Thursday, 25 December 2008
one of my goals for 2009 is to open a gym in calgary so i was interested to see how he ran his gym in vegas. i really liked his setup. i think i should be able to do something similar in calgary.
My biggest sponsors were the clients of Taub Law Office. Even though I didn¹t win a gold medal at the Olympics, you deserve a gold medal for supporting me on my quest. Thank you for your support.
Now it is time for me to refocus and take Taub Law Office to the Olympics. You will hear more from me over the next few months setting out our Olympic Journey.
Our office wishes you a healthy, happy and prosperous 2009.
We look forward to working with you to achieve your goals and we are committed to helping you make your dreams come true.
Saturday, 6 December 2008
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Tuesday, 19 August 2008
the olympic village is an interesting place. when we got here most people were a little nervous about their upcoming competition. then people compete and virtually all of them are disappointed with the outcome. only a very small percentage of people win olympic gold. someone pointed out to me that the olympics are about losing and i think he was correct. most athletes here are disappointed and trying to figure out how it was that they dedicated their lives to becoming great in their sport with the culmination being a loss at the olympics followed by obscurity [ and maybe mounting debt] at home. some will over time realize that the process of becoming an olympian is the valuable part - the lessons learned and obstacles overcome being much more important over time than the official result. this process may take some time and many will feel depressed that participation in the olympics - rather than the journey - didn't change their life.
Thursday, 14 August 2008
my plan is to retire from competitive wrestling now but at dinner last night clive was trying to talk me into sticking around for commonwealth games in 2010. i don't think i will make that decision for a little while. i have been thinking about what to do now - wrestling has filled the extra space in my life for so many years [the parts not taken up with work and kids]. i think i may plan a bike trip for next summer which will keep me motiviated to continue training while i am on a sarah imposed house arrest for the next few months. i think she will tire of having me around too much and invite me to begin training for something again - at least i hope so.
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
i like getting comments on my blog. thanks to all who wrote in. for a while it seemed like i was writing to myself.
i will be at canada house having a beer with sarah, elana and murray tomorrow night. i can already taste it - seems like forever since i got to have a few drinks. i may have a bit too much in order to compensate for past abstinence. spectating on aug 15 may not be that fun but i will try. perhaps the beer stands on every corner will help.
Sunday, 10 August 2008
Thursday, 7 August 2008
Wednesday, 6 August 2008
Tuesday, 5 August 2008
BEIJING, Aug 6 (Reuters) - A less determined man than Ari Taub might have felt he was destined never to become an Olympic athlete.
The Canadian super-heavyweight Greco-Roman wrestler has suffered more blocks and body blows outside the ring than in it over the past two decades.
A first time Olympian at an age when most wrestlers have retired, the 37-year-old's presence in Beijing marks him out as the embodiment of the ideal that the taking part matters as much as the winning.
In 1992, Taub qualified for the Barcelona Olympics as the youngest member of Canada's freestyle team.
"Then one of the other guys threatened to sue the federation and they ended up giving him a wrestle-off, which I proceeded to lose a couple of weeks before the Olympics," the Calgary lawyer told Reuters at the athletes' village on Wednesday.
"I had already gotten all my stuff and the letter from the prime minister saying congratulations. So I didn't go to '92."
The following year Taub was diagnosed with a neck injury and told that he risked ending up as a quadriplegic if he continued wrestling. So he quit, went to law school and started a family.
That might have been the end of it, particularly when he found himself grappling with chronic fatigue.
After "lying in bed for a couple of years", his thoughts turned to coaching. And then came the revelation.
"I went to the doctor to see if I was going to become a quad(riplegic) by coaching and the guy did an MRI (scan) and laughed at me and said 'you're good to go.'" His injury had been misdiagnosed all along.
Others might have cursed the lost decade. Taub, who admitted he had been "a little disappointed", recognised a blessing in disguise. He had a qualification, a family and renewed hope.
But still there were obstacles to overcome.
By 2004 he won the national Olympic trials as Canadian Greco-Roman number one only to be told he was ineligible for the Athens Games because he lacked international matches. Another four-year wait became inevitable.
After all that, the qualification for Beijing was an anti-climax. He secured his place simply by stepping on the scales at the Pan American championships.
"I've said all along it's really more about the journey than the actual event," he declared on Wednesday. "I'm happy that I'm here, but I'm really happy about all the steps I've taken to get here, the choices I've made in my life.
