Wednesday, December 22, 2010

7 left practie jump 12-21-10

practice jump from the 21st, bungee at 18' from 7 lefts

Always Pursuing -Mark-

Monday, December 20, 2010

GVSU meet and practice video

Well I jumped at Grand Valley State University on Friday. I wanted to do the meet to have some fun, jump from a short run and use it as a glorified practice. Warmups started and I was just moving through all the poles in my bag! I hadnt jumped on any of my new 5 meter poles and i was able to jump on all of the ones that i brought! I ended up jumping 5.40m/17'9". I wish it could have been higher but i had big pole and grip PR's I ended up on a 5m/16'5" 210lb holding at 16'3"! I usually only hold that high from my long run so to be able to do that now from 7 is huge! That will mean as soon as i go back to 9lefts i should have no problem getting my grip near the top of the 5.10m/16'9" poles.

Here is a video from yesterday of practice, Im really trying to get confident with my approach and finishing every jump on the top. THis was the best one of the day.

Always Pursuing -Mark-

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Another Video from Practice today and some big news!

Weve been back at 7 lefts for about 2 weeks now, really nailing down the approach first and then working on the vault.  Well i was getting a little frustrated about how i was jumping, it just didnt feel right, I was just missing it.  I couldnt really put my finger on it until last night while watching video.  So today i started practice by just doing half drills where i just worry about the first half of the vault and not about the second half.  Heres the first video, bungee is at 5.90m/19"4" just trying to get used to committing to the jump.

This video is one of the last ones of practice.  Bungee is 5.60m/18'4", finally starting to put it together.

My big news is that i just found out i am going to be competing at Sergey Bubka's competition in Donetsk, Ukraine on February 12th.  I will probably be heading to Europe directly from The Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nevada.  I will do a few meets in Europe leading up to the big one in Donetsk.  I will update as soon as i have more information. 

Always Pursuing -Mark-

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Buy a T-shirt for Christmas!

Alright I have the new T-Shirts in, I ordered about 55 more t-shirts in all adult sizes.  Thes shirts would make an awesome Christmas gift for any vault or sports enthusiast.  Be a real part of this amazing journey!

I am selling them for $15 each which includes shipping.  So if you would like one, make a donation of $15 or more, make sure to specify which shirt you would like and what size,  Ive even added a button strictly for T-shirts on the top left. 

Also if you would like to support my training fund even more, any donation of $35 or more will include an autographed card and a personalized 8x10 poster. 

Always Pursuing -Mark-



Tuesday, December 7, 2010

video from monday's practice

New video from practice on monday. Not the best jump, but were just trying to kind of tie it all together. Should have some more videos tomorrow after practice.

Always Pursuing -Mark-

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Boardwalks, and my relentless pursuit

I'm sitting on a shuttle heading back to the airport in virginia beach after 4 days of meetings, presentations and of course fellowship with a lot of like minded people. Yesterday I was asked to do a Q&A with the emerging elites, the guys who are right out of college and trying to make it as a pro athlete. During the talk I tried to convey my experience thus far, which many of you know was one of grief, pain, frustration, agony, and a bit of victory. Most of the questions were fairly easy to answer, regarding training, competing, agents, and nutrition but one question really made me look back and reminisce. I was asked have I ever thought about quitting, giving it all up. When I thought back to my first 2 years out of college, on my own, buried in debt, student loans and a constant fear of mail it nearly brought me to tears. I remember specifically in 08/09 when I was really on my own working for UPS loading planes in the freezing cold, breaking my back for $8/hr and having no idea how I was going to pay my credit card bill, phone, and rent and still try to eat and train. I would go home freezing cold, soaked to the bone, go into my room and cry, asking God if this really what I should be doing. I felt and still feel that this is God's plan for my life, so I felt I had reason to be mad for my struggle. A college in Michigan had told me they would give me 100 dollars travel and 500 dollars every time I jumped 18', I was ecstatic, they had meets every weekend for about 6 weeks! I thought I can jump 18ft easy, so I quit my job, taking away the only reliable income I had. I went to every one of those meets in michigan and jumped 17'9" every time! I went to these meets depending on that 600 dollars to pay my bills and not file bankruptcy at the age of 22. I never won that money, but God had a plan to teach me that no matter how low I got he always had me in his arms, and every month when I had no idea where the money would come from, He provided.

I still am in debt, I still have student loans, but I also have the most supportive family and friends, that I could ever dream of. This story is not unlike many other vaulters and athletes who are relentlessly pursuing their dream. Did I want to quit? HELL YES! But I remembered as a kid watching Michael Johnson, Maurice Green, Nick Hysong, and many others drape that American flag over their shoulders and run their victory lap. That is what keeps me going, that is what keeps me pushing, pulling, scraping, and fighting for the dream of wearing the USA jersey.

After all that, my drive is even stronger, and my dream is that much closer. Believe me its still not easy, it is easier, mostly because my wife believes in my dream as much as I do, and sacrifices so that I can continue my pursuit. (I love you honey, SO much!) One reason I tell you all this is so that you know you are more important than you know! Your support is so crucial! I literally would not be able to do this without you.

Coming home now I am eager to get back to training tomorrow. Eager to continue on this road which has been very bumpy at times but is starting to even out. I have learned to stop, just stop and trust in the Lord with all my heart, lean not on my own understanding, to follow Him in all my ways and He will direct my path.

Always Pursuing,