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Pole Vaulting to the World Masters

by on Feb.12, 2010, under Pole Vault, Sports

This blog will track our progress to the World Indoor Masters meet and beyond.

My father, Chuck, and I are going to the World Indoor Masters meet in Kamloops in the beginning of March.  My father is participating in the pole vault, high jump, and long jump.  I will be participating in the pole vault.

We have a pole vaulting pit in the backyard here in Sequim and spend about 30 minutes a day working on our skills.  We need more skills, no question about it!

My father is trying to get more consistent in the take-off and inversion.  I’m trying to dramatically improve my ability to go vertical (I’m pretty flat right now).  I saw a video on Bubba Sparks site that gave me some great ideas and I’ve been reading the “From Beginner to Bubka and Isinbayeva too!” book.  One thing I’ve been experimenting with is using a softer pole and getting the feel of the bend and trying to get better about going vertical coming off the bend.  Not enough time before the meet in the dead of winter, but I’m making a little progress (I hope!).

My father is making almost 6 feet consistently and I’m clearing over 9 feet pretty consistently with the soft pole.  Doesn’t sound like much, but we’ve set the standards back farther than usual and are usually doing this with street clothes and a short run up (you do what you can when you’re dodging rainstorms).  Someday we’ll be actually able to vault on poles that fit our weight and height of vaulting, but right now we make do with what we have, as do most masters vaulters.

I’m trying to find a high bar on which I can practice the takeoff drills.  I’m trying to keep my left leg back and somewhat straight and to learn to hold the pop up.  Bubba’s advice is to keep the body on the runway side of the pole, so I’m trying that also.  An awful lot to remember in about 1 second of travel.

2/27/2010 — My dad took me on a run the other day, indicating it would be about 5 miles.  It turned out we ran 8.85 miles, 2 of them up STEEP!  I didn’t vault for a couple of days until my muscles returned to somewhat normal.  We vaulted today in mostly street clothes — I’m around 10 feet regularly, but not really clearing it easily.  I’m concerned that at the meet if I get a good spring I won’t be used to it.  Still, I expect to clear at least 10 and am hoping for more.  I’m working on having a strong left arm.  My dad is right around 6 feet in our practice conditions, so I think he’ll be easily over that in the meet.


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The Age of Collaborative Quality

by on Feb.12, 2010, under Business Evolution

This is the beginning of a blog about where I think commerce is heading.

The computer generation was originally lauded as a game-changer for business.  It was supposed to bring in days of unprecedented productivity and quality.  This was not realized for longer than people expected, mostly because of the massive foundation in technology and software required to allow people to build on a computing platform.  More on this later.

Finally, as the web became a low cost development tool and significant foundations of applications and features had been made available, productivity began to increase dramatically.  The most significant gains have been made in the past 5 years.  Now it is possible to develop, market, and deliver information, applications, and some products with little cost and effort.  Google and other service providers are providing tools to enhance the business environment to a degree that would have cost companies millions of dollars to utilize in the past.

I believe that the emergence of a leisure class (the large group of baby boomers reaching retirement), trends of applications, outsourcing, web platforms, and the large range of other information tools around us is leading us to a new phase in business.  I shall call it the “Era of Collaborative Quality”.  People have time, the development platform is powerful AND inexpensive, and the web platform makes geography nearly irrelevant.  As an example, look at the rise of open source software.  People have time and motivation to work on not-for-profit activities, settling for enough money to live in moderate means, able to work on projects that strongly motivate them, and can deliver quality they can be proud of.  The result will be business engines consisting of people with complementary skills in diverse geographies leading to very custom applications and high quality – high productivity systems.

More later as I develop the concept.


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