End of 30min test
This was my second visit to the OMI and another great week and more progress. After a few weeks of training back with the rowing coaches it was time to go back for another intensive week of physio, S&C, and bikes.
The days start at 9am and finish at 4.30pm so it's pretty tough but you make lots of progress so it's all worth while.
There has been big improvements in the last few weeks and so I was mentally up for a good week. I had some more amazing physio sessions getting my neural system firing and motor pathways working again. This is such a critical part of my development as without the correct motor patterns I cannot move forward. I have some great new exercises to challenge me and Julia had my mind working as hard as my body.
Pushed passed the limits
AFTER 30MIN MAX BIKE LT 10mmol - that hurt lots - This was as much mentally challenging as it was physically but knowing i had great support around me that i trusted 100% meant i could push 100%
My back needs so much work right now. I am re-learning to walk and that it massively challenging my back, which then gets very tight as I have spent the last month lying on it in a hospital bed.
It was another good week of S&C with Ben and Neil, the rowing S&C coach, came over to watch the lifting. Its great having two sets of eyes on what's going on and it makes you work even harder.
Back in July first time on bike
First bike back and I could hardly move the pedals and one month on I am pushing past the body and minds limits.
I have done some more psychology work with Tigi, and had an amazing massage from Sarah today. I felt I really needed that to recover from the 30min max bike test. I managed to score 20watts higher than last week. Check the photos and videos out, they're not pretty but it's all good stuff getting me on the road back to full fitness. It is hard to believe that four weeks ago I was still on a walking stick.
I am making great progress across the board and none of this would be possible without all the great help from the EIS and GB Rowing,so a big thank you to all support staff.
I had a slightly funny moment last Sunday when I tried to wave at a my friend Foshers as I stepped off the pavement. My legs gave way and I fell over...It's a reminder of what I went through and that my body is far from back to normal. My mind is months ahead of my body but my body keeps sending little reminders about the double surgery.
20 min into the test - only 4 weeks since starting more intense rehab/ training and coming off walking sticks- The pain was so much, but the desire was more. It was a long way since that first time on the bike in Aviemore. I was still very weak, but now I could push my body and that feeling was amazing. My heart rate was over 190bpm and the scores were shocking but I new deep down that I was going to win the fight
Every week at the moment I am doing a 30min max effort test on the watt bike. It's a killer and today my heart rate maxed out at 190bpm by the end of the test. The last five minutes were total hell and thankfully my coaches Tom and Will from the EIS were cheering me on. For the last 60 seconds I just put my head down and drive every last bit out of my body until I fall off the bike. It's truly a great feeling when you're finished.
I managed to improve today on last week but still my score is low. I have to remember I was still on walking sticks a few weeks ago and not really that long out of hospital...
learning to walk without sticks
I arrived today at the OMI still on a walking sticks and mentally up to be pushed as hard as I could go. The first day I worked with Ben and Carl testing my power and balance, both of which were shocking.
I went through a full body screening, we used videos to plot where I was and so we could monitor progress. It was heart breaking seeing the videos as it showed me exactly where I was and how far I was going have to go just to be back living a normal life, not even the life of an athlete. This was going to be one very tough journey.
The plus for me was working with people I had knowing from my Bobsleigh days and trusted 100%. It was just so nice to be in a sporting environment.
No strength to even do the tests
The videos were horrific but provided lots of laughs. The weekly plan was super intense. I did four sessions a day of physio and gym work. On day two the walking sticks went, and I was on leg press doing 150kg, I surprised myself with that!
The bikes were tough and my legs hurt but with some other great athletes around also doing rehab, it made me push harder. It was all about keeping a positive mental approach and just getting on with things and not looking back.
That week in Bisham was a real kick start to getting back into training and getting back in gym made me very happy.
Lots of the exercises were to challenge my postural control and get muscles working after the damage from surgery and the drugs.
This photo here was during my upper body screening and this was all my left arm had, big improvement from hospital. My back is totally wasted away from what it once was.
I can't put into words how much of a benefit it is going to the British Olympic Medical Institute. All the staff are amazing, they really push you and keep you going. This gave me the confidence I needed to push past my minds limits knowing the support was there to pretty much pick me up when I fell over.
Trying to land my CMJ jump
This photo was during my jump testing - I could just get off the floor and landing was as you can see a total disaster. The mental challenge of trying to jump was just as hard as trying to stand for the first time, of not harder. It was hard to take as I used to score very high on these tests.
I moved on so much from Ben pushing me in the gym and Julia and Carl working on specific rehab exercises.
The Psychology sessions are all part of the rehab also, as well as nutritional advice, so it really is a big support team all working to get you fit. I am now back into a routine doing a modest level of training but I can feel my body returning to normal, I know this is going to take months if not years, but I will keep pushing and never give up.
It's a slow process but I am determined to set myself small goals and focus on each day as it comes.
I would like to say a massive thank you to all the staff at the British Olympic Medical Institute.
The following photos are the EIS Olympic medical center at Bisham Abbey, click to enlarge