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Wheelchair Racing: Different Strokes for Different Folks

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"I was going fast with the thumb technique, but when I switched to PBT, I went even faster," she says. Her record still stands at 1:34:22.

Driscoll retired from racing on Nov. 30, 2000, and is now speaking and writing. Her book, Determined to Win, hit bookstores everywhere in September.

One of the best ways for wheelchair racers to stave off injury is through conditioning, Driscoll tells WebMD.

"Be consistent in your training. Take care of rotator cuff muscles and strengthen your back muscles -- not just chest muscles," she says. "Many people don't realize how much back strength is required in wheelchair racing."

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Paralyzed Veterans of America are hosting the 21st annual National Veteran's Wheelchair games from July 1-5 in New York.

One of the scheduled participants, Gregory Morris, now 53, has been participating in the Games for 21 years. He participates in a slew of events from bowling to track races.

In his earlier years of racing, he used the CVT technique, but now he competes in a motorized chair.

While this method did not affect his shoulders or arms, he has seen it occur in other athletes.

"Those things do occur over the years, even if you are not an athlete, your arms weren't made to push a wheelchair," he tells WebMD.

Morris is planning to retire after this year's games. "I am ending my career in New York, my hometown, " he says. "I have had a blast all of the way. It's one hell of an experience being involved in wheelchair sports going around the country and meeting the people I have met."

When asked what advice he has to give wheelchair athletes who are about to begin their career, Morris says: "Try to get in the best shape possible by lifting weights, eating a proper diet, and getting the proper amount of rest. And I'd tell them to be committed to putting their best effort forth."

The No. 1 ingredient to a successful career, he says, is attitude. "If you don't go into it with the attitude that you are going to do your best, you may as well be a Sunday athlete," he says.

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