were because pole vaulting is not a sport you can just practice anywhere.
We would travel hours for practice almost every week, and it was all worth it. Fall and winter came and of course, brought colder temperatures, so I had to
figure out where to practice now. Luckily, right here at Macomb Community
College, the Sports and Expo center had open track practices every so often,
which worked out great. In February of 2017, I even went to the National Pole
Vaulting Summit in Reno, Nevada with a group of athletes that I vaulted with.
At the summit, I got to see professional pole vaulters in action and competed myself. This competition was short lived for me as I made a mistake on my second jump and ended up hurting my back. Although it was not too
grave, I was very sore afterward and was unable to continue competing. On the bright side, I got to meet and talk with some professional pole vaulters, including the silver medalist in the women’s pole vault from the 2016 Summer Olympics, Sandi Morris. On the right is a picture I took with her. Once my back was better I continued practicing and soon my 10th grade track
season was upon me.
I was ready for the season and determined to
jump high. I was hoping I would be the best
pole vaulter at my school, and the first meet proved me right when I won first place by a
significant margin. I was flying high, but soon
I would come crashing down, figuratively and
literally. A few days after my first meet, I was
practicing on a pole that was a lot longer than
the one I usually competed with. I went to jump
and instead of flinging me straight up, the pole flung me off to the side and I landed off of the mat on my wrist. My family and I then rushed
to the hospital, and our horrible suspicions had been correct: I had broken
my wrist and would need a cast. When going to get the cast, I discovered I
would need to wear it for four weeks and then a splint for two weeks after,
so I was unable to pole vault the rest of the outdoor season. At this point, I think many people believe me to be crazy. How could I still want to pole
vault after all this misfortune and many other misadventures I didn’t even
name. However, I knew I had great potential, and I wasn’t going to let these
trivial obstacles stand in my way. This sport has taught me the difficulties of pushing through even when things seem hopeless.
Now, I am fully recovered and have been pole vaulting since August of 2017. It took me a little while to get back to where I was before, and although breaking my wrist significantly set me back, I believe it happened for a
reason. High school isn’t over yet; I still have two track seasons left, which means my long ride is far from over. Overall, pole vaulting has taught me
that if I am passionate about something I have to keep striving for the best, no matter what the obstacles are and try to go as high as I can.
The Macomb Community College journal of student words and images.