Friday, July 8, 2016

Mallory Perry - Canal Vaulting

We have always heard the phrase that nothing in life comes easy. Whenever we are faced with a challenge, we are supposed to overcome and persevere in order to get to the order side. In Holland, they had a whole other outlook in order to "get to the other side". As the story has been told, Dutch farmers would cross the famous canals in the Netherlands by vaulting themselves over with a pole since bridges at that time were few and far between (Tagliabue, 2012). As impressive as it all sounds, it would never be at the same bar as the Olympic sport in pole vaulting.

The origins of this sport has been lost in the past, but records have shown for competitions happening around the mid-18th century. In recent years, this sport has seen an increase in numbers as popularity is growing in this little-known sport. Being a canal vaulter you are not aiming to go as high as the bar allows, as we see in pole vaulting, but they are trying to go as far as they can, hence why we see the vaulters shove their pole into the ground and climb as high as they are able before they hit the sand on the other side. The poles can be 43 feet in height, but with the combination of a running start and a leap of faith, they will grab onto the pole and climb up it before they are no longer to hold on as they fall across the 46 foot wide canal (Tagliabue, 2012). Even though it may sound simple and easy, it is actually quite challenging and quite difficult, as well all soon discovered.

Traveling is all about finding things that you never knew you were looking for. Today for my group and I as we were located at AV Feniks, we are in charge of hosting Athletics School Champs for schools all around the area. I found myself speaking with people who had origins in Africa, Ireland, and even some from Belgium. It was interesting in coming here as I had this notion that I would have to be playing charades with everyone trying to get my point across, but surprisingly enough their English language is very well and probably even more proper than mine! I love seeing competition in the eyes of children. Not only does that drive already exist to do better than a friend, but they still are cheering each other on! As I listen to them speak with each other at verspringen (long-jump) I can even find myself catching up on some phrases and they have so much interest in the Americas. I have found out the secret to explaining where we are from is to reference our home to KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) because everyone can still speak food. Something funny that always happens no matter who we talk to, is when we refer to the States, most everyone knows about California and New York. When we try to explain where we are located, that is where the misty space begins. I never would have imagined so many people have traveled to the States as not many people from the States have traveled to the Netherlands.

Attached you will find some photos of the kids today competing in different events and you can just see how happy it all makes them. I would highly encourage anyone to travel as far as they can, as often as they can, simply for the experience. There are things that you can never learn from a textbook or from a professor. You literally need to challenge yourself to experience life outside of your comfort zone, as that is where you will find out who you truly are. If I could leave our blog readers with anything, it would be that experience is far more valuable than money will ever be.

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