Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Chicago marathon

I had a friendly reminder (thanks Alisha) that I forgot to mention the Chicago marathon in my last White House post so here it is.

This past weekend I competed in the Chicago marathon on an arm bike. It was my 3rd marathon, the other 2 being NYC. This one was especially awesome because fellow veteran Tammy Duckworth and another friend, Alisha Middel did it as well. And it was a flat course which is always nice when you ride a bike with your arms. We did it with a group called Achilles and a number of other wounded vets. We all finished the marathon, completing all 26.2 miles and got the reward of the medal put around our neck.

I had a slight issue at mile 8 when my handle broke off my bike. Luckily one of the crowd was able to wheel me into his garage and fix my bike so I could continue. Then on mile 24 I took a turn a little sharp and fell off my bike hurting my leg (the short one) in the process. Luckily it's feeling better after some relaxing this past week. This was the first I had been on my arm bike in about 2 years and I felt it. My shoulders started to burn pretty bad about halfway through but it was an awesome day with a ton of crowds to cheer us on and I did my best. My time was 2:08 across the line.

It was a great time and I enjoyed myself. Being in that atmosphere makes me realize how much I want get better at running. I would love to cross the finish line on my feet someday...

Monday, October 20, 2008

The White House

I've been home for a month now and I wasn't planning on continuing my blog but decided I would update it occasionally and when anything exciting happens.

I'm a week and a half overdue in my something exciting but I have to share it anyways. Every four years after the Olympics and Paralympics the entire Olympic and Paralympic teams get to go to the White House. This year Mr. Bush gave spoke to all of us and since I was one of the flag bearers I got to present a gift to him and his wife. Never in my life did I think I would say into a microphone, Mr. President and Mrs. Bush, but that is exactly what I did. He shook my hand a number of times and gave me a hug and a kiss on the head which is what the pictures are. In the few minutes I met him he expressed gratitude and seemed genuinely appreciative. I was impressed... Along with meeting the president we got to see all sorts of other Olympians and got pictures with Shawn Johnson, Nastia Luiken, Ryan Lochte, etc... It was a great trip with the main highlight being the chance to see my teammates again.

Other than that excitement I we have been to MN for a wedding, to visit some friends and family in NC and SC, camping, etc... This Wed. I am leaving to go to CA for a military sports camp and the annual Challenged Athletes FOundation triathlon which I look forward to every year. I have no doubts I will come back inspired by what I see as I do every year.

The days I am back at home are a little strange. Since I'm not starting work until Jan. I don't really have anything I have to do so I tend to sit around a lot thinking abut the things I should be doing. I have been back in the water a few times but I'm not committed to it again yet. We'll see about that.

All right, that's it for now. Have a good day.