Pole Vault Diaries – David Gordon

I know I’m really undisciplined when it comes to writing on our blog, but her goes with my first entry of 2017 into the Pole Vault Diaries…

After travelling a long way to Seoul to fail my opening height in March, I travelled with slight trepidation to Auckland last week for the World Masters Games – a kind of Olympics for the non-young :) thirty thousand athletes across more than twenty sports, it was quite an event. The young at heart flooded into Auckland, it seemed that everyone there was involved in the Masters Games. Bravo to New Zealand for putting on such a great show.  By the way, anyone can enter these Games, you don’t have to be any good, just enthusiastic and game.  The next one, in 4 years’ time, is in Japan.

I was nervous, not having jumped in a few weeks. To ‘no height’ once is unfortunate. Twice would be considered worse than careless…To win and become World Masters Games Champion for the first time was a thrill (caveat: in my event and age group – 45-50 years old – it was not a hard one to win, it all depends on who turns up and hardly anyone did!!). To be honest I’m happy just to be able to run still. If you want to see what a 49-year-old pole vaulter looks like, here is my winning jump:


I’ve developed a fascination for how people stay in shape as they get older. After competing in Auckland 3 weeks ago in the World Masters Games (Olympics for older people), I spoke with some of the outstanding competitors in other events and age groups, in particular, Bubba Sparks of the USA, who won the over 60’s pole vault. His instant and number one message endorsed what I’ve come to believe is true…

He never pushes himself beyond 70-80% of what he knows he can do on any given day; always leaving something in the tank. I think this is such an important principle for two reasons. Firstly, the chances of a pull or tear are greatly enhanced when you push it (beyond 45 especially), which is very dull. Secondly, recovery time from a full-on session is far greater than if you just ‘tick along’, doing a little and often. You invite a problem for the next time.

Until my next entry into the Pole Vault Diaries, have a lovely day!

David from Bamboo Clothing – BAM