This blog entry comes straight from gate 88 at San Fransico International...enjoy! I am en-route to my hometown of Temple Texas for 9 days to spend the holiday with my family. This trip home comes at an incredibly good time for me training wise. As I mentioned in my previous blog entry, I have been hampered by a back injury that has limited the quantity of training that I have been able to do. I am pleased to say that issue has been resolved an I believe we can close the book on the winter back issues...hopefully!
I had almost 2 solid great weeks of training and may have pushed the gas a bit too hard as I was excited to be able to do normal training activities without pain. This Monday will be the start of the 8th week of training for me and I am anticipating a full 4 more weeks of successful training sessions before my next break. I was notified that the Australian and New Zealand Grand Prix series will not include the javelin this year because the Australian record holder and good friend of mine, Jarrod Bannister, is still rehabbing an injured elbow suffered in Beijing. The good news was that the javein was confirmed as one of the 2009 Golden League events for the 5th year in a row. This is virtually unheard of for 1 event and I am extremely excited about the opportunity to break back into the Golden league's.
The last 2 weeks was an extremely busy schedule for me in the community and was highlighted by the news that I am the Olympic Training Center December Athlete of the Month. When I was notified I didn't understand how I received the honor because its usually reserved for the athlete with the best competition performances for that month. However, with no competitions for any of the athletes at the training center, I was told that I was given the honor because of my role in community service for the month of December. Its a very special honor for me because I believe its the 1st time in training center history that an athlete has received that honor for performances away from competition. Never mind the fact that I get free golf for the month of January! ;P
Im attaching a few pics of my little buddy Jarmo from the Angels and athletes event last week...although we had a bit of a language barrier, we made it work and had an absolute blast...dude even gave me a hug as he left, awwwwwwwwww
Sunday, December 7, 2008
The past two weeks have flown by and It hardly seem possible that its already the 2nd week of December. I suppose thats what happens when you compete through the end of September... Training here at the US Olympic Training Center has been very steady and as far as I'm concerned, acceptable...not great, not bad just average.
The reason I say that is because I am still ahead of last year at this time, however I have been struggling with back problems for the better part of 3 weeks now. I finally decided to go to the doctor last Friday for x-rays which thankfully showed nothing wrong structurally...however, I have a MRI scheduled for Wednesday morning to have a look at a few discs in my lumbar region that may be an area to watch. The doctor has assured me that its nothing to be alarmed about, rather its just something that they want to look at so we can better plan my training around it. In my event, which involves extremely high velocity combined with rotation and compression, every precaution is necessary.
Community activities were kept to a minimum the last 2 weeks, partially because of the holidays and partially because of the pain in my back. The next few weeks will incorporate 2 new community events for me. This Tuesday, December 9 I will be going to the Sharp Children's Hospital to visit with the ailing kids and hand out teddy bears in the 18th Annual Law Enforcements Teddy Bear Drive. I am extremely excited to visit these kids because it really helps me put life into perspective.
Similar to when I had the incredible honor of training with the Navy Seals last year, visiting the sick kids at the Sharp Children's hospital helps remind me how lucky I am to be able to do what I do. The next time that I wake up sore from a hard training session, I can reflect on our nations elite forces who endure more pain and extreme conditions that most of us can fathom...or I can remember my visits with kids who wont know if they will even see the weekend. Most of those kids would love to wake up and hurt from a training session. Its a great reality check for me and admittedly I think I'm due for one.
The last big event that I have planned for the year is the Athletes and Angels Event on December 12. This event is very similar to the "shop with a jock" event that I had to withdraw from due to back pain...so I'm eagerly looking forward to making up for my absence with the Athletes and Angels event. This event will be very fun because of the large amount of 1 on 1 time that the athletes can spend with the kids shopping and taking pictures with Santa. Thats all for now...to be continued after the holidays!