Focus: Where To Apply It


arch 13th, 2014 broke my elbow. A clean, 3cm fracture of the olecranon . Not the best type of injury to have when you are a triathlete. But time is a valuable thing and what we focus on at any given time can have a huge effect on our long term goals.

 Here is X-Rays of my Fracture.  On the left is pre-surgery and on the right is obviously post surgery with the hardware in.  Have a look, it’s not too graphic I don’t think. (zoom out to 25%)

Fracture X-Rays

Woke up after surgery.

– “What can I do doc?”
– “Ride your bike indoors on your trainer, you will know when you are doing too much.”
– “Ok, thanks doctor.”

So that is what I did for 6 weeks – Focus on bike training. I rode my indoor trainer, a lot.

6 week visit to surgeon.

– “Can I start swimming, and running doc?”
– “Yes, but still no riding your bike outside, at least until after you see me at the 12 week check up.”
– “Ok, thanks doc.”

So that is what I did for the next 6 weeks. I began to swim and run very slowly and very gradually. Cody Flegel resumed giving me swim instruction. Over the next 6 weeks I applied an absolute focus to technique and I became a much better swimmer than ever before. My swim technique is now by far the best it has ever been, and I am certainly never going to look back now.

VIDEO: Watch Pieter Van den Hoogenband. Look at the underwater views – Pieter is beside Thorpe who is in the full suit.  Van den Hoogenband is who I visualize myself swimming like.

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I took it very gradual with running. I continued to ride my bike on my trainer, a lot, and with a lot of intensity.

12 week visit to surgeon.

– “Adam, your elbow has healed pretty much. . (slight pause). . .perfectly.”
– “Doc, can I ride my bike outside?”
– “Yes go for it, just don’t fall off.”
– “Ok. Thanks doc.”

Here is X-Rays at the 12 week point.  Clearly it has healed well. (zoom out to 25%)

XRay 12 weeks

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I resumed my training and coach Jesse Kropelnicki and I formulated the plan of attack. We planned for me to race Challenge Atlantic City as a B-Race and confirmed that Challenge Penticton was still to be my A-Race. Problem is a series of events led me to not having a race bike. And I still don’t have one. Fortunately Trek Bicycle Store Vitoria is owned and operated by the nicest bunch of guys you could imagine. Bill Frey and the gang have supported me with my bike needs for years now. And Bill is doing that again by going out of his way to source me a complete bike (something that I did not expect to get from them this year).

I just got off the phone with Bill and that is what triggered me to write this post – just how nice and those guys are at Pro City ((a.k.a. Trek Bicycle Store Victoria). I have been going back and forth with some companies regarding bike parts and such and to my disappointment I still don’t have some things that I was hoping would have arrived long ago. But Bill is more than willing to get me rolling asap so I can get out on a TT frame and be ready to give 100% in Penticton.

I am the athlete. I would prefer to not have to stress over all the things outside of my training and just be able to focus on the daily grind of training.  So where am I focusing my energy? Well I can tell you I am not wasting any of it whining and complaining that I don’t have a race bike. I am channelling all my energy towards training my ass off, spending quality time with my family and my work for Purica. Purica is incredibly supportive and I am thankful to be associated with them as an athlete and employee.

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So, back to the title of the post – “Focus: Where To Apply It” – I feel that if you truly want to be successful at something then every breath you take and every thought you have need to be in some way associated with getting you closer to your goals (and making you a better person). So my focus will continue to be laser-like with my preparation for Challenge Penticton and I will not focus on the negative or things I cannot control.  I am lucky, as always to have my family and employer/sponsor Purica supporting me and encouraging me through my rehab.

Challenge Penticton is 4.5 weeks away, and I will eat, sleep and breath this race until the minute I cross the finish line.


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