WFME’s Advice to High-Schoolers: Pole Vaulting Edition

I’ve finished high school and got my degree.

Which makes me exponentially-qualified to introduce today’s new feature: Words For My Enjoyment’s Advice To High Schoolers. In it, I give advice to those between the ages of 15 and 18, providing a unique cockeyed view of those years of abandonment, ridicule, the varsity sports class caste system and cafeteria mischievousness. I also like to go to the dark places that most people never do.

That being said, sit back with your parent’s prescription drugs and get cozy for this Pole Vaulting edition.

Everyone wants to be a Varsity letterman. And if you don’t, you’re probably either some kind of goth wannabe tweaker or you’re running around with a camera shooting crap for You Tube. But most kids, they want the kind of Friday Nights Lights-success in high school sports — where a letterman’s jacket gets you the chicks or where dating a letterman’s jacket gets you the status.

But what do you do when you’ve got zero athletic prowess? What do you do then, most high schoolers ask WFME. You go out for track. And more specifically…pole vaulting.

Here’s the positives about pole vaulting:

  • Requires no long distance running
  • No true coordination required
  • Allows you to compete, alongside true track athletes without shin splints
  • Get to carry a huge, long pole
  • Most athletes never have a desire to pole vault, thus leaving openings for you to participate
  • Pole vaulting is like physics — most people know zero about it so you can make up whatever you want when talking about it
  • You still get to wear a jersey
  • And you can get “letter in pole vaulting” with little effort and/or skill

You’re probably asking yourself, “How does this guy know anything about pole vaulting?” “How can he give me advice about this when he probably has never vaulted over a pole higher than seven feet!?”

I know, because I did it.

Before pole vaulting, I was an insignificant high schooler with a small group of friends and very little “heat.” Before pole vaulting, I found myself wishing that the school would rally around me and my superior general-educational skills. Before pole vaulting, I was a bitter, back-stabbing, jealous little troll.

After pole vaulting?

King of the world, my friends. King. Of. The. World.

Needless to say, if you can imagine a show like Friday Night Lights where an entire town and high school rallies behind one sport and a handful of athletes… If you can imagine the thrill of the competition, focusing on one or two individual behemoths of athletic superiority… If you can imagine one man, one pole and a skimpy jersey…

You can imagine the possibilities with pole vaulting.

High schoolers? Stop huffing that glue and trying to asphyxiate yourself in your basement with that noose. It’s time to rejoin the world of the living, and the world of the athletic — and become the toast of your high school with your long, fiberglass, letterman-jacket producing pole.

Because when it comes to the pole…I know.

8 comments on “WFME’s Advice to High-Schoolers: Pole Vaulting Edition

  1. Susan - February 25, 2008 at 7:41 am -

    You know what we need? The Perfect Cheer!

    There goes Pauly!
    He’s got a Pole!
    He runs so fast!
    Can’t see that Mole!

    Boomchakalalaka Boomchakalakalaka Boomchakalaka BOOM!
    Goooo Pauuulyyyy!!! WOOOOOOOO!!

  2. Pauly D - February 25, 2008 at 9:36 am -


  3. Susan - February 25, 2008 at 10:19 am -

    Uh, sorry, you didn’t want everyone to know about that mole you have on your.. never mind.

  4. A fairly recent high school graduate - February 25, 2008 at 3:38 pm -

    What’s a letterman jacket?

  5. Pauly D - February 25, 2008 at 3:42 pm -

    Dear “Fairly Recent High School Graduate,”

    A letterman’s jacket is not necessarily something all high schools have, but in many schools those who participate on a varsity and/or competitive sports team are giving a “letter” (usually the first letter of the school’s name) which they THEN either put away for prosperity or have sewn onto a cool jacket which makes them even cooler. Thus, a letterman’s jacket.



  6. Stacey - February 25, 2008 at 5:50 pm -

    What if your school didn’t have pole vaulting? What then? Is javelin almost as good?

  7. Susan - February 25, 2008 at 9:31 pm -

    To Recent Grad,
    Adding on to Paul’s description – To visualize a letterman’s jacket, think of that ancient show “Happy Days” – those guys always seem to be wearing them. But don’t fret because you don’t have one – pretty much those jackets won’t fit you two minutes out of high school anyway.

  8. Yves Trough - March 8, 2008 at 5:35 pm -

    Back in the day, I got my highschool letter in the javelin CATCHING event. Seemed like a good team… in the beginning.

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