Wellness Booster Case Study: Wayne Stiles
Wayne Stiles says his plans for 2019 are audacious and it’s hard to argue with that.
He says he is feeling as fit and strong as he ever has and when you are in the habit of challenging yourself physically and mentally, why not?
However next year’s goals are a world away from where Wayne found himself just over 12 months ago when he injured his Achilles within sight of the finish line in the Southern Cross University 10km race in June 2017.
Wayne is a firm believer that from negative events in life, positive things can happen and having a pacemaker implanted for his misfiring heart before the age of 50 was one such speedbump which hasn’t set him back one iota.
“Some people who have a pacemaker hang up the boots and I’m here to say you don’t need to do that,” he said.
“And the same with the Achilles … I’ve come back stronger in both cases.”
Wayne said he and running buddy Shaun Smith – ‘Switch’ … ‘he’s either on or he’s off’ – decided a few years back that aside from the running and kayak paddling they were regularly doing they’d target a couple of 10km events a year to push themselves in the pursuit of PBs.
“‘Switch’ and I set ourselves to do the old Gold Coast Bulletin (now Channel 7) 10km fun run and then the Gold Coast Marathon weekend event and chase PBs. We did a few others but these were the serious ones for us,” Wayne says.
“Last year I think was year three and I was right on target, I was chasing a 47:07 and I was all smiles with one kilometre to go because I knew I was in the 46s for the first time in my life.
“It was 100m before the finish … I went for the money shot at the end and then limped across the line with a 47:06. I got it by one second but I’d hurt myself.
“I limped back home like and old war horse thinking ‘I’ve just strained something, it’ll be right in a week or two. Three weeks later it felt a bit better so I went for a run but it was really, really sore.”
Wayne had been a client of Integrative Doctor, Dr Cris Beer for a couple of years and during a consult three months after suffering the injury he said: “This Achilles is not getting any better, I believe you might be able to put me in touch with a good physio …”
Of course, that physio was Cris’s husband Brad, the founder of POGO at Mermaid Waters.
“I went to my first appointment fearing that Brad was going to say I needed surgery. To be in so much pain for four months and not getting any better … but what he said was quite the contrary.
“He sat me down, checked everything out and said ‘Look, basically your calf muscles are too weak’, that’s what had caused it. My age, deterioration in collagen, things like that were probably contributing factors as well.
“I was still waiting for the ‘s’ word and he says ‘No, no surgery, we’ve just got to strengthen things up, there’s a program’.
“I had the attitude of just give me the program and I’ll do it. I wasn’t rushed, I just wanted to do it (rehab) properly. I’m 54 and that type of injury is the sort of thing that can end people.
“When you have other options like paddling and bush walking and skiing … but Brad said ‘don’t worry, we’ll get this right’.
Brad presented Wayne with a course for action which included the option of signing on for one of the Wellness Booster Packs.
“Wayne wanted to get back to injury-free running,” Brad says. “An Achilles tendon injury is one that typically takes months of rehabilitation, not weeks.
“Having unlimited access to the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill for the required return to running program was going to be very beneficial. As was the access to supervised active rehabilitation exercises such as gym work and clinical Pilates.”
Wayne applied himself to the rehab under physiotherapist Brad Beer and has been astounded with the progress he has been able to make.
“Here I am 12 months after having that injury and seven months after seeing Brad and I went and did the Channel 7 10km in May this year and did a PB by about 40 seconds,” Wayne says.
“And then in the Gold Coast run I did 46:15, so I’ve almost taken another minute off it (since the injury) and I’m just rapt.
“The best thing about the program, which is fixed fee, is Brad and Lewis identified weaknesses that I have in muscle groups and it’s been a matter of working on those weaknesses and activating them.
“If you are working on those weak muscle groups, logically you’re not comfortable, it’s not something you enjoy doing.
“I think other physios you go to, traditionally, they identify certain things and then send you home with a series of exercises to do and you just don’t do them.
“It’s like a doctor saying to cut down on caffeine and salt and so on. And when no one’s watching you still put the salt on.
“What’s good about this program is the things that you don’t like to do are required and you are doing them under supervision. You’re committed to doing them.
“You do the clinical Pilates, it’s run by a physio, in my case Lewis who is a runner as well. He knows exactly what I need and there’s no hiding from it. You’ve made an appointment, you’re there and you get the full session.
“Same thing with the remedial massage, Sato (POGO massage therapist Satoshi Ashida) knows exactly what the issues are.
“All those things that are important that you just wouldn’t do at home – you’d probably go back to the physio and embellish what you have been doing – you get done.”
Wayne has never been much of a spectator. He says he started paddling to join in with his son rather than watching from the bank. Same when training moved into the gym and he started pushing a few weights as well.
“I’m a fitness for life guy. I’d like to say I’m a journey guy not a destination guy. I just love the training and keeping fit,” he says.
And all things going well in 2019 Wayne does have another journey that is starting to take shape in his mind and it involves trails, 100km and the Blue Mountains.
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