If there’s one thing you learn as a Ranger it’s PCIs (pre-combat inspections) gotta lay ot the packing list then make it all fit!!! Huge Thanks to my team Dare2Tri, my sponsors HUUB & Honey Stinger and all of my supporters. Next stop ITU Yokohama Japan on May 17th :)
So in early October I had Jaw surgery to correct my overbite and unfortunately had some complications that led to me spending additional time in the hospital and a lot of bed rest. Overall a very tough month, but I’m feeling a lot better now and took the opportunity to get back into the wind tunnel.
This morning I got back into a jumpsuit, threw on a helmet and with the help of my teammates I got back in the wind tunnel!
It was very different flying without having control of my lower body. I still managed to fly pretty well and had a lot of fun while I did it!
Thank you to all of my teammates and friends for your support. This is one step closer to me getting back under a parachute!!!
Rangers Lead The Way!
Day 1 at Nike World HQ~
Met up at 0730 to head to Nike HQ, our first stop- the Nike store to get some much needed Nike gear. We were greeted by over 50 Nike workers when we got out of our vans. They were cheering and clapping like we were celebrities or something!!!
Before going in we each received a $500 gift card and a personal shopper to help us out. Nike knows how to treat Soldiers!!!! Also everything in the Nike store is 50% off retail!! Needless to say I rolled out with a giant bag of gear to include a new Tom Brady jersey :)
Next we went to the Nike Campus where we were once again greeted by over 50 workers cheering us as we entered the Steve Prefontaine Building. Pre is one of my heroes so I was pretty awestruck and loved re- reading the history of Pre and Nike.
They toured us around a good bit of their 100+ acre campus. As you can guess there was a ton of Nike and athlete history along the way. They have two gyms, a huge indoor pool, indoor rock climbing, indoor track, indoor bball courts, tennis courts and the list goes on. Then we met the developer of Nikes #5 online store item=their version of the military boot which is an amazing and versatile piece of footwear. Truly showed how Nike cares about what soldiers need.
After a catered lunch we went to the gym with our coaches to work on stretching and running drills and then we went to the pool for an easy workout so our coaches could get an idea where we were and what we needed to focus on for the rest of the week.
Looking forward to getting on the Carbonbike in the morning hopefully the weather cooperates :)
So I’m headed home from an amazing weekend in the Windy City! I raced at the Chicago Sprint Triathlon with a large group of paratriathletes, mostly from Chicago’s Dare2tri!! It was an amazing weekend that started Friday afternoon at the triathlon Expo where Dare2Tri had set up a booth and we spent the afternoon telling people about the team and the sport of “Para”-Triathlon.
Saturday morning I was super excited to spend my morning with the team as we supported and cheered on our Kid Racers and our newer adult athletes who raced the supersprint distance. The kids are amazing and unbelievably inspirational, for some it was their first triathlon and others are seasoned racers!! They all did amazing and some even got trophies which might have put a bigger smile on my face than theirs :)
Sunday was the sprint race and I have to thank Dare2Tri for helping me get my equipment to the transition area and for having 2 handlers to help me out ( one of which was Matteis who is the boyfriend to one of my RIC therapists!). Our swim time was at 0604 so we had to be up super early and ready to rock! I set up my gear and headed the long mile to the swim start. It took me a lot longer to get there and into my wetsuit than I thought it would and my handlers dropped me into the water with only seconds before the gun went off!
I had my fastest swim of the year 16 minutes but then had to push a half mile back to my bike making my official swim split 22 minutes :( the bike course was super fast out and back on Lakeshore drive with amazing views of the city as the sun came up.
I came back into transition ahead of the rest of the Tri-1 men and women and despite a tougher run with some crowded steep sidewalks I managed to hold on to the win!
Couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful race weekend and venue. Congratulations to all of the other racers and my teammates. Huge thank you to all of you who have supported me through my recovery!!!
Yesterday ended a week long trip to Chicago! An unbelievably fun event that had everyday crammed full of activities. During the camp we participated in 4 sports a day~ Handcycling, Kayaking/Rowing, Wheelchair Basketball, Sled Hockey, Biathlon, Tennis, Swimming, Judo, Field Events, Archery, Power Lifting, and Golf!!!
We broke down into small groups and rotated through the activities. I was fortunate to end up in the best group, filled with athletic, motivated, and competitive veterans that ranged from a 71 year old Vietnam Vet to current wounded warriors.
At the end of each day there was group dinners and tours of Chicago giving us all additional time to hang out in mingle with people from other groups. As you can imagine there was a lot of war stories, tall tales and long lies exchanged lol
Monday we started the Valor Games competition. The groups went away and everybody turned up there game as we vied for gold medals in our respective sports.
I competed in two events Handcycling and Seated Archery (10m) having won the Gold in handcycling at the last Valor Games the pressure was on. Despite some good competition I pulled out another fast race and took home the Gold Medal!!
Seated Archery is definitely not something I’ve been training for but after some great coaching during the camp I managed to shoot a 260 out of 300. Second place was a 250 so I didn’t win by much but a Gold is a Gold!!!!
After the second day of the competition we were invited to a Chicago WhiteSox baseball game and 5 competitors were chosen to go down on the field for special recognition. I was one of the five chosen! It was an honor to take the fIeld and represent the other Veterans, the Army and the USA.
It was a great week and now I head to San Diego to participate in the Challenged Athlete Foundation paratriathlon camp. Looking forward to working with some of the best in the world and hopefully getting a lot stronger as a paratriathlete :)
Rangers Lead The Way!!!
VO2 Max Testing
Spent this past weekend testing my fitness levels in the pool and in the racing chair with the Mid-Atlantic Region Paratriathlon Group.
Photo Credit: Tim Szczesniak