July 25, 2008
The week started out good when I got to do some work on the mat. Slavi was cautious as usual and I was the opposite. He kept telling me to stop and be happy with my gains. I refused to listen and ended up tearing the muscles in my shoulder again. It isn’t as bad as the first time, but it was bad enough to stop me from being on the mat. The stubbornness that usually serves me so well came back to haunt me. The last few days have been spent doing cross training and physio. A few days ago I did 70 pushups in a row. If you would have told me a few months ago that I would be able to do 70 pushups in a row I would have laughed at you. Now 100 seems possible before China. I also did 60 of Slavi’s stomach torture. Today we did 3 matches on the bike in the morning and weights followed by 1 match on the upper body bike this afternoon. This was a big training day and I felt good about my conditioning. I had no trouble handling heart rates which would have caused a heart attack a few months ago. The last few weeks before the Olympics are a delicate time. There isn’t much you can do to improve your performance or readiness to compete but there is a lot that could go wrong. If I hurt my shoulder again then I likely won’t be ready to compete properly in China. As it stands I will go to China without having trained on the mat for the last month. If the shoulder gets back to 100% then this will not be a total disaster. I have 20 years of experience wrestling. 4 weeks here or there won’t make that much difference.
I have one more workout tomorrow and then I go home on Sunday. I keep thinking that my visits home will be relaxing. Sarah will laugh at that. My work schedule is already full. I need to see the doctor to get a cortisone shot in my wrist. CBC radio wants me for an interview. CBC tv wants to video me with the rest of my family. Slavi has training all planned out. My 4 day break in Calgary is now jammed. I will instead rest on the way to China on Thursday next week.
I am reading Rulon Gardner’s book called ‘never stop pushing’. It is appropriately named for him and for me. Rulon was the 2000 heavyweight Olympic champion in Greco wrestling and a friend of mine for many years. We actually competed against each other in university and i trained with him before the 2004 Olympics.