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First time vaulting without pain in several weeks

I’ve been taking it very easy in my practices. I’ve had a slight abdominal strain that gave me a pain when I would do anything like a situp, which is the basic move to inversion in the pole vault. I’m not quite sure how it happened, but probably was a combination of trying to stretch out my trailing leg longer and not having enough core strength to put that much strain on my abdomen. I started vaulting on a very light pole the past few days and holding lower. I’ve been massaging the muscle (kind of hard to locate, deep inside between my left hip and navel). Tonight I felt great, so I was able to clear a test height and get my feet near the pole with a crossbar (nothing to do with my injury, but it is a critical test to me to demonstrate not changing form from practice without crossbar to practice with crossbar. I then moved the crossbar up to about 10’4″ and was close to clearing it with no pain on my 12’6″ 140 pole. I decided to stop while there was no pain. Here’s my vault — not quite feet to the top of the pole, but closer than normal for me.

We had a bit of a discovery with Chuck tonight. It appears he’s often so far under on his takeoff that he can slip down the pole nearly a foot. I’m surprised his shoulder is still in place, particularly for a 77 year old vaulter. We’re going to work on steps tomorrow. He’s pretty accurate with a three step approach, but when he tries to extend it he gets erratic.

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