Whirlwind Field, Rowing Seat & New Wheelchair
August 8, 2011
It has been a whirlwind Track & Field Odyssey since completing my 2nd rowing crossing of the Atlantic Ocean (no motor, sail, or support boat).
I took a bit of physical time off for recovery after the row just doing speaking engagements and coaching rowing at our Adaptive Rowing Program. I decided to try my hand at throwing things and yelling as I received some positive feedback at a previous Veterans Wheelchair Games for my performances in Shot put, Javelin and Discus. After rowing in the Paralympics and meeting some of the coaching staff and athletes/throwers in Track and Field I decided to go to a track and field meet and see what I could do. I went to Irvine and met Cathy Sellers and got signed up for the Desert Challenge. I got to Arizona, was classified as a 55 and broke America’s records in all three of my events. I then went to Florida to the Dixie games and threw farther. Shot put seems to be my better event. I then went to Nationals in Mira Mar, Florida where I would be internationally classified as 56. I made a rookie mistake throwing the 4k shot instead of the 3k so I was just short of the qualifying standard in shot ( 2.2 pound heavier implement) but made the qualifying standard for Jav. I then was invited to go to the Twilight & Boiling Point meet in Canada where I threw National A team standard shot at Twilight and took 1st place in shot put for the meet. I was handed an envelope saying 1st place that contained 8 Canadian one hundred dollar bills. My first prize money! So I purchased some implements and a throwing chair so I can practice. I am thinking it is something I can be good at if I train, practice and get some local coaching. I went to the last 2 weeks of the field program at Cerritos College and received some coaching before going to the Veterans Wheelchair Games in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately that program has ended so I am back in limbo.
I had to get a new wheelchair since the airlines lost and never recovered mine so I chose Colours. I also designed a seat for the indoor rowing machine and since I was going to Colours anyway I decided to pitch to them my ideas for manufacture of adaptive rowing equipment. Colours and I are now partners and they have built my first prototype seat and the folks at Three Rivers Rowing in Pittsburgh were the first to see it. It’s quite impressive and really exciting! No pictures we have moved beyond the prototype.
Just returned from Pittsburgh and I am going to my 5th Track and Field Meet in the Czech Republic next week. TG I have some reliable people at the rowing program who are doing a fabulous job running things in my absence!