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Going long distance, has no boundaries whatsoever. The limits of how far a human being can go as opposed to how fast haven“t even been glimpsed! -Kirk Johnson

I share the treasure I found, so any athlete may benefit!

IMnadineby IMnadineFeb 10th 2011
I share the treasure I found, so any athlete may benefit!
Wow! It has been like 3 months since my back injury and my last post. In summary, I suffered what may be called a herniated disc. A small protrusion of the disc, but not big enough to be a hernia. It was so painful I was taken by ambulance to the hospital, since I couldnĀ“t move! This happened a couple of weeks before my Ironman race in november. Doctor said I had to give up cycling, running and weights. Swimming was all I might be allowed to do. This was completely unnacceptable to me! I remember posting that I was determined to whatever it took so I didnĀ“t have to give up triathlons.

A week after my injury a good friend suggested I visit this man by the name of Antonio. I had heard of Antonio since a teenager. He had a dance studio. All I knew is he was an excellent dance instructor. Little did I know this man would save my triathlon career. Antonio has a degree in biomechanics and through his dancing career in Europe he studied Pilates and many other techniques to work on the body. As a favor to my friend we met kickly one morning, he is so good, he has a pretty busy schedule rehabing people. He checked out my MRI and X Ray, and said. " You will be able to do anything you want, but we must work at least twice a week and you have to keep doing these exercises for life!"

Treatment would be meeting with me twice a week. First session came 7 am saturday, no cycling, no running, so no problem with the day and the hour! He had me lay on a Pilates machine called the Cadillac. We began doing exercises with the neck, arms, abs ( most important one of all!) and not your typical crunch or leg raise, this was tougher than it sounds. I had to inhale and keep my belly button tucked back towards my back and the ribs pulled down. It feels like pulling the diaphragm down and back. All through the exercises I had to keep the abs in this fashion. And control every single movement through breathing. The name of the game was Control!

If you saw what I did it looked like to basic, too easy, and toooo sloooow! But as sessions came and time went by it was amazing, the first day I felt my low abs were going to rip apart! I couldnĀ“t control keeping the hips in place while moving the legs. I can keep on an on about all thes easy, everyday movements that we do, but when we do them they are done in the worst posture and technique! (injury coming you might say!) By the and of the two months my abs were strong!

We came to a point where he raised the bar and started giving me exercises that, when he perfomed them they looked quite easy. My turn came and embarrasing! I couldnĀ“t perform many of them. I had the help of these handles that the Cadillac has. He was doing them on a bench without any help! This seems to be a good time to tell you that this is a 65 year old man! Who had better posture than anyone I had ever seen, strength and flexibility beyond anyone I know his age. He taught me that "news flash", I needed to stretch a lot more, strengthen the core with control not power, and forever keep these new exercises as part of my training regimen. I was back to full running and cycling in two months! My abs can handle the exercises and have grown stronger. My back no longer hurts, and I am very aware of how I carry myself through workouts. I am no longer doing personal training with him. But I am taking believe it or not Ballet! and it kicks your legs, arms and abs behind any day! I asked him what I could do to keep me from injury besides the exercises he taught me. He suggested ballet or french barre. That the warm up, and preparation that dancers do any type of dancing (ballet, modern, jazz, tap) will keep my core strong, my flexibility at par to the demands triathlon places in the body, and it will strengthen me.

Results, I am seriously cycling and running faster, I feel strong, I recover better through the stretching and classes. And the most important,I have learned that maintaining my body is what will allow me to get to be 65 and still race! So my treasure and sharing to any athlete is and in no way am I kidding! Take pilates, or take the warm up and preparation of any dance class. You will be stronger, flexible, in better control of any movement your body does as this training makes you aware of how you carry yourself. And it is the injury prevention at its best. Twice a week si more than enough! I know, where are you going to fit, it in. You swim, you run, you cycle, you do weights! Like he said if you donĀ“t have two hours a week to stretch, strengthen and prevent injury you will shorten your athletic career. Give it a try, you will feel amazing, and a very powerful machine! Take a look at this and tell me this is not a strong body?
This is Drew Jacoby, a strong, strong, and graceful dancer and athlete!
gocolettegoby member: gocolettego, Feb 15th 2011 15:11
Wow- that's amazing! Thanks for posting...Pre-triathlon I used to take regular yoga classes. I don't take those classes anymore but try to squeeze in some yoga at home. Now, when time is tight (and it often is!) yoga or strength work is ALWAYS the first thing to go and I can feel a big difference in my flexibility. I am also very guilty of skimping on stretching when in a rush. Keep posting how it's going...thanks again. Your post was an excellent reminder as to how important strength and flexibility is.
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