The life of a Paralympian is not easy. It requires discipline and dedication. It requires going to bed tired, sore, and often in pain. Most of all it is about hard work and a consistent routine.
This year my routine has been a physical and mental challenge for me. This is my first Paralympics that I was not playing professionally overseas. The demands of working full time and training were very challenging, to say the least.
My day usually begins at 5:30 am. I drink some mushroom coffee and push 2 miles to the local gym to work out. My morning workout is basketball-specific. I usually try to shoot 1000 shots and keep my heart rate high. After 60 to 90 minutes on the court. I push the 2 miles back home, uphill the entire way. Then I work as a Specialty Account Manager for Numotion, heading to doctor’s offices and doing in services from 9 to 5. I usually eat my first meal around 1 pm, as when I am not in full training I try to intermittent fast. Meaning I eat only for 8 hours of the day. After I finish work I push back to the gym again. This time to lift weights. I have a push/pull day of weightlifting and lift 4 days a week. After lifting, core work, and some cardio I push home again. Around 9 pm I have dinner and by 10 pm I try to be asleep to be rested and recovered to do it again the next day. The life of an athlete is not easy or glamorous when training. I take many vitamins and supplements, take cold showers, spend time in the sauna and focus on limiting inflammation and rest and recovery each day. On the weekends when I have more time, I will usually go for a long road push, normally 10 to 14 miles for cardio training. This is my normal day when I am at home.
When I am at the Olympic and Paralympic Training Center, like I am now, the training is much more intense. Normally I start my day at 6 am and get breakfast. I must eat 3 or 4 meals a day as we are burning between 5 to 6000 calories a day. We are on the court by 8 am and go until 11 am. Eat, rest and recover. Around 2 pm we will go to the gym to lift for an hour. Then at 4 pm, we head back to the court to practice again until 7 pm. After showering and dinner, most nights we will have a team meeting to watch the film on our practice or our opponents. Usually, we are finished by 9 pm and I try to head to bed as quickly as possible. Rest and recovery are key when you are training at this intensity.
When you watch the Paralympics, just know these athletes are incredibly dedicated to their sports. It’s thousands of hours of training and a monastic lifestyle that goes into representing your country and attempting to win a gold medal.