Client Experiences

The telltale signs of user error

I found the enemy, and it was me!

I’ve returned to walking the golf course after a decade of riding on a cart and limping to my ball. Muddling through life with debilitating knee pain in my 50s was not something I expected following the athleticism of my 20s and 30s. In college, I was a competitive decathlete with an occasional knee twinge that I chalked up to training. At 52, I could barely walk and was searching for an answer about what went wrong.

I went through all the usual treatments and a few unusual ones several times over, but the overall problem steadily got worse. I found myself deprived of golf, walks with the family, and eventually struggling to do anything that involved walking, and sometimes even standing. Then I met Jeremiah. Turns out my nuisance knee was on its way to big trouble long before I recognized the symptoms because the early warning signs had been masked by fitness and youth.

Body awareness was key. Once I learned proper technique and to recognize when I was off, I accepted the challenge to change as a new phase in growing older. The best part — it doesn’t have to be about limitations. Now I can feel when something is not right or starting to go awry, and I can fix it right away, before it becomes problematic.

I don’t have to think about my knees all the time any more because I’ve retrained my body to use them appropriately; they’re part of a larger movement system. In addition to saving my professional life, solving this exercise paradox put me back on the golf course with my friends, enjoying the game with ease.

 

- Randy

Recovering From Injury and Fighting Office Body

After surgery to repair a 90% rotator cuff tear on my right shoulder, I consulted Jeremiah on a rehab and restoration program. I first met Jeremiah in training with the Contra Costa County Search and Rescue team. After spending time with him, I was so impressed with the breadth of his knowledge of the human body, and training and conditioning for sport, I knew he was the guy to help me.

Jeremiah worked with me to rehab my repaired shoulder and strengthen the whole body so I could get back to the activities I love. My recovery and performance has been beyond expectations, thanks to the work with Jeremiah. My right shoulder now feels like it is only 25 years old, as compared to the rest of me aging fast at 52. Having played competitive tennis all my life, I am so happy to report that I am back at full speed with significantly improved play over the last few years due to the repair and recovery. Additionally, my golf game has improved tremendously with the new total body flexibility obtained by working out with Jeremiah. I just shot my first 89 on a difficult course! I continue to race mountain bikes, ride motorcycles, go backpacking, and generally behave like I am still in my twenties, in spite of my old and often injured body. I can attribute much of this to working with Jeremiah and his approach to whole body fitness and his methods for fighting the creeping decay imposed by working in the office on a daily basis. I have termed this “fighting the office body syndrome.”

I seriously recommend Jeremiah for any rehab, recovery, training, or simple workouts to fight office body and aging. I can’t say enough about what a great person he is and what a great program he has developed. Thanks, Jeremiah!

- Paul H

Regaining my Independence and Staying in my Home

A year ago I was in daily pain with a frozen shoulder, and increasingly dependent on others for personal care and home maintenance. I had done a lot to try and get healthy, but it wasn’t working. I was losing hope for anything getting better and resigned to the idea of a rapid decline from this point on; a total reversal of what I have been used to.

Reflecting on how my life was then, I am amazed at how things have turned around. I am in much better shape and headed in the right direction. I don’t have pain. I am able to accomplish daily tasks again. I feel energetic and enjoy the many activities my life offers. I have a new appreciation for how readily my body can respond to corrective movement and conditioning.

Thank you, Jeremiah! Your exceptional insights into how our bodies are meant to work, and how to restore my capabilities despite my age, helped me get better. At 83 years old I am returning my kitchenware to the bottom shelves, where much of it belongs and where I will have to stoop down to get to it many times a day, every day!

- Dorothy Dees

Competing in the Olympic Games

I’m in Oklahoma City right now preparing for the Olympic Games. I just wanted to say thanks and let you know how much fun — and how formative — your year of coaching was for me. Reflecting on ten years of rowing, that first one with you laid the foundation for a lot of the success I’ve had. I’m obviously stronger now, and row a little differently, but I still have the same mentality as I did by the end of my first season, and I think that’s to your credit. Most of my memories of rowing are sort of non-specific, basically several months worth of training sessions all melted together. I have a lot of specific memories of the first year, though, most of them lessons about how to approach training and racing. I hope we can put together some good races in London for you!

- Anthony

Vacation saved!

I’d been working with Jeremiah to improve my flexibility, balance, and strength for a year and a half because 40 years of sitting at a desk had not been kind to my body!

A few months before my 65th birthday, I began experiencing pain in my left foot, much like plantar fasciitis. I initially ignored it while the pain grew increasingly more acute, but I finally mentioned the problem to Jeremiah because I was concerned that it would impair my enjoyment of an upcoming vacation in Iceland. He observed me walking for a minute or so, then on the spot made a short exercise program to address the issue. I noticed improvement during the first two weeks.

