Well Im here now in Vienna after about 26 hours of travel. I had a huge blog written that took me probably 4 hours and I opened up my browser to send it and its all gone! So heres the replacement.
Like I said in my last post I was really struggling the last month and a half or so. My last trip to Europe was a disaster, it was like I had totally forgot how to pole vault, I couldnt hit a takeoff or catch the ride from the bend like any professional vaulter should be able to do on every jump. So going into USA's I really didnt know what to expect, I was of course hoping for the best, hoping that it would all just come back to me when I stepped on the runway but knew it wasnt going to be easy.
There was some great news that came before nationals that really helped. I got a call from my agent Jeff Hartwig telling me had been working hard on my behalf to get me a contract with Nike! Its been a long time coming and I had really just gotten used to the fact that it might never happen. I cant tell you how blessed i am to have been given the breaks and blessings that I have, and this is just one more to add to the list.
Amanda and I flew to Eugene thursday before the meet, and had about a day before the competition to just relax and get some therapy. The meet organizers always have an amazing selection of massage therapists, chiropractors, and physical therapists who do some great work. So after getting worked on a couple of times, I was feeling great going into the meet. My game plan the whole week leading up to the comp was to get into a good rhythm in warmups and make small changes one jump at a time to get into a groove. Well the conditions were so good that it took me 4 jumps in warmups to leave the ground so that plan was out the window. I came in at 5.35m/17'6 came down the runway, left the ground, felt horrible but made it over the bar. Bar goes up to 5.45m/17'9 and I made it pretty easily, im starting to feel a little more confident after every jump becaue its just getting better and better. It took me 2 attempts to make 5.54m/18'2 but my jump felt awesome, i finally felt something familiar and I knew i could make the next bar easily...right.
We went up to 5.60m/18'4 and I picked up the next pole, one I hadnt jumped on in almost a year, came down the runway planted the pole and it twisted so hard it my hand that I almost lost my grip. I knew something was up but couldnt figure it out, I tried the same pole on my 2nd attempt and this time it twisted hard enough that i lost my grip and flew into the pit upside down landing on my shoulders. Now Im pretty pissed off, theres 2 jumps down the drain. I went back down to the pole I was using before and hit the bar off on the way down. Game over...just like that. I was pretty disappointed to say the least, 2 years ago I had jumped in Eugene with a broken toe and finished in 5th place, one place from making the world championship team. This year I finished 4th, one place from making the world champ team again. But there seems to be a silver lining, Nick Mossberg the guy who finished in 3rd place has to jump 5.60m by August 8th to make the team and if he doesnt Im on the team, so now I wait.
Now Im in Vienna getting ready for my comp tomorrow, last year they had an awesome live feed but this year they are not. Hoping for great weather and even better jumping, wish me luck!
Always Pursuing -Mark-