After a long weekend away spent at Upper Canada Village, doing horsemanship demonstrations, I am feeling great and rejuvenated. I was lucky to have the opportunity to hang out with my favourite horse, Jordan, even if I am no longer his “mother”. This weekend has inspired me in many ways. One thing is that it had inspired me to stay connected to the horse world. The other thing is that it has inspired me to think about how we approach our sports and our passions.
I saw many people there at the “horse lover weekend” at the Upper Canada Village and unfortunately, I saw many people that were limited by their body. This does not only apply to the horse world. It applies to every sport. You may believe by only practising your sport may keep you fit and healthy but that is only temporary.
We all have weak links in our bodies and some of us may ignore them. With time, your body compensates and builds on those compensations and next thing you know, you are injured or you are no longer able to do what you used to do when you were “young”.
It is my belief that, in order to practise your sports injury free and for a long time, you need to be healthy in the beginning and cross train (work those weak links). The really good hockey players do not just play hockey, they take the time to visit the weight room and also, spend time on balancing their whole energy systems (cardiovascular). The elite marathoners are not only running marathons, they also train in order to do them. They work on specific training zones and do some level of cross training.
What can you do to keep doing what you love for a long time, injury free? You can get the help of many health professionals such as chiropractors, massage therapists, athletic therapists, and exercise physiologists. The list of professionals is almost endless and can be very specific to one’s sport.
What a good health professional does first is that they get your background and they also screen you. If you come and see me, in addition to sharing your background in health and sport, you will get screened with the functional movement screen and the Y Balance Test amongst other basic movement patterns related to your sport.
Those tests allow me to build a report with the help of a software application that will compare all of your results to people in your age group and also, people in your sport. It also gives me the information on the probabilities of you having to spend some time off your sport (because of injury) if you do not start to work on your weak links. With that information you will get some homework (it does not need to be hard to be effective).
That homework will help you get back the control of your own body and with time, will help you improve in your sport and allow you to keep doing what you love for longer. Isn’t that what we all want?
Don’t wait until you get hurt or you can no longer move before taking action to change your life. If something feels wrong, do something about it. Connect with a health professional near you. It’s not always about the sport but mostly the person practising the sport. Do you have what it takes to practise your sports injury free? If not, there is a way to get there and it takes patience and dedication. How much do you love your sport? Are you ready to take the time to be able to one day, get out of that cage that used to be your own body?