The All Rounded Athlete

“Take care of your horsemanship because it will take care of you.” It is a simple statement yet meaningful for the person who would like to make it their mission in life. I’ve heard that statement so many times when I have been to horsemanship conferences and I have heard it from many horsemen that I consider to be mentors.

Switch it around to a world without horses and you will get the following statement from me: “Take care of your body because it will take care of you.” There can be many exceptions in terms of genetics and diseases but that can be a whole other conversation.

Let’s speak of how taking care of your body really influences your sport. Truly. A month ago I decided to screen myself using the Functional Movement Screen and also, to perform the Y-Balance Test. You can see the results and well, let’s just say that I really had a big functional asymmetry, which meant that if I kept going without taking care of myself, that an injury was bound to happen.

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I couldn’t believe it, me a coach who makes sure that everyone stays injury free was on her way to becoming injured. I then decided to take care of myself. Fast forward a month and I get a reminder from my phone that I have to perform another Y-Balance Test. Isn’t it fun when we become accountable for ourselves with the help of technology?

There are still lots to do but isn’t it surprising what one-month can do to your body if you take care of it? You go from “being more likely than your peers to lose time from your sport because of an injury” to having “some characteristics that may cause you to lose time from your sport due to an injury”. From “Moderate Deficit” to “Slight Deficit”. Cool isn’t it?

What happened here is that I decided to take a step back, put my ego at risk and see my real reflection. Big news here people, your ego has no place in your health. You may be athletic but that does not mean that you are healthy and that is why screening is such a valuable tool. It directs you to where you need to work and also, shows your progress in the meanwhile. Once you take care of your body, it takes care of you in your sport and your body becomes a tool to push the boundaries.

 

Screening and cross training is part of what it takes to become good at your sport. What goes on after taking care of the foundation is the proper training in order to develop athletic skills and also, different energy systems. I insist on the term “different”. We enjoy doing what we know we are strong at and turn a blind eye on what we really need to work on. Why not start addressing our weak links? It does make a big difference!

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