Finish Line™ Story: Kyle Martin
Kyle Martin’s perfect start to the day involves shredding the waves at Palm Beach before heading to work.
It’s safe to say there haven’t been a whole lot of ‘perfect’ days over the past few years … but that has started to change recently.
Kyle emerged from years of chronic pain and almost constant injuries after completing POGO’s six-week Complete Recovery Program in February.
Since then the 27-year-old South African-born surfing fanatic has spent almost every spare moment on his board making up for lost time and the novelty of surfing free of pain isn’t going to wear off any time soon.
“I wake up and hop out of bed. Most mornings I’m thinking ‘how good is this, my back isn’t sore’. I surf, go for a run or go to the gym before work,” Kyle says.
“I love it first thing in the morning, you paddle out, the sun comes up, it’s my favourite time.”
Kyle’s problems started back in 2010 when he began experiencing pins and needles in his lower back after running as part of boxing training.
Almost six years ago he had surgery to remedy a herniated disc.
“I had a discectomy on L4/5 in my lower back when I was 21 which is almost six years ago now. They shaved the discs,” he said.
“I don’t know what the original injury was … I did every sport imaginable.
“It was affecting the sciatic nerve so I lost a lot of feeling in my left leg.
“I had the operation and they shaved the discs so I’m a little shorter now, a couple of ‘mils’. I used to be 6’2 but now it’s 6’1 and a something. Exactly what I’m not sure.
“But since then I’ve never been 100 per cent, never been strong. My core got weak, my glutes, my legs and then my knees started to ache. Everything just spiraled downhill from there.”
Kyle had been studying marketing in South Africa but heading into his final year decided he didn’t see his future in the corporate world, dropped the course and went travelling.
A couple of years backpacking through Europe and the UK brought him into contact with plenty of Aussies who reintroduced him to surfing which he had learned to do during school holidays in Durban.
“During my travels I met a lot of Australians and thought ‘these are the loosest people I’ve ever met’. I just had to come to Australia to see how they live.
“When I travelled I was never really healthy. I ate healthy and still trained but never could get my core strong enough. But I could survive with it …
“I got over here and was offered an electrical apprenticeship and decided to stay. It wasn’t really part of the plan, I was just coming here for a year, but when the job came I guess the rest is history.
“While I was working I hurt my back again. It was not unbearable but just chronic. I spent about two years just trying to deal with it. I tried chiropractors, physios, active release therapies, osteos.
“It cost me a small fortune and every week it was something different just to get my back sorted.
“The worst part was it was mentally draining. From the time you get up you notice it. I’d wake up and my back was sore, my neck was out and bending down to pick something up was a mission.
“Day to day was unpleasant.
“I got on that whole journey of different physios, different exercises but nothing was really getting me there. I started to see a little bit of an improvement but it wasn’t enough and I couldn’t progress without injuring myself, or having something go wrong.
“It was almost a last resort and I was getting pretty desperate by the time I found POGO.”
Brad Beer was recommended by a handful of friends and colleagues as someone who might be able to help but it took a little while for the gun-shy Kyle to walk through the front door to speak to yet another physio.
“I think the middle of last year, around July, I decided to go and see him,” Kyle says.
“We went through the motions but I think the price tag of the Finish Line Program was what scared me away.
“I thought ‘I can’t afford it now’. It played on my mind for the next few months but the more I thought about things it made more sense, the whole package deal side of it.
“End of December last year I thought ‘stuff it’ and I pulled the trigger.
“I sat down with Brad and said ‘I need to do this’ and I did the six-week package.
“The confidence Brad had in this product and his caring nature sold it for me. I committed to his process and I’m glad I did.
“It’s the strongest I’ve been since the op, definitely.”
Kyle admitted prior to giving POGO a shot he had reached a point where he believed he wouldn’t run again because of the hip and back pain brought on every time he laced up the runners.
“After my fourth week in the Finish Line program I entered myself in the GC half-marathon. I just felt ‘I’m fit, I’m strong, I can do it’,” he said.
“I might have bitten off more than I can chew there but I’m looking forward to it.”
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