PAIN TO PERFORMANCE - A FEEL-GOOD (BETTER) STORY AT EVERY STEP
9th January 2018
'...it's the sign of Movement Health'
In the presence of an acute injury, doubt can cloud the mind of even the most determined competitors. Questions arise, ‘is this the end of sport for me?’, ‘how long before I can compete again?’. Here we follow the road to not only recovery but much more. The journey starts with a realisation: I can’t run. Then, a chance meeting with an old colleague allows a female triathlete that managing her movement puts her on course for the South African Championships
Over to South African female triathlete Jacquie van der Waals:
South African 10km Championships, 3rd lady, 40-44 age group. This was the last race I ran. The pain radiating from my glute down my hamstring was excruciating. I’d been running with this pain for months, in denial, hoping it would subside. On the drive home, however, I realised that I would not be running again anytime soon. Sitting was agony and even walking was painful. So, began my search for help. I tried everything, consulted every specialist, rested, did strength work and cross training, had various therapies. All to no avail. I began, albeit very reluctantly, to accept that I might never run again.
One evening in September 2017 my husband and I were at a function and bumped into old acquaintances, Dr and Mrs Tommie and Jacqueline Swart. Upon hearing my saga, Tommie insisted I should see Jacqueline to get a movement evaluation with ‘The Performance Matrix’ (TPM Active). I was naturally very sceptical but had nothing to lose. Jacqui’s approach was totally different, focusing on addressing ingrained muscular imbalances and movement abnormalities in order to solve the chronic pain problem.
After a few sessions with Jacqueline and many hours of rehab I was becoming cautiously optimistic. By October, I was able to run 2-3km. It was then that I decided to put my cross training and running muscle memory together and register for a sprint triathlon in December. I was aware that I was jumping the gun a little as I was not even half way through my rehab, but I was determined to train for an event again.
My first event since SA’s in Feb 2016. I kept having to remind myself that I was doing this for fun and my own satisfaction. Nonetheless, when starter set us off my competitive nature took over and I gave it all I had. I surprised myself: 6th lady overall and 1st lady in the 40-44 age group! The bigger surprise came a little later when I learned that I was selected for the Tshwane Triathlon Association team for SA Champs!
Thanks Jacqui! The light at the end of the tunnel is no longer the oncoming train. There is still a long road ahead, but the end is in sight!
Here at TPM, we want to say thank you TPM Pro clinic ‘We Manage Movement’ for sharing a great client and clinician interaction, and we wish good luck to our triathlete in those upcoming championships.