"The Olympics aren't important. Someone could take the Olympics away from me today and say 'Sorry, you don't get to compete.'
"But they can't take away the last 20 years. They can't take away all the obstacles that I've overcome, all of the times where I've had the opportunity to work harder and overcome or say 'I just can't do it, sorry.'
"I've had so many of those opportunities to say I'm not sure I can do it...but I've been able to say 'Okay, I think this is right for me, this is what I'm going to do.
"I actually believe now that I can go home to the rest of my life and implement those principles and be successful. It's closure. My wife will be very happy that it is."
(For more stories visit our multimedia website "Road to Beijing" at http://www.reuters.com/news/sports/2008olympics; and see our blog at http://blogs.reuters.com/china)
Keywords: OLYMPICS WRESTLING/TAUB
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murray brought portable speakers for my ipod which i carry around the village with me. it creates quite a stir especially from the chinese volunteers who go bug eyed. they really like it but my act of defiance/individuality is quite shocking for them. i might have a tough time conforming to chinese norms.
wrestling practice yesterday was great. i wrestled standing with bulgaria and we went at each other 100%. my shoulder felt good. i also had the romanian freestyle guy try and turn me. he couldn't do it and my shoulder felt strong. tomorrow i get to do 2 matches unless slavi thinks better of it at the last minute.
the village is filling up and my favorite place, other than my air conditioned room, is the outdoor pool. it is always busy and it seems that everyone is trying to see who can wear the smallest bathing suit. the guys wear these things that don't really cover the top of their bum. the girls wear things that are even smaller. i will get pictures and post them as soon as i can.
Sunday, 3 August 2008
the village is interesting because it is like going to the zoo where you see all kinds of strange sizes and shapes. the athletes are all exceptional in some way. some are huge. some are really skinny and really tall. the female gymnasts are so short they almost look like midgets yet some of them are quite packed. a few of the american girls have legs that wouldn't be out of place on a large male wrestler. i asked how they got like that and the american trainer said they were dropped on their head as babies and as such were immune to the pain of training 15 hours per days since they were 3.
the australian female rowers are all around 6 feet tall, blond and look like models who spend their days training instead of trying on clothes. they are easy on the eyes. they also make up the largest part of the austrailian team which is over 400 athletes. i think this is almost twice as much as canada sent. there is apparently something to be said for putting effort into developing summer sport athletes.
This morning we went to the practice facility. There are 14 mats each with their own throwing dummies. We had 3 or 4 volunteers who showed us where to go and made sure we had everything we needed. They brought drinks and snacks. They asked if we wanted the air conditioning turned up or down.
The North American media has been making a big deal of many supposed problems with these games. From what I can see these games will be amazing. It is clear that china has done everything it can to make everything perfect. There is no shortage of humanity in this country and it seems they have all been mobalized to help in the Olympic effort.
The smog problem - what smog problem? The sky is clear blue, not a cloud in the sky. You can see some smog if you look straight ahead instead of up. However, this is true of most big cities. My guess is the smog will decrease as the opening ceremonies get closer.
It is hot here. I think today is 34. However, people talk about something called the humidex [sp?] index. It is apparently 44 which is supposed to be the heat when you take into account the humididty as well.
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
interview of ari taub on cbc radio on july 29, 2008
today i was on the mat with beamer. beamer and nico and several other guys at the dinos club have been my training partners in calgary for the last several years. i would never be in the position i am today if it wasn't for their help. thanks guys.
today we did a pummelling match and i felt pretty good. we also worked on ground defence - specifically defence of a lift. this is important. i lost to france and hungary on this move at competitions this summer. i don't want to get scored on with this move in china. my shoulder is getting better but it still hurts when i try and do any of my offensive moves.
tomorrow morning i fly to china. hard to believe we are finally here. i am pretty excited to get on that plane.
cbc tv interviewed me again today for a feature they will be showing on their olympic coverage. they got lots of shots with sarah and the kids. i bet the kids will be pretty excited to see themselves on tv.
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
my shoulder has made great progress in the last few days. i will do some standing work on the mat tomorrow. hopefully it wont get hurt again. i am cautiously optimistic that the shoulder will be close to 100% for my competition.
i have enjoyed the last few months and i wish the olympics were not for another year so i could keep doing this more. the work we have done this year has started to pay dividends and i am now able to train at a higher level while continuing to recover so i can maintain that pace of training.
