56 and Is it possible?

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donjoe57
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56 and Is it possible?

Unread postby donjoe57 » Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:26 pm

Yes, I just turned 56 and have not vaulted since around 1979, I read these post and see that I'm not the only one that is looking for a challenge. I found Vaulter Magazine through Facebook and have really enjoyed being reintroduced to this sport that I have loved for so long. I realize that I have a long road to even giving this a try but I know that motivation goes a long way in achieving your goals. I look forward to seeing if my older bones can even withstand the rigors that this sport can put upon my body. It is so encouraging to see even in their 90s enjoying this great endeavor!
I am open to any advise and help in moving forward including tips and places that a person can pursue this challenge. I am in Temecula, Calif.

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Re: 56 and Is it possible?

Unread postby vaultmd » Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:57 pm

My ex training partner, Don Baird, just moved to Temecula, although he no longer jumps. I don't know that you're close to any vaulting, unless there is a group in Murrieta. There are groups at Saddleback College, Dana point and San Diego.

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Re: 56 and Is it possible?

Unread postby ambroise » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:21 pm

Hi Don. Your last season was in 1978. I know because I was there too in Palomar college. Welcome back to the marvelous world of pole vauting...

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Re: 56 and Is it possible?

Unread postby vaultmd » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:03 pm

Palomar? So you were teammates of Cliff Schneider(sp?)?

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Re: 56 and Is it possible?

Unread postby ambroise » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:26 pm

We had a Shneider in our team ( was it Cliff? ) who had an older brother, a 17' something vaulter who Killed himself in 1979 or 80, from a bad landing.....

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Re: 56 and Is it possible?

Unread postby vaultmd » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:43 pm

Cliff must have been the older brother. It happened in April 1980.

I jumped against him that year.

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Re: 56 and Is it possible?

Unread postby Vaulting prof » Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:45 pm

To get back to your original question -- "is it possible? " Yes it is possible. I took 39 years off from vaulting after college and returned 9 years ago at age
of 61. Now at 70 I'm having the time of my life vaulting all over the country and a few international trips (Brazil most recently) . A major key is to get your whole body in condition-- small steps at a time if needed--to avoid injury. I came back to vaulting in quite good condition from being a road racer and gym rat for all those years in between. Retraining the legs for explosive sprinting and jump at the take off, building a strong core (pull ups, hanging toe touches-
Bubka's if you have a sturdy high bar available) Upper body: again pull ups, rope climb, push ups. Lots more possibilities discussed here on polevaultpower and other on-line sites.


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Re: 56 and Is it possible?

Unread postby souleman » Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:40 pm

I think it's time for me to interject my "rule of 65". What this is is simply an effort to point out that you have an 18 year old brain sitting on top of your 56 year old body. Therefore you have to remind yourself often that a 65% effort in your brain is closer to a 100% effort on everything below it. This needs to be kept in mind especially when you start out. Because of that 18 year old brain you (like all of us) still believe you're bullet proof and can do the same things we did when all of us were 18. Your biggest and least forgiving competitor that you face during your come back is the temple you live in. Your own body. This is however one of the most enjoyable parts of Masters athletics. Figuring out how much you've got today and planning it out is quite a challenge. Like that perfect chip shot on the golf course, you will feel the same joy when you hit your physical out put plan on the nuts and have a good competition. Hardest part to adjust to is quitting a days effort when your body says to do so and not going on because you are having the time of your life and your brain says, "aw, c'mon, just one more jump". That's when you get hurt. All of this to say, if you keep the rule of 65 in the back of your mind always your injuries will be at a minimum and a shorter time will pass until you can come back and jump.

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Re: 56 and Is it possible?

Unread postby GasPasser » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:19 pm

I agree with everything Soleman said. It took me several injuries to realize that my body can't meet what my head is asking of it. My new creed is "quit while you are ahead", second is "you're not a kid any more". It took my legs quite a while to get adjusted to sprinting, after 30 years of distance running. It's been a long slow road getting back to vaulting. I'm not where I'd like to be, but I'm probably more determined and focused/obsessed than I was as a HS vaulter. However, after seeing a 18-YO college freshman straight-polling a 14'+ bungee from a 2-left approach I really had my bubble burst.

Best of luck to you!

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Re: 56 and Is it possible?

Unread postby donjoe57 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:26 pm

Thank you all for the encouragement! Ambroise, so great to reconnect with you and Daniel! Vaultmd, I do remember a Schneider on our team and he was the younger brother of the one that passed away in a vaulting accident. I believe it happened in San Diego.
I have no delusions as to my physical ability but I do still have that 18 yr old mind. I am taking it slow and have a long road to even giving it a try. But I am motivated and look forward to the challenge. My biggest concern is injury, things hurt and I'm sure as I become more active, these aches and pains will subside. Long road but the first steps have been taken. So great to see the evolution of the sport so far!

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Re: 56 and Is it possible?

Unread postby souleman » Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:47 pm

OK, Now that we have brought up the take it easy part. As to the aches and pains? Sorry they will always be there on Monday if you jump on Saturday. It's called DOMS (delayed onset muscle stiffness) It's just how this goes at our age. What I tell all Geezers who contact me about come backs (Bubba always refers these inquiries to me) is LET'S GET AT IT. First of all find a place to vault and plan a get off the ground day if you haven't already. Put it on the calendar and stick to it. In other words don't talk yourself into staying in the gym another week instead of going out and jumping on that get of the ground day. My first get off the ground day I got into the pit so that began my first of many come back PR's. I made it into the pit so I called that a come back PR of 2'6" which sounds better than 30 inches . Sounds silly I know but if you wait till you are sure you're ready to jump you'll never do it. Thus this dream will remain a dream. Next, go to the local USATF website and find the first meet available for you to jump at and sign up for it. This is extremely important as it puts a time table on the early stages of your come back. Start low and make a few bars or even no height. It doesn't matter. Your first meet will be out of the way. Of course you know what's coming next. After that meet is over find and go to the next. The improvements will come as you get back into the overall groove of this. Keep us posted and let us know how your first day off the ground goes. Good Luck..............Mike

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donjoe57
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Re: 56 and Is it possible?

Unread postby donjoe57 » Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:57 am

Hi all, checking back in, I'm still here and working towards my goal, had a few set backs but still moving forward. Met some great people who have been great inspiration for me and I look forward to greater progress to come. I thank all of you for your advice and it is taken and used for reference. I continually put my 18 year old mind in its place but I need it to help me through the tough times. I have found a few places to jump and am not at that point yet but know it's there for me when I need it. Thank you all!


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