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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Right Environment- 2014 Goals

Team CMT member Chris Steinke and his Crew at Thanksgiving Run

"You are the product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective. Analyze your life in terms of its environment. Are the things around you helping you toward success or are they holding you back?"- Clement Stone

I strongly believe in the power of goals. As a professional trainer I've taught classes in how to set "smart goals".  One of the most important steps you can take is to write them down.  There was a study done in the 50's of a group of Princeton graduates. The group was 10 percent of the class and were asked to write down their goals.  The researches found this group outperformed the other 90 percent of the class.

When I set the goal of running the Boston Marathon, I wrote Boston 2011 and put it up on my bulletin board at work. I looked at that goal every day as a reminder. All my energy was focused on achieving that goal even when I had no idea if I ever would qualify or get in.  Writing down a goal will focus all your mental energies on achieving it. So I have started to give some thought to what I want to achieve in 2014.

Team CMT
We have now grown to 142 members in 27 states and seven countries. We have over two dozen CMT affected athletes. One of our athletes recently posted he felt alone until he found out group.  We will continue to create a space for CMT affected athletes, their family and friends. We will continue to harness the power of this group to raise awareness of CMT and funds for CMT research. We will continue to show those in the CMT community the power of being active to slow progression of CMT.  We will continue to create an environment for our CMT affected athletes to succeed!

Running for My Life
My story of being a CMT affected athlete was published in December of 2013. It took just about nine months from writing to publication.  Now the hard work begins to promote the book.  I have the feeling that writing was the easy part. The book field is crowded with lots of interesting titles.  So I will be taking a seminar early in 2014 with my publisher to learn how to market the book. I will be giving some thought and setting some goals to help use my story to raise even more awareness of CMT!

Boston 2014
I will return for my third Boston Marathon. This year my goal is to finish in the top 3 in the Mobility Impaired Division. I thought last year would be my last Boston, but I am returning this year to support the people of Boston. I will be joined by Team CMT member CJ Charboneau. I will be doing more biking and less running this time around to help me to be ready for the triathlon season that starts shortly after Boston.

National Paratriathlon Sprint Championship-Austin Texas May 2014
My goal is to win this race. I have a shot if the new standards will allow me to compete. The low point of my season was when I was rejected for a second time last May. I almost quit triathlon competition.  There are lots of things I am doing to be ready for this race:

  • Hired a new coach to do a training program with this as my "A" race.
  • Set a goal to decrease my bike leg by 3 minutes.
  • Improve technique on my swim and run to increase efficiency and decrease these times

The new standards are due out in January. I may not know until I am assessed at the race if I will be allowed to compete. In any case I will be ready.

Team USA/World Duathlon Championship
I always hoped I would compete at a World Championship as a paratriathlete.  I have a plaque in my house that says "When God closes a door, he opens a window".  I never expected I would be representing Team USA and competing at a World Championship as an age group athlete. I never thought I had the athletic ability to do that. Yet I will be in Spain in May as a member of Team USA. This race is just a few days after the Austin race. So I am doing this race just for the experience. My ultimate goal is to race as a triathlete in Rio for the paralympics in 2016. This race will be good experience for hopeful future events like Rio and World Championships.

I already have Rio 2016 written on a piece of paper on my board at work.  Everything I do as an athlete is with that goal in mind. Everything I do from the diet, to work outs is to  create the right environment to help me succeed. Every competition I select will be made to improve my race resume and get me ready for 2016.

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 142 members in 27 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.


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    Starting out in triathlons

  2. This really sounds cool.
    I just Found out about 7-8 months agoe that I got CMT. Im from Denmark and the doctors don't know that much about the it, soe they can't tell me that much.. I started going to fitness5-6 times a week about 2 years agoe, and that's have i started thinking that i maybe had is -like my nice and cousin. I love working out, but know a doctor tells me that the training i doe, is not to good, but noe one can tell have then to workout.
    Reading your story make me think -their must bee a way then :)