Category Archives: News

Movement is Medicine

Over the last few years I have had more than my fair share of cycling accidents: a broken femur in 2010, a compressed L1 in 2011, and over the last few years repeated shoulder dislocation (no biggie it just pops back in right?). The femur, and eventually the shoulder, needed surgery and in both cases I was blessed with speedy treatment by superb surgeons. The morning after the femur was operated on I was able to hobble to the bathroom to take a pee. Amazing!

In addition to the great surgeons I have also been supported by my athletic therapist, Kevin Jardine at the Urban Athlete, who has put in many hours keeping my body working. With Kevin’s help I am working consistently to try and maintain the ability of my body to perform athletically. One of Kevin’s mantras is that movement is medicine – without movement there is no recovery.

Kevin talks about how when you injure yourself you not only injure your body but also affect your brain. You injure your body and also impact your brain’s ability to communicate with that part of the body: the part of the brain affected actually diminishes and starts to lose the ability to communicate with the injured area. When I came out of surgery for my shoulder I definitely did not want to move it, and still felt that way several weeks later. Kevin explained that rehabilitating the shoulder wasn’t about doing weights, it was about activating the small muscles which in turn helps re-establish the pathways of communication to the brain.

Now, I am not saying that the day after you have surgery or injure yourself that you should go out and try to start moving. Doing little in the way of movement can also have a place in the recovery process, as it did with my shoulder. But at some point it will be necessary to start re-establishing your neuromuscular pathways and that is where movement is indispensable.

When you injure yourself most likely you will go see a therapist, and they will help you with some work on your body to help alleviate some of the tension in your muscles. This is important stuff. But just as important, or even more so, are the exercises that they will give you to help with your rehabilitation. This is where you start to be in control of your health. Doing the exercises diligently, progressing through a variety of phases and taking the time to heal yourself is the key to well-being. You want to perform well again in the future and this is the time to control your fate.

Ultimately, through a variety of choices, our health is largely in our own hands. Kevin truly believes that with movement we can overcome recurring pain and improve our quality of life. It is also the means to maintaining our health and improving our athletic performance.

Here is a the video that inspired this blog.

And if you want to check out some of the projects that Kevin has been working on in regards to movement and health check out CrossBell and FeelingPrettyRemarkable.

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Winter Motivation: pace yourself

Motivation, it’s the most important thing when it comes to our successes and failures. Without it you won’t stick to your plan or get on the bike when things get tough. And things always get tough.

How is your motivation right now as we all turn our attention towards the new season coming in a few months? I bet it is through the roof. You have just come off a rest phase and have now re-focused your sights on some big objectives in the summer of 2014. For all of us now is the time to dream big, the sky’s the limit. But it is also the time to restrain ourselves a bit.

In an earlier blog I talked about summer motivation and how to get through that slump we all tend to go through where out motivation wanes. Now is actually a time when you can look ahead and plan for that summertime slump. Right now though, with your motivation sky high, all you want to do is head into the basement get on the trainer and pound out some killer workouts to get that fitness up. Go time!

But hold on there killer. Take a look at your objectives for the coming season they are probably a good three, four or even five months away. Why do you want to be super fit now?

I often hear athletes telling me about all the awesome off-season training they are doing on the turbo: “I’m on the trainer for hours, smashing it!”. And where are they when we get to May, which is really the start of the competitive season for us in Canada? Burned out. No doubt about it no matter how motivated you are riding on the turbo is mentally taxing. Be careful not to burn up all that motivation in the off-season.

Plan out your season and use the winter to maintain your fitness and work on some weaknesses. Don’t use it as a time to tire yourself out. Can some of that motivation, store it up and when that summer slump comes remember how excited you were for the upcoming season. Your objectives are around the corner and now it really is go time!

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Ride for Karen

The Ride for Karen was fantastic once again this year. It was a privilege to be out on the ride supporting everyone.

ARcoaching at Ride for Karen 2013

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ARcoaching in Paris

ARcoaching JCS

ARcoaching kit has made an appearance in Paris.

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Three Tips to Improve Your Climbing

Tour de Beauce Being able to climb well is an important part of enjoying your riding. It isn’t all about strength though, follow these tips to make your climbing better.

Focus on your pacing, shifting and technique when standing up.

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