After finishing up finals for the school year, we (OCU Canoe/Kayak) took a trip down to Lake Lanier, GA for the Collegiate Nationals. Though there wasn’t a lot of competition it was fun to get into the regatta atmosphere and race on a different course than home. We raced K1, K2, K4 500m and 200m. OCU swept the field, winning all but a couple races and finishing 1-5 on most of the men’s races. I came home with six gold medals, one from each event I was in.
Men’s Health Picture
Some of the most exciting news of the last few weeks came at around midnight the Saturday the 30th of April. I woke up that morning to find a text message from a good friend of mine, Joe Rodriguez saying, “Dude! You’re in the May issue of Men’s Health!” On the way back from practice I picked one up and sure enough there I was, nearly a full page picture of me. I had no clue I was going to be in the magazine! The picture was taken for an article on me in ESPN RISE magazine last year. I emailed the photographer and turns out they had got it from him (since he owns the rights). I was pretty exciting to say the least.
Lately I have been overcoming a slight set back. At the Collegiate Nationals I tweaked my shoulder during the races and haven’t been able to paddle much since then. I have been seeing David Huslig with Valir Physical Therapy the sports medicine provider for the OKC Boathouse Foundation, and am pretty sure that I will be back to full speed in the next week or so. This morning I was able to paddle nearly 10km before it started hurting so I’m optimistic that I’ll be back in no time. In the meantime I am doing a lot of running and core workouts.
I have just started my fundraising for my summer trips and races, if you look there’s a new page on my website titled, Donate! please take a look at what I need to raise and see if you can help in any way. I have put a Paypal button on that page through which you can donate any amount. I have a number of expenses coming up this summer and won’t be able to go to these regattas if I can’t raise the money. Thank you all for reading!
After far too long, I’m back to the blog. Time has definitely been flying by since my last post. Life’s been rather busy, classes are moving right along full bore as is training and really just life as a whole. I got a job at Cuppies & Joe last week, a bakery-coffee shop–at last I am a barista! I’ve really always wanted to be one. Even better than that nearly everyone who works there is a Christian, so I will be working with my brothers and sisters in Christ! What more could I ask for?
Training is going quite well, I have had a number of extremely productive technical workouts with some real improvements being made. Friday morning we had a wonderful workout, rather long but I got a lot out of it. It was (2′/1′ x 4, 3′/1′ x 3, 4′/1′ x 2, 5′/3′) x2 L2. In English, we did two minutes of work “on”, then one minute “off”, and then we did that combination four times, then three minutes on with one minute off three times, and so on. It was a great workout for focusing on technique because of the varying times at the same intensity. Shaun pulled up along side me at one point in the chase boat and pointed out that I wasn’t using my core to my full potential, so I worked on keeping my onside arm straight through the whole stroke and getting the whole stroke from my legs, hips, core and back. In the last two four minute pieces and the final five minute piece it finally clicked and with 100% focus on what I was doing I was able to connect and then the boat really started moving. I was able to hold with Carlos (without riding his wash) for all three of those last pieces. That made me feel really good.
I also had a chance recently to sit down over coffee with Joe Jacobi, CEO of USA Canoe/Kayak, and talk about the some of the great US paddlers from the past and also the Olympics and the Olympic movement what it takes to be apart of it. I left that conversation really pumped. Kayaking is developing in the USA, we have a lot of work to do but there are good things ahead.
One week till Spring break for us here at OCU which is going to bring with it some awesome training. While some will be chilling on a distant beach, we here will be training three times a day. In the end– I kind of feel sorry for them.
Well another “winter storm” hit Oklahoma City last night. I woke up at 8:40 this morning to about 4 inches of powder on the ground and quite a flurry of snow falling from the sky. I braved the elements and trudged my way to the gym to workout with Carlos Montalvo. After we finished our workout at 11:00 the snow and wind had died down to just a sparkling mist floating in the air. From what weather.com says this is the last of the snow we should be experiencing, which I am quite happy to hear. Looks like it should warm up by this weekend to above freezing and then continue getting warmer from here on out.
I can’t wait for the warm weather, currently the river is still frozen over and probably will be for the rest of the week. Thankfully we’ve still got our ergs, the gym and treadmills. This Saturday is the Indoor Kayak Event at the Oklahoma City Cox Center. We will be racing 500 meters and 200 meters. I’m not sure how many competitors will show up but it will be nice to get into the competitive mindset again.
What I’m looking forward to the most this weekend is getting to see Alan Anderson, coach of the Gig Harbor Canoe & Kayak Racing Team, my home team. Alan was more than just my first coach, he was and still is one of my best friends. Can’t wait to pick him and Brynn Monday up from the airport this Friday.
Well even though today is a snow day, my critical thinking skills are telling me I’d better get to work on my Critical Thinking homework for tomorrow or I won’t be sleeping tonight.
This week has been great, lots of running, erging, lifting and yesterday we did something completely different. The section of the Oklahoma River where we train was drained to do some repairs on the dam so there’s just a trickle of water and a lot of mud out in front of the boathouses. This being the case the boats have been just chilling on the racks while we’ve been dusting off the ergs.
While ergs are great for workouts less than one hour, doing 20km on an erg would make even Chuck Norris snap, so Yesterday instead of toying with madness and attempting a 20km erg paddle, we mixed it up. I’m not exactly sure what to call the type of workout we did, the closest thing to it is a CrossFit workout. We grabbed some weights, split into teams and we did sprints separated with squats, lunges, pushups, shoulder press, and all kinds of other exercises. After that we headed into the weight room and did some core work, some bench press, and some pull-ups and finished it off with some stretching.
It was a great workout, challenging but not terrible– an enjoyable change to our regular routine.
Shaun informed us yesterday that “the next two weeks are going to be hell.” Well, I say bring it on. It can only make us faster. What I need to do in preparation for these two weeks is make sure I’m on top of my homework so I can get to bed at a reasonable hour every night. Sleep will make or break the next two weeks.