Sunday, February 7, 2010


Well Im sitting in the airport in Boston waiting to get on my flight back to Chicago.  Theres not a whole lot worse than traveling across the country and ending up with a NH (no height), its REALLY frustrating.  Its definitely not the worst Ive felt after a meet, I dont really have a great explanation for what went wrong.  I was feeling pretty good, my calf wasnt hurting too bad, it wasnt like I had a really long flight over or anything, I just couldnt put it together.  There was a bit of a disconnect between my mid and takeoff and I didnt really line them up until my second attempt at 5.40m.  During warmups i wasnt really able to get on the poles i wanted to, and instead of staying on my smallest pole which i knew i could make 5.40 on i tried to get on the bigger poles and never was able to really finish any jumps in warmups which led to me not being sure what pole to be on in the comp.

Oh well what are you gonna do right?  Its over now so the only thing i can do is try to learn from it and try not to let it happen again.  I guess next time I will make sure my run is more consistent, I will start a little lower if i have to try to get into my groove, I will stay on the smaller pole until I finish a jump and blow through. 

I do have some good new though, I found out on thursday that I will be recieving the USATF Foundation Grant!  This money will help immensely with training costs, medical visits, travel costs, coaching, and a ton of other things that will help me in pursuit of my dream.  This makes things a lot easier but does not necessarily grant me success.  I know that I am still a long way from being the best i can be and there are a lot of steps to climb to get there.  One thing this does immediately is lessen the stress of being an emerging athlete, every pole vaulter i feel has to go through a period of trial and desperation, not knowing where the money to pay your bills will come from, working the oddest jobs on the planet, and begging friends and family for help.  I really think this is one thing that makes us unique, im sure that other athletes go through some of  the same things but us vaulters just love this sport too damn much to quit, were stubborn that way, if  you've ever pole vaulted you know there is no feeling like that of setting a new PB (personal best). 

I am planning on jumping at Grand Valley State University next Friday hopefully try out some of my 5.10 poles.  Then i will be traveling to Chicago for Jan Johnson's Sky Jumpers camp at Main South High School, if your in the area come say hi, its near Ohare.  Im hoping to jump at the camp from a short run with a few other elite vaulters, Darren Niedermeyer, and possibly Jacob Pauli it should be a good time and hopefully we can put on a bit of a show for the campers.  Alright im signing off, feels good to just jot some feelings down about this weekend, i feel as though i can put this behind me now and move forward.  Ill let you know how things go this week.

Always Pursuing

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mark, I just read with interest the article in todays Elkhart Truth about your career. I love the sport of pole vaulting . I have been fascinated by the sport since I was a little boy watching 2 high school guys vaulting at a small high school in New Paris the early 1960's. They were using what was called Swedish steel poles, since fiberglass poles hadn't been invented yet. I built my own standards at home and got a bamboo pole from the local furniture store and started vaulting in our back yard. We didn't have foam landing pits, just sand. After many sprained ankles and scrapes from hitting the standards, I did get to vault on the high school team. In 1966 as a senior my best was 12'6". I hope that my story hasn't bored you too much. I just kinda know what you have had to go through to get to where you are today. You must really love vaulting to keep pushing to be world class. I wish you the very best, and will follow you on to hopefully the Olympics in 2012.

    All my best to you, Ron Everingham Goshen In.
    p.s. tried to find your e-mail address, but missed it