This week is an odd set of anniversaries for me. Two years ago, I had the worst performance of my life at the Masters Nationals Track and Field meet. I had trained very well for it, save a necrotic hip. The mistakes I made that week are legendary stuff. It’s funny, I am writing the text for the book, Intervention, but during the week prep up to it, I almost went out of my way to screw it up.
Tiff and I rescheduled when we would drive up to Sacramento. Originally, we were going to go up on Thursday, but with company in the place, we pushed it to Friday. Tiff worked that day and the original plan was for her to take BART way up the line and I would work my way around the bay and pick her up. When I got to the car, I heard “hissing.” It wasn’t a snake or a crowd, it was my rear tire slowly losing air. So, I was off to my friends at the auto repair shop. Plan change! I would get the tire fixed then pick up Tiff in the Financial District. The San Franciscans are laughing at this decision about going into the FD on a Friday at about five O’clock. So, in the heaviest of the Friday commute, we wormed our way up to Sacramento.
Sac State is impossible to find and our GPS had no idea how to get there. We found our hotel, tried to relax and I failed miserably. I popped up in the morning and tried to find the track to get my discus weighed in. It took over an hour as my GPS kept decided I was on the wrong side of Sacramento. Finally, I called Tiff to take a taxi with my clothes as I was never going to be able to get back. I was so happy to see her make it. The taxi got lost.
As I was warming up, Tiff handed me my cel phone as one of my students was claiming that I was discriminating against her. This student would call an additional seven times that day. It was eventually settled and I was left with an angry taste in my mouth about how some things work on the college level. Happily, my school has addressed this particular issue and it is much better now. Honestly, with my family history (I holding back on specifics), how could anyone claim I don’t respect this person’s particular issue.
This was my warm up. My hip was killing me, I was being bitched at by a student, I was frustrated by the commute and my first throw looked in to me, but the field judge called it out. The ring judge even went “Huh?”
This is how I remember July 24, 2010. Write down everything you see here as it is really important: I did literally everything wrong I could do to get ready to compete. I couldn’t wait to leave the place and the meet still leaves a bitterness in me. This might all sound like me complaining, but it sure helps me help you when I review this. How often do I send my athletes into comp with all these little issues floating around.
I have watched my own athletes give away the State meet. A few decades ago, I found one of my athletes bringing his girlfriend to the state meet. What shocked me was that she never came to a meet before, she sat with both arms and legs crossed looking bored and I later found out that the couple was expecting more than just a medal at state. He, of course, had the worst meet of his career.
Rarely do you win or lose once the gun goes off, the whistle blows or the official calls your name. It happens in the prep.
July 21, 2011 was the day I rolled into the operating room with a ball of oatmeal for a hip and came out several hours later with some new blood, a great scar and a new hip. I can’t believe I put it off so many years. That was stupid. I got tons of VERY bad advice about the hip including the fact that my pain was just past memories of an injury and wrist circles with my eyes to the left would cure it (I am NOT kidding) and I needed to increase this mineral or whatever.
I told Doctor Kim that I would put off any and all sports for a year. He agreed and I began the long, slow process of rebuilding the hip and the rest of the body. Injuries, and I say this in all honesty, lead to more injuries. The body is a wonder when it comes to compensations and that, my friends, is the problem.
So, yesterday, I walked into Dave Turner’s gym, my coach from the Hercules Barbell Club, warmed up and Squat Cleaned and Jerked, Front Squatted and Pressed. The Cleans were NOT perfect and I was coming forward on my toes. Dave refuses to let you go up unless the reps are perfect. He doesn’t abide misses or lousy reps in training. I wish I would have listened years ago!
I’m back on the platform. I lifting weights I wouldn’t have warmed up with my career. I am being stretched, pulled and yanked back into place. I am a beginner again.
And, it gives me joy beyond belief.