Racing Into Fitness

Finally, Sunday, which means tomorrow I can relax.... Well sort of. No training as I've raced all weekend. But my massage therapist is still scheduled to beat me up a bit and I have a little photo session with Kendra Dombowsky, who has put together some awesome shots for me. Otherwise, rest. I ran a 1000m and 1500m at Golden Bear in Edmonton Friday and Saturday. Ran 10 seconds off best times in both. Which was disappointing, but realistic given I've been sick last week and still feel weak. I also didn't rest going into the meet is it is more of a training exercise. But expectations are always high.

And as my friend and track mate Adam Wasylyshyn said "Our mind always thinks we are in the shape of our lives." So true. I swam in a meet this morning back in Calgary, and it was a similar result - slow. But, I am not discouraged as the plan was to race tired and kick start my body into a competitive mode for February. February is going to be a busy month, with events each weekend, and a focus on the first World Cup in Palm Springs starting on the 24th. Should be great!

I'm off to Vancouver Wednesday to train for five days. Within that is a fencing national circuit meet, which will be really great to sharpen up on. I'll also fence with club Dynamo, who has a coach I highly regard - Viktor Gantsevich. Viktor's son is also one of my good buddies and he fences on the national team. I think it'll be a solid week of progress.

Last note, I've inserted a letter I wrote to David Armour, the president of the Canadian Olympic Foundation. The COF's board all resigned a couple months back, and rumours swirl. I emailed David to ask some pointed questions about funding as the COF plays a pivotal role in where money is allotted. It is one of the major fundraisers for the Own the Podium program. When you look close at the paper trail between Own the Podium, the COF, the COC, and Sport Canada, one sees a rather incestuous circle as each entity passes money to another, and each props up a mandate that, although demonstrates success in many capacities, will also lead to the destruction of some sports in Canada. I've not received a response to this letter as of yet. Thanks for reading and take care. Oh, the photo is myself and team mate Kelly training two weeks ago in Palm Springs.

Hi David,

Joshua Riker-Fox here; we met at the Golden Plates event in Calgary this year and had a good chat. Not sure if you'd recall as it was a busy night. I'm emailing (or forwarding) this email to you because it had a somewhat profound effect on me and it was not positive. The COF emails me asking for my support, which is understandable as I'm likely on a list or two somewhere and they know that I support sport. The uncomfortable thing about this email is that I am still an athlete training so hard to live my dream and represent Canada, and sadly I know that not a penny from the Red Mitten Campaign will reach me. I've given so much to my sport, bringing it to a new level internationally, I've volunteered and been an active ambassador, and yet I cannot access a penny of support from my Olympic federation. This is deflating. To be asked to donate, although not an intended jab, really put salt on the wound. I appreciate the philosophy of Own the Podium, but if athletes such as myself who are showing a positive trajectory in areas previously unsuccessful, are not given an ounce of support, where is our system going?

Further to that, it has been widely cited that just 0.30$ of the 10.00$ mittens is reaching the athletes. Can you speak to this rumour, as if it is false it should be quashed immediately?

David, I wear my mittens just as proud now as I did when I cheered on our team in Vancouver. I hope this note finds you well and that you are able to empathize with an athlete in my shoes.

All the best in 2011,