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How Smart Is Your Training Regime?

Adrian PetersonAdrian Peterson, the running back for the Vikings, is a client of a Rolfing® colleague of mine. When he made the news recently, I started thinking about how we view performance. Peterson  is the only running back to come back from ACL and MCL torn ligaments; he went on to (almost) break a record for the most yards in a season. He was able to do this because he stepped outside the standard sports medicine box.

When I had my clinic in Scottsdale, and I was Rolfing the San Francisco Giants, I repeatedly heard how standard treatments were not working; they were often making these athletes worse. And this was from an organization where their management were clients of mine.

There is great value in pushing ourselves beyond our limits. We learn how we unnecessarily limit ourselves physically and, more often, mentally. Yet when that pushing produces acute injuries, or crippled bodies thirty years down the line, we need to question our actions.

Our bodies are not meant to be pushed to a point where we are tearing soft tissue or producing traumatic brain injury at the rate of at least 1.7 million a year.[1]  Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal themselves—until the stress or trauma reaches a point where our rejuvenating abilities are maxed out. For example, we have proteolytic enzymes that dissolve scar tissue. These enzymes can’t keep up with daily overtraining or injury. After years of too much scar tissue to deal with, the body becomes chronically injured, setting up athletes for hip replacements and back surgeries. Tara Lipinsky, Ladies Figure Skating gold medalist at the 1998 Winter Olympics, had major hip surgery—at the age of 18.2

Two solutions

First we change how we train. We get smart and realize more is not always better. Just because our bodies can endure the activity doesn’t mean it’s good for it. Second, we help the body along the way. We don’t wait until the only recourse is surgery; we become as diligent about our rejuvenation activities are we are about our fitness activities.

Owen Marcus, MA Certified Advanced Rolfer, www.align.org, with 34 yrs experience – call if you have questions: 265.8440.


[1] Faul M, Xu L, Wald MM, Coronado VG. Traumatic brain injury in the United States: emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; 2010.

2 Falcon, Mike (2002-09-06). “Tara Lipinski skates past DVT”USA Today.

Enhanced by ZemantaAdrian Peterson (Photo credit: Mike Morbeck)

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