Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Spirit of Orlando

Paralympics and Then a Little Row to Hawaii 

by Angela

August 8, 2012

It’s been said and I have to agree….I am pretty intense! I do what I say I will. I do not wait for things to happen, I make the necessary things happen and go all in, doing everything I need to do to reach my goals. I don't allow situation and circumstance provide excuses for failure.

In just about one years’ time!

Angela Madsen aka Msparasurfer We leave for Royal Air Base Lakenheath Suffolk, England on the 17th for a camp and then move from there to the village on the 26th. Shot Put on Sept 1st around 1:45pm pacific time and in Javelin on Sept 5th around 11am Pacific Time. Really focused on what I need to do in London, My goal and what to look for from me in London is a Gold medal and a new WR in Shot-put. I will throw Javelin and hope to do well at it, we will see. After the competitions I have some other exciting plans.

My Row... Is defiantly and definitely on!
I have managed without financial sponsors to purchase my solo ocean rowing boat. A couple of donations here and there and some prize money from Track & Field and just diligently saving and there you have it BAMB!  The row will go on! After Paralympics I am headed over to Ireland to facilitate the shipping.  Just getting to the start of these rowing projects is extreme. I have undergone phenomenal challenges to make both of these things happen. Some would say, In the way of finances and commitment one would seemingly jeopardize the other, and for some people this could be true, just not for me.  

Thank you to all of the people who have contributed so far. The remaining fundraising efforts are for boat shipping, expedition food, weather and routing, port fees and taxes and shipping the boat back to California. Still looking for sponsors but still and always will have plan B “ME”…There are other ways to support my efforts to be the only paraplegic to row such a long and treacherous bit of water. You can follow my row online and share my story!

Angela Madsen
What is against me will always serve to make it all the more interesting!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Paralympics! Return to London! by Angela

 Paralympics! Return to London! 
by Angela July 9, 2012

I am super excited to be returning to London to compete in the 2012 Paralympics. I rowed in the Beijing 2008 Paralympics, rowed across the Atlantic in 2007, Indian Ocean in 2009 and in 2010. I have a great history and have made history in London.
I circumnavigated Great Britain with three other British women. An awesome challenge rowing 2010 miles around GB without touching land that took 51 days. We rowed from London Tower Bridge, down the Thames & back to London tower Bridge. I am returning to London to compete at the Paralympics in Track & field as a thrower. I went from rowing to throwing last year. I still row across oceans and plan to row from California to Hawaii solo in 2013 as tribute to GB Royal Marine, adventurer and friend Orlando Rogers who was tragically killed in an accident last May.

I am better known as a rower in the Olympic/Paralympic world. It has been a whirlwind Track & Field Odyssey constantly moving the throws farther and farther almost giving up after Para Pan American games when the National A team standard was raised to 8.76. Higher than the World record of 8.61 at that time so I thought it nearly impossible to achieve as I was only throwing high in the sixes then. Coach Cathy Sellers and Coach Erica Wheeler convinced me to stick with it. I am not the type to give up, I did however go through what I needed to go through at the time. I tend to go all in when I want something and if I don’t get there I admit I am emotional and disappointed. I am after all “A Delicate little flower” I still did what I needed to do to reach and even exceed my goals and expectations. What I did after Para Pans was find and hire my own private Track & Field throws coach Aaron Volkoff. Then I hired a personal trainer all on my own dime since I lost all my National Team financial support when I failed to make the new standard. I attended throws camps at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. I dug in and did what I needed to do. I went to San Clemente to Ed Axton and had him build me a new throwing chair to the customized specifications that I believed would help me throw farther. I purchased implements, 6 javelins and 6 shot puts so my coach would not have to make as many trips into the field to retrieve them. I suffered a grade two shoulder separation throwing Javelin before I went to the last throws camp and before my Hawaii vacation. So the VA issued a motorized wheelchair to use till it healed. I had to borrow a scooter to use in Hawaii where I had to do one of the most difficult things I could do in my training, NOTHING! I sat across from my favorite surf beach in Hawaii and watched the waves, the surfers and the sunsets.

When I got back from Hawaii they did an MRI and found torn rotator cuff tears, fraying and bursitis in my throwing shoulder as well as the separation. I had to change a few things about how I train. Javelin seems to irritate it and shot put is unaffected so my coach and I have been focusing more on shot put and I have been constantly applying Ice and resting more before competitions. I have had to quit carrying boats and volunteering at the California Adaptive Rowing Program that I founded in 1998 deeming it too risky and sadly I have not surfed in months. It has been worth it as the German thrower and I have been playing ping pong with the world record. Her last meet she brought it up to 8.92

At Track & Field Trials in Indianapolis I broke her World Record in Women's class 56 Shot put with a 9.30 meter throw and was named to the 2012 Paralympic Team. This world record, not yet recorded, will be official! I am still off the radar and remain unknown as a Track & Field Athlete.

Angela Madsen

Saturday, June 23, 2012

OOPPS! Anti Doping FAIL. by Angela

The world record for Women’s class 56 is back to German thrower temporarily. A change in my prescribed pain meds caused a doping violation with the World Anti-Doping agency so my last 2 meets have been sanctioned. I have resolved all my USADA issues and am good to go for Paralympic trials June 28-July 1 in Indianapolis Indiana. 