Friday, 25 July 2008
i have one more workout tomorrow and then i go home on sunday. i keep thinking that my visits home will be relaxing. sarah will laugh at that. my work schedule is already full. i need to see the doctor to get a cortisone shot in my wrist. cbc radio wants me for an interview. cbc tv wants to video me with the rest of my family. slavi has training all planned out. my 4 day break in calgary is now jammed. i will instead rest on the way to china on thursday next week.
i am reading rulon gardner's book called 'never stop pushing'. it is appropriately named for him and for me. rulon was the 2000 heavyweight olympic champion in greco wrestling and a friend of mine for many years. we actually competed against each other in university and i trained with him before the 2004 olympics.
Saturday, 19 July 2008
The Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center (CSOTC) is a place where athletes of a wide variety of sports can come and train with the best in the world. With the Olympic rings and quotations from past Olympians posted every you look, it creates an atmosphere of greatness and provides the focus and motivation to train as hard as you can.
The CSOTC has dorms, cafeteria, pools, weightrooms, sports medicine and recovery centers as well as venues for wrestling, gymnastics, shooting and many more. This is truly a high performance sports location.
Today Ari had his most intensive workout on the mats in the past 3 weeks. After suffering a shoulder injury 3 weeks ago while training in Prague, Ari has been in the process of strengthening and rehabilitating his shoulder in preparation for Beijing. In an effort not to risk re-injury, the technique training on the wrestling mats has been kept to a minimum because of the unpredictable nature of movements in wrestling. When recovering from injury it is important to progress from stable to unstable exercises followed by the sport specific movements in training. With the nature of wrestling to pull and throw your opponent off guard, this type of training possesses the largest and most uncertain movements with the highest risk of re-injury. Ari is excited about being the final stages of his rehabilitation and is getting is sights focused on Beijing!
Friday, 18 July 2008
it took forever to do laundry today because the dryer we picked was a bit of a dud.
Thursday, 17 July 2008
Saturday, 12 July 2008
a few years ago one of the retired wrestlers in calgary who is known to be a pushup king did 110 pushups in a row. he is a little guy - weighing about half as much as me. i keep thinking of that number as my goal for pushups. we will see how close i can get.
it is now apparent that my shoulder injury is worse than i had hoped. i partially tore my right triceps and lat as well as enlarging the slap legion that already existed in my right shoulder. i need to be careful with my rehab because there is only enough time for one recovery. if i re injure this area then it is unlikely that i will be healthy enough to compete effectively in china. this is a difficult situation because i really want to get back on the mat in order to prepare optimally for china. i made significant progress this week and as a result the pain in my shoulder is much reduced and the strength is up. i am constantly being reminded by slavi and murray to be careful and not push too hard. i have a history of continually striving for more when i feel comfortable with the status quo. this has often got me in trouble as i get sick or hurt and then take a step back. i think slavi will let me do some ground movement drills on the mat on monday. i think i can also do some seated rowing which i couldn't even think about last week. hopefully next week i can start doing some technique on the mat.
the weather has been hot - it was 100 degrees on friday.
i have been using 2 new puffers - one is flovent, a corticosteroid and the other is an older version of Ventolin which is only available in europe. i think they have eased the tightness in my chest from exercise induced asthma. my symptoms are worse in hot, humid and polluted environments. think i may need this medicine in china?????
Monday, 7 July 2008
i spent most of today in physio. we also trained once. i got a new record for push ups in a row - 46. lets see if i can get to 60 by the end of july.
Saturday, 5 July 2008
my shoulder is still quite sore. i partially tore my lat and triceps. i can't do anything useful on the mat now because it hurts too much. i will spend next week in physio and cross training. hopefully i will then be ready for some technical work on the mat. this injury has messed up my training plan. july was supposed to be filled with intense wrestling which is the final preparation phase before my taper in august. i don't know if i will be able to wrestle hard even once before i go to china. on a positive note, i won't be over trained when i compete in china.
i did 45 pushups in a row last night - a new record. my pec continues to get stronger.
sportsnet spent a few hours with me today asking about the journey. they will show something between july 30 and august 8. on tv. it will also be on their website.
i met with some of my sponsors last week. it was great to find out how interested they are in helping me. thanks guys.
