Thursday, October 4, 2012

Its Time!

Its been a month and a week since my last meet and I can tell you the rest has been good!  The first few weeks I ate a lot of junk food and did a lot of sitting around. The next few weeks I started getting a little antsy and started doing some body weight workouts and I found this awesome park in South Bend with about 6 miles of mountain biking trails which I have ridden several times.  Also doing some trail running, enjoying the changing of the seasons with the warm days and cool nights.  I finished my time of rest with a 22 mile kayak/fishing trip which lasted 2 nights and the better part of 2 days, and I can tell you 22 miles is a long way in a kayak, Im still sore!  

Here I am at the start of another year of training, excited to pole vault again and excited to learn and improve.  As I look back at the past year I examine the pros and cons, what I liked and didnt like and how to change the things that are holding me back.  This past year I took major steps in the direction I want to go.  Its easy to look at the year as failure because I failed to jump the A standard and I failed to make the Olympic team and that is the way I viewed it for a few months after the trials.  Its hard to look forward to 4 years from now after looking at where I was 4 years ago, fresh out of college totally in awe of the people I was around,enjoying every minute. and most of all I was jumping at personal bests most of the year.  So its time for a fresh start, how to I get back to the things I was doing well back then and how to integrate the things I have learned and experienced.  I stepped out on a ledge this past year leaving my coach, and really going at it on my own.  I believe it forced me to take full ownership of every part of my life, training, jumping, diet, and competing which maybe I had become relaxed with in the past few years.  I did some things this year that I never thought I could do, I jumped on 17ft poles regularly and I was taking off from outside 14ft regularly.  These things were way out of my comfort zone a year ago and to have pushed myself to make these advances I know they will pay huge benefits in the future.

Once again it comes back to putting the pieces together, I have the speed, strength, and work ethic to be among the best in the world so what is missing?  This past year I spent a lot of time listening to many different coaches, traveling around the country trying to take the bits and pieces from many sources and make them into the perfect technique for me.  That was great in a way because it helped me to see what works and what doesnt, the difference between doing something just because it looks good or because it makes a difference in my jump.  On the other hand its hard to focus on one thing for very long when your taking in so much information.  This year Im going to focus on being consistent the whole year because as long as Im confident in what Im doing I know the results will show.

I feel refreshed, I havent rested this long since college and come Monday Im starting my 2013 season. Is there anything you all would like me to talk more about on my blog?  Questions you have for me? If so leave a comment or tweet me and let me know.  I have a feeling this will be my best year yet!

Always Pursuing -Mark-


  1. I think your blogs are great Mark! It's awesome to read your occasional updates about life and training. I hope I can vault with you sometime soon. Do you think you could fit one of my college meets in your schedule?
    The UC Irvine meet on March 23rd is usually more popular among the pros, Yoo Suk Kim was there last year.

    -Peter Roach

  2. Hr. Hollis,
    I'm a collegiate vaulter from Vermont, and what you are doing is extraordinary. Your continued pursuit of the sport after such a long time without tangible progress is absolutely astounding. Like you, I often get in my own head during vault sessions, but I find inspiration in your perseverance. You've only got 1 life to live. Keep it up man.


  3. Peter, I would love to see you jump in person again! Ive been watching your progress and checking out a few videos of you and your progress. I'll keep you posted if I find a meet I can make it to. Keep up the good work!

    Sam, glad to hear it man, I think we get caught up in immediate results and its easy to get down when we dont see them. Its important to stay at it and keep digging because those breakthroughs are right around the corner.