A beautiful day for pole vaulting practice.
The ol' legs felt a little bit dead today as I started warming up, but things turned out OK. I joined in with a small group of young high school kids who seemed mostly to be fairly new to vaulting -- lots of new faces -- and Jack had them doing some platform vaulting, which I had done a couple of times before, but not quite like this.
He asked me if I wanted to try it, and I told him I'd watch a few of them go at it first.
It looked a little intimidating, as the first few youngsters lifted their pole, ran a few steps along an runway elevated to probably 5-feet high, planted the pole down on the ground off the end, jumped, and took off into a soft, squishy pit below.
I wasn't real keen on the idea of having a spectacular crash and burn doing something I wasn't used to doing, but decided what the heck. So I got in line, climbed up there, walked out to the edge of the runway, where Jack gave me a few tips on how to do complete the drill, then backed up, took a deep breath, and went for it.
I splashed down successfully onto the landing pads -- decent form, a successful jump, and uninjured.
Well, all right.
Let's go again.
Everybody went through maybe a dozen rotations, then the kids moved on to some one-step drills over on the secondary pit, and I went over to the main runway and worked my way up to a five-left approach. Sometimes, I'm still pulling on the pole, instead of pushing, and that makes me "helicopter," or sort of turn sideways through the jump -- which is not good.
For the most part, though, I jumped pretty well. We rarely jump using crossbars at Jack's place, so I'm not exactly sure how high I'm actually jumping these days, but I'm fairly confident about going 8-6 at next month's Nationals.
After I hit a nice jump on my biggest pole, straight to the back of the pit, hips fairly high, and no helicoptering, I decided to call it a day.
Adios, y'all ...