This is a little story about Dylan, an inspiring young runner who battled back from some physical setbacks that were slowing him down a couple years ago. He is now positioned for a Varsity career as he moves toward university and enjoys competing provincially, nationally and even internationally.
Dylan came in recently for an assessment and we had an opportunity to ask him some questions:
Our Interview with Dylan
What do you love about being active? What are your big picture goals / dreams?
I love the feeling after a run where you feel so refreshed and proud of yourself for getting it done. I also enjoy being outside just silently running along without any distractions. For my long term goals in running I’d say to keep improving a lot over the years and become a real competitor on the international and national stage.
Why is being proactive about your body important to you?
Being very focused on my body is a huge part of being a successful runner. For me staying injury free is so crucial and knowing to listen to my body and try to correct little problems is the base to that. If you do the little things to keep your body in alignment like stretching, rolling and activating you are keeping the problems away before they even start.
How does an assessment with Lift help you?
An assessment with Lift really helps me see any problems or misalignment in my body that I can go get on top of and fix before they even become an injury problem.
Most kids your age don’t seek individualized plans to help them with movement, flexibility, strength or injury prevention. Why do you do this?
I love running so much that I’m willing to do anything to get those extra gains and doing the small things outside of running like strength and flexibility are the things that can get me to that next level.
What would you say to someone your age or even a few years younger or older, about the importance of being assessed and having an individualized plan to address these things? Is it valuable? Interesting? Motivating? Worthwhile?
I would say that just because your staying relatively healthy or injury free doesn’t mean you don’t need to keep and eye on the little things. Getting help on this is very important because it opens your eyes to a new important things in the way your body works that you didn’t even know of.
Do you think this will make you a better runner?
This will definitely make you a better runner or make you a better athlete in any sport you do. The small things add up and elevate you to that next level in sport.
Do you think this will help you be active and fit for life?
I think keeping my body in good alignment will really promote me being able to still run and stay active far into my life.
An Inside Look at the Lift Treatment
As for the recent session at Lift, here’s how it went down. A head to toe screen identified key limitations in toe touch (due to hamstring length), trunk rotation (due to spinal extension mobility) and squat patterns (due to quad tension and calf length). Equally important, we were able to rule out a lot of other potential causes for these issues so he doesn’t waste his time trying to stretch, mobilize or treat things as you would if you just took random advice from the internet or followed general stretching programs. A bit of targeted manual therapy and some revisions to his home exercise and he has the foundations of a good plan in place. Next up we hope to follow up with some further hands on treatment, one more stretch, and have a look at a few things he could do in the gym to compliment the physical development we’re aiming to achieve.
Aside from all the personal bests and podium finishes, we think Dylan has developed another big achievement. The mindset of a champion, and the ability to embrace a challenge. Consistency in preparation; seeking to find the little things; loving the process. This is about much more than just running, and will serve you well throughout your life.
Dylan, thanks so much for sharing your inspiring story with us and our readers! We wish you the very best, now and for years to come.