tiff 1Growing up I was an athlete.  While being a perfectionist and competitive by nature helped me reach some goals, it has also held me back.  There were times in my life where I avoided things because I was afraid to fail. In 2009, I took a chance and trained for a ½ marathon.  Despite playing multiple sports, long distance running has never been “my thing”.  I was nervous to participate for fear of failure, but I put these thoughts aside and I trained.  I followed a plan, I was consistent, and I didn’t get hurt.  When race day rolled around I was nervous but I felt I had prepared well.  I had been experiencing some mild health issues at the time which had altered my diet, but I didn’t worry too much about it.  I woke up the morning of the race with my legs feeling like lead.  I attributed this to being nervous and over-thinking things.  I started the race hoping I just needed to get into my rhythm, but I never did. I trudged on for 12 of the 13.1 miles willing my non-cooperative body to keep moving.  Just past mile 12, there was a hill.  I knew there was no way my body would carry me to the finish line if I tried to run up it.  My entire body was letting me down in a way it never had during any of my training runs.  As I began to walk, a medic asked if I was okay. I stubbornly said yes, but when asked to walk a straight line, I couldn’t come close.  He checked my blood pressure, oxygen, and blood sugar, all of which were too low.  I had to stop.  My body had failed me.  I had failed.

%PM, %17 %796 %2015 %14:%Jun

What Is McKenzie Therapy

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McKenzieMethod 450x350A very common question I receive from my patients with spine conditions is “What exactly is McKenzie Therapy?” Often, these individuals have been referred to our clinics with instructions to see a McKenzie-trained therapist but they don’t know what that entails. Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT or more commonly “McKenzie”) is one of the best researched schools of thought in the physical therapy world and many insurance companies that we deal with are requiring patients to see a PT certified in MDT before referring on

Video Swim Analysis 450x350Last weekend, I took my first plunge into open water for the year. It was "take your breath away" cold and I didn't swim very far or stay in very long. In the last week, I've heard a lot of chatter from my tri-athlete friends about their first open water swims of the season. This time of year always puts me in a water safety kind of mood. Weird I know, but I've spent more than 20 years as a lifeguard and swim instructor and 10 years supervising waterfronts at summer camps. For me, water safety started in kindergarten. Remember that book from 1989 "All I Really Needed to Know I learned in Kindergarten" by Robert Fulghum? It's kind of like that. In Kindergarten, I was introduced to Longfellow's Whales Tales and all the rules and guidelines about water safety I've learned since fit neatly into one Tale or another. If you're not familiar, Wilbert "Commodore" Longfellow is the Grandfather of the American Red Cross' aquatic programs. He started educating people on water safety in the early 1900's and came up with some easy to remember rhymes to teach children.

%AM, %21 %639 %2015 %10:%May

Time to Hit the Open Road

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RS2003 shutterstock 108623393Spring is here and its time to dust off the bike and hit the open road.  Biking can be a great family activity or a good way to just get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather.  There are many health benefits to biking as well as spending quality time with friends and family.  Biking is a marvelous cardio work out for those of all ages. No matter what your pace is on the road, just getting out and moving will help your heart stay healthy. 

It is also easier on your joints.  Some people love to run but complain of knee pain, but with cycling there is less impact on your joints and allows the body to use multiple muscles of the lower and upper body. If the road is intimidating, it’s okay because there are many trails around West Michigan that allow bikes.  The number one thing when riding is making sure you are safe, so here are some tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe as they hit the open road.  

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