Friday, October 9, 2009

Getting Acclimated

Ben Browder told me that when I arrive early Friday to resist the urge to stay in. He said to get out and start moving around as it would be easier to acclimate. I did what he suggested and it did in fact play a huge role in how I almost feel normal today. I slept a lot last night and ate and drank a lot this morning. I noticed I was getting some cramping from dehydration so I think I've reversed that. Another example of the great advice I've gotten from all of you.

What a beautiful day we have today in Sydney. This morning it was cool with a light breeze and bright sunshine. Looking toward the bridge and city it was covered in clouds earlier but now it too is clear. I talked to Phillip last night on the phone and we're heading to the harbor this morning. I should get some great photos and enjoy hearing all about Sydney from a
resident pole vaulter. BTW - Phillip said he strained a hamstring three weeks ago and is hoping to be able to compete beyond a basic level. Its that dangerous "three weeks out" period that just KILLS you every time.

I need some down time between activites and TV is my mindless escape. They only have about six channels at the hotel yet I saw all three baseball games, golf, Oprah, Dr. Phill, The View, etc. Of course they have Australian programing but a lot of American content. The great news is that the NFL games are on here early. I think Atlanta plays somebody at 7 AM our time. Pretty funny but it fits my schedule.

As mentioned yesterday the credentialing was a zoo so I talked to Nancy about 6:30 AM and headed over to beat the 7 AM opening time. When I got there I was maybe number 60 in line and they said the doors would not open until 8. I heard one lady tell a man she had waited in line for two hours yesterday only to move 100 feet. Anyway, they let us in about 7:20 and
I was credentialed by 7:35. I think they are not doing photos now so that will make it go faster. You have to present an acceptance letter from the Games along with you passport to get credentialed. Without either you stood in line for nothing. I was really impressed that they came out and told us they would open early and told us what page and area of our letters
needed to be shown to the agent. I have a feeling this process will go much faster today.

The next challenge was to get merchandise. Well of course it didn't open until 8 and since we were let in to register early, then there was a huge line waiting for merchandise to open. I had looked at what I wanted online so I just spotted it from the line and hit it the second they opened the ropes. I was out of there within 10 minutes and relieved of $245. Still, I knew if I left and came back the lines would be longer and I would have less selection. This way I was the first out of one of the six checkout lines. Mission accomplished - now stay away from that zoo. There system is good but you still have to credential 28,000+ athletes, one by one, over the last couple of days.

The track is open to competitors this morning between 10-2. I'll meet Phillip over there while we check out the facility and then we will head to the harbor area. I don't necessarily need anything special at the track but rather want to size up the lay of the land and get a better mental picture of where I'll warm up, hang out until I jump, check the runway and winds,
etc. I find myself thinking a lot about the competition and it is all very strong and positive. I'm walking through my mechanical checklist and mentally preparing. URGENT - Dan West - please resend me that list you gave me to I emailed it to myself from my account but it didn't get here. Thanks! Anyway, I feel
very good and in a very good place mentally. I feel calm and confident yet excited for the opportunity to jump here.

This is a BIG DEAL event. I'm overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of uniformed athletes from around the world with their support teams of family and friends in tow. The regular Olympics have about 10,000 competitors and we are nearly three times that number, hailing from 95 countries. At Worlds for Athletics (Track & Field), everyone looks at everybody trying to
determine what they do, who they are, etc. Here you can't do that because there are so many athletes in so many sports. Everyone here is somebody and obviously somebody pretty darn good in their sport or they wouldn't be here. That's pretty cool to see this magnitude of commitment at our ages. We compete in five year age groups beginning at 30 through 100+. I'm seeing all age ranges and many in their sports know each other like we do. Speaking of which, I don't want to say that I'm laying low but I've yet to see anyone that I know. Thank goodness I've got you guys and gals!!

As you prepare to enjoy your Friday evening I'm heading out to get a jump on my Saturday morning. I'm sure I will post photos later. All the best and thanks for your support. It's very comforting in this far away land where I know no one and most of the people I see and hear don't speak English. Funny as this may sound, I'm very comfortable on this little solitary
planet I have created for myself to remain focused and not be allowed to be caught up in too much peripheral stuff. I feel very confident that I can execute the game plan. WOW - how different is that from fearing the nh when I was at home? The difference is that I'm here now and HERE is where it happens or doesn't. It's up to me and the preparation that's been done.
It takes an army to get ready for one of these things and I think I've got the best one. For that I salute you! We'll find out Tuesday. Bubba


  1. Bubba, your blog is THE BEST! But Job 1 is flying high. So stay focused on whatever helps U get that finely trained butt over the bar. Remember that you're there to perform. Your mantra: Good mechanics. Keep it simple, mate. Bring home the hardware.

  2. Thanks Ken!! Very wise advice and I will listen! Thanks!! Bubba