Let me tell you a little bit about you Dr. Jason Gray & Kinetesis Sports Injury & Performance Clinic. Like several kind others, Jason will be helping me reach my goal of running all the way across The Gambia through his generous sponsorship. Jason’s role is specific. He is a chiropractor and through an in-kind donation of free treatment, Jason will help ensure that my body is strong and healthy when I run my first steps at the Senegalese border, heading to the Atlantic Ocean in Banjul.
In the sports film, “Invictus,” President Mandela (Morgan Freeman) asks rugby player Francois (Matt Damon) how he is doing. Francois answers “to be honest, you’re never really at 100%.” This stuck with me as I feel the same way during a marathon training cycle. You pray you’ll be 100% on race day. But during training, amid high mileage, long long-runs and challenging track workouts, you’re often not at 100%. During your training, pros like Jason, can help keep you as close to 100% as possible. Kinetesis Sports Injury & Performance Clinic uses a number of highly effective diagnostic and treatment techniques – including video motion analysis, biomechanical assessment, Active Release Techniques®(ART®), functional rehabilitation exercises, and sport specific conditioning- to both treat existing injuries, as well as help athletes prepare their bodies for peak training and competition.
I’m not injured right now and Jason’s expert care is helping me stay that way. We’re working on areas of biomechanical weakness- treating areas with scar tissue build up and strengthening my body so it can run its best through spring race season and onto my plane to Africa in July. This stuff, conditioning and strengthening work, is really easy to ignore in favor of more fun activities (i.e. more running!) It’s also easy to ignore by rationalizing your performance. I could tell myself that I’m not injured, that my body is adapting to 80km/week, that I ran a 1:33 half marathon in late fall, that I can totally just focus on running! But if I’m going to survive this long training cycle, strength training and correcting biomechanical problems may be one of the most important parts of this training cycle.
Also, as part of his biomechanical assessment, Jason provided me with video evidence, including glowing arrows pointing at my weak spots. Kinda like a cartoon with a neon sign blinking “Bad! Bad!” Even I can’t rationalize that! He’s a smart man. If you want to access some of Jason’s knowledge right this second, read his sports blog or view the webscasts on his Kinetesis website here.
A marathon is a long race, a long time to run and a long time to think. I always save the mid-miles of a marathon, kilometers 21 through 32, for thinking about the people that allowed me to get to the starting line. Come April 18, at the Boston Marathon, Jason will be among these people. So thanks Jason & Kinetesis Sports for keeping me on the roads and for generously supporting my mission to run across The Gambia in July. I’ll have plenty more time to think on the 430km road to Banjul.