June 21, 2008
We stayed in Hennef for the first part of last week. The weather was cool and I slept ok for the first time in weeks. My heart rate came down and I started to feel better. This past week was designed to be a recovery week so we didn’t do much hard training.
As some of you know, I hurt my neck in December at Canadian Olympic trials. Most of you don’t know that the injury was quite serious. I irritated a nerve coming out of my neck that runs down into my left arm. I lost virtually all my strength in that arm. In fact, I couldn’t do even one proper pushup. I couldn’t even flex my pec muscles. I was in pain virtually 24 hours per day. It was weeks before I was able to sleep without pain killers. By the time I came to Europe at the beginning of May, I had about 50% of my strength back in my left arm. However, this number is deceiving because the muscles that were unaffected by the injury were compensating for the injured ones. I still couldn’t flex my left pec properly. I have worked with Murray daily doing specific exercises designed to isolate the left pec and try and stimulate it.
The treatments have been working. Last Tuesday, I was able to do 26 pushups in a row, followed by 3 more sets of 20 pushups. This isn’t all that much for a normal Olympic wrestler but I was very excited because of how much better my left arm was doing. That same day, I took the first steps toward climbing a rope again. I haven’t been able to do this for a few years because of nagging elbow and wrist injuries which never seemed to heal. The daily treatments from Murray have got these injuries under control now as well. The point of my rambling is to say that my body hasn’t felt this good in years and I feel like I am progressing well for a peak in China.
Last Wednesday we traveled from Hennef to Dortmund via train. There is a competition in Dortmund today and tomorrow. It is called the German Grand Prix and it looks to be a quality competition with 21 countries competing. I weigh in later today and compete tomorrow. Then on Monday we fly to Prague for a week of training and then a competition on June 28. Then I fly home on June 29. I have now been in Europe for 6 weeks straight. This is the longest period I have ever been away from home. I will be happy to sleep in my own bed again for a few days. I am trying not to think about the fact that I am only home for 6 days before going to Colorado for 3 weeks. My 6 days at home are supposed to be a recovery from training, which they may end up being. However, I will be very busy doing other things. CBC, TSN and the Calgary Sun all want to do interviews. Two of my clients have big real estate deals closing which require my attention. I need to do some testing and see my doctor about how we will deal with my asthma in china. I also wouldn’t mind seeing my wife and kids a bit. I am hoping to have some kind of get together with some of my friends as well. I have been so busy over the last few years with wrestling, work and kids that I sometimes need to go through my contact list to remember my friend’s names never mind their phone numbers. While in Europe I realized that since making the Olympic team in December, I haven’t had any sort of celebration with my friends. Time is running out – I am only home June 30 – July 6 and July 27 – 31. Otherwise I am out of the country until after china. Murray suggested getting a radio station to host a block party. Apparently one station does this on a regular basis. If somebody reading this blog wants to organize this, it would be great. An outdoor bbq on my street would be perfect. The kids can run around and cause trouble while anyone interested in showing up can do so. I have many pictures and videos which I will try and post in the next few days.