A Salute to Fosbury

I never even came close to meeting the man…but he was truly a mentor of sorts. I am sorry to see that the great Dick Fosbury has passed away at the age of 76.

If the name is not familiar to you just do a quick internet search…or…Madam Althouse linked to a good video:

It turns out I was a “promising” practitioner of the craft from about 1979 to 1987. It started with some rudimentary coaching and much encouragement from my dad. He then turned me over to the high school track coach – actually a wrestling coach (one of the greats) who pulled double duty during track season at our tiny high school – who was ahead of his time in researching training techniques and using what little video equipment we had available to help hone that craft. It was all enough to make me rather competitive at the state level. But it was really over the 1986 season that things just started to “click.” (I’ve talked at other times about being able to “see the game” when referring to basketball or football. I’m not sure what to call the Track and Field equivalent, but this “clicking” was it.) Over about eight weeks my personal best increased by over seven inches. I was in the zone…and I honestly believe the road to the threshold of that zone and the brief journey through that zone shaped my life in very important ways. Maybe someday I will write more about that.

I never even came close to meeting the man…but today I salute Dick Fosbury for his innovation and his oversized impact on a skinny young athlete from the middle of the country so long ago.

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