Monday, 30 June 2008
my shoulder is feeling better. i have been doing rehab exercises several times per day and have been treated by murray a few times since getting home. i am optimistic that it will be good enough to go to colorado next week for my next training camp.
i have been thinking about what has happened over the last several months and it has been quite interesting. it seems like my life these days is all about overcoming obstacles. here is a list:
dealing with work while training full time in europe;
being away from my family;
organizing training camps, being my own travel agent and generally coordinating the logistics of roaming the world to train and compete;
training at a high level at my advanced age - i don't recover quite as fast as the younger guys and i get hurt a liitle more often. in december it was my neck and now my right shoulder;
Friday, 27 June 2008
There were a lot of tough guys in my weight class. The Cuban world champion won the tournament. My participation was short lived although I was happy with my performance and my progress over the last several weeks. I lost my first match to france who was 5that the world championships last year. However, I have improved in every area we have worked on. My fitness was much improved. I controlled the standing position in both periods and was relaxed in the process. This is vital because you get tired much more quickly if you aren't relaxed during a match. This may seem like an oxymoron, but it is similar to sprinting. Sprinters must be relaxed while running as fast as they can. Wrestlers must also be relaxed while they fight for their lives on the mat. My ground defense has improved a lot as well. I stopped france's gut wrench both periods. We have been working on gut wrench defense quite a bit lately so I was pretty focused on it in the match. Unfortunately, I was a little too focused on it as france lifted me and got a turn in the second round to win the match. This is the same thing that hungary scored points on me with in the Italian tournament. We will spend a lot of time in the next month working on this situation. I think I will be able to defend it well in china. Slavi's plan has been methodical and we just hadn't got to this technique yet. I am confident that once we practice it for a while that I will recognize the situation and make the proper defense. France lost his next match to belarussia so I was eliminated from the tournament. During training before the tournament I got a chance to train with Poland and belorusssia which is good because I hadn't trained with them before. I have much less experience than any other Olympian in my weight [they have all wrestled each other before]. This is because most of them are from Europe or the Russian republics and they all go to the same competitions. Also, I have done freestyle most of my career so I am playing a little bit of catch up now.
On Monday we flew to Prague. It is a nice city with lots of old buildings to look at. I did 30 pushups in a row that day - a new record for my injured left pec. My friend, david vala, the 120 kg guy from czech republic trained with me on Tuesday. He was 2ndat the European championships last year but failed to qualify for china. He beat me at the 2006 worlds [gut wrench first round and lift off the clinch second round]. Training with him was a good way to measure my progress. He couldn't turn me on Tuesday nor score on me while we were standing. I am getting much better. We lifted weights Tuesday afternoon and I recorded new maximums for bench and seated rows for this year. I will continue to get stronger as my pec heals.
Wednesday morning we were on the mat again. Practice was going well. I was feeling pretty good even though we went really hard on Tuesday. Then things went south in a hurry. I hurt my right shoulder in a scramble - heard and felt something rip or let go. This is never a good sign and I stopped practice right away. The rest of the day was spent with murray icing and getting treated. It was obvious that the injury was fairly significant and that I wouldn't be able to compete in the tournament this weekend. After talking with slavi and murray, we decided to fly home early and rehab the shoulder in Calgary. So I flew home on Thursday after spending about 2 hours on the phone with air Canada sorting out the plane ticket changes. We all flew on different routes at different times because of a lack of seats and pricing rules for ticket changes.
My nose continues to be stuffed - mostly at night. Murray has allergies now as well. I have been taking the medicine for so long now that I wonder if I am addicted to it.
The hotel in Prague was pretty nice but they did some annoying things - they turn off the air conditioning when they think it isn't that hot out. As a result, my room was nice during the day, but hot at night. So much for a great sleep. The hotel has a taxi service that is owned by the hotel. I asked them to call me a taxi and we got one of these hotel cars which is fine except they charge twice as much as a regular taxi. I complained to the front desk and they apologized for the confusion. I don't think there was any confusion. Prague is a huge tourist destination and the locals seem to enjoy ripping off the tourists.
I was in the old city on Wednesday night. There were several thousand soccer fans out to watch the euro 2008 semi finals on outdoor screens. I also saw the first museum that I thought would be really interesting to walk through and inspect in detail - it was a museum of historical sexual apparatis. We didn't go in as I was tired and figured I would come back in the next day or two. The advertisements were interesting - I was excited to see how things were done in the dark ages and I saw my first real chastity belt. I don't think it would be very fun to be in one of those.