So my friends please don’t be getting panties twisted or cry fowl. Ultimately it is the athlete responsibility to make sure all of the required paperwork is done promptly and properly. If I or any athlete has difficulty reading and understanding something because of poor vision or like me with my Myasthenia Gravis and does not completely understand it they/ I should ask for help. It’s not like I am surrounded by illiterate people. Most of the reason why I am successful at what I do is because I take responsibility for my actions or inactions. The process of filing for a Therapeutic Use Exemption form which allows athletes to take prescribed medications was rushed through for me before Para Pan American Games so what I did not understand was that it would not cover any changes made until after I received the violation. The Punishment fit the violation and it is done.
Now I am all squared away and ready to compete again. 

Not all doping violations are trying to cheat or enhance performance and some are just honest mistakes with real life issues for athletes with disabilities. Most people do not know that Paralympics is the top level and world stage for athletes with disabilities just like the Olympics. We all train and work hard and we all blog and talk about our achievements and not some of the other aspects of sport at that level. So FYI we go through the same testing and reporting procedures as athletes fill out all of the same paper work and have all of the same responsibilities and duties as Olympic athletes. When we get to London we compete in the same venues, stay in the same athlete housing and compete against all the same nations top athletes. It is the world stage and it is a great honor to represent the USA at both the Paralympic and Olympic level. 

Olympic day is coming up on June 23 so I just received my video and speakers information pack for some events I am attending and I am realizing that I have made another mistake. At Parapans I did not shake a few people’s hands including an official because I had something on my hand. After watching the Kick boxing I now realized that I could have easily bowed. It never occurred to me at the time that I could have issued a respectful bow instead. I always teach in rowing “it is not about not making mistakes; it is about recovering from them gracefully”, Next time I will bow. 52 and still learning!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Veteran Tribute Row--California to Hawaii 2013

My Name is Angela Madsen and I am an accomplished ocean rower with 6 Guinness World Records for rowing oceans. I am going to row a solo ocean rowing boat with no support boat from California to Hawaii.  What this means is that I will stay on my little boat the entire time, no one will give me any food or water, I will have to have enough provisions on board to sustain my life for as long as the journey takes.  I will row as many hours a day as I possibly can and will try not to drift too far off course while I sleep.  It begins with the idea followed by logistical planning, purchase, the shipping and outfitting of a solo rowing boat; I will start this rowing expedition Memorial Day weekend, May 31, 2013 from Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach, California or other suitable coastal location and will be rowing approximately 2,500 miles to Honolulu, Hawaii. It is a tribute row to Veterans of all services and to Spirited Adventurer and friend Orlando Rogers who was tragically killed in a plane crash on May 15th 2011. He was 26 years of age and was a Royal Marine. Orlando was very supportive of me and all of my projects and he was very excited about my intentions to do a solo row so as I make my plans I think it would be fitting to make my row a tribute to honor his memory. He wanted and planned on being there for me as he was on the Circumnavigation of Great Britain. Though it will not be the same, he will be there with me for every rowing stroke and every nautical mile. Orlando was a very special and amazing person. The name of my boat shall be The Spirit of Orlando. Through creation of a pledge page and donate button I will be raising money for a veterans charity that is yet to be determined.

It is an ambitious plan but I am a paraplegic who rows across oceans.  It seems rather normal to me.  I am open to connections made through social media and networking to find partners or sponsors for this event so please share my story, my contact info, have a fundraiser for my project 2013 Para Solo Row. I am open to any ideas and will appreciate any help I can get at this point. It’s like I am in a catch 22. I don’t feel comfortable fundraising without the boat and cannot get the boat without fundraising. Even when I was homeless I would never put a hand or hat out. It is very uncomfortable but this is different. This is a fantastic advertising and marketing opportunity. Unfortunately for me anybody selling a solo ocean rowing boat will not allow it to be shipped without payment in full. Because it has to be loaded on a container ship it will take some time to get here. I I need to get the boat on its way here much sooner than that in fact the sooner the better. My only other option is to use the money I have saved and try and restore my Rowoflife boat which is a pairs boat. That will add way more weight and size than I need making it physically more difficult than it already is and my old wooden pairs boat may not be safe enough for another crossing. Ocean rowing is expensive. The more monetary support, the easier it is to get to the start and the better prepared the boat and I can be for the crossing. I often refer to Spanky and Our Gang when referring to the way I have had to row across oceans. I have already sold my quiver of surfboards and cut back as much as possible without compromising my financial ability to compete in the Paralympics in London 2012. As a paraplegic I have always had a higher degree of difficulty and incurred more cost in achieving the success that I have had rowing across oceans. It is an amazing achievement and privilege to be part of a small community of ocean rowers. I am the only woman with a disability in the world who rows across oceans. I need some help to make this history making record setting solo row happen. If the ocean kicks my butt, that’s one thing but if I fail to even get to the start because I am too stubborn to ask for help, well that’s just not acceptable. Unless choosing anonymity, contributors will be named on the boat and recognized on the Website. The financial requirement to get the boat is $35,000.00 plus shipping. I have 10,000.00+ shipping so I am 25,000.00 short.
To Donate-there is Pay Pal on website or send check to Row Surf Row Inc., 3350 E. Seventh St., # 231 Long Beach, Calif. 90804.

Angela Madsen
Contact: cell (562) 505-4157

RowofLife Journey-YouTube Video by Sageweb