Thursday, May 28, 2009

Track Season

Track is over. My heart can start beating at a regular rate now. Even with all the crap-o-la I had to deal with, I loved being around pole-vault again. I often couldn't sleep at night because I couldn't stop thinking about practice. I did a little straight pole vaulting with the kids, just for fun a couple of times. I was tempted to really vault, but I never did. What a crazy couple of months. It was nothing like I expected it to be. It's nothing like vaulting on the west coast, I can tell ya that for sure. If you don't want to read the "blah blah blah" below, in summary, I said it was bitter, bitter sweet. I don't know if I want to go back next year, but I am doing a fund-raiser this summer to get more poles in case I do want to go back next year. More about that later! The pictures below are during warm-ups-- not the best, but gives ya an idea of what I was working with. My best boys jumped 9 feet and my best girl jumped 7'6". Not so bad for straight pole vaulting. They're ready to bend the pole next year, if we can get them a pole to bend. People don't share poles out here, so it's every vaulter for themselves--pretty cut throat stuff. Like I said, nothing like west coast, NOTHING at all.

- Brad got a job at night, so I had to take Kaci with me or get a babysitter. Kaci now loves my babysitter, Lindsay, and can say "pole". Kaci also acts out pole-vaulting, she acts out running, jumping, and then says "pole!" It's very cute. We had a little 100lb, 10 foot long pole that I let her run around with at practice, I even helped her plant the pole and fall into the pit once, she loves pole-vaulting! (the pole doesn't weigh a 100 pounds, it can hold 100 lbs!)

- The school didn't exactly have equipment or a facility to work with. 7 poles, no pole bag, no standards (that's what holds up the bar you vault over), and really crappy pits. Did I mention that I had 18 vaulters... yeah, 8 people shared the same pole because we only had one pole to fit them. Needless to say, we straight poled the whole season, which is not as much fun as bending the pole.
- Part two of that is I spent the ENTIRE season trying to make our facility vault-able. I begged and pleaded to follow the rule book. I finally got my way, but people doubted me all the way up until yesterday when everything was done and the big wigs said it looked great for the State meet. I still can't believe they held the state meet at our school when I wouldn't even let my kids vault there for practice since it was unsafe. We are now the only school I know of that follows the rule book completely in this area. I'm telling you, it's craziness out here. People just don't get that pole-vault is a dangerous sport if you don't follow the safety precautions. It kills me, kills me that I was the only one who cared about safety. BAH!

- It rained relentlessly. I'd say at least 75% of the season was rained out. We spent most of our time indoors running in the hallways at the school. Not the sunny weather I am used to from gloriously sunny Arizona. I still got a yucky track tan from the two or three all day Saturday meets I went to that were supposed to get rained out but ended up just being overcast. It wouldn't be track with out those awful tan lines!

- I am the only female vault coach in the state to my current knowledge. I honestly thought there would be other women vault coaches by now, nope. Not a huge deal, just surprising is all. I stood out. It was fun to meet so many different vault coaches.

- I loved the kids I worked with. They were awesome with Kaci. Never used profanity, and gave it their all. I was shocked at how fast I fell in love with those kids. I had a ton of distance kids that wanted to run two miles and then come vault, pretty ridiculous. I had 4 kids that could actually run fast, unfortunately they were in a ton of other events so I rarely got to work with them. It was hard to convince a couple of my vaulters (the ones who had vaulted in grade school, by vaulted I mean they vaulted like 8 feet) to vault my way instead of the old-school way like the other schools in the area with older male coaches. They really wanted to do it the old school way, so I had a hard time getting them to trust me that my way was going to make them more successful. I didn't expect that. It would be similar to me trying to convince the kids that dial-up internet access isn't the greatest way to surf the web. Completely ridiculous. If I go back next year, there won't be any of that, if they don't want to listen to me, they can do another event.


Cierra said...

i enjoyed reading about your vaulting experiences, kerri. i bet you were an awesome coach besides all the setbacks you had to face.

kaci is awesome. and she can lift a 100 lb. pole?? what the!

larissa said...

I'm so glad you got to coach. I know what it feels like to go without competitive track in your life... and it sucks
good job Coach Call

newsinaminute said...

it was so much fun to see you in action at one of your track meets-coaching and advising your vaulters
that was one of our favorite days/actities of visiting you guys
now when we read this post we can picture it all better in our minds
I believe you made a big difference to those you coasched
hope they know how lucky the were to have ya///