won't.  I'll stick to the schedule and spend the next five days adapting to the new/old training.  A little more sore than I expected but that's good news.  Have a great day and thanks for checking in!  Bubba

April Wine - "I Like to Rock" -

Friday, March 6, 2015


As you can imagine, as I travel I get to think about what I'm doing right and wrong with my training.  I look at what are real or perceived deficits and then plan for next year.  I remember when I was younger I used to share these plans with my mom.  Her response shocked me because it made so much sense. She said, "That sounds like a great idea.  Why don't you start that NOW?  Why wait for next year?"  This became the motto for me and my coach and dear friend Kris Allison.  So here we go again.

With five months until Worlds in France, I have plenty of time to benefit from these changes.  What changes you say? The reality is that most of what I'm changing is taking me back to what I used to do.  I've done lots of experimenting to address weaknesses and in the void were left mew weaknesses that used to be strengths.

My running has changed and my lifting has changed.  I'll give it a few more sessions before I jump. Last week I got four new 12'4"/3.75m poles to give me a 9 pole practice series.  I no longer have big gaps between poles, plus I have one I can jump on from 2 lefts/4 steps.  I feel certain that over time this will be a good set up.  With my weight this morning being 158.6, there are many adjustments needed.  Have a great day!  Bubba

Megadeth - "Mechanix" -

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Back to Work!!

Really good long and quality running and lifting today.  I have a stretch of at least 11 consecutive days of training as I get a break from travel.  I need both!  Bubba

Winery Dogs - "Elevate" -

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Carry On!!

I've gotten a couple of very good training days in yesterday and today.  Rain all around but got my sleds and gym in.  I'm being overcautious with the right hamstring thing.  This time last week it jumped up on my when I was doing sleds.  Today I had no hint of it. 

I have another short/normal week of travel so I will be home Wednesday and then home the entire week the next week.  I'll get a hardcore 11 days of training in and then jump that following Thursday about three weeks after the leg issue.

Got my new poles and taped and cut them yesterday.  I now have nine 3.75m/12'4" poles for training.  These will be somewhat forgiving so hopefully I can get some high level jumps in without getting hurt like  might on the 4.15ms/13'7"s or 4.30ms/14'1"s.  Have a great day and thanks for checking in!  Bubba

Roxy Music - "Love is the Drug" -

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Back at It!!

Nice long hard lift today.  More gym tomorrow and run if no rain.  Have a great evening!  More soon!  Bubba

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Futile Effort!!

Futile Effort! = this kid & me today!
Today my sled felt very heavy?  Why?  I've only been vaulting so I've lost strength and speed.  See yesterday's post.  So on the 3rd sled, my right hamstring didn't grab, but it jumped up and yelled at me to stop, so I did.  I went to the gym and jumped up on the bars.  One #1 my shoulder ached, so I stopped.  Got on the hack squat and on #1 my knee ached, so I stopped.

As bad as this sounds it's really just the signal that I need a phase break for my change of focus as I've gotten the most out of what I was doing.  If I get one good vault day per week and two good lifting and running days, I'll be miles further ahead.

Let's put this in perspective.  I have 5.5 months before the world championships in France and I'm already over 12' 1/2" from 4 lefts/8 steps on a 12' 4"/3.75m pole.  My meet run s 6/12.  With my weight down to 160 lbs. these poles are working well.  That said I have three more coming in Tuesday, which will give me three poles bigger than the one I jumped 12' on.  I would be shocked if 3.65m/11' 11 1/2" didn't get a medal in France, so that needs to be automatic for me.  I think I'm real close to that, and with three poles bigger who knows.

I think being off until Thursday will give these aches and pains a chance to settle down a bit.  My new program is less abusive as it spreads the work out over several days rather than compresses it like when I jump two days.  My nine 12'4" poles are forgiving, yet big enough to jump high on.  I've never had a right hamstring, nor any hamstring strain this mild.  I'll give it three hard weeks to settle in my new training and then get back to jumping.  Have a great Sunday!  Bubba

Living Colour - "Cult f Personality" -

Saturday, February 21, 2015


Got back from a four day trip, had lunch, went out to jump, and again felt my right hamstring when getting up out of the pit.  I started vaulting when I was 12 and I'm 61.  Never have I had a right leg hamstring issue.  Freak ding I guess.  In any case it's back to the training grind and I'm glad.

