Journey To The 2010 Winter Olympics

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Life of a Devo Athlete

After my now traditional visit to Glens Falls, NY on the way to Lake Placid, I arrived at the Olympic Training Center on Monday afternoon. I got settled in and greeted my roommate Jake, an 18 year old 'college dropout' from Mississippi. Like me, he's putting school on hold to pursue his dreams on the ice.

Early in the afternoon on Tuesday we headed to the track for our first session since Skeleton School in November. Standing at the top of the track for that first run was an interesting feeling that I find difficult to describe. I was calm, not nervous, but maybe it was acceptance more than cool. The run was awesome and a couple seconds faster than my last one. I kept getting faster on the track through the first couple sliding sessions, but my neck and body was weakened significantly by the track's forces. The second couple of days had their problems including helmet issues and warming temps that really slowed the track and seemed to make for a rougher ride. Despite my lumps, I learned a lot this week and am excited to get back at it on Monday stronger and better.

Off the track, our Strength and Conditioning Coach has given us sprint and power workouts. As you might imagine, I spend 100% of each day engaged in either activity or recovery. It is a privilege to be staying/ training at the OTC as the coaches and facilities create the optimum environment for athletic success. I am committed to staying for the rest of the season, but it depends largely on fundraising. It seems like each of us has something (family, job, school, money) that we must overcome to make the most of this opportunity and financing is mine. You may not know that development athletes do not receive assistance from the USBSF or USOC and must pay all expenses including travel, fees, lodging and equipment. As I've learned from a good friend who's been in my shoes, fundraising is just part of the American Olympic dream and gives others a chance to be part of something special.

I'm keeping the schedule post (below) updated with my sliding times. Check back to see my progress and get up here to watch if possible!

4 Comments:

  • keep up the hard work! you have what it takes. you inspire!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:50 AM  

  • Jay- glad to hear you are doing well and achieving more and mor each day.
    "Greater People Have Failed In The Face of Extreme Adversity Yet Found The Will To Truimph With Overwhelming Victory With Even More At Stake For Loss. The Only Difference Between Those Who Are Victorious And Those Who Have Failed, The Victorious Have Had Great Influence In Their Development Of Personal Maturity"- Lawrence Van Garrett

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:22 PM  

  • Hey Jay, I know you dont know me, but I've been following your progress. Im 17 and fell in love with skeleton last year. I want to try it but money and being no where near a track hurts. Your a huge inspiration for me. How many guys are with you at the Devo camp?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:41 PM  

  • hey, mystery person-- thanks for the nice message! i definitely understand about money and locale. i really need to raise more $$ if i'm to continue. this sport is pretty obscure and it seems to attract people from all over (few people live near a track). there are about 12 men and 6 women training in Lake Placid this Domestic Season. there are more, I hear, in Salt Lake. i hope you get a chance to try it. it's not as easy as it looks on tv, but it's a blast! good luck!!!

    By Blogger Jay Beckner, at 8:00 PM  

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