Friday, July 26, 2013

A skier in the making..

Rise above expectations..  It's what I would say my purpose of my life is.

Growing up in a very humble and ever changing setting could have left me stripped from accomplishing my dreams, and when I realized that, its when I decided to brake free and make a push to become all that I could be.

I joined the United States Marines when I was still 17 years of age.  10 years later I was considered one of the best amongst the best.  

The Marines were my way of life until a motorcycle accident took what I thought was going to be the rest of my life in just a couple of seconds.  It was time to start dreaming again.  Dreaming of becoming a Paralympic cross country skiing athlete..  To rise again.

I was introduced to the sport of cross country skiing just 4 months after the amputation of my right arm due to the injuries I suffered during the accident.  I loved the sport from the first time I struggled to put on my boots on that snowy day in lake placid.  After that introduction skiing camp which was aimed at physical rehabilitation and not so much at racing I knew I wanted to make skiing a huge part of my life, and so I did.

I started to heavily research cross country skiing training and with the help of various coaches and organizations I put on my very first block of intense training.  After my first summer and fall of cross country skiing training I started to compete on my first races alongside able bodied skiers that have been training way longer than I have and even though I was not as fast as I could be, everyone knew I had the heart, and cheered me on and so I kept going.

Later that racing year I started to compete against other Paralympic athetles and I found out that I was in fact a competitor.  I attended nationals in soldier hollow and I was able to put on a solid performance earning me a couple of first place medals within my division.  Due to that performance I was invited to compete in the next stage of competition in a World Cup in Cable Wisconsin.  There I met the top Paralympics cross country skiing athetles in the world..  I gave it my all and came close.. Close enough to earn me a spot in the US national development team.  All in one year and a half..

In my second year of real training, I have chosen to join the Maine Winter Sports Center ranks in northern Maine in order to possibly reach a higher level of skiing and make the US Paralympic team that will be competing in Sochi Russia in less than a year.  Training will be hard, I am up for it.

There is nowhere else to go but to rise..  There has never been another option in my life..  Rise I will.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A month to remember

It's almost crazy to say, but it has been a month since I have been in the most northeastern side of the country training to become a great skier in Maine.

So far I have made very fundamental changes to my skiing technique and I have been feeling a better skier overall, however I am not as strong as I could be so I'm currently working on that.

My motivation and my mental health it's in an all time high.  I think being part of a team has helped me become a better person in so many ways.  The first obvious change is that now I can be part of something greater than just training like crazy and hope to make the Paralympics.  Being part of team has given me a chance to become a part of a community of people that are trying to do the same thing I'm doing and to see how they do it.  My motivation has improved because now I have a bunch of really cool kids around me that look up to me so I must always give them something to strive for and that is not giving up no matter what life throws at you.  I love it.

I have 3 months before I'll have to compete again..  I think being here will propel me to become what I want to be.. A great skier.. Can't wait

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Two weeks in Maine

Before I came to Maine I was not really sure what to expect.  Well it has been two weeks since I arrived to this very different and interesting place and all I can say I'm enjoying the ride so far.

Everyday is a new and exciting bundle of new workouts. Some easy some really hard.  A couple of days ago we went "bogging", which consisted of running as hard as you can through marshlands.  It was hard indeed but also incredibly fun.

Yesterday we were part of 7k adventure race which was the Maine version of a spartan race minus the fad and the costly entrance fees.  After jumping through ponds and army crawling through heavily forests I was tired but felt so alive.

The rollerski is also heavily on effect in Maine.  I love how Will, my coach, figure out ways to help me ski faster and more efficiently and so far it's working.  I have had already more technique work than I did all last summer and it feels great because I can feel my body becoming faster while using less energy..  It's a great feeling.

Being part of a team has been great, and the benefits have become apparent.  We ride together to training venues and we feed energy to each other.  I have been learning so much from new roommates about skiing and def about some country living..  Things I did not take part in my past.

Next week is the first Maine camp where a lot of skiers from everywhere will join us and we all will try to become better skiers and people through it.  Needless to say I am very excited!!