I had been looking forward to Dartmouth Relays since the season started.
The night before the meet I was a little unsettled. Realizing our 7am bus time wouldn’t allow enough time to warm up for a 9:30 event—especially considering all the snow. I called my coach to tell him. He moved the bus time up to 6:40am. I was a bit relieved, except that the bus didn’t leave at 6:40am.
Sitting in a panic for a three hour bus ride from Lowell, MA to Hanover, NH did not allow time to relax, stay calm and focused before a meet. “Oh man, we should be there already!” the bus driver yelled as a joke. He had no idea who he was joking with.
Watching the time pass and still stuck sitting on a bus, I called to see if my family happened to be closer than we were. I called my mom—and she reluctantly told me she got into an accident and she’s stuck in a snowbank. She was waiting for a tow truck. SO OF COURSE I was worried about my mother on the side of the road in Vermont stuck in a snowbank! (Thankfully, she’s okay!)
The bus pulled up at 9:30—the time Women’s pole vault was starting! I rushed into the field house to find that they held warm-ups for UML & Southern Maine. First warm up I was too worked up and just went up in the air and had to keep holding on to fall back on the runway. GREAT. Coach Dayo tried to keep me calm and told me to take the time I needed. After warming up a bit, I was a lot calmer than I was arriving. I was ready. I felt a lot better.
After watching each vaulter attempt at 9’6” I started to worry that I hadn’t heard my name yet—not even “on deck” or “in the hole”. Seeing the official signal the bar to go up made me freak. I hadn’t gone yet! My coach and I stopped the official and told them I hadn’t gone.
“You didn’t check in with your height,” he said. I saw that he had crossed me off the list completely. Then why did you hold warm-ups?
“I was told my coach checked me in because I was stuck on the bus,” I said. They let me attempt at 9’6”….and I missed each attempt. They gave me extra time in between jumps since I had to go one after the other—but I was still too shaken. The pressure of holding up the meet got to me. I walked off the mat tearing up. I was so embarrassed. I had gone from 10’6” last week tying the school record to NO HEIGHT. I was so confident about doing well. I had traveled 3 hours—and so did my dad, my brother, and my boyfriend, and my mom got into an accident for a NO HEIGHT.
A lot of people are willing to take the blame for my NO HEIGHT. My coach apologized and said to give him all the blame. I think that’s stupid. I should be better at handling stress and whatever gets handed to me.