I just got back from a conditioning camp at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We had a week of gym workouts, strength testing, bloodwork, body composition analysis, and mentoring of young up and coming racers. I unfortunately have no photos of this camp, so I will try to explain everything.
The gym workouts are just what you might think. We go to the pumpatorium, reach our full pump-tential, then leave. It can be a bit intimidating working out with athletes from other olympic sports, especially wrestlers or female weightlifters. Not only can they do about 40 pull ups and not even be winded, but the girls look like they could snap you like a twig, with their pinkie.
Strength testing was to see how much weight or how many repititions or how far we could push ourselves in a variety of excersizes. I was happy to find out that I am doing better than this time last year.
Blood work is hardly ever fun, especially when the person drawing the blood can either not find a vein, or having found one, just can’t seem to stick the harpoon in there after the 5th try.
The body composition analysis was really fun. We got to go to the Air Force Academy and use their DEXA scan machine, which blasts you with radiation and can measure all the different types of tissue in your body and where they are located. You can also see your bones, and my bone structure still amazes me a little, as there is no connection between lumbar 1 and my hips. I did find out, however, that because of my 3ft height, I am less than 1 point from maxing out the body mass index scale, and therefore am morbidly obese.
The last few days of the camp overlapped with a development camp with young racers who were just beginning their ski racing experience. We showed them the kinds of workouts we do to get in shape and told them all about the trials and tribulations of skiing competitively. We all got to sit through yet another lecture from USADA (US anti-doping agency) where we were all given about an hour of propaganda explaining how USADA comes in at the elite level and dictates how you must notify them at all times what and where you are, as well as what you can and cannot eat or do to your body. I hope the kids know what they are getting into, at least the ones that didn’t fall asleep during the lecture.