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

RowofLife Journey-YouTube Video by Sageweb