I’m Matt Gibbs and in my work, I regularly help people recover flexibility and the active lifestyle they once enjoyed. It’s a great thrill and privilege. Read Jenny’s story. She’s made great progress.
Just back home from work….and there it is behind the door. It’s here! The A4 envelope has arrived. OMG! This is for real now. One half of me wants to drop my bag right now and rip open that envelope so I can get my hands on the number. My number.
My sensible, non-running, work head says “Just make a cuppa. Let’s sit down, chill out for a few minutes, and savour the moment of opening the race day envelope. Keep calm”.
OK, kettle on!
So, why am I all excited today? It’s been a good five years since I last properly donned the running shoes—timer chip between the laces, number-plate pinned to my chest—and, heart pounding, took off like a rocket through the crowd.
Five years. A lot has happened over that time. Good memories, and things I’d like to forget. But hell yeah, I’ve missed the running.
I love running. I’m not exactly sure why. I guess there are several different reasons. The excitement of race day. The mill of people, the atmosphere, the race itself. A chance for a PB. The rush of adrenaline as it’s about to start. The endorphins kicking in as I reach my flow. The medal and the t-shirt. Memories! It’s been 5 years; I can’t believe it.
Yet for me, race day is much more than all of that. Race day is the climax of months of training. Months of motivation. I’ve worked hard, getting on track with my health, my fitness, and my life. I’ve shaped up my diet. I’ve lost some of that excess weight. I can keep up with the kids more easily. And things are just better with Jack, if you know what I mean.
OK, it’s not race day today, but the Number has arrived. I am excited. Only two months now till the event.
Tea is poured, I’m sat down. I’ve even got an envelope knife just to make it a little more official. I slice through the top of the envelope. In goes the hand, and yes, there it is. You can feel the texture. The touch is different to that of paper. It’s tough and smooth at the same time.
“Get on with it,” My sensible head speaks to me.
1642. Sixteen Forty Two. I wonder if that’s a historic year. What time is it? Oh, it’s 5:34 pm.
“OK, nothing symbolic, it’s just No. 1642.” My sensible head speaks yet again.
I am actually quite emotional now, head in my hands. I stopped running when I was pregnant five years ago. We have a lovely little girl now, Emilie. She is a handful though, lol. I struggled to get off the baby weight in the beginning.
It was my intention to get straight back into running, but life—mostly Emilie—just got in the way. And Jack got a promotion and ended up travelling away more. I then noticed I’d put on weight, and my fitness had definitely taken a tumble.
It was about 2 ½ years back when I started running again. And I started slow. I had a plan to participate in a few 5k runs within a few months and then start building it up from there. But I never actually got there in the end. I was a week away from the first race and I got a hamstring injury. Out of nowhere. Boom. Out of action.
I did what I could, but just wasn’t right on race day and I had to cancel. It took me quite a few weeks to fully recover. I was upset. It put me off getting back into training for a bit.
Then Jack had the car crash. It wasn’t majorly serious, but he was off work for a few weeks. Our car was a mess, and life just got in the way again.
Talk about going back to square one.
You can probably understand now why I am excited about the race day number arriving in the post today. It’s been five years.”
Jenny continued to train hard for the next 8 weeks, following a reasonably robust program she had pulled off the internet. She made it to race day. This was a big moment for her and she wanted to enjoy it, and get a decent time. She knew she might not achieve what she’d done five years prior, but she felt in great shape.
She set off well, and was making really good time until about a third of the way in, and then a twinge hit down the back of her leg. She checked and composed herself and continued. It disappeared till half way, and then BOSH. Hamstring! Knocked her down. Out of the game. Jenny didn’t finish.
I was gutted for Jenny too, when she told me that story, but I knew I could help her out.
Since the race, Jenny has had a full Intrinsic Biomechanics screen. We’ve ascertained that she has dysfunction in the pelvic region, muscle spasms, and nerve tethering, which possibly begun around Emilie’s birth. All of it has played a part in her “injuries”. We also ascertained a tendency to over-pronate.
Not surprisingly, various parts of Jenny’s back and neck were tight or locked up. These had likely come about due to her carrying Emilie, or the various stresses she had been through over the past few years. These challenges didn’t significantly affect her daily life, but all of it had messed with her Intrinsic Biomechanics.
The screen allowed both Jenny and myself to see the bigger picture. We created a program for normalising the dysfunction, and then strengthening her body so that she can participate in AND complete her next race. It’s in 6 weeks time. We’ll keep you updated.