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Ukraine & Poland--I'm so blessed...
Over the last week I traveled to Donetsk, Ukraine and then Bydgoszcz, Poland. Donetsk was for the world record holder, Sergey Bubka’s Pole Vault Stars competition. It is one of the best competitions every year and is quite an honor to get invited to! I was so excited! I went two years ago and the atmosphere is absolutely electric! I came into the meet the highest I have ever entered a competition because I am getting to that point where I should start coming in higher if I want to vault high. I came in at 4.35 (14’3) and cleared that and 4.45 (14’7) easy on first attempts. Then the bar went to 4.55 (14’11) and Basically the bar just didn’t stay. It was extremely frustrating because I felt great on the runway, was hitting all my marks, taking off at 12’ all day (which is perfect), and things we have been working on all year were starting to show through. I just wish so bad that the standards could move with you in the air because it is the most frustrating thing to come up barely short or to blow through a vault. Everything felt great, I just have my sites set much higher than 4.45m so I came away disappointed and anxious to compete again.
A few days later I competed in Poland at Pedro’s Cup. This was my first time to this meet and the atmosphere was great again! It was in a big basketball arena and the seats were almost full! Thousands of fans just to see us pole vault and the men’s shotput! So cool! We were each introduced coming out of a tunnel with fog and spot lights and music which was awesome! Felt like a rock star haha. This competition was a great one as well consisting of the London Olympic silver medalist, the 2009 world champion, and the girl with the current top vault in the world. It’s so exciting to compete with these girls so much now! I came in at 4.30 (14’1) and then passed to 4.50m (14’9). I cleared both those heights and then had a veryyyyy frustrating 3 BARELY misses at 4.60m (15’1). Walked away once again quite frustrated, however honestly there were so many positives to take away from this meet and this trip in general even though the results weren’t what I wanted. I was hitting a great outside takeoff the whole time, great marks on the runway, executing cues we have been focusing on in practice, and unfortunately the bars just didn’t quite stay. I said that aside from the Olympic Trials, I have never been so disappointed about jumping 4.50. But I have my sites set high this year and great things are right around the corner I can just feel it and I couldn’t be more excited! Plus, it’s not too shabby to place 3rd in that field of vaulters.
Now I am back in the States in NYC for the famous Millrose Games this Saturday and I couldn’t be more anxious to get back out on the runway! Unfortunately, for the 2nd time in a week, my poles did not make it on my flight to my destination. So I currently don’t have my poles in NY with me, and as of yesterday they didn’t have a record of where they were. Fingers crossed things will get sorted in time so I get them for Saturday. Oh the life of a vaulter and the fun of traveling with poles. What we do to chase our dreams…
Thanks for all the safe travels wishes! As I was sitting on the many planes I was on in the last week, I got thinking about how truly blessed I am to do what I’m doing. I get to travel the world, competing with the top vaulters in the world, chasing a dream (and living one), being introduced in front of thousands of people in fog and spotlights, and getting asked for pictures and autographs. After the competition in Poland I signed autographs for a solid 30 minutes before having to walk away to cool down and pack up my bag. It is really amazing and I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing for my job :). I can’t wait to compete in NY this weekend wearing the NYAC across my chest right in their backyard and competing at the Armory, where I have competed since I was in high school. It’s going to be another electric atmosphere and I couldn’t be more excited!
Thanks for following my journey! Tune in for frequent updates on twitter at @SaxDefyGravity
Thu Feb 14th, 2013