"My Focus" is a weekly photo series in which TeamUSA.org (and @TeamUSA on Instagram) takes fans behind the scenes with some of the top Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls. Fans can get a glimpse into a day in the life of an athlete and see the hard work, dedication and sacrifice that is required on a daily basis to represent Team USA. In the fifth installment, follow Paralympic snowboarder Keith Gabel as he trains at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
1) Loosen Up
“To warm up, I really like to get everything stretched out and moving," said Paralympic snowboarder Keith Gabel. "I spend the majority of my stretching time on my legs. I also like to roll out my legs and stretch my arms with a stick to work on mobility.”
2) Gym Rat
“During the off-season, I spend about three or so hours in the gym five days a week," said Gabel. "Sometimes a little longer. Other days a little bit shorter.”
3) Hang Time
“During snowboarding season I spend about four to six hours on snow, four to five days a week, and then a minimum of one hour a day in the gym afterwards.”
4) Pulling His Weight
“All of my workouts are super sets. This means I have two or more exercises paired up to keep the intensity level high.”
5) Sharing The Love
Gabel trains at the Ted Stevens Sports Services Center and often interacts with tour groups that come through. “I always tell people, ‘The power of positivity will always persevere.'"
6) Staying Strong
“After mobility I go into strength training," said Gabel. "This can be anything from dumbbell bench press, pull/push ups, or any sort of core and back exercises.”
7) Finding Balance
“Learning to balance on a yoga ball isn’t something that just happens overnight," said Gabel. "It’s great to start with a safety bar in front of you so that you can save yourself if you slip. Then you can slowly work your way into taking your hands off, progressing into squats.”
8) Fast Feet
“I do a lot of agility and balance with sports medicine. It all translates into movement analysis and biomechanics. It’s beneficial to be able to separate your feet from your mind.”
9) Giving His All
“No matter what I do in life, I do it with love, and I give everything that I have a bare minimum of 100 percent.”
10) No Pain, No Gain
“Cupping is an eastern medicine technique that flushes my muscles," said Gabel. "It hurts a ton, but it reduces my recovery time because of how effective it is.”
“There aren’t enough words to describe winning a medal at the Paralympic Games,” said Gabel, displaying his bronze medal from Sochi 2014.
12) Good As Gold
“If I could give any advice to someone, disabled or not, that would like to get out there and be more active, it would be to just get out there and do it. Remember: goals. Set goals and shoot for something. Keep a good attitude, hold yourself accountable and commit.”
13) Born To Be Wild
“My favorite part about having a motorcycle is the freedom I feel when I hit the open road," said Gabel. "I definitely get an adrenaline rush from it.”
14) The Climb
Gabel uses the Manitou Incline as part of his training regimen, climbing 2,000 vertical feet in just a mile of trail. “Bill Bowerman once said, ‘If you have a body, you are an athlete.'"