I apologize for the lack of bloggage lately. And I apologize for the long, rambling entry I am about to write. I’ve been super busy with classes. It was a tough semester but now it’s over and I ended up with a 3.7 GPA. Yay! Now I have 4 weeks left on campus for practices and meets. Yay again! I have grown so close with my teammates this year, especially the vault crew. I love being able to spend all this time with them, getting even closer and having time to just goof around, have fun, and explore Boston. It’s great
But anyway, I finished up my indoor season with a PR of 12’6″ which I cleared at my last three indoor meets: Battle of Beantown, New Englands, and ECAC. I won the Battle of Beantown, came in second at NEs, and 4th at ECACs. So I was quite happy with my indoor season. I started outdoors off with another PR of 12’10″ in NC. And then another PR of 13’3.75″ in FL which also ties the outdoor school record! Since then I’ve hit a bit of a lull. But as people have pointed out to me I have been stressed and not really getting enough sleep because of classes and we haven’t really had great weather either. As most of you know, though, I tend to be pretty hard on myself. But I’ve been working on that and trying to stay positive. I’ve watched the videos from FL countless times and felt really good at practice this week (I was getting my hips over a 14′ bungee). So I’m feeling pretty confident going into our conference championships this weekend. I’m seeded first so I feel like there’s a lot of pressure on me to win, which makes me nervous. But I’m just going to try to just go out there, have fun, do what I know how to do and whatever happens happens.
So how have I made these improvements this year? You younger vaulters aren’t going to like hearing this, but short runs really do help to make huge improvements on your form. I have been doing 4 step runs just about every other practice lately really working on my swing. And believe it or not, since doing all these 4 steps, I’ve been able to get on bigger and bigger poles too. At meets, I’ve been vaulting on a 13’7 150 or 155. Turns out having a fast trail leg and allowing your shoulders to come completely underneath moves the pole even more and thus allows you to get on bigger poles and get bigger heights. The hardest part for me is doing practically nothing with my bottom arm once the swing starts, having no pressure on it during the swing and not pulling to turn once you are upside down. I think it’s tough for me to wrap my head around the fact that you can go higher by doing less. Right now I think I’m subconsciously trying to guide the pole with my bottom arm. Once I learn to relax upside down and allow the pole to unbend by itself and just ride it up, even bigger heights are headed my way.
So basically, I’ve just been working on relaxing. Whether it’s de-stressing from classes, having fun with friends, taking pressure off myself at meets, or literally relaxing my body during the vault. When you relax good things happen! Good luck to everyone in all the championship meets coming up!