When Adversity Strikes, See It As An Opportunity

Hi All,

I'd like to share an inspiring story of client I had over the summer.

Rusty was a referral from an orthopedic surgeon friend. He (Rusty) told me in an email that he had knee and hip pain in both joints since the spring. He believed it was from some of the hiking he had done. He didn't tell me how much or how or if trained.

In the email he told that he and a friend were planning a hike in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro in fact in 9 weeks and that he had to get ready for it. However, there was this pain issue.

Rusty and I agreed to meet at his work gym and train there only once a week with me and do the rest of the workout (provided by me)the rest of the week.

After, assessing him, I find out that he was so hyper-mobile that he was literally 'hanging on his ligaments'. His ligaments were over powering his big muscles, the prime movers, so that he would be hyper extending his joints.

As a result, he had pretty severe tendinitis in both knees and an inflamed IT band in both hips. How, I thought, could this guy be able to hike a mountain that was almost 20,000ft.? He had to prepare for at least 2-3 days of hiking and 6hrs of hiking just to the summit alone!

Each session I tried different approaches and ended up either adding and/or eliminating exercises and movements. This was based on his feedback days after our session. Knees and/or hips hurt from a particular movement/exercise.... I would cross that one off.

Believe me it was tough going for the first 3-4 sessions. Eventually, things started to turn around and he began to get less pain while increasing his mobility, glute strength, upper body strength and overall endurance.

After 6 or so sessions, he went out on his own and continued my program while always keeping in touch with me weekly via email.

Two weeks before his trip to Africa he contacted me and said he felt much better and had been training faithfully for his goal. He was ready and excited and promised me that he would show me a picture of himself on the mountain at the summit.

I told him " he better!"

Well, this past week I received an email from Rusty with the fantastic news that he and his buddy made it.The hike overall felt fairly easy even though the most grueling part was the 6 hr. summit climb. Yikes! His guide for the hike said that they were probably two of the strongest guys he had ever had for the hike.

Even better, very minimal pain (in the knees only) and that was only on the descent.

And yes, he did provide me with pictures.

The moral here: Always keep your dreams and when adversity hits, see it as an opportunity. Don't whine and don't listen to the negative tape recording in your head. Replace it with positive messages.

Hope you enjoyed that story and if you have any hurdles, don't be your own worst enemy.

Thanks for reading,


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