Saturday, 21 June 2008
As some of you know, I hurt my neck in December at Canadian Olympic trials. Most of you don't know that the injury was quite serious. I irritated a nerve coming out of my neck that runs down into my left arm. I lost virtually all my strength in that arm. In fact, I couldn't do even one proper pushup. I couldn't even flex my pec muscles. I was in pain virtually 24 hours per day. It was weeks before I was able to sleep without pain killers. By the time I came to Europe at the beginning of May, I had about 50% of my strength back in my left arm. However, this number is deceiving because the muscles that were unaffected by the injury were compensating for the injured ones. I still couldn't flex my left pec properly. I have worked with murray daily doing specific exercises designed to isolate the left pec and try and stimulate it. The treatments have been working. Last Tuesday, I was able to do 26 pushups in a row, followed by 3 more sets of 20 pushups. This isn't all that much for a normal Olympic wrestler but I was very excited because of how much better my left arm was doing. That same day, I took the first steps toward climbing a rope again. I haven't been able to do this for a few years because of nagging elbow and wrist injuries which never seemed to heal. The daily treatments from murray have got these injuries under control now as well. The point of my rambling is to say that my body hasn't felt this good in years and I feel like I am progressing well for a peak in china.
Last Wednesday we traveled from Hennef to Dortmund via train. There is a competition in Dortmund today and tomorrow. It is called the German Grand Prix and it looks to be a quality competition with 21 countries competing. I weigh in later today and compete tomorrow. Then on Monday we fly to Prague for a week of training and then a competition on june 28. Then I fly home on june 29. I have now been in Europe for 6 weeks straight. This is the longest period I have ever been away from home. I will be happy to sleep in my own bed again for a few days. I am trying not to think about the fact that I am only home for 6 days before going to Colorado for 3 weeks. My 6 days at home are supposed to be a recovery from training, which they may end up being. However, I will be very busy doing other things. CBC, TSN and the Calgary Sun all want to do interviews. Two of my clients have big real estate deals closing which require my attention. I need to do some testing and see my doctor about how we will deal with my asthma in china. I also wouldn't mind seeing my wife and kids a bit. I am hoping to have some kind of get together with some of my friends as well. I have been so busy over the last few years with wrestling, work and kids that I sometimes need to go through my contact list to remember my friend's names never mind their phone numbers. While in Europe I realized that since making the Olympic team in December, I haven't had any sort of celebration with my friends. Time is running out - I am only home june 30 - july 6 and july 27 - 31. Otherwise I am out of the country until after china. Murray suggested getting a radio station to host a block party. Apparently one station does this on a regular basis. If somebody reading this blog wants to organize this, it would be great. An outdoor bbq on my street would be perfect. The kids can run around and cause trouble while anyone interested in showing up can do so. I have many pictures and videos which I will try and post in the next few days.
Thursday, 12 June 2008
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
Monday, 9 June 2008
Sunday, 8 June 2008
i go home in 21 days. i am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed again. however, i won't be home for long as i am scheduled to go to colorado springs, where the US team is having a camp, on july 6.
i am almost finished my last book. i think i have one or two movies left to watch. i may be posting a lot more often over the next 3 weeks. murray comes back on thursday. this is good because my body needs some work and it is nice to have someone to talk to.
Wednesday, 4 June 2008
yesterday i wrestled in the evening. we did technique then standing wrestling and then ground wrestling. i have been having a hard time breathing lately. i think my allergies have been making it hard to catch my breath during hard exercise. hopefully my new medicine will solve this problem as well.
the food has been interesting here. breakfast is great - they make me fried eggs. lunch is usually mystery meat which is ok. however, it seems that they don't cook dinner so today i got lunch over again. one of the other days i got salami, cheese and bread.
Tuesday, 3 June 2008
Saturday, 31 May 2008
Thursday, 29 May 2008
We are now training in paris at insep which is france's national training center. nobody here has been able to turn me yet. i think the french coaches issued a challenge to their wrestlers for today's practice. apparently they will take turns trying to score on me on the ground. i think slavi will be a little worked up because he hates it when people take points on me. the weather has been humid but cool which is great because i sleep better when it isn't so hot. the food has been pretty good. i was in france in 1997 and have many fond memories of this country.
May 19, 2008
This morning we were on the mat. I was sparring with Cuba, Hungary and Italy. The wrestling room doesn’t have any ventilation so it is difficult to breathe after all the oxygen gets used up by the athletes. It also gets very hot in the room and the humidity was 94% in Rome today. It was more in the room as we were all sweating quite a bit. I lost about 3 kilos of water this morning in training. Then we had lunch and a little rest. In the afternoon we lifted weights and then Murray worked on me. My body is feeling really good because Murray is working on me every day. Now it is dinner time and we are going to our favorite restaurant here. The cafeteria food is getting a little old and the portions are small. The guy who owns the restaurant is our best buddy now – his food is amazing. He uses olive oil and some kind of salt on his steaks which makes them great. The pasta is ok too. He also gives us bread which is heated on an open grill and then topped with the olive oil and salt. I don’t think I have ever enjoyed bread so much.
May 22, 2008
Today we traveled to the island of Sardinia for a competition on Saturday. The airplane seats were very small and the plane was very full. After we sat on the runway for 45 minutes in the hot cramped plane, I was invited to exchange my seat for one with some leg room. The first one I was in was built for a person no taller than 5 feet and weighing no more than 120 pounds. There were many of these people on the plane who seemed quite comfortable. After moving to my new seat I said hello to the therapist for the freestyle team who was also on the plane. His name is Wilbur and he lives in Vancouver. He will be one of the therapists in China tasked with working with all athletes.
The Canadian Olympic freestyle team is also taking part in this competition and has already flown to Sardinia. They will then go to Iran for some training and a competition before heading home.
May 23, 2008
Today is the weigh in for my competition tomorrow. I was 2 kg over my weight limit of 122 kg when I woke up this morning. I had a small breakfast and went back to my room. People typically spend this day resting or sweating in an effort to make weight while conserving as much energy as possible for the competition tomorrow. My goal is to loose my weight at the last minute in order to ensure that my body is depleted of water and food for the shortest period of time possible. The weigh in is at 7:30 pm today which is very late – normally it is at 3 or 4 pm. A late weigh in is difficult for the athletes because it gives them less time to replenish their food and water before the start of the competition. There is no access to a bike or sauna so the only way loose water is to run or wrestle. As running doesn’t agree with my body, I will be wrestling. I will probably start at 4 or 5 pm in order to ensure I am on weight by the weigh in.
Tuesday, 20 May 2008
Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean (second to Sicily). It has a very elaborate history and very unique culture. The inhabitants of Sardinia are formally recognized as a distinct people of Italy. The most spoken language is of course Italian however Sardinian is also a common spoken language on the island.
For more about Sardinia, please follow the link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sardinia
We depart for competition in Sassari, on May 22 and competition is on the 24th. There will both freestyle and Greco-roman wrestling at this competition and Ari is the only Canadian Greco-roman wrestler competing.
Keep posted to hear more updates about Ari’s travels to Sardinia
The FILJKAM is the Italian federation for wrestling, judo, karate, and martial arts. Located just outside of Rome on the coast of the Mediterranean, it houses athletes who training here regularly as well as those who come for training camps and competitions. This has been the training base for Ari for the past 2 weeks of training. The facilities have a large dedicated wrestling room, weight rooms, martial arts rooms, soccer field, tennis courts, competition venue, dorm rooms, and dinning hall. Here are some pictures of Ari’s home away from home.
Map of Ostia
Metro station at the training center
Sunday, 18 May 2008
The weather has been hot and our dorm rooms do not have air conditioning so we haven't been sleeping as well as we do at home. It also doesn't help that the beds are made for midgets. My feet hang off the end of the bed and it is so narrow that I need to be careful not to fall off when I roll over at night. I normally sleep on my side with one arm stretched out to the side. Because the bed is narrow, my arm hangs off the bed and I often wake up with a pain by my elbow and it isn't until I fully wake up that I remember it is because the arm is lying hyperextended off the side of the bed while I sleep.
The food at the training center here in Rome is good cafeteria grub. However, it is far from great Italian cooking. Last night Murray and I went out to a small restaurant a few block from the training center. We had one of the best meals I have had in my life - 2 different types of pasta, 2 different types of steak and some great dessert. The owner / chef took a liking to us and made sure we were stuffed before leaving.
Today is my daughters' birthday [they are 7] as well as my dad's birthday [not quite 100].
Saturday, 17 May 2008
With the specificity of training for wrestling everyday, it is important not to forget about cross training. Cross training implies doing workouts not specifically related to the sport you are training for, but have beneficial affect for the body to work different muscle groups that may not get worked in regular training sessions.
