The Paralympic Training Camp September 21-28 was a lot of hard work. Sam had a blood test and physical on the first day and then worked out every day. In the evenings he would watch film of his day’s throws, watching to see where he could improve.
The coaches told him to increase his calories and reduce his fats and sugars so breakfast has become two egg white sandwiches on whole wheat muffins with a little margarine and lunch is now 2 chicken or turkey sandwiches on whole wheat with two apples and a bottle of water. He’s actually trying to increase his overall water intake, drinking a bottle of water every time he thinks about it.
As big as he is, the Paralympic coaches told him he was operating on raw strength and recommended that he begin a serious weight lifting regimen. With his brother Matt’s wedding coming up on October 3, Sam decided to wait to begin the intensive weight training until after his role as co-best man (with brother, Brad) was over so he would fit into his suit!
The wedding was beautiful. Telluride Colorado, was ablaze with fall colors, getting us all ready for the beauty of the wine country and the Revolution! The weather during the wedding weekend was perfect and the bride and groom, “one person” as Sam said in his toast, rode off in the gondola with a “Just Married” sign in the back window.
Back in Walnut Creek, Sam has been heading to the gym every other day. He is working on building strength in his Lats, Triceps and shoulder muscles, lifting 270 pounds and up with Brad as his spotter. Brad is getting some lifts in, too, with Sam spotting (He waited to lift so he would fit into his suit, as well!). Sam is also working on strengthening his right leg, as he can get some extra push from it when he throws the shot and disc.
Stretching and resting the muscles is critical. When they come home, Sam ices his shoulder and stretches it across his chest. He is practicing his throws a couple of times a week and lifting every other day. It’s important to keep from injuring anything.
As a member of the US Paralympic Team, Sam has had to register with the United States Anti Doping Association and keep them informed of his location at all times, including Telluride and the Rev. They came to his apartment a couple of months ago at 6am to test him! It’s important for Sam to watch everything he eats and drinks. Energy drinks can contain banned substances (like Taurine). If he gets a cold, Advil and Sudafed PE are ok but the full strength Sudafed is not allowed.
Revolution here we come! (USADA has been notified) Riding the hand cycle is perfect cross training. Pulling back on the handles provides an opposite motion to the everyday wheelchair pushes. Riding is also a great aerobic addition to the training routine. The cycle is tuned and ready for next Saturday and so is Sam!