You start to grit your teeth. A quick glance down hides the telling look in your eyes. You start to squint, but not because of the sun’s rays streaming across the perfect blue sky. 30 miles in. 60 to go. Keep pushing. Keep pedaling. Pretend there isn’t a knife sticking in the side of your knee. Your cadence slows as your eyes flick down again. “Is there a damn knife in my knee?” Nope. Not a thing. You slide back in the saddle, forward, shift to the side, sit up right—nothing helps. Your knee keeps getting tighter. The little niggle you felt at mile 30 is debilitating at mile 56. Do you bail? Stop at the pub? HTFU? Either way you’re going to need a few weeks off the bike, right?
No, silly rabbit.
That’s where I come in.
My name is Samantha. And I work magic. Kinda. Ha, not really at all. But I have ways of keeping athletes training and performing through injury while facilitating healing and recovery. I’m a certified athletic trainer with a bachelor’s degree in athletic training and a master’s in kinesiology. I’ve spent the past 12 years working with collegiate, Olympic, and pro athletes while becoming quite proficient in rad skills such as instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, myofascial release, trigger point therapy, Kinesio taping, and medial bike fitting among many others.
Athletic trainers (ATs) are allied health professionals recognized by the American Medical Association as experts in preventing, evaluating, diagnosing, treating and rehabilitating orthopedic and sport related injuries. Which of course includes chronic injuries and nagging pain from repetitive movements such as riding a bike. Or acute injuries such as bashing your face into the pavement. Or rolling an ankle over a cyclocross barrier. Or recovering from a broken collarbone. Just don’t try finding an excuse for why you got dropped on the last TTH ride. Pedal harder, damnit.
I moved to Fort Collins to pursue a few dreams of mine. Yep, another Midwest flatlander invading, please don’t hold it against me! Especially since the biggest reason I dropped in on Fort Collins was for you—to provide the cycling and endurance community with access to an AT to help prevent and treat injury, enhance performance, and optimize recovery. I want to keep you training, recovering faster, and killing those goals you set this year! So I’m launching Empower Performance Therapy and teaming up with Source Endurance Training Center of the Rockies to provide you with the all encompassing training experience—just like a big D1 or pro ball team.
At Empower I’ll evaluate your injury complaint and create a plan to keep you on the bike while overcoming the pain. You’ll also benefit from what I do when you’re not injured. Training is hard on the body. The muscles fatigue, the overworked fibers fray, and sometimes the fibers begin to scar when we don’t allow ample time to rebuild. Soft tissue therapy and Kinesio taping can help restore normal tissue alignment. Compression boots are heavenly after hard training and racing to flush waste products from the legs faster and help them feel fresher the next day. We’ll also have recovery jams—a one hour group session complete with soft tissue therapy, boots, mini yoga, and more.
I’m also a certified strength and conditioning specialist. We can set up a performance movement screen to identify asymmetries in your muscle strength and flexibility and create a program to eliminate those weaknesses to prevent injury and enhance performance. Catching a theme here? Ha. I can set up personal training individually or in a group format.
If you have questions, shoot them over to me. The email addy is email@example.com. You’ll be seeing me around as I infiltrate the FoCo cycling scene. I’ll be hanging out around Source, racing mountain bikes, pretending to race cross, and I might even dabble in some crits. That is..if a Surly Pacer with tiagra components doesn’t get laughed off the course.
Be sure to share with your shredding buddies too.. you know, the one who always complains of hamstring or low back pain after riding? Next time you see him gritting his teeth, just give him that gentle nudge or smack on the face, tell him you know someone who might be able to work a little magic. Happy National Athletic Trainers’ Month, my friends! Train empowered.
Samantha Welter, MS, ATC, CSCS, CKTP
Check out Empower’s services out of the training center: Empower Performance Therapy Services