Behind the Scenes: The Stories and Inspiration Behind Ultimate Mobility for Runners // Hip Edition

The inspiration always comes from you.

And other runners just like you.

These stories are yours.

Your stories lead me into your lives, invite me on your runs, and I share in your pain and frustration. I feel those miles in your shoes. And your commitment to the run and to yourselves leads me to action.

And the result and product of that action was the creation of my hip mobility guide made specifically for runners.

Can I tell you the stories that inspired me?

Let me tell you about Gabbie.

An 18 year old high school grad, she was getting ready for college and she came in to her first physical therapy visit beaten down and frustrated. She said she was already feeling burned out from cross country and track. She wasn't sure if she ever wanted to run again. She was healing from a stress fracture in one of her left lower leg bones; I couldn't blame her. Stress fractures are sneaky; a lot of runners have them without even knowing it and continue run on them for months before getting them looked at. And when they finally do, it's discouraging to hear just how much time they take to heal.

So I reassured her. It was ok to take a break from running. It was ok to be uncertain and to have fallen out of love with running. What was important now was getting her better. And if she wanted to, we could gently ease her back into running when she was ready. When her body was healed and ready.

She agreed to that plan.

Her possible return to running goal? Work back up 30miles a week, running at her normal 6:30-7min pace. (Yup, she's a speedy one.)

What stood out from her physical therapy evaluation was what we call her multisegmental rotation. It's a fancy way of saying her full body rotation. To give you an idea: I have the patient stand with their feet together, facing away from me and they simply turn as far as they can to the right, and then as far as they can to the left. I noticed with Gabbie and a lot of other runners, that she wasn't rotating or turning the same through her R hip as she was her left hip.

So we started there with hip mobility.

We dove into restoring that equal rotation motion in both hip joints, progressing to activating all the muscles around those hip joints to help her keep that new motion. It was exciting, amazing, at times frustrating, but so rewarding when she came in 2 week after starting and said with conviction and a joyful light in her eyes, "I want to run again! I want to do this!"

Music to my ears, girlfriend.

So we launched into teaching her body how to use that new motion and muscle activation while she was running. She was ecstatic when I told her she could start running again. For the girl who wasn't sure she ever wanted to run again, she was slightly disappointed at the very low weekly mileage and a slow, easy pace I started her on. But it was all to help that stress fracture continue to heal.

But it was beautiful to watch her learn to savor the run again. With a short leash of half a mile, to 1 mile, to 1.5miles, she enjoyed every stride, every footfall at the slow 9 to 8 to 7:45 minute pace. She learned not only how to appreciate the time on her feet, but to feel the movement, feel the run. She responded beautifully.

The final step to her journey?

We made her strong. Together, we created personalized workout circuits for her specific mobility needs and strength routines to ensure her legs could handle her increasing mileage. And finally, the day came for her to be done with physical therapy. By then, she was bubbly, overflowing with gratitude, and excited to tackle her increasing weekly mileage goal and return to her speedy pace.

Then there was Dylan.

He was a 20 year old college cross country runner. He came into the clinic with a stress fracture in one femur and an upcoming case of burn out.

I sat there with my mouth hanging open (behind my mask) as he told his story. Due to the condensed sports schedule because of the pandemic, his cross country and track team had been running their make-up winter 2020 and 2021 spring and summer meets and appropriate trai