Kelle has been an athlete her whole life, participating in basketball, volleyball, plus track and field. In her mid-30’s she decided to take up running, as an outlet to her demanding career as a dispatcher at UPS. Having grown up on a farm, she was no stranger to hard work. Running became a huge passion for her and she was good at it! She began to add more mileage and challenging runs, watching her performance levels rise. Along the way, as many athletes experience, Kelle began having hip and low back pain from the repetition of running that was also interfering with the physical demands required for her work. Kelle ended up in physical therapy to try to resolve these issues.
For six months, she completed 18 sessions of Physical Therapy. Kelle was given many standing hip exercises with elastic tubing, instability devices, and weighted resistance. She engaged in various range of motion techniques including passive stretching, electrical stimulation therapy, and massage to alleviate what was diagnosed as tightness and weakness. Although she enjoyed the exercises prescribed, her hip was showing little improvement and it was more and more painful to run. Sitting at work was causing her low back to get even worse.
In 2014, Kelle came across a Groupon for Yoga I.S. ® She decided to give it a try since nothing seemed to change her hip issues. Having very little experience in Hatha Yoga, she saw a huge difference in this type of training. “This yoga involved a huge strength component in every movement and position. Everything the instructors asked us to do had a very specific purpose. I was intrigued that being bendy and flexible was not the focus,” Kelle said. She began to attend classes 2-3 times a week as her schedule allowed and started seeing a huge benefit. She began to rethink many of the exercises she was doing for her hip and back, and started applying the techniques from Yoga I.S.® to her PT exercises.
One day, after a therapeutic yoga class with Lauren, they began an in-depth conversation about her hip. Lauren convinced her to add Muscle Activation Techniques™ to her repertoire. She signed right up! Kelle remarked that “After my first session, my range of motion improved immediately. I felt instantly better, as if I could move more freely with less pain. Unlike the PT sessions, this feeling lasted.”
Yoga Integrated Science ® and MAT™
As Kelle started feeling better, she started picking up her running. Her regime included at least two yoga classes a week, running, strength training with weights, and MAT every other week. She started to feel her strength and range of motion change dramatically. Her running performance started to increase dramatically. Her MAT sessions not only focused on the hip, but they helped her to understand her trunk issues, hip imbalances, and foot/ankle weaknesses. As her body got stronger, she could focus better in Yoga as her overall joint stability improved. In early 2016, Kelle’s best friend from Ireland challenged her to attempt her first marathon. Being able to see her friend and be in a beautiful country was very appealing to her. She decided to sign up and start the rigorous training schedule to prepare. Adding mileage, regular MAT, and regular Yoga between sessions were all a part of the recipe.
The Connemara International Marathon Challenge
It was time! She was ready for her race and boarded her flight to Ireland. Race Day came on April 10, 2016. Training for the marathon was brutal, but not half as brutal as the event itself. It was her first marathon ever. Kelle felt really great for the first 8 miles but suddenly, the weather became severe. The runners were forced to run in a torrential downpour, high winds, and dropping temperatures. Even though much of the race was spent with her head tilted in a way to prevent wind, she was amazed that she only experienced normal fatigue from the long run. She had zero back or hip pain throughout the race. Her core and upper body felt great. She was able to finish the race in five hours and 23 minutes!
She was able to recover in a record two days with no pain and realized how much her commitment to Yoga and MAT was worth it. Kelle said, “Yoga and MAT helped me to repair and heal my body more than I could have ever imagined. There is no way I could have run this marathon without them.”
As she basks in the glow of her accomplishment, she looks forward to increasing her Yoga practice to 3-4 times a week, plus start personal training with added resistance training. We at Yoga Integrated ™ Wellness Center are so proud of this woman! What an inspiration! This marathon shows that if you commit to the right program, anything is possible.
Thank you Kelle for sharing your story to inspire others!