Gearing Up for US Nationals--Miramar, Here We Come!

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Gearing Up for US Nationals – Miramar Here We Come!

The big competition of the season is finally here. Tomorrow morning we head out for US Paralympic Track Field Nationals in Miramar, FL. I'm feeling pretty good and excited for what the weekend has in store! I will be racing in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m. Competition begins on Friday and goes through Sunday. My tentative schedule is as follows:

  • Friday June 18th, 9:00AM: 200m prelim
  • Friday June 18th, 6:10 PM: 800m final
  • Friday June 18th, 7:40 PM: 200m final
  • Saturday June 19th, 10:33 AM: 100m prelim
  • Saturday June 19th, 6:15 PM: 100m final
  • Saturday June 19th, 8:28 PM: 400m prelim
  • Sunday June 20th, 10:49 AM: 400m final
  • Sunday June 20th, 11:50 AM: 4x400m relay

Please check back for more updates!
Gearing up for Nationals has been challenging, which is partially why I have not updated in a while. Our training the past few weeks has been tough, juggling two-a-days and trying to maintain focus and precision on our training in the time after our last trip until now. I had a bout with the athlete's worst nightmare...a.k.a. being burnt out. But, I am happy to report that with a week of a lot of napping and taking the rest that I needed, I am feeling strong and ready again. Bring it on Miramar!!

For those of you who don't know, this meet, US Paralympic Track and Field Nationals will be the primary selection meet for the World Championship Team. Worlds will take place in January 2011 in Christchurch, New Zealand. While the racing occurs this weekend, the team itself will not be nominated until September. The reason for this is that the International Paralympic Committee will announce in September the number of spots each country gets to fill, but until that number is known, the team cannot be named. So it will be an excercise in patience!
In other news, since I have neglected to update my blog, read about the Desert Challenge Games and Anjali's Latest Endeavor.

Desert Challenge Games

The Desert Challenge Games was the event I went to in Phoenix, AZ. It was a super fast track and not too hot! We had some training days over 100 degrees, but for race night it was in the upper 70s, though windy. I was pleased with my performances there. Full results can be found here. One particular highlight from the trip was having Team Bermuda out there competing in three sports. I am continually amazed at how far their program and their athletes have come in such a short period of time. It was truly incredible to have them all out there and to witness them literally making history for their country. Way to go! Other highlights from the trip involved the karaoke night at TGIFridays, where of course there was some Lady Gaga karaoking done on our part!

Anjali's Latest Endeavor

Africa! That's right folks. I'm fleeing the country!As many of you have followed in my blog, one of my passions is about international disability development and promoting the development of sport programs overseas. In the past few years, I have been actively involved doing this in parts of India as well as in Bermuda. And now, an incredible opportunity has come my way to not only do similar work in Ghana, but to also travel over there with my very own childhood hero, and fellow Illinois alum, Jean Driscoll. It’s one of those surreal opportunities that I am simply giddy about! Jean has been involved in similar work in Ghana over the years and after hearing about my passions and work approached me ten months ago asking if I might be interested in co-teaching wheelchair track clinics with her and building on what she has already started there. I am truly honored by the opportunity.

I will be in Ghana for 9 days, and during that time we have three main objectives: (1) teach two wheelchair track clinics one beginner and one intermediate level, (2) engage in meetings with government officials to help promote considerations for people with disabilities in policies within Ghana, and (3) to interact with the community there to help promote awareness on disability to the general population of Ghana and to serve as a resource for these individuals.

We already have meetings arranged with the Minister of Education and the Minister of Youth and Sport and the Minister of Health in Accra, Ghana. As with any endeavor, there is a cost involved to get there and expenses for lodging and meals while there. If any of you are willing to donate however small or large, it would be very much appreciated. You can donate online through PayPal here. Please don’t hesitate to ask me if you have ANY questions.

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