Just one year after his lung transplant in July 2013, Trumm won the bronze award in the 100-meter dash at the Transplant Games of America in Houston, Texas.
The Transplant Games is a multi-sport event for individuals who have had a life-saving transplant or a living donor, according to Transplant Games of America’s website.
The event had multiple activities including opening and closing ceremonies, trivia and a walk so that everyone who wanted to could participate, regardless of their fitness level, he said.
“The message of the Transplant Games is to be active and healthy. People get really scared. A transplant is horrible, but ultimately it’s a really good thing, and it’s crucial that potential donors see that,” Trumm said.
Trumm is currently training for the 20th World Transplant Games in Mara de Plata, Argentina, where he plans to run the 100-meter dash again in 2015. “The games show people the enormous impact of transplants. Whoever donated my lungs not only enabled me to live but enabled me to run 100 meters, to be an athlete,” Trumm said.
The first nine months of training for the Transplant Games of America were hard for Trumm, he said. He is now doing interval and weight training to prepare for the next games.
Sandi Blanton, Trumm’s mother, said many people would have settled with a medal at the first event, but Trumm wanted an even bigger challenge.
“Never give up on your dreams no matter what, no matter how hard it seems, no matter how many people tell you that it’s too hard, or that you can’t do this. Two years ago, he was told that he was going to die. Don’t believe it. You might have to work harder than everyone else, but don’t quit,” Blanton said.
Trumm has been training hard, and he is much stronger than last year, she said. Ultimately the training Trumm has undergone is all about self-improvement.
“You’re not competing against the other people, you are competing against yourself, and that’s what matters,” Blanton said.
Now, half a year later, Trumm can do more, including hill training, kung fu and ice hockey, she said.
Bill Doleman, a retired archaeologist and Kung Fu artist, said Trumm’s Kung Fu and Tai Chi training will be invaluable to his performance in the games. Kung Fu uses both aerobic and anaerobic training, so you get the benefits of both, he said.
The focus, determination and flexibility required to perform the stances and choreographed sequences in martial arts will help Trumm in his training for the 100-meter dash, he said.
“You actually improve the connections between your brain and body when you use your breathing and your mind to focus,” D oleman said.
Trumm has an inner fire that keeps him going when most people quit, he said.
“When I saw how hard he worked, he became my hero. He is a role model for anyone who wants to succeed,” Doleman said.
Trumm is seeking sponsorships with local businesses to support him and other athletes who want to participate in the world games, he said. Also, Trumm is looking for someone willing to train him for his event.
Meagen Twyeffort is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @DailyLobo.