The problem with only jumping is that you don't have any way to get stronger or faster.  So I'll grind it out for three weeks and then ramp it back up. By then my body should be adjusted to the hard training.  Have a great day!  Bubba

The Who - "Won't Get Fooled Again" -

Sunday, February 15, 2015

All About the Twos!!

Big travel week last week so I didn't get a chance to post after I vaulted Thursday. It was a better day in that I hit good hand pressure that resulted in good positions during my vault.  Today was a bit more of the same.  I felt better and faster but didn't jump as well.  M problem is poles and that will be fixed this week.

Here's the deal; at 159-160 my poles feel bigger and that's OK.  The problem is that on my smallest series, the 12'4"/3.75m I have BIG gaps between poles.  So a pole may be to small from one run, but the next one is a little too big from the next stride back.  This week I'm getting four new poles to fill those gaps.

Technically and physically I'm clearly getting better as I'm moving through poles much faster and feeling better on the runway.  The problem is that always seem to be in between poles.  So I feel like I'm two steps forward to got one step back.  As my great friend and former coach Dave Johnston (DJ) used to say "You want to change poles not your jump".  Big gaps make you change your jump and that's just not helpful at dialing in consistency.

I'm totally committed to the process because I know that if I can go back to zero and work my way up through, the technique and physical skills will grow together.  I'm doing a great job of this and keeping my patience, but it's hard with big gaps between poles. I've already jumped 12' 1/2"/3.68m this year on these poles so that makes me feel I can take my time a but too.
Sure I could start on my 13'1"/4m poles which are closer together, but  would have to run from 4 lefts/8 steps to start.  My objective is to at least be over 11' before  get to 4/8 so that's not the best solution.  I need to just go to the bottom and come back up from 2/4.  Have a great day and thanks for being here!  Bubba

Thanks again to my dear friend Dean "The Machine" Gregory for introducing me, and going to a concert with me, of the Winery Dogs - "Elevate" -

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Reason for Optimism?!

I had a good hard four days of training as I prepare to hit the road again on business tomorrow.  Both jump days were much improved over last week.  Today I was able to take off on my biggest 3.75m pole from 5 lefts/10 steps.  I haven't been that far back in practice in quite awhile; at least a year.

On the troubling or confusing side, because of my lesser frequency of lifting I'm waking up around 159 lbs. whereas my vault weight used to be 165-67.  I'm not moving the poles from the same runs as I used to but unlike last year when I was light, I can still hold pretty high and jump high for me.  I have to be at least one stride back to hit the same pole but I think improved take off time will bring me back in.

I have three new 12'4"/3.75m poles coming in to round out my practice series.  The goal is to use the 4ms/13'1" on Thursday and the 3.75m on Sunday.  That said I may get to the point that the 3.75ms are useless before I move on to the 4ms full time.

A few weeks ago I started seeing a physician who specializes in athlete's internal and metabolic balance.  I now take 10 vitamin pills in the AM and 5 before bed, and once a week I do a 30-40 minute athletic based IV.  Strangely, or not so, all of my cramps and muscle issues have gone away.  I've never been a big believer in supplementation because they don't improve athletic performance.  But apparently I was out of whack which contributed to my injury issues. 

Long story short, it was shocking to me that I could take four jumps from 5 lefts today and not really worry about my legs.  That and the fact that I'm jumping two days a week have really helped me adjust to a little higher level jumping in practice.  Have a great Sunday and week ahead.  Thank you for being here!  Bubba

Ozzy Osborne - "No More Tears" -

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Best & Worst!!

I'm in a necessary phase of extensive travel for our business development that will only produce superior rewards if I grind it out like this for the next 2-3 years.  The trade off is a 3-4 training week, which really works well, except ... it's so hard to get back into the grind when you've been away 3-4 days.  That said, grind away I do.  Today made possible in part by Chickenfoot and the bad ass guitar of Joe Satriani on "Turning Left" -  Have a great day!  Bubba

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Got to jump today and felt much better.  Not great but I set low goals and reached them.  My idea was to start on a small pole and get too much pole speed.  Then slowly build up until I was on the right pole and stop.  That's exactly what I did and it felt like progress.

Two years ago I jumped 13'1"/3.99m in February.  The reason was because I sent four months jumping from 2, 3 and 4 lefts or 4, 6 and 8 steps.  This year I'm doing this with my 12'4"/3.75m poles.  Actually I ordered three more today so I can jump from 2 to 5 lefts.  I think these are a bit forgiving. 

Considering I've already jumped 12' 1/2"/3.68m on my 2nd to biggest one, and now I will have two above that, I feel pretty good that this will be a great building block.

