As some of you may know, I was asked to be a brakeman for the bobsled driver training in Lake Placid, NY from Monday April 6th to Saturday April 11th. John Macchione III, an up and coming driver in the sport, asked me to be his brakeman and I said hell yeah! Getting into a sled has been a goal since attending a Weightlifting camp at the Olympic training center in Lake Placid last year. I was always fascinated when bobsledding was on during the Olympics and I remember watching replays of Steve Holcomb winning gold in 2010. I never thought I would be able to partake in this sport.
I started thinking about bobsled as a viable option during the East Coast Gold Weightlifting Camp at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY in June 2014. We did the tourist thing at the camp and went down the wheeled bobsled. They call it the Bobsled Experience. I was hooked! It was then I knew I wanted to shoot to make an Olympic Team. Jake Peterson, a driver, and Ambrose Serrano, the Head strength and conditioning coach in Lake Placid, told me about a combine try-out for a spot on the USA National Team. My tryout went great! I felt awesome, and the sprinting tips from one of my coaches, Scott Paltos, paid off greatly. I just wasn’t as fast as I will be this year! In addition, I had a chance to talk with Steve Holcomb and Nick Cunningham during the tryouts…super cool!
I have definitely done things in my life that scared me. My first week of Marine Corp. Bootcamp was scary. I rode bulls while I was in North Carolina, that was scary! None of the things I had done previously compared to how frightened I was while driving to Lake Placid on Monday morning, and that fear didn’t leave me. I wanted to quit (desperately wanted to quit) but I could not. What kind of message would that send to my athletes, coaches, friends and family? I can’t ask people to get out of their comfort zone if I’m incapable of doing the same. Let me tell you the ride is pretty scary, to say the least. My thighs were bruised badly from day one from bouncing off walls on the track. I could barley squat and it took a lot for the pain to subside so I could workout. My sternum and ribs felt like they were going to rip apart on each and every run. I was in a tremendous amount pain the whole week and, actually, as I’m writing this, I’m still in pain! I would even dry-heave at certain points during the run which was most likely from the g forces. If I could compare it to anything it would be a car wreck at 60 miles per hour that lasts for about a minute. By Saturday I was still scared, but I knew what to expect and it got better. Ill never forget what Bree Schaaf said, "Welcome to Bobsled!"
On my four-hour ride home Saturday, I was thinking about how scared I was and how much I wanted to quit. I thought long and hard about it and I realized; I can do anything! I’m unstoppable if I put my mind to it! Actually, all of us are unstoppable! I can’t wait to start training again with my new sprinting coach, Walter Schell. With his guidance and my newfound determination, I will be faster and ready to make the USA National Bobsled team. I’m ready to show you what putting your mind to something results in, and I hope you will join me in being unstoppable!
Sign up for a USA Bobsled or Skeleton combine!