Yesterday, I went down to Austin to watch the men's pole vaulting finals at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
It was really cool, as it always is to sit there and watch guys jump 18-19 feet in the air. There were so many good vaulters in the competition.
But getting there is a tremendous pain in the ass.
Austin was once such a great town, and in a lot of ways, it still is. But it's just getting too big and overcrowded. On the way home, I sat in stop-and-go traffic on I-35, pretty much all the way from downtown Austin to Round Rock. This was at 7 o'clock! It was ridiculous.
The countdown to the National Senior Games continues. I'm as ready as I'll ever be. I've worked pretty hard so far this year, on conditioning and on my vaulting, but I do have one regret.
Earlier in the year, I started working on my core strength to help me get inverted during the jump. This exercise I started doing involved grabbing onto a set of low parallel bars, swinging upside down, so that the bottoms of my feet are on top, and the top of my head is on bottom, pulling myself up and keeping my arms bent, then lowering my body as slowly as possible toward the ground.
This is the negative part of the inversion movement. When you get to where you can control the descent, instead of your feet quickly dropping back to the ground, then you start working on lowering your body and then rotating back up.
I had gotten to the point where I was ready to start lowering myself and then rotating back up, when I got sick for about a week, and didn't do the exercise at all. One thing led to another, and I quit doing it completely. That was probably 4-6 weeks ago, and I lost quite a bit of what I gained. No excuses. I just quit doing it.
So this week, I'm back at it, and part of my self-destructive mind still tries to talk me out of doing it. I don't understand it.
But I'm back at it, and that's the main thing.
In thirteen days, I'll be on the runway at the University of New Mexico track stadium, jumping with the best 60-64 year-old vaulters in the country. And, guess what -- I'm one of them.
Pretty damn cool.