It has been 4 months since my last post so I thought it was about time I updated you all on what I have been up to, and let you know my plans for the up and coming winter season.
Preparation for the season is now gathering pace and moving in the right direction, however it has felt like an up-hill battle to get there. As mentioned previously, it’s been a real physical and mental struggle to get back on track post my shoulder surgery. After getting over the initial surgery and having Charlotte to basically care & do everything for me for the first 6 weeks, I finally convinced my consultant to let me out of the sling early (7weeks post op), so I could start to bare some weight through my arm and push my wheelchair properly.
Thankfully I noticed vast improvements quicker than expected, which meant I could start getting out the house without help (to regain some sanity), and went back to work within a week. Going back to work and getting into a normal routine was psychologically a big step forward in my recovery. Although my shoulder and right arm were still very weak, I was moving in the right direct. Also, after spending the last 7 weeks stuck indoors it was very refreshing to interact with other people again. Spending anymore time away from the outside world really wasn’t going to do much for my mental health!
It wasn’t too long after that I was able to use my arm properly for daily activity without too much pain. Eventually I was able to start thinking about training/rehab and organising my plans for the upcoming ski season!
The struggle is real! Let the rehab and training commence
It was around mid June when I started to first get back in the gym. As you can imagine it was a very slow progress to begin with. Having competed in motocross and other extreme sports all my life, I am fairly experienced (that’s an understatement!), when it comes to rehab following injury. Especially shoulder related issues, as I appear to be quite partial to breaking the odd collarbone once in a while. However, every time I end up in this situation, the journey to get back to full fitness is always a slog!
Having spent so much time in bed or sat in a chair and not being active, all the gains I had made over the winter were pretty much non-existent. I lost a lot of weight since the surgery, a lot of muscle mass & a lot of strength. As I was still under strict orders to not bare weight through my arm other than gently pushing my wheelchair, my gym routine for the first 5 weeks basically consisted of struggling on and off the spin bike & leg press machine to try and regain some strength in my legs. To try to build some sort of strength to my left side I gradually incorporated numerous cable exercises. Thankfully after getting the all clear from my consultant 12weeks post op, I was released to finally start putting full weight through my right arm and start weight training (pain permitting)! As you can imagine, getting this news was music to my ears as I could now really start to move forward and work towards getting ready for the upcoming season. After getting the all clear from the doc me and Charlotte decided to book a much needed city break to Madrid for a few days!
Since getting back from our trip to Madrid it’s all been about getting prepared for this season. I finally started to weight train my right side and have been working hard to slowly build back my strength. I have also been organising my training schedule for the up and coming season and trying to make enhancements to my skiing equipment, which I’m hoping will give me a bit of an competitive edge!
After such a good few months training with the NSCD in Winter Park, Colorado last season, I have decided to again train there early in the season (until Christmas), before spending the rest of the season with the British Development Team. As Winter Park is where I first learnt to sit ski it has always been a special place for me. I have gained many friends over the time I have spent there. However, before venturing over to the States I will be travelling to Hintertux, Austria with the British Development Team in a few weeks time. I will be there for 10days where we will be training for Slalom & Giant Slalom. This will all be in preparation for the first race of the season, which will commence in Landgraaf, Holland in November.
Always searching for improvements
As I have not been able to join the GB team for any of their ski camps this summer, this has led me to spend a lot of time staring at my sit ski when I’ve been stuck at home. Since a lot of staring and thinking, I started to come up with ideas as to how I can improve my equipment set-up to gain a competitive edge. Therefore I decided to take my sit ski equipment to the man cave (Uncle Craig’s workshop) and start to make adjustments. I won’t bore you all with all of the details, but if you are interested I will be posting a separate post soon.
I also have some exciting news which I hope to share with you all in the near future.
Thanks for reading,