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An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure – PART 1

Injury prevention is something that I value greatly. As a Physiotherapist, I see many athletes struggling to return to sport and, in some cases, making the life-changing decision to stop playing the sport altogether. This is a very challenging journey and one that I, too, understand

MY INJURY STORY

I would like to share my experience with you so that you can understand it may be a long road, and that injuries force you to make a lot of decisions.

I was 19 years old and I had worked my butt off to gain a starting position, as the goalkeeper on a varsity team in my rookie year. I was on Cloud 9 and stayed there until the day of my injury.

I remember it like it was yesterday. When it happened, I told my coach not to worry, I’d rest up and I’d be at practice on Monday. However, I never made it to practice — instead, for the months that followed I spent countless hours in rehab, endured multiple flare ups and began to experience a loss in muscle strength and an emotional roller coaster. My heart was broken: I knew I was facing a hiatus from the sport I loved.

After many attempts to strengthen my knee without surgery – it came to a point where my knee would give out while simply running in a straight line. I knew surgery for ACL reconstruction would be the best route to take.

After 12 months of rehab, I was finally getting back into the swing of things when I tore my meniscus in the same knee. Back to the operating room I went; the rehab cycle started again.

I was hopeful and determined. I was making strides, slowly but surely. As I worked hard to regain my physical strength I kept my mental game strong by attending all practices, games and cheering on my teammates. I wasn’t ready to let go, playing soccer was all I ever really knew. I started training again for my sport and noticed I was timid on challenges and hesitated on plays.

That’s when the worst pain set in. The pain of knowing in the back of my mind that I had lost my edge. I knew in my heart that it was time to call it in but making that decision felt impossible.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR ME?

Physical injury quite often pays a toll on your mental state. Many questions plagued my mind as I tried to decide my fate in this sport.

  • What will I do if I am not playing soccer?
  • What will happen to my knee if I continue to play at this level?
  • Am I susceptible to more injury?
  • What will happen to the relationships I built with my teammates?
  • How will my parents feel (they are part of this community too)?
  • Am I a failure?
  • Will I get lazy?
  • How does this affect my life in 10 – 20 years from now?
  • Will I be active as I age?

Only I could determine the answers to these questions. I couldn’t go back; I couldn’t blame my parents, coach, teammates, doctors or therapists. Only I could decide what was best for me.

Like many athletes who suffer from injuries, this decision is life-changing. How do you make the decision to stop playing the sport that defined you for the majority of your life? It’s not an easy one.

THE JOURNEY IS THE REWARD

Don’t get me wrong, I have witnessed countless athletes return to playing high-level sports after similar or even more serious injuries. My story is about my personal journey and meant to help those see that sometimes a change in direction is ok; it’s not meant to discourage those that are going down the path of returning to their sport.

This injury turned out to be a very positive thing for me (as they say, “every cloud has a silver lining”), however, understand that at 19-years-old, wasn’t easy.  Looking back, it has shaped me and obviously led me into a career dedicated to injury rehabilitation and prevention.

August 16, 2017, marked 13 years since I had ACL reconstruction surgery. How fitting that it was also the first day that the Physiotherapy staff at Real Life Health initiated The FIFA 11+ ACL injury prevention program with the Laurentian Women’s and Men’s soccer teams.

Through my journey, I vowed to return to Laurentian to implement an ACL injury prevention program. I wanted to help others prevent the injury that devastated me and ended my soccer career. I am so thankful to have this opportunity with Laurentian’s Soccer programs and I am proud to be able to offer an injury prevention program that will help athletes achieve their goals by insulating them from injury and improving their performance.

I don’t regret my decision to stop pursuing and playing soccer. I had many opportunities to learn new things about new sports. I found new interests and redirected my priorities to a lifetime of health and wellness.

People often ask, “Do you have pain in your knee?”, to which the answer is yes, sometimes I do. I know it will be a lifelong journey to maintain the strength and health of my joints (especially my knee).  The scars on my knee remind me of my journey and they welcome me to a club of many others who have gone down a similar path.  A path that, though different than the one a younger me expected, continues to get better.  See you shortly for Part 2!

This post, by Kristin Green Registered Physiotherapist, was originally posted on Real Life Health.

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Training Cycle 1 – 6 weeks – Mobility, Stability, Consistency

Hey Athletes (whoa… did he just NOT say “Folks”?)!

So, this post is going to go over the next 6 weeks of programming (well 5 weeks, since we’re already into week 1). The goal for the next 6 weeks is improving mobility, stability and consistency for our Oly lifts. We’re going to use the 3 Minute EMOM of each lift as our measure of improvement. Being able to hit closer to a 1RM for a rep every minute, with less hesitation of worry, means you’re 1RM is likely going to increase soon and you’re feeling more stable and more confident with your lifting. This usually means you’ve got less variation in your technique from lift to lift and you’re getting comfortable hitting the positions you need to be hitting. Bang Pow!