Cross-training also has the added benefits of having fun and interacting with other nations as ‘teammates’ in friendly yet competitive games.
Strength and technique are 2 critical factors in wrestling. Today Ari got a few handy tips from coach Slavi.
Seen here in yellow, Slavi gives pointers to Ari about body position and how to maneuver his opponent to help score crucial points in these upcoming matches. As many matches are won or lost by a single point, it is important to maximize your chances with every opportunity, and to be able to create opportunities to score points. Today was an easier training day physically but very heavy technically and mentally!
One or Ari’s many therapy interventions is known as Kinesiotape. This special type of tape can be applied and left on the skin for 3-5 days. Unlike regular athletic tape, this tape stretches with the body during all ranges of motion and is easily recognized by the distinctive, blue and pink colors.
Building in reputation in the sporting world, Kinesiotape is now being seen on athletes in the Tour-de-France, Volleyball, baseball, football, Bobsleigh and of course wrestling. The tape acts to help Ari’s nervous system maintain awareness of the area through a system called proprioception. Every time Ari moves, the tape stretches or contracts on the skin and this causes the nervous system to become aware of the area around the tape. This is an excellent way to maintain a therapeutic intervention while still doing his sport, something that until now has been very difficult to do.
Keep a look out for the pink and blue tape in many of Ari’s pictures
Friday, 16 May 2008
In order to maintain peak physical ability, part of a rigorous training program also includes daily therapy sessions. Therapy is not always to fix what’s hurting but rather to make sure everything is functioning optimally. In any given day Ari may receive a multitude of different therapies, some of these include:
- Biomechanical analysis,
- Active Release Techniques (ART),
- chiropractic manipulation,
- Graston, Kinesiotape,
- Acupuncture (IMS and electro-acupuncture),
- rehabilitation exercises,
- muscle stimulation/activation work…
All of this is carefully structured to enable Ari to train at maximum potential and to ensure the best possible physical conditioning for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing!
It takes amazing amounts of strength to be able to wrestle and toss around 120kg (almost 270 pounds!) opponents. This requires a lot of dedication and motivation in the weight room to get as strong as possible to be able to withstand the pressures of a wrestling match. As such, Ari spends time daily in the gym lifting very heavy weights so that his body can shake off any offensive attacks by his opponents and in return throw them around the mat and make it look easy – not a simple task!
Tuesday, 13 May 2008
It is easy to see how training wrestling technique and working out in the gym can benefit and improve Ari’s physical conditioning. However a very important and sometimes overlooked component is REST. For all the time spent training, the body has to take time to repair micro-damage to muscles caused by heavy lifting and wrestling. Without proper rest and recovery the body can’t keep up and performances will slowly decrease as the body’s ability to adapt is impeded.
Key factors for Ari’s recovery include:
- Adaquate Sleep (quantity and quality)
- Proper nutrition
- Appropriate therapy
- Adequate time for rest
Without the above factors, the body may not respond optimally to training and could result in “over-training”. It is a delicate balance between knowing what is pushing the body to the physical limits on a daily basis but not going beyond the limits to have counter-productive results. Ari relies on a team of support staff including coaches, exercise physiologists, therapists, sport psychologists, and lets not forget family and friends to help him on his way to realizing his dream of wining an Olympic medal!
Saturday, 10 May 2008
May 10th provided the opportunity for Ari to refine his techniques and skills with the best in the world. Cuba's Mijail Lopez is the current world champion at 120kg which makes him one of the favorites going into the Beijing Olympics this summer. Ari took on the world champ in training and it proved to be a battle of the Titans!
Friday, 9 May 2008
i am here with my coach, slavi stanev, who came all the way from bulgaria to help me prepare for the olympics. he was in calgary working with me last summer and for 6 weeks last fall. he returned to calgary in february 2008 and will be with me until china.
my therapist, murray heber, is also here with me. he will travel with me for a good part of the next 3 months. murray has been working with me for the last few years and i wouldn't be able to train the way i do without his help.
3 other canadians are here trying to earn their tickets to china. i am glad they are here to keep me company. the canadians who don't qualify at this tournament will stay here for 2 weeks to train before the second [and last] qualification tournament in serbia. i will stay in ostia for the next 2 weeks as well. i will be training with the italian and hungarian teams. then i will compete in a tournament in italy before going to france to train for a week.