From Gray to Gold: Entry 1
As a young kid growing up in a small town in Northwestern Ohio, I remember watching high school athletes at big meets that my Dad or Grandfather would take me to. I can still recall the feeling I would get when I would watch a guy jump at a bar in the high jump that was above 5'10'', or long jump farther than 20 feet. Amazed, jealous, and I even felt a hint of disappointment, disappointed because I didn't know if doing something that big was even a possibility for Gray Horn. It's all just a dream until your body and spirit reveal to you the things you are capable of.
I started running Track & Field when I was ten years old. The first event that I ever tried was the high jump, my Dad's specialty when he was in college. I cleared 3 feet 8 inches, barely higher than a jump into bed before you go to sleep at night. Knowing that my personal best has improved by over 3 feet to 6'10'' is a testament to the passion that I feel for our sport. No other sport provides you with a parallel opportunity to watch yourself improve. You put in the work, you reap the rewards. No one can assist you, and no one can ruin it for you. That's what's was so attractive to me then, and it's still how I feel to this day.
What's so unique about me is my desire for variety in the sport. Most athletes take a liking to one or maybe two particular events. As a high school athlete, I hated the idea of anybody being better than me at any event at all. I was constantly working with my grandfather, who was my coach at the time, to hit every single event, and put up a fight with whoever I may be competing against. It just so happens that they have an event suited for people like me, the Decathlon.
Not many states hold a Decathlon competition at their state finals. It was something that I always had to do in the summer through the USATF Junior Olympics program. The two day competition involves the 100m, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400m, 110mH, discus, pole vault, javelin, and is capped off with the long and grueling 1500m run. I always felt somewhat overlooked in the OHSAA because I never really took the time to establish dominance in one event, I was a guy that you would just see everywhere, doing everything. One of my wishes is to inform the readers of the Ohio MileSplit Blog of the process, the training, and the mental approaches I have taken to become a professional track and field athlete, through the Decathlon.
My latest obstacle has been my leap into the post collegiate world. As a high school or college athlete, you have the financial safety blanket of another, whether it be your family or your scholarship check. In my next blog I will discuss the transition from high school to college, and college to the pros. I want young athletes to know what to expect during these times, and other readers to gain awareness of the Decathlon through my perspective. Have a great week, God Bless!