Killarney high jumper Jordan Lee talks to Adam Moynihan about adapting his training regime during the shutdown and his thoughts on the Paralympic Games being moved to 2021.
Well Jordan, how’s the lockdown going for you? Is it challenging to train and keep fit at the moment?
It’s okay. I’ve kind of adapted everything that I have around me to suit my own training regime. I’m staying in my father’s house at the Brehon Apartments in Killarney and I’m very grateful to have access to the Gleneagle Pitch & Putt course, which is literally right on my doorstep.
I can do very technical high jumping drills on the grass, I can do hill sprints, I can do tempo runs… I can do lots of different things there.In terms of gym work, I’ve been using two wheelie bins as a squat rack. My two main lifts in the gym would be the Bulgarian split squat and quarter squat so if I wasn’t able to do those and actually jump over a bar all at once, all of my explosive power would go dramatically and very quickly. I’ve also got my own Olympic bar, a couple of dumbbells, and a med ball, so there’s a wide variety of things I can do.
I’m actually doing alright to be honest. The only thing I can’t replicate obviously is jumping over a bar, but I’m managing away.
On a personal level, how are you finding being at home all the time?
The hardest thing really is that I normally live with my mother (Mary Buckley), my stepfather (Dermot Buckley) and my younger brothers and sisters in Killorglin but we made the decision that it would be best for everybody if I stayed in Killarney for the time being. We were cautious of me going out training, getting the coronavirus and spreading it to other people in the family.
That’s one of the sacrifices I’ve had to make – I haven’t been able to see my mother or my stepfather or my younger brothers and sisters. But it had to be done because I have to get my training in.
I’m finding that the days are going by pretty fast. I have two sessions a day. When I get up in the morning I always start off by doing my usual core routine and stretching, then I might do a couple of 8x40m hill sprints and I follow that up with a gym session. Then I go for a jog down to the lake, which is 1.5km away, and I come back and do my recovery work which would take an hour and a half. So, realistically, I’m getting five to six hours of training in a day.
That’s taking up a lot of my time but apart from training, I’ve been playing a good bit of PlayStation. And Facetiming a couple of friends – I’d be lost without that.
You had been preparing for the Paralympics in Tokyo in August but they’ve now been pushed back to 2021 because of COVID-19. What did you make of that decision?
It was something that I kind of expected so when the announcement was made, I wasn’t surprised to be honest with you. It’s completely understandable that the games have to be pushed back. People’s safety has to come first.
Obviously it’s disappointing, but I’m looking at the positives. I have an extra year to train and to get better and improve myself.
That was my next question. Could the extra year actually end up benefiting you in the long run? Because, although you’ve already achieved an awful lot, you’re still relatively new to the sport.
Definitely. I agree. Look, what I’ve been saying is that it’s a new date, but the mission remains the same.
Any message or advice for people on how to get through this difficult time?
I put up an Instagram post on St Patrick’s Day and what I said was, “We can’t control the situation but what we can control is the way in which we react to it”. This will all pass by at some stage. Keep that positive mindset that we’ll all get through it together. We just have to stay patient and trust the process.
Pic: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile.