Monday, October 31, 2011

Numbers Don't Lie

This weekend I went to Vegas. You might be waiting in anxious anticipation for photos to appear documenting the wild times to be had in such a city over Halloween weekend, but I'm sorry to say that I have nothing to share in that regard. To be fair, I'm sure the city was quite wild and in my younger days I would have loved to be right in the thick of it, but while my signs of aging don't take the form of grey hairs or sagging chins, they definitely are starting to reveal themselves when I think of having to miss out on sleep, listening to music entirely too loud, and aching feet for no good reason.

But I wasn't in Vegas to party so I felt okay being the Grandma. A group of athletes and coaches were there for the annual USATF jumps summit, and one of the things that stood out to me during a particular presentation was the idea that what we are doing on the elite level of our sport is trying to achieve performances that are on the edge of human achievement. We are trying to accomplish things that are pretty much the best of what is capable from a human being at this point. At the very least we are trying to accomplish better marks than anyone competing in this day and age-- sometimes it's hard to compete with the 80's. So, instead of hitting the strip, I studied numbers. Specifically all the numbers I need to change so that I can be a better jumper than I was last year, and do everything I can possibly do to be a better jumper than anyone else lacing up their spikes this season. And because i know you're dying to know all this crazy, exciting information is that I was dissecting, I'll share a little bit with you.

I need to elongate my 2nd to last step by about 0.2 centimeters… (Some of you novices thought all I needed to worry about was hitting the board, huh? I wish.) When I correct these stride length issues in my last few steps while I am running as fast as I possibly can, I need to figure out a way at takeoff to be on the board approximately .04 seconds longer… After I actually leave the ground, my vertical velocity needs to be at least 1 meter per second more than it currently is… This will hopefully cause my angle of takeoff to increase by 7-10%, which will make my center of mass travel of further distance, thereby making me a phenomenal jumper. The end.

To me, this is great news. I know. I have real data telling me what I need to do to be the best. When I wake up every day and go to practice I have clear objectives in mind on what I'm trying to accomplish and work towards. Of course I don't have the time (nor do you probably care to read), explaining how I go about trying to fix my problem areas, but this is what you focus on when you are concerned with the difference between eating from a cereal box and being on one. ( <--- stole that last line but I sure do love it!)

7 comments:

Bianca said...

I actually geeked out with you and loved reading those numbers.

Here's another equation for you:
i <3 U > cake

B

Bubba Gump Jumping Acedemy said...

What a bunch of HoooWeeee!

RUN FAST AND F*ING JUMP FAR!

Simple as that!

Just don't have this crap running through your head when you perform!

"Meets are won in practice, not at the meet!" ~ BGJA

Daniel said...

“sometimes it's hard to compete with the 80's”
I wonder if the IAAF will ever do anything about all those ex-Soviet/East German “female” records (and by a certain woman with long fingernails and hair, from Jordan Downs no less, my fav LA place).
It must be slightly discouraging for present-day female athletes, subject to so much better scientific drug testing and protocol, knowing some of those numbers no-one will touch. Or even come close to.

And I think I’ll find myself on a milk carton.

Brianna said...

funny how some people think it's so simple. it's only so simple when you figure it out and make it look that simple.

Bubba Gump Jumping Acedemy said...

Grasshopper, you have much to learn.

Unfortunately, I do not have the time to teach you as I am old and wrinkled and my memory is fading now.

What you are saying is you have a confidence problem that your body can't reach the distances you want to reach and you are grasping at straws.

Not true grasshopper!

You did it in that Training Center meet. What was that mindset?

I think it was the trials this year when you were only an inch or centimeter away from qualifying for the team which would have given you great confidence and you could have done amazing jumps at WC.

Hey, if you want to try to gain a mm at a time in your approach which should be "controlled insanity", then go ahead.

What I would do If I were you would be to throw yourself into an amazing mind meditation class. Your physical ability is capable of winning the whole shamoleeee. It's your mind that you need to work on.

You did it in that Training Center meet. What was that mindset? Put yourself there for each meet. Close your eyes before each jump, put yourself back in the warm San Diego air, with friends, and then open your eyes and jump your ass off in whatever meet your at but with that mindset!

"See your future, be your future, and your future will be what you see!" ~ BGJA

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Anonymous said...

There is no limit to what you and your athletic ability can do! Been a fan for years. Keep it up Brianna!