Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Injury Update

"Whenever you suffer a setback or disappointment, put your head down and plow ahead." -- Les Brown

Okay, so hitting my head wasn't such a great idea apparently. This marks my first ever concussion. Want to know the story? Here you go...

During warm ups, I was going up for a vault (I was about 12 feet up) when suddenly I noticed that the pole was moving backwards on me. I was all ready swinging up, so I was unable to bail out over the parallels of the mat. Remembering my training, I decided to hold onto the pole and ride it down so that I could land on my feet. I remember thinking this and then realizing that, in my position, I was not going to be able to land on my feet. The next thing I knew, I was on the ground and my head really hurt. I was not knocked out, and I was allowed to continue to compete. Later on during the day, symptoms started coming, and the trainer had me come in Sunday morning for an Impact Test. If I had scored a 5 or lower on it, I would be practicing this week. Unfortunately, I scored a 29 and had to be evaluated by the team doctor. He has me out until Thursday at the earliest. I will be reevaluated then, and we will go from there.

Hopefully I will be all right at the end of the week so that I can compete at the SEMO meet. If you see a post on how I did at that meet, that means I was able to go. If not, I'm still waiting for my brain to heal.

March 27, 2010

LSU Relays

Meet Location: Louisiana State University
Height Attained: 11 feet 1 inch

Height: 13'
Weight: 160 lbs.
Step: 7 step

Things to Work On:

1. Get more upside down when swinging up. (keep my hips up)
2. Continue turning and hallow out over the crossbar.
3. Keep run consistent and aggressive.
4. Left arm out even more at the plant.
5. Jump into the vault.

Had a pretty good vault day. I feel like I am progressing more than usual now which is nice, but the heights aren't showing this improvement just yet. I hit my head on the track vaulting, but we're not sure if I'm all right or not. I'll post something on that later. All in all, it was a great vault day.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

March 23, 2010

"So many fail because they don't get started - they don't go. They don't overcome inertia. They don't begin." --W. Clement Stone


Height: 13'; 13'6
Weight: 145; 150 (unofficial)
Step: 5 step

Things to Work On:

1. Left arm continuing to stay out at the plant.
2. Keep my right arm close to my head rather than out.
3. Hold my hips back for the take off.
4. Stay fast on the runway.
5. Be more aggressive.


All right, so the quote above is the opposite of what is happening to me. I'm finally getting it! Left arm out almost all practice :) I was so excited! Now I just need to get my lower body to stay back and do this all in a meet, and I'll be set for life! Nate showed me a new exercise that will help me with my top hand placement. My shoulder has been too stiff to move it the right way, so this will stretch it out and hopefully help change that. As of now, I am super sore!

Monday, March 22, 2010

March 20, 2010

Rhodes Open

Meet Location: Rhodes College
Height Attained: 3.34 meters


Height: 13', 13'6
Weight: 160 lbs; 160 lbs
Step: 7 step

Things to Work On:

1. Left arm out at the plant.
2. Right arm needs to not be behind me.
3. More aggressive, faster run.
4. Hips need to get up, over the bar (no shooting out at it).
5. No galloping.


Rough start to the outdoor season. I think it's mostly because we trained through the week. We had no breaks to let our legs rest which will help as we get further into the season, but I am not pleased with the results I had. I opened half a foot lower than usual because of a shaky warm up, and then I had a difficult time getting over it. I think it was mostly because I was running slow. The slow start though changed as I got a little bit of adrenaline pumping. By the end of the meet, my usual pole got too small on me and we had to move up. I got rejected by it because I haven't been up on it yet, but that'll change as I get more practice. I was letting the pole control me (something I usually don't have a problem with). I definitely vaulted off the mat. I went up, planted way too far right, and the pole shot me so far left that I landed off the mat. I was rejected back onto the runway, onto the parallels, and had a hard time getting into the pit. I think this mostly has to do with my run and my plant. I will be working on this for the next meet.

March 18, 2010

"Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all." -- Sam Ewing


Height: 13'
Weight: 150 lbs
Step: 5 step

Thing to Work On:

1. Left arm out initially at the plant.
2. Do not gallop on the last or second to last step.
3. Keep hips back at the plant.
4. Plant in front rather than straight up and down.
5. More aggressive plant.


Coach says that I'm vaulting like I'm expecting the pole to do all the work. While it is supposed to do most of the work, I need to put some more into the pole so that I will get more out of it. It's not that I'm expecting it to do all the work, but that I need to learn how to put more into the pole. We've changed so much with my vault, and I'm starting to get frustrated with it. I know that what I'm being taught will help me in the end, but I'm wanting to see the results sooner than I am. Patience.... patience.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Indoor Conference 2010

"He who would learn to fly one day must learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying." -- Friedrich Nietzsche


Height: 13'
Weight: 160 lbs.
Step: 7 step

Things to Work On:

1. Left arm out on the plant initially.
2. Get up off the top of the pole.
3. Hold the plant longer.
4. Continue turning over the crossbar (hollow out).
5. Stay fast at the end of the runway.


Took third in the Conference as a freshman and got a new Personal Record of 3.55 meters! There was a great article on the meet posted by the University. It said: "Freshman pole vaulter Lauren Gale entered the C-USA Championship hoping to post a personal-best vault. The Gilbert, Arizona native not only posted a personal-best mark of 3.55 meters (11-07.75) in the competition, she finished third to score six points for the Lady Tigers. 'That was phenomenal character displayed by a true freshman today,' Robinson said of Gale. 'To set a lifetime best at her first championship is an outstanding accomplishment.'" I was so proud at that moment to be a Memphis Tiger! It was my finest moment as an athlete to date. Coach Rob's quote made me want to cry... it was very heartfelt and touched me deeply because I respect him so much as my head coach. I am forever greatful to my family for their support and love throughout this season, Coach Guy who helped me as a high school athlete to get better technique, to Coach Fraizer for working with my rudimentary technique as a pole vaulter, and all my friends that have supported me so far. I can't wait to get outdoor season underway! I'm going to be turning heads as a Tiger! Look out! :D