This month we are highlighting Veronica! Veronica came to us this past summer with a complain of knee pain that was very concerning to her. She has always been very active as her and her husband love to hike, run and bike ride. Her knees have affected her ability to do these things with ease and she was sick of it. She came to us feeling rather hopeless and thought that it was possible that surgery was her answer if Physcial Therapy wasn’t able to help.
“Before finding Infinite potential I was really frustrated of not knowing when I was going to have knee pain. It was a constant doubt of how much my body could do without being sore for days. I enjoy being outdoors either hiking, running, cycling or climbing. It was tough to doubt if any of these activities would impact my health at some point that I would no be able to complete a multi day adventure or not be able to go to the next one.”
Just a little backstory on her and her husband… to say they “hike” and “run” is an understatement. They enjoy going on extended day trips in the mountains, completing mile long adventures, running up and down mountains. They are not your average weekend warriors! This means that I had to create a program to reflect those goals and aspirations. She was challenged and hesitant at first, but soon realized that she was on the right track.
“I learned to live my life thinking I was not able to perform regular exercises like lunges, squats, ufff!! and don’t even think about air squats. All those exercises that one day I was able to do they were on my “no way list”. I think I lived with an unconscious fear of not knowing how my body was going to feel after doing what I love, that is exercise.“
One of my favorite things to do with clients is instill hope! Veronica was one of those that I was able to give hope to.
“I felt sad of being in pain. I felt I needed to ask for help if I didn’t want to have knee surgery in the future. I had so many dreams and goals that I wanted to achieve, but didn’t seem realistic since even though I was training and living and active life, the pain was always there, not letting me get better or go to the next level. I felt limited.”
I had to take her out of her comfort zone a bit, as the best way to begin the process of pain relief is some form of resistance training…
“I started to enjoy exercises with weights (which I hated), it made me feel more confident about my body and its capacities. After every session, Loni added new exercises or increased the difficulty. It was fun, there was always a new challenge and I way to feel the benefits from the treatment.”
One of my favorite moments is when we begin to see the fruits of our labor both inside and outside these walls. This was a picture of her climbing a mountain in NH, where she used to have to be very careful on the decline… Now getting down with ease!
“My husband and I always had to take in consideration the possibility of me getting pain and/or inflammation on the knees after a hike or high intensity exercise. That was frustrating because we needed to have always a plan B, or don’t even plan for a multi day hike. My husband was stressed and worried when we went on adventures. Pain was impacting my activities and emotions.”
When someone is in pain for a long, long time it begins to be part of their normal day to day. It can sometimes worsen more and more over time if nothing is done about it. There are many, many reasons why chronic pain is present, too many to discuss here. One of the most effective ways to help anyone in dealing with chronic pain is to improve their self-efficacy, or belief that they can help themselves out of this!
“I started trusting my body and have a better connection with it. I understood that my body could do anything I wanted, I just needed to prepare it for what I was asking it to do. The program had also a mental work since some of the exercises push me to go further from the limit I had in my mind. Loni taught me to understand the chronic pain, and not to fear it. Playing music to don’t listen my knees cracking sound and go always a little bit further.”
I asked her how our program design and implementation was different than what she had experienced in the past.
“I loved the app “TrueCoach”. It includes the program for the day, and also the passed and future sessions. That allows you to compare results, and plan your schedule. I liked that there is a video on each exercise in case you have questions of how to do it. It is always good to have that available since you can forget the instructions given in the therapy day. Being able to have communication with the therapist was great. Loni always responded fast , helped with any doubts and was cheering for my accomplishments. In my experience the program is great because it really focuses on getting the patient better while understanding the needs of an athlete, the desire of performing exercise, and giving a constant challenge.“
I felt incredibly fortunate to have been able to work with such a hard working, goal-oriented, and motivated individual. She worked incredibly hard on something that she did not have much hope in. Veronica’s story is a true depiction of “trusting the process”.
I asked her how life is different…
“I feel very happy to trust my body and understand it. I have been increasing the intensity of my workouts, going to longer runs and hikes. I feel stronger and prepared for the activities I enjoy. I am not limiting myself as much, because I learned to listen to my body and to know what it is capable of doing.
I go down the stairs and hike down a mountain way easier. During the sessions, we recreated the movements that caused pain, so my body and mind got used to them. My muscles are stronger and are able to stabilize the knee.
I am happy to start planning again for more adventures. I know it will still be a long process and hard work, butI have hope of being able to do whatever I want for a long time.”
Thank you Veronica, for being such a great client! I look forward to helping you continue your fitness journey one step (or mountain) at a time!