Ok, so most of you surely didn't even notice, but my blog was gone for a while, and this post marks its return. A pretty weird time to re-start this thing, but that's just how it goes.
So the first question on your mind might be "this blog was gone for a while?". I won't address that question but if you did notice its absence you probably wondered at some point "why did it disappear?". I'll be short with my answer to that question. I reached a point in my pole vaulting career early last year where I was no longer attacking the event with the ferocity and vigor that I once had. I was in great shape, but consistently competing poorly. At that point, I must admit I was ashamed of the athlete that I had become. I wanted to be done with that feeling altogether. And that's why I took away my blog. Make sense? Probs not, but that's all I'm going to say about that.
Anyway, in about July of last year, following last years disappointments (5.40m season best, multiple no-heights, not feeling like myself), I knew I needed a change, so I called up my good friend Jacob Pauli and asked him if he would coach me. He said yes, but wondered how we would arrange this coaching scenario. I told him I would move to his city, and he said "giddy-up then" and hung up the phone. (Sequences shortened for dramatic effect).
Fast forward a few months and I've had the best fall of my life while living in Waterloo, Iowa and training at the University of Northern Iowa. It has been completely different than anything I have ever done before. We attacked my base training with a focus on eliminating my weaknesses while still exploiting some of the strengths that I already had. Different is good. I don't want to get too much into details, but I'm feeling strong, fast, healthy and confident. I feel like myself.
The move has also been incredible for my mental state. Aside from Jacob, nobody in Iowa knows what I looked like before this year. I don't feel like I have to prove anything to anyone, and I have no distractions from other coaches or athletes. We are stuck in our little frozen tundra bubble, just plugging away.
It took me this whole fall of rebuilding myself to finally feel like I could bring back this blog. It won't ever get too specific, because I don't think I have anything unique or profound to say about how to pole vault in a broad or general sense, nor should anyone probably be listening to what I would have to say about that anyway. Everyone who knows me also knows that my theories on the pole vault are comically simple. I just wanted to bring this back for the people who know me and care about what I'm doing.
Anyway, I just want this post to be over so I can quit talking about why my blog is back and start making jokes again.
May the force be with you.
By the way, this post is dedicated to Robert Coates, who reached out to me a while back and asked me why my blog had disappeared. He's a former pole vaulter who now works as an air traffic controller. He apparently enjoys reading my posts and wanted the blog to come back. Well it's finally time, Robert, so here's hoping you're not sitting there now wondering why you ever asked me to write again.