Posted by lonestar » Mon Feb 14, 2005 11:38 am
Alright Adam, the subject of this thread is "Me being a moron," but after last saturday, I can confidently say that I am a bigger moron than you
We had an All-Comer's Meet at University of Houston. I was just there to coach about 12 of my vaulters, and since I'm retired, had no intention of jumping. The meet went on all day though (started warmups at 7:30am and didn't leave until 8:30pm), and it was really dragging, so when the guys warmup began, I just got an impulse to jump, and did, wearing blue jeans, ripped up old flats with no tread on the bottom, a t-shirt, baseball cap, and my wallet in my back pocket. Didn't warm up, no jogging, no stretching, no pop-ups, no run throughs. Just grabbed a pole, guessed a spot on the runway, and took off first trip down! Ended up going through 7 poles, started at 12'0 and jumped 13'6. My last 5 jumps I was so tired I didn't think I could make it back down the runway (since I'm retired, out of shape, and hadn't eaten anything all day and it was like 4pm). If I had started higher though, probably would have cleared 14'0 or 14'6 b/c I had a lot of blow over 13'6. Even got "the clap" on my last attempt, and had the whole crowd behind "the guy jumping in blue jeans with his wallet in his back pocket and holes in his shoes!"
Yup, I'm a moron! But it was fun!
Well, nearly 5 years later, I must be onto something...
Day 1: So got up Thursday morning, 1/28 at 6:30am to my 16 month old alarm clock, Austin, who lets me know every morning it's time to get up. Half a work day late I'm on the way to Reno, and arrive at the hotel around 7:30pm. After a full night of debauchery at the various blackjack tables across Reno and Sparks, NV, it was time to go to the General Assembly. Sleep is overrated.
Day 2: After the routine lack of acknowledgment that vaulting even exists in the Lone Star State, it was time to make sure all my vaulters were in the right place at the right time. Spent the day watching the hands-on sessions at the Livestock Center and shuttling parents, kids, and poles around until it was time for the Masters and Elite competitions. After a disappointing night of watching a masters friend get injured, a legend in the sport retire, and a former athlete of mine NH, my roommate and I decided we needed a night on the town, and we did partake until 3:30am. So 47 hours after Austin woke me up, I finally got some sleep...a whopping 3 hours! You see, I had a kid jumping in the 8:30 group that needed breakfast, a ride, and a coach, so 6:30 came pretty quickly.
Day 3: 12+ hours later of coaching, bartending, shuttling athletes and poles around Reno, and just being on my feet in general, it just so happens that I'm coaching my last 2 vaulters of the day on opposite ends of the floor, and the competition I was placed in was warming up right next to one of the runways I was coaching at.
Let me back up...you see, back in October when I registered, I had this pipe dream of actually vaulting in Reno. At the time, I was under the foolish impression that I was healthy and going to train. Needless to say, that didn't last, as a re-torn rotator cuff snapped me back into reality in a flash. Guess I had actually buried the fact that I registered to vault until I glanced at my credential on Friday night and noticed my pit assignment.
So, roughly having had 3 hours of sleep in the past 62 hours, inhaled more secondhand smoke than a security guard outside an emergency room, malnourished save for the muffin and cup of coffee I had 12 hours prior and the light lunch about mid-afternoon, and aching from being on my feet all day, the official at my pit asked if I was going to jump. I said, "What's the opening height? 11'4 Why not!"
Warmup? Shoot, that's for sissies. Uniform? I've got no one to endorse. Poles? There's lots of them around! So after grabbing one of my girl's poles and 1 quick pop-up to test my shoulder (which hurt like hell by the way), I'm digging through my boy's bag for something I might could bend and make the pit on. Numbers? Haven't had them in ages. Nope, just spit on the runway, see where it lands, and that's my starting mark. A little steering down the runway and a takeoff, and I'm ready to go. Now how's THAT for warmups! Next pole...
So I'm called up first b/c apparently I'm one of the only sorry folks needing to start at 11'4. After taking off my cowboy hat and stepping up to jump, I'm hopelessly careening down the runway waiting for something to blow. Low and behold, I make the bar, considerably! Damn am I tired though. "I'll pass the next height." Then I sprint across the arena to catch Henrique's mid and help get him going, and across to get Jayne's step.
Little did I realize the bar had moved quickly and I had missed my first attempt. It's at 12'11 (me foolishly thinking we were going in 6" increments!) and I'm up. Shoot, better get the next pole and an inch of grip. I hike up my jeans, tighten my belt, tuck my wallet down securely in my back pocket, cell phone in my front pocket, whip off my 10-gallon and off I go down the runway...it's a make! 1st attempt. "Go Jeans-Guy" I hear from the stands. Luckily, I didn't trip on my untied laces of my tennis shoes (as these Texans call sneakers). Spikes? Who needs them!
Raced back and forth across the arena again and...oh shoot! I'm up already? Alright, next pole, an inch of grip, keep those standards RACKED at 80. 13'7 on first attempt to set a new jeans/flats/no-warmups personal record! Guess what? My shoulder's still attached too! "Come on Jeans-Guy, wear the hat, WEAR THE HAT! I can't, I'll knock it off when I plant."
You know how after you leave the dentist after getting novocaine how you know your gums, lips, and cheek are there, you just can't feel them? That was my legs going into 14'0.
Still, blow-thru on 1st attempt. Time to grab the next pole, make a mad dash across the arena one more time to coach, return, and get one of those reality-check jumps on my 2nd attempt when the pole shows you that you're truly NOT in control! "Wear the hat, Wear the hat, Wear the hat."
Oh, alright. I grab a roll of duct tape, tape the right side brim of my Resistol to the top of the hat, Safari style, and plunk that sucker down tight on my head...so I thought.
Getting lots of noise and attention now...why not ham it up a bit? Clap, clap, clap, clap, pump the fist, pump the fist, pump the fist just like I'd seen Stacy Dragila do so many times before. Off we go down the runway in full redneck regalia...uh oh, 6 steps away the wind catches the hat and off it goes! (didn't think I could run fast enough to generate that much wind to blow my hat off!) Distracting? Yes. Still, can't disappoint here...SWIIIIIIIING........................and a miss. Blow thru. Awwwwwww. And up he stands to the ovation of the crowd (or perhaps just laughter) with a bow, kiss, and a wave!
And the moral of the story is... I am truly a moron, don't try this at home, in Reno, or anywhere else. Warm up, train, wear spikes, bring poles, don't compete when malnourished, injured, sick, or sleep-deprived. After all, I am a professional.