Pole Vault Dreams
Hi, most of my running dreams go something like:
a) I’m running in a small patch of grass-quicksand in a white, seamless room, next to a split-rail fence and a telephone pole. Very specific. Very frustrating.
Or: b) I run 26 mins for 6K cross country?—or was it an 8k? No one will tell me. Why will no one tell me? Those are two very different outcomes, please tell me.
OR-or c) It’s the morning of cross country Big Tens and I’m standing in the checkout lane of a dark grocery store. Why am I here when the race starts in ten minutes? Why am I wearing my MSU varsity jacket, buns and spikes right now? Is it snowing? Why am I buying Lemon Lime Gatorade and chocolate Power Bars? Why can’t the U-of-M women get their items to scan? Where’s the clerk? We’re not going to have time to warm up. What the f—?
I’m proud my to announce that my frustrated and anxious running dreams now include frustrated and anxious pole vault dreams:
d) I qualified for USAs or Worlds—it’s unclear—with a mark in the pole vault, instead of a running event.
(Do real vaulters it call it “the pole vault”?—like am I calling it The Coldstone Creamery instead of just Coldstone?)
I don’t know for sure where I qualified or even physically how. I’ve never vaulted before in real life. OK, maybe one attempt in middle school where I slid down the pole into the box. But that doesn’t exactly get you to the sort of high-level visualization flows you need to vault at the highest level of the sport (????!?).
And where the hell did I get this mark? And why the hell couldn’t I remember doing it? Like, how am I supposed to vault again with out being able to go back through that imagery? I mean I’m going to do it, (obviously)…but like—how?
So I’m running around the facilities and warm-up areas, which is a muddy cross country course (???), looking for people I know to ask when I’m supposed to be ready. Experiencing absolutely no anxiety about poles (I’ll need more than one, right?) or how I have no idea how to warm up.
At some point—because it’s a dream—I’m in a small basketball gymnasium that’s now one big vault pit. Having just done a run through that I can’t remember, I’m talking to a middle school crush (???)—whom I haven’t thought about in probably 10 years—who vaulted at least one season in middle school. I’m trying to explain how I’m vaulting at this meet and don’t know why or how, but that I am. He seems indifferent and maybe isn’t even listening.
I’m also trying to ask him when I have to be ready. He says at 10:30 a.m. and I think it’s currently 10:00 a.m. But he tells me it’s 7:00 a.m.. Now I’m experiencing a three-hour time change? I don’t know. How did I get up at 4 a.m. and not know? (#dreamsbutnotgoals)
Still trying to figure out why I’m doing an off-off event, I go outside to find some one else to ask when my event starts.
I see friends warming up for running events but I don’t know how to explain why I’m doing the pole vault (because I literally can’t remember) so I don’t bother them (even though they’re lightly confused why I’m not warming up). But, I keep looking for someone to ask.
Thanks to the magic of dreams, I see friends from my high school cross country team warming up in the distance too (shout out to Shomari!).
While I continue to run around, I start visualizing Hayward Field and trying to remember how the hell I even vaulted. And even though I can’t remember, it seems like Hayward is the place I Q’d. I’m not sure why I’m spending so much time by the steeple pit, but still.
If Eugene is where I qualified for whatever this meet is, was that USAs? And now I’m at Worlds on this cross country course? (What???)
How? Forget how I could be legit enough to be at whichever meet this is. How did I vault, physically? How was that possible? Who let that happen? I can’t even remember holding a pole. I don’t know how to hold a pole. I had to bend a pole to get here, right? How the hell did I bend a pole? (I didn’t. Remember, this is a dream.)
I did the high jump (The Coldstone Creamery?) in middle school. Jumped 4’ 2” a few times. Never successfully vaulted. No real-real field experience to hold onto.
Now, I have been asked if I was a pole vaulter before. Which I took 1000 percent as a compliment. But that’s not an experience to draw from. (I don’t understand what’s going on.)
I haven’t even gotten to how I’m going to get to the start line—or err…runway and like warm-up. Jump? I just going to go for a light jog and do some arm swings?????(???)
I hadn’t even considered if I had poles. Unconcerned.
I mean, what a great attitude, though. What blind courage! Here I am, covered in cross country mud (?), due to compete in the pole vault (??) at the world championships (???) with no emotionally accessible visualizations or imagery (?!??) but was stone-faced like:
“Just tell me when I need to be ready/I’ll be ready/It’ll come back to me.” (???!? hAhaHAHah.)
I woke up just as I was trying to compose a tweet to explain my situation:
“If you’re looking for me in the results at USAs (Worlds?? Idk!), I’m vaulting for some reason. Can’t remember why or how, but, wish me luck not no-heighting!”