ANGELIQUE GARNARD - Yoga Injury
I grew up doing Yoga, even before I knew what Yoga was! I started studying Yoga in my teens and became a certified instructor in addition to being a personal trainer. I was teaching a class when I heard a strange noise during a seated forward fold. I backed out of the pose to listen and then bent forward again. I realized the noise was my own hamstring tearing! I was afraid that my class had heard this too! Luckily it was almost the end of class and I somehow got through the rest of the time. The pain started on the drive home! The scary thing was that people that have an injury like this are very likely to reinjure themselves in the first year!
I was a Yoga junkie and I did not want to give it up, but I realized I needed to strengthen my hamstrings and not just stretch them. My legs were out of balance, my quadriceps were way too strong and tight and my hamstrings were too weak and over stretched. I needed to avoid reinjuring my leg and build balance to create better function in my body. I decided to do the Boot Camp at Studio One!
With my knowledge of the exercise community I felt safe doing the program at Studio One. I’d been to classes there and felt good about the level of instruction offered there. I completed the Boot Camp without injury! I became even better at doing Yoga and I have a more balanced body! It has been over 3 years since my injury, but now I am a Pilates Junkie!
Due to a previously-held high stress job and overall lack of physical health, I spent the previous 2 ½ years with chronic migraines (2-3x/month for 24-48 hours at a time), stress and tension headaches (almost daily), anxiety (daily), and early signs of TMJ. My dentist told me I was grinding my teeth in my sleep, and that I would need to wear a mouth guard. I also had a mild case of urinary incontinence, although at the time, I was unaware as I assumed I was too young. I exhausted nearly every resource in an effort to alleviate my pain and discomfort, including twice weekly visits to the chiropractor, acupuncture, massage therapy, nearly every type of cardiovascular exercise (running, biking, hiking, etc.), Yoga, meditation, and over-the-counter and prescription medications. I changed my diet. I stopped drinking soda.
structural changes: March 2014 - July 2014
I drank less coffee (then went back to drinking more coffee when I realized it didn’t help!). When exercise made my pain worse, I took the “push through it” approach and ran longer and faster, worked out harder, and lifted more. By the time I arrived at Studio One Pilates in January 2014, I was desperate. During week one of Whole Body Boot Camp, I realized I had never felt so good with so little “effort” – you know, little to no sweating, no sudden movements, just slow and concerted. I left each boot camp class mentally exhausted, but feeling better in my body than I had in the previous three years. By week four, I had lost six inches around my upper ribs, waist, and low abs, and gained ¾ of an inch in height that I didn’t know that I had! Six months later, I have no more migraines and little to no headaches or anxiety. I will see my dentist in August, and I am excited to see what he has to say about me grinding my teeth. Also, all signs of urinary incontinence are completely gone. I shred stress at a significantly higher rate, as I am now able to stabilize from my core, instead of my shoulders and neck. I am more structurally integrated than I was at 18, with better posture, more pelvic floor tone, better low ab tone, and less pain. Am I exactly where I want to be? Of course not. I have areas that I need to work on, but thanks to Van Alstine Structural Integration Exercises™ and Studio One Pilates, I know that I am on the right track. The Studio has literally saved my quality of life, and I am happy to share my story and hopefully help others as they journey along their path toward less pain and greater levels of structural integration.
Success where I typically fail-A Gold Nugget Triathlon story and Vasie Pilates
Three weeks in to my Pilates training I went back to the longest running all female event with a bit of trepidation. Thinking it will be the same old same old. Another year of the status quo. The Gold Nugget Triathlon has been running for 32 years as of 2014 and I was seated with the top 50 competitors.
Studio One Pilates was the only change in my normal routine of avoiding training, as I do every year. You see, I train others for multi-sport events and with my busy family and work life I have yet had a year to do adequate dedicated training for myself. I do keep up with year round running 2-3 times a week and a 30 minute swim once a week with about 1-2 days of biking (winter on the bike trainer or stationary bike). I like to think of myself as a runner yet I struggle, as most do, with the bike and the swim.
The day before the race I’m in the Pilates One studio and I’m working on hip rolls thinking this may just blow my race all together. Paul challenges me to make some adjustments, which make my body start to tremor as my hamstrings and glutes scorch in rings of fire up and down my legs. This is a real weak spot for me.
The next day at the race I feel good and its perfect weather. My normal nerves are not on high alert, I feel more centered and calm than ever. I decide to just go enjoy being active. For the past 8 years my overall time and bike time remain the same (in terms of miles per hour), no faster, no slower. I silently sing the mantra “Kegel, breath, knees and toes!” as I switch from the swim to the bike ride. I’m surrounded by uber lightweight, highly technical bikes with disc wheels, talk about being intimidated!
I go through the course with greater ease….still working hard yet with less effort. Remember the only change is that I have three weeks of Vasie Pilates from Studio One behind me (literally) as a better foundation. I beat my bike time by two and a half minutes (bringing my mph pace up from 16.8mph to 18mph). My bike is the same bike and as a matter of fact I worked that day with less gears due to a derailer malfunction. My sits bones (aka bike butt) are not sore, I feel great during the run and I beat my overall time from last year. I place in my age group, this year’s lineup was tough! No Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness the next day or even the next week. I volunteered before and after the race, when home did chores and cooked for a potluck. Crazy amount of extra energy.
My deduction as a fitness sleuth; Studio One Vasie Pilates is at the “core” of my enhanced performance during the 2014 Gold Nugget Triathlon.
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