Back from Reno, a little sick, but a LOT inspired!
I loaded up the van Thursday afternoon, with 6 boys, an X-Box, and tons of food, ready to make our journey to this years National Pole Vault Summit. We arrived and settled in for the evening knowing that we had a ton to look forward to over the next two days. For me, it was a completely different experience that when I first went in 2012… For one, I had more than just a few months vaulting under my belt, and for two, I had a mission and goal to learn as much as I possibly could from the best in the world. Summit kicked off my first full season as a vaulter last year, and I had no idea what I was getting myself into… By the end of June I knew that I was in love with the sport and that I wanted to do everything possible to make myself better and compete with the best in the world. And to do that I need to be a student of the sport! That’s why when I heard not just the best in our country but the best in the world (both 2012 Olympic Champions) were going to be there, that it was an opportunity I could not pass up.
Friday morning I had the privilege to listen to Rick and Jenn Suhr speak about their journey over the past 8 years to Olympic gold. Just a few hours later I sat in a room with a group of 20-30 people while we got to ask questions to different American and World elite vaulters/coaches all of which had either competed or coached in the Olympics. After the fact I was fortunate enough to speak with Jenn Suhr one-on-one for a few minutes about factors that bring your mental capabilities up to the level of your physical capabilities. I am so thankful that the pole vault community is comprised of people who are genuinely nice and committed to building up the sport. Needless to say I walked away stoked!
In the evening, the boys and I headed over to event center arena to watch the Elite Vault Competition, where none other than Renaud Lavillenie set a world leading indoor mark of 5.86 (19′ 2.5″). Brilliant!
Saturday was filled with coaching for me. With 6 boys competing at different times, I barely had time to think about the fact that I was competing myself at 5:30. I am so proud of how well the boys vaulted, especially because I knew how much each of them wanted their coach (who happens also to be mine) to be there. My hope is I served them well even though I was just a “fill in” coach. I know I am proud of my “fill in” coach, our freshman boy, Chase Rodriguez! I couldn’t have competed without him there to film and catch step! If you have been reading my blog over the past couple months then you know it hasn’t been the smoothest few weeks with vaulting for me. Having only been off the ground once before from a six left approach, I knew my goal for the weekend was to take off and make a bar. I was pleased to have jumped 3.90m (12’9.5″) from a short approach, but as you know I always want more. I walked away from Saturday night knowing how much work I have laid out before me, but I walked away confident that the bars are mine for the taking. The work from this fall will translate to speed and strength on the runway… now its time to perfect each piece of the vault, starting with the run…. Here’s to hard work, inspiration, and setting new goals. Let’s do this.