Goodness gracious ...
About a month ago, I went down to Austin for a vaulting session with my friend, Ben Ploetz, who owns Austin Pole Vault and Throws. Shortly after we started warming up, Ben said something about the heat and whipped off his shirt. I don't think Ben has gained an ounce since his days as a decathlete in college. Must be nice.
As for me, I ain't taking my shirt off in public for nobody right now -- maybe never again. When you're 60 years old, and still carrying around 20 pounds too much weight, that bare, saggy chest and love handles are not something anybody wants to see jiggling around.
Today was one of those days it would have been nice, though.
I went to pole vault practice a little before 4 o'clock this afternoon, and it was h-o-t. Damn, I bet it would have felt great to go shirtless. Too bad, that is never gonna happen.
Aside from the heat, though, it was a pretty good workout. I was jumping at a 9-foot bungee, and although I never actually cleared it, I was getting up there, which I'm hoping means I'll be able to at least clear an 8-foot bar at Nationals in two weeks.
I really think I have a good chance to go 8-6. Nine feet is stretching it, because I'm still not getting my hips up high enough, and I'm still not very good at turning over the bar. I've got to lose another 20 pounds, work on my speed, and get my core stronger.
I guarantee this much -- by the end of the year, I'll be jumping 9 feet.
When the Expo Explosion rolls around at the end of December, I'll be clearing 9 feet. At the National Pole Vault Summit in Reno in January, I may go even higher.
Two more weeks until Nationals in Albuquerque, and then some serious training begins ...