Jennifer Suhr New York, USA

Suhr is making the most of her off-season break – IAAF online diaries

US pole vaulter Jenn Suhr (Getty Images)US pole vaulter Jenn Suhr (Getty Images) © Copyright

What do pole vaulters do in the off-season? I’m not sure about others but I can tell you that I am enjoying every part of my time off from the daily routine of training and competing!

I have been playing some golf, fishing, camping, socialising and just generally enjoying everything that we love about Western New York.

The one thing we’ve enjoyed most is exploring Lake Ontario in our boat. My husband Rick and I are new to the boating world so there is a bit of a learning curve. We have a healthy respect for the power of the Great Lakes but love the challenges that come with boating. We purchased an 18.5 foot 2012 open bow boat last year and have found this to be our most relaxing past-time. We probably only have a few more weeks before the cold sets in and the boat needs to get stored for the winter.

This is the time of year that we enjoy having family and friends over at any chance we can get. It’s also the only times we can accept invitations to birthday parties and gatherings without worrying about the impact on my workout and recovery routines.

The strict regimen that I am on for 10 months of the year was easy to suspend this time. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being a “normal” person and doing “normal” person things but I have to say I am starting to miss my training routine and I’m getting a little anxious to get back to the runway, workout routines and my training table diet (ok, not so much on the diet). However, I know the time off is what my body and mind need so I am best to ride this wave of rest for a little bit longer.

As I reflect on 2013 and start to allow thoughts of 2014 in my mind, I’ve decided that I am pleased with my season. I’ve had many firsts: my first World record, my first time above five meters, my first time jumping over 4.90m in both indoors and outdoors, first World Championships silver medal (in a crazy, tough and pressure-filled environment) and for the first time I spent almost an entire summer overseas away from my home-based training environment.

Quite simply, I am happy I was able to avoid a post-Olympic year let-down that is understandably common among track athletes.

Competition hasn’t completely left my routine during this down time. Rick and I seem to enjoy competing in all that we do. Whether it is to see who can drive the golf ball farthest or who can catch the biggest fish; the will and want to win is hard to ignore – even during my rest and relaxation.

Checkers anyone?

Jenn