In the summer issue of Outside Magazine there’s an interesting article “Body Shop” by Matt Skenazy (Outside, summer 2021, p 74) . Matt is a serious ultrarunner, rock climber, and skier, in his thirties. Up until now he had not done a lot of work like auxiliary strength training to prepare himself for his fun activities. He did get a nagging injury once in a while, but could always take time off from running and concentrate on rock climbing if he had a leg issue, or vice versa if he had a shoulder issue. Then a series of injuries accumulated that prevented him from being able to enjoy any of his three sports.
He is unsuccessful working with doctors to fix this situation. Even the PTs he tries are not that helpful. He starts to wonder if there is something he can do to start making his stronger and more flexible so it’s more injury-proof. When he mentions this to his PT the reply he gets is “I don’t know, have you tried googling that?”. I thought, “wow he needs a new PT”, and fortunately he does find one, Laura Opstedal in Bozeman, Montana. She gets him on back on track to healing his nagging problems and making his body more injury-resistant. A similar practice is followed by Michael Lau and his associates, who have a website https://theprehabguys.com and also a smartphone app that gives exercises to help us “prehab” for various activities, a term that very much appeals to me. They also have a youtube channel.
This is not just an issue that younger people that think they are bulletproof run into. Even older folks like me can be having too much fun pursuing our enjoyable activities. So we can tend to skip the work that feels more like a chore that keeps us prepared to do them with less risk of injury. I like to think I’m pretty good at doing this kind of auxiliary work, but this article motivated me to audit my program and see if I’m missing out on some important “prehab” exercises. The good news is that a lot of these are not very time consuming. They are just a chore, like brushing my teeth, that I have to get myself to do before I head out to do the fun stuff.