TRP and me. [a Lauren Roberts blog post]
I’ll never forget the week I first felt it. I had been running past the Casa Loma stairs and thought “Hey, that’s a good way to add in a little more fun to this workout - I’ll just do a few stair reps”. I pulled a hard left and exploded up the stairs; one at a time, two at a time, each time sprinting hard. After 8 or 10 reps, I carried on the last few kilometres back to my house.
A few days later, I was coming down the stairs of my second-floor apartment and felt what HAD to have been an actual knife digging into the side of my right knee. Nearly crippled, I side-stepped tentatively down the rest of the stairs. Testing it out with a few steps, it seemed okay, but whatever that was seriously hurt.
I was in my first few months of physio school and was on my first placement at a hospital. I knew a little bit about running problems and “physio stuff” but I was still a super green physio student. As I again gingerly stepped down a few stairs outside of the hospital’s Physio Staffroom, one of my mentors saw me grimace and inquired what was wrong. I explained this sudden sharp, shooting pain down the side of my knee. Without missing a beat, she says says, “Ugh, IT band. The worst”.
This was officially my first “running injury”. I had been running fairly consistently for years, but with recently heading back to school, I had become much less consistent as I was just too busy. I had been picking it up again as a bit of a stress reliever, so had been going…kind of hard and wildly without a plan.
This ridiculous injury took FOREVER to go away. Just as I thought it was gone, I would run one more kilometre and sure enough, there it was and I’d go limping back to my house. I was frustrated, angry, and wondered if I’d ever be able to run again without this stupid pain. Meanwhile, in physio school, we were just getting into musculoskeletal biomechanics and how to assess and treat things like ITB friction syndrome. I tried to “self treat” which did seem a help a little, but I was still only running a few kilometres without the pain coming back. I decided that I would see a physio because I felt that someone who knew more than me would be better equipped to help me.
It didn’t. It didn’t help at all. I felt rushed and like the physio actually didn’t seem to know that much more than me despite being not even a year into my Master’s program. Now, to make things worse I was starting to even doubt the profession I was training in. (And had a LOT of student debt from). It was crazy how this simple injury lead me down a huge rabbithole that seriously affected the quality of my life.
Finally things started to get better. I made a running plan and I stuck to it. I kept up with my little exercises from myself and from the other physio. And one day, it just…went away. It was completely gone. I vowed to remember this moving forward and never forget how it felt to not be able to do the thing I wanted to do, and also that it seemed SO HARD to find someone that I trusted, who I felt I could rely on, and who could guide me. I said to myself, I would be that person. I said to myself when I open a clinic it will be this feeling painted into the walls. I said anyone who is on our team will share in this vision and that we would all create it together.
And now we are here. And we are four. We can talk the talk and we can walk the walk. To quote the famous Simon Sinek, when people ask me “Why?” - this is it.