In comparison my next to largest 12'4" will be about the same size as my first 13'7/4.15m meet pole.  The big difference is more jumps and less chance of injury ... I hope.  Have a great evening!  Bubba

Metallica - "For Whom the Bell Tolls" -

Monday, February 2, 2015

Expected Disappointment!!

I had a tough day Saturday because I shortcut my take offs before putting up a bar, thus causing me timing issues all day.  Two more jumps rolling the pole would have been all I needed, especially on my first day on the 13'1/4m poles. 

Today I went out with the right mindset regarding that, but with only one day of rest in between my body felt dead.  I had some quickness in my legs but no power and was easily dead legged.  Had to happen but I needed the attempted reps anyway. 

Two subpar practices but it should be fine now.  It's not unusual for the first 2-3 lift sessions to feel good and then feel worse for a bit because you're coming back with less rest.  Same for jumping.  It's frustrating but expected and it will get better.  Not hurt anyway.  Have a great day!  Bubba

Megadeth - "Angry Again" -

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Lifting Fun!!

VERY nice to get back to a full and normal lift day.  I will try and jump low level tomorrow on one day rest so I got a long stretch in today with my lifting.  Have a great Sunday!  Bubba

Metallica - "Wherever I May Roam" -

Saturday, January 31, 2015


After another long week of travel and then bad weather yesterday, I postponed my jumping until today.  Because of that I'll try and go again Monday on my smaller poles.

Today was weird.  I did some easy running yesterday so I wouldn't be so flat on the runway, and that seemed to have worked.  I felt OK but was naturally tentative just to be careful with my legs.  I started on my 4m/13'1" poles.  With my weight down to 160 I couldn't get in on the first one from 3 lefts/6 steps.  Maybe if I tried to run harder I could but I didn't want to risk it. 

I spent the day feeling reasonably well but missing my timing somewhat.  Just need more experience on the poles.  Of course how stupid is that since I jumped on the 4.15m/13'7" poles in Reno? I should have taken 1-2 more jumps without a bar to feel the pole roll.  I will do that next time.

Long story short, if your run moves back, and you move up poles but you can only jump the same height as you did from the closer weaker poles, you failed to carry over what has been practiced.  Hoping to correct that next time.  Have a great Saturday!  Bubba

The The - "Uncertain Smile" - because I'm so uncertain about today.  Felt OK but below average results.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

More Practice!!

Bringing on the heat!!
After a big meet I usually ramp back up to lifting, running, bars, vaulting, etc.  For some reason today I felt good enough to just start where I left off.  All components felt good at the level as I was when I took my break for Reno.  Amazing!  I'll accept the good fortune and move on.

The objective now is to try and get two jump days per week.  On jump day one I'll start using my 4m/13'1" pole series, and on day two I'll go down to my 12'4"s.  My run will start to move back as needed to get on to the next pole.

With jumping as my priority I hope to be able to get 50 jump days in this year before worlds.  I bet I had 15-20 jump days all last year.  The key is to stay within myself.  Bigger poles take longer runs so I'll probably not see hardly any 2 left/4 steps jumps again this year unless I just blow away my first 12'4".  Good plan so we will see how it goes.  Have a great day and thanks for your support.  Bubba

Metallica - "Fuel" -

Saturday, January 24, 2015


My winning jump from Reno - 11'6"/3.51m
I did nothing this entire week while I was on the road for business.  NOTHING!!  I was trying to get well, plus just had no time.  I always schedule something away the week after a big meet because I'm too beat up to train.  I took some nice jumps on a small pole from 3 lefts until the headwind go to be too much!  Good to be back and still not hurt.  This is 10'6"/3.20m from 3 lefts/6 steps.  Have a great day! Bubba

I heard this today for the first time in years.  Edwyn Collins - "A Girl Like You" -

Saturday, January 17, 2015

National Pole Vault Summit!!

I have the flu and it sucks.  Because of this I was a stride back and down two poles just to survive.  I won my pit at 11'6" and stopped.  Sick all day today but no injuries.  Small victory.  Thanks for your support!  Bubba

Megadeth - "Skin 'O My Teeth" -

Monday, January 12, 2015

Last Training Day!!

Had a good sled and stretch day.  That's it as far as training for Reno.  Anything more and I risk being stiff or flat.  Of course I will still stretch every day, but the hard stuff is done and I'm not injured!  Yahoo!!  Have a great day! Bubba

Great training song came on during sleds today - Metallica - "No Remorse" -