VAULTER VAULTER

A day in the life of Tori Pena

THE POLE VAULTER: Tori Pena, 25

8AM: Making plans…

At the moment, there isn’t really a typical day for me. I’m travelling. I have my training plan all mapped out, mixing the meets I’m doing with preparation for the Olympics.

When do I get up? Unfortunately, international competitions like the Worlds and the Olympics will have a qualifying start time of around 9am. That means I have to be up by 5am to eat, get to the track, warm up and make the call room…

11AM: Getting race ready…

I got into the pole vault through my older brother. He vaulted in high school, and I thought it looked like fun. It kind of clicked. Pole vaulting isn’t something you can just pluck out of the air, it can be pretty awkward. But it started to grow on me…

1PM: A light lunch…

A typical lunch would include my favourite go to salad: spinach with beetroot, goat cheese, grapefruit and balsamic vinegar. Along with that I’d have some kind of protein, beef, chicken or salmon… whatever I have to hand, really.

4PM: Focusing the mind…

The mental aspect is key to any sport, but especially pole vault. Much as people don’t want to admit it, you’re telling your body to do something that it probably doesn’t want to do at the subconscious level! Other factors, like the weather conditions, having rain or wind in your face, can play a big role. Having the ability to vault is really just the beginning.

A typical dinner might be something like roasted sweet potatoes with green beans and chicken. I also snack constantly; three meals would not keep me fuelled for the whole day!

7PM: Smiling on Skype…

Do I end up talking to a lot to family and friends by Skype? Yeah, but you get used to it. My brother and his wife had their first-born baby a couple of days ago, so I had a Skype session with them and got to see the baby.

8PM: R n’ R…

It’s not that lonely in a team atmosphere. I’ve got my coach, my training partners, and I keep myself pretty busy. I like my TV shows too, and usually someone has some movies or something else downloaded, so I can mooch off them! You just have to stay on top of things.

9PM:

Bedtime differs for me depending on my training/competition schedule. If I don’t have to be up too early, I might go to bed between 11pm and midnight. As competition time approaches, however, I make sure to progressively go to bed earlier and earlier…

It’s tough trying to go to bed at 8pm, but it’s better than being all out of sorts for the comp!

I’m going to compete to the best of my ability in London.

I’m definitely capable of entering the final, but it’s not going to be a walk in the park.

It’s going to be a fight.

by: Pól Ó Conghaile

from: http://olympics.irishexaminer.com/analysis/a-day-in-the-life-201316.html

Tori Pena
Tori Pena

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