If you have any connection to endurance sport in the Garden Route, you would have been one of the people glued to tiny blips on the screen following the team’s GPS for 5 full days during the Expedition Africa. With many local athletes participating against several international teams, this years Expedition Africa took place in our back yard, starting in Knysna and stretching for 7 days through forest and beaches and seas and lagoons and rivers and gorges and more… Adventure racing, or expedition racing is about orienteering, riding, running, hiking, paddling, kloofing, abseiling your way for 500 (and more) kilometres, non stop (you sleep if you want to!) in a team of 4 (men and women). Imagine doing the Comrades Marathon, the Cape Argus and the Duzi Canoe Marathon, all back to back, 3 times over, without rest and doing them all off-road through some of the most inhospitable terrains imaginable. That is a bit of what expedition racing is like.
This year Team Painted Wolf won it, beating all other teams, local and international into first place and earned an entry to the World Champs taking place in November in Australia.
What is the connection here you ask? So about 2 years ago John Collins (of Team Painted Wolf) came to me with a problem. A man who had been used to being able to dominate the national and international stage of adventure racing could not run! Well to say he could not run, he would battle to run 8 km with immense pain in his Achilles!! And he asked for my help. I was very willing to help and I told him there was a good chance we could get him competitive again. He was very excited, until I told him how long it was going to take! I said I could get him back to optimum performance in 6 months to a year! He was a bit upset at that news, and with a bit of convincing, we started. The interesting thing is that John was battling with his Achilles and not his back. The problem did however stem from his pelvic mechanics and the knock on effects of that on the lower limb mechanics, and even more interesting is that the first bone in the neck, if misaligned can block the programme that controls the pelvic mechanics. Now 2 years later, Expedition Africa under his belt and the WORLD CHAMPS looming, there is still more work to be done.
A similar story happened with John’s brother Mark (of the same team). Mark was getting a few niggles in his hip/pelvis area whilst training and came to me for help. In the weeks that followed, his issue worsened to the point where he nearly pulled out of the race entirely, he was walking bent over like an 80 year old. We did manage to get him right and as they say in the classics, the rest is history.
WE HAVE DECIDED WE WANTED TO BE A PART OF THIS ELITE TEAM, with their great philosophy and ethos, and just flippin lekker families! We also thought we could bring a lot to the team and so we are now very proud sponsors of TEAM PAINTED WOLF, taking care of their nervous system and making sure they are as close to optimum as we can get them….
Now most people think chiropractic is about back and neck pain and that if it is muscular that it is the job of a physio. So the main reason that we are going to be working with the John and Mark is for OPTIMUM PERFORMANCE. You see the stress and strain the body goes through training for an event like that (and life in general), let alone the actual event can cause the body to undergo changes that inhibits optimum function that can cause anything from muscle spasms, tendonitis, poor cardiovascular output and variability (the ability for your heart rate to adapt to these sorts of environments) to fatigue and endurance. So if you imagine them like a supercar, we need to be tuning them regularly so they can get the most out of their bodies. And this is all to do with the efficiency of the nerves that control the legs, heart, lungs, digestion etc. And yes, you guessed it, through the spine!!!!
Even the fastest man alive (over 100 and 200 meters) needs a chiropractor to perform at his best…
I sure look forward to seeing this team on the podium!!! And to finish off, one of my favourite quotes recently… from the team