Keeping it Classy

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Team Tuxedo is a small group of Elite Pole Vaulters with big dreams of having the honor of competing in the Olympic Games. We promote the great sport of Pole Vault with class and integrity and support its growth and survival through competition, coaching and training.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Backyard Record

After 5 weeks of mostly physical boredom, do to fear of a medium threat knee injury, I decided that it was time to test it out. I started putting some mileage in on the bike about a week and a half ago and it has held up well so I felt confident it was time to do a test run, literally. While I was trying to decide what I should do for a running workout I reminded myself that for almost two years, I didn't do any running workouts, unless I was vaulting. So, although not on the safest course of action possible, the argument still seemed fairly logical, and I've been dying to jump obviously.
Home alone (don't jump alone, like all good coaches always say 'do like I say, not like I do') I headed down the dirt hill to my pit with a bag of random sized poles not knowing what to expect. For the first time in years, I did straight pole drills to warm up, knee felt great. I went back to a 14 step run ("7 lefts" if your from the western half of the US) and took some jumps. My camera with a view finder had a dead battery, so I had no way to catch my take off step or mid mark but I didn't really care, went by feel, just like the tougher pioneers of pole vault had too in the old days. My GoPro had some juice so I figured I would at least document my jumps for later viewing. A modest opinion of what I was potentially capable of that day, I started with a height of 15'7" after clearing it put the bar on the next set of pegs at 16'7", made it, then put the bar on the next set of pegs, so I didn't have to mess with the standards of course, at 17'7" clearing that with surprise. A long drug out story to tell you something that in your life is something close to meaningless, but in mine brought me a great feeling of joy, I broke the backyard pole vault record at my home facility, finally reclaiming ownership of the mark, and I did it at an extremely random and unlikely time with odd circumstances. When you perform well after weeks of zero preparation and a year of scattered half ass training, you always wonder what the hell you were doing wrong all those years you thought you were perfectly prepared. All you can do is laugh about it and enjoy the strange irony.

I would show you the video, but the jump was ugly enough that I'm embarrassed to share it, and I don't invite online outside analysis often, so here is a snap shot from the video of me sneaking over 17'7". I was on a 15.4 flex (195lb), 5.00m(16'5")pole, gripping 15'3", 14step (7left) run.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Kasey and Annie

I had a fantastic time yesterday hanging out with Kasey and Annie Burlingham at my place. Before I ramble on too much I would first like to send a shout out to Dean Starkey and the Arizona Pole Vault Academy ( for the phenomenal work he has done with these two athletes. When I first met Kasey and Annie a few years ago it was easy to recognize that they both have been blessed with a great deal of talent and ability, but when they arrived at my house yesterday and began their jump session, they looked physically and technically like different athletes, playing on a much higher level. These two have a great deal of commitment and positive energy surrounding them, and have truly embraced the post-collegiate pole vault lifestyle, and I must say, it is a lifestyle that is difficult to commit too. My friend Kent Rhodes has a brilliant way that he always coins it like it were an ad in the classifieds "Have Poles, Will Travel" is exactly right. I'm very impressed with the progress and continued commitment of these two athletes.
Being on autopilot and so familiar with each others strengths and weaknesses they were a self sustaining unit during the session, both coaching, both vaulting. This was nice for me because I got to be a step catcher and spectator, allowing me to run around and snap some photos (which I never get to do). So I thought I would share some with you.
Last night I was trying to remember all the names of the great vaulters that have graced my humble "Field of Dreams" training grounds with there talent, in the brief but amazing 13 months it has stood. A talented and inspiring group of our current generation, I'm excited to see if it can create new memories for the next generation.