The first couple weeks are going to have a subtle focus on mobility and getting comfortable in uncomfortable places. You’ve already seen the pause Front Squats, and some overhead squatting under duress and there’s more fun stuff to come. The second 2 weeks are going to be continuing the work on stability (especially through the shoulders) and working through sticking points (i.e. when you’re halfway up on a squat and feel like you get “stuck”, or pulling a deadlift and you can’t seem to make it around your knees). The final 2 weeks We’re going to look at building more explosive power as well as “staying strength” through certain positions. We’ll retest those 3 Minute EMOMs and you’ll hopefully feel more comfortable hitting higher percentages of your Oly lifts!

These 6 weeks will also be taking us through the open – and as such I’ll be trying my best not to program WODs that leave you feeling “wrecked” or overly sore. Fridays will be especially programmed for mobility and things that hopefully won’t make people too sore, though for those planning to do the Open WOD on Saturday, I’d suggest taking the day off, or spending it on purely mobility and some light movement (which can be accomplished through giving the workout a 60% effort – hit good positions, up your heart rate a bit, but stay relaxed).

Let me know what you think and how you’re enjoying it in our comments, on facebook or you can tell me in person!

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Stay Healthy and Have fun, Friends!

Adam

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Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Hey Folks!

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I hope you had fun with Coach Mike last night! Loving the turkish get ups & overhead squats today – great work!

Let`s keep the awesome train going! Catalyst games are only 5 weeks away!

Warm up

Front Squat 3×5

For time:

  • 50 Double unders
  • 30 Ring rows
  • 1km Run
  • 30 double unders
  • 20 ring rows
  • 400m Run
  • 10 double unders
  • 10 ring rows
  • 200m Run

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Stretch – Calves, quads & hamstrings

See you in the gym!

Adam & Drew

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Monday, July 30th, 2012

Hey Folks!

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Great work on all the PRs this weekend! Mikie, Taryn, and Coach Mike Laporte all had some killer lifts/performances!

Warm up

Olympic Total
You have 3 attempts first at the Snatch and then at the Clean & Jerk to get as much as you can. Feel free to do warm up sets and then choose 3 attempts (probably something below your PR which you know you can do, your PR, and then a new PR).

If we have time after that…

3 Rounds for time:
25 squats
25 push ups
400m Run

Stretch – Internal rotators of the shoulder & glutes

See you in the gym!
Adam & Drew

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Friday, July 27th, 2012

Hey Folks!

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Great work on the WOD that wasn’t as long as I had hoped. You’re all too fit. Maybe I’ll make some more 50-40-30-20-10 beat downs for the future. 😉

If you haven’t signed up for the catalyst games yet, time is running out for getting a custom Tshirt! Get on it!

Warm Up

Front Squat 3×5

10 Minute AMRAP:
8 burpees
8 hang power snatches
8 Abmat sit ups

* Grab some rocks to keep track of your rounds…. you all know I won’t be able to keep track.

Stretch – Quads/Psoas, Hammies & Pecs

See you in the gym!
Adam & Drew

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Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Hey Folks!

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Nice pull ups today – we’re on the “road to pull up domination”! I like it. Drew did 212 double unders in 2 minutes – is it the shoes???

When you get a chance try to fit in the random tasks, like the double unders, overhead squats, Turkish get up, etc.

Warm up

4 rounds for time:
4 lengths of the gym farmers carry (70#/50#)
8 wall ball (20#/16#)
12 hand release push ups
16 overhead walking lunges (45#/25#)

Stretch – spider man lunge & pecs

See you in the gym!
Adam & Drew

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Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Hey Folks!

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Way to crush todays “deceptively challenging” workout! Welcome to Renee, Mike B and Trish (who crushed her third on ramp WOD today!)

It’s the summer and it’s awesome outside, at some point I’d like to head over to a track or football field for the sprint wods, let me know which days/times work best for you guys!

Warm up

Pull up practice

3 rounds for time
400m run
21 box jumps
12 knees to elbows

Stretch – quads & calves

See you in the gym!
Adam & Drew

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Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Hey Folks!

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Holy PR city! You guys crushed extreme and it made me happy. Remember, happy while pressing, angry while deadlifting. Hahaha

Proud of you! My little gym is growing up!

Warm up

Mobility work with sudburys best physiotherapist – Kristin Green! (or me, at lunch)

21-15-9 for time:
Squat cleans
Handstand push ups

Stretch – glutes & t spine

See you in the gym!
Adam & Drew

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Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Hey Folks!

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Quiet weekend in the gym/on the hill! You all must be at camp soaking up the rays. Good. You’ll need that rest 🙂

Make sure you sign up online for the catalyst games if you’re going to come compete! If you sign up before the end of the month you get to customize your shirt! Mine says, “Ball”.

Warm up

“CrossFit Total” – you get 3 attempts at your max squat, Deadlift and press. Work up to the max weights, don’t just load up the bar and blow out your back. Thanks.

Stretch – quads & hamstrings

See you in the gym!
Adam & Drew

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Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Hey Folks!

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Tomorrow We’re headed to Adanac ski hill! We’re doing hill sprints – in case you were going to be surprised hahah.

Sorry about not being at the gym to anyone who still decides to show up!

We’ll be back in the gym Sunday and Yoga is on like Donkey Kong!

See you tomorrow!
Adam & Drew