It’s been a really long time since I posted. Wow, a really long time has passed. Flashback:
So last time I was posting, I was extremely mopey. I was struggling with a lot of pole vault and track related things. In all honesty, I considered quitting the WPI team and competing as an open athlete and practicing solely with Patriot. I eventually talked with the head coach about my concerns and what I was feeling and he had no idea any of the conflicts I was experiencing were even going on. He got right on most of them and life on the team became better.
Just as life on the team was getting better, I was getting ready to leave for Europe. I had been accepted to an exchange program in Konstanz, Germany. I’d been to the area before in high school and couldn’t have been more excited. I even found a pole vault ( Stabhochsprung in german) club for me to train with while I was abroad.
My excitement turned to anxiety before I left. 4 months is a really long time to be gone from your best friends, your family and boyfriend. I wish I had told my parents about my anxiety before the trip, but I just assumed the hysterical crying was from finals stress. I cried all the way through security in the airport and a few more times while waiting at the gate. It never got better- I began having anxiety attacks once reached my first evening in Germany. I had a white, asylum-like room which made me feel alone and I couldn’t stand it.
Long story short, I begged and pleaded and came home from Germany 3 months and 3 weeks earlier than planned. I couldn’t have been happier or made a better decision.
Coming back to practices were rough after taking 3 weeks off (New Englands ended two weeks before I left) and I was asked to sit out the first meet of the season because I wasn’t physically ready to compete yet. My first meet back was at MIT and I didn’t have high expectations. If I got one height, whatever it was I would be happy. I never thought I would be PRing for the first time since High School by jumping 9’8″.
The elation didn’t last long, between cold and wind, vault practices weren’t frequent and weren’t quality. The one day I finally get a good day to vault, I injured myself. It makes sense that as practices go on, and you get warmer, you will get faster until your energy starts going down. Well, after taking two gorgeous jumps at a 10 or 11 ft bungee, my step was severely under and my back couldn’t handle it. After seeing the trainers, they told me I was pinching nerves in my back.
Recovery was long, hard and incomplete by the time New Englands rolled around. I jumped 9’8″ and tied my PR and was very happy with how my season ended regardless of the injury.
And so Summer began with me giving myself ample time off to let my back heal so that every jump wouldn’t hurt.
I just returned from Bill Falk’s pole vault camp held at Rhode Island College. Having taken so much time off from workouts and vault to let myself heal, I went in extremely out of shape and knew pain would be involved.
I really liked the camp, which had the format of one off runway session and one runway session per day with an optional open runway session in the evening. I didn’t participate in the open runway sessions due to being sore and knowing my own limits. There was no point in vaulting with no energy and doing things incorrectly.
I really focused on getting my plant timing down and my run more consistent. I feel a lot more confident leaving camp, especially after I cleared 9ft several times yesterday with an 11ft 130. Speaking of poles, anyone from Patriot who is considering going to this camp in the future- borrow poles from Doug for the camp. I wish I had because it took me all 4 days to find the 11ft 130 I wanted to use and it was a pole that another camper had brought for themselves.
I cannot wait to go to the Vaultarama’s this summer and show off my new skills. 10 feet, here I come!!