It’s been a few days since I sent the last post, but this one will have to be a quick one as I’m off to figure out the transportation schedule in London before the meet Wednesday.
On a side thought, during my warmup today I couldn’t help but think about the last 10 years of competition and the life cycle of an athlete. After watching some of these athletes warm up, it dawned on me that as you age, an interesting epiphany presents itself. This gets a little twisty, so follow tight:
It’s the final realization that even though you feel the exact same as you did 10 years ago (combined with the misconception that you even look the same as 10 years ago), you are suddenly shown via the youngsters surrounding you, that you are in fact not the same as your were 10 years ago.
One might think that this is a “no duh” type of revelation, but it does seem to be stealthy in how it is revealed to you. I think at the end of all this I’ll be able to write that must-read book entitled, “What To Expect When You’re Expecting,” but this version would be geared for the aging athlete.
The good news is that none of this has changed my mindset going into the competition. The hunger and the drive to be great still fuel the engine — it just needs a few more cranks before spewing its black cloud of smog and coming to life. Make no mistake about it, this engine can still rev up and shake the ground, and I’m looking forward to doing just that.
It’s the eve of the preliminary round of the men’s pole vault competition, and the U.S. team is ready to go to work. Village life has been good and as expected, the venues are expansive. Fortunately, for the old man on this trip, the dining hall, medical area and transport venues are all very close to our tower, making life easy.
The village houses a variety of options for occupying one’s time, including fitness centers, arcades, game rooms, internet cafes, movie rooms, shops, and even doctor and dentist offices.
It really is a small city, in which you get the opportunity to see so many different athletes from the smallest of gymnasts and divers, to the biggest of basketball players and weight lifters. It should be village protocol to have to wear a sign that says what sport you do, because the curiosity is a killer.
I have not had the opportunity to see other sports during my time here due to my late arrival, but we have been glued to our cable feed that provides all of the sports on different channels. It has been inspiring to watch so many athletes do amazing things in their areas of expertise. It is truly something to be admired.
Well, it’s time to sign off, and I trust that all of you are getting your Olympic fixes. I hope that the entire U.S. pole vault team will be able to navigate the tricky weather conditions that seem to have plagued the women’s event and we all qualify to the final round.
Our starting field will begin with 32 vaulters, and that will be narrowed to 12. Once we have arrived at the top 12 finishers, the competition will stop and those 12 will return on Aug. 10 to shoot it out for the medals.
The name of the game is to be in the top 12 on Wednesday, and I hope that next time I tune in it will be with good news. Until then, be well.