When my wife and I left for vacation just two weeks later, the problem was 90% resolved. The only equipment required for the exercises was a lacrosse ball, which was easily stuffed into my suitcase so that I could continue the exercises while on vacation. I had a great time walking and hiking in Iceland, with essentially no pain at all. I continue the exercises still, and my foot is dramatically better. I consider the problem pretty much resolved at this time. Thank you, Jeremiah!

- Ken L

Keeping Life In Flow

I’m 61 and lead a pretty active life, including backpacking, but vacuuming and gardening had me stumped. Vacuuming and gardening may not seem real important but when my home and garden are in order, my life feels more in order and I can handle the unexpected better. And when my garden is blooming, my soul sings. Working with Jeremiah has helped me to transform my daily activities into movements of joy instead of the back-aching drudgery they were. I also learned how to work my abs and core without flaring up the arthritis in my spine. And I learned how to walk so that I’m more efficient and comfortable backpacking. In general, I move with more grace, ease, and satisfaction in all areas of my life. Thank you, Jeremiah, for your expertise and confidence in getting this gal moving with joy.

- Karen Najarian

I am going to be rowing the rest of my life

Rowing is a highly technical sport with many challenges that can take a lifetime to develop and perfect. And that is its most appealing feature, because I’ve always loved a challenge! I began rowing after a major change in my life at 74. I’m now 78 and hope to be rowing for the rest of my life. I met Jeremiah as my rowing coach several months ago. A stroke of luck! His coaching has already made me a better rower than I dreamed of being. Jeremiah’s technical expertise on how the body works and how to apply this knowledge to rowing has been paramount to my improvement.

Jeremiah is a master at visualization and providing physical cues, so that all who work with him can row better. As he says, “If you picture it in your head, you will be able to do it.” For me, visualization and body mechanics have made all the difference. As an older rower I no longer have the raw physical prowess of a 20 or 30 year old. So in order to compete and enjoy the sport, I must “row smarter!” Jeremiah has been the prime mover and inspiration for me to learn to row smarter, and to maximize the physical capacities I have at my age. I want to be more efficient and effective in how I row a boat through the water.

All of us in sports look for The Great Coach. For me this means someone who will support, inspire, and challenge me; indeed, Jeremiah does all of that. But what singles him out from others is that Jeremiah meets me “where I am at now.” I have seen how he is able to help everyone in this manner, whether it is a “wanna-be” beginner, a frustrated intermediate trying to correct bad habits, or an advanced athlete tweaking skills for top competition. Finally, Jeremiah has assured me and my teammates that as we grow older, all the skills he is teaching us will help us maintain a better quality of life. I tend to believe that he is right!

- Joan Bajsarowicz

Staying in the Game after 60: It’s a Journey

Turning 60 was not a happy event for me. As an occupational therapist working in home health with the aging population, I have daily experience with what can happen as the body and mind age, especially when we pay less than 100% attention to how we live. For me staying mentally alert, physically strong, and spiritually fulfilled are personal goals that require constant attention if I am going to live the quality of life I want.

At 60 I had the wild thought that I would walk a mile for every one of my years. I found a friend who was willing to do a backpacking class to test if we really were up to it and if we would get along to make it a pleasant adventure. Our fabulous backpacking instructor felt confident in our ability to meet the goal. So my wild idea turned into reality as I began hiking and backpacking. One year later we completed our first section of the John Muir Trail (JMT). It included more than 60 miles of walking through incredible scenery in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

We chose to make it an annual event with great success until 2011 when the deep winter snow left the trail too covered for a safe and enjoyable trek. In 2012 I was unable to complete the next section due to a health event that happened on the trail. And it was then I realized I needed some help to get back to better health and regain my strength. My relationship with my backpacking instructor led me to Jeremiah just in time for the next challenge. I wanted to finish the last 100 miles of the JMT in 2013; 50 miles with a friend and the last 50, to Mt. Whitney, solo. It would take all the self-management skills for the wilderness I had acquired, some physical adjustments, and a sufficient increase in self-confidence to make the trip successful.

After a comprehensive discussion and evaluation with Jeremiah, we were able to identify what I needed to do for a successful adventure. Jeremiah provided insight and guidance in a way that challenged and fostered my personal growth. Working with Jeremiah helped me improve the critical abilities needed for the longer and partially solo hike. My dynamic and static balance improved and I learned better mechanics in using my legs and core. I developed quicker feet and better footwork. I learned to lift my 40 lb. backpack from the ground to my back with ease, reducing the risk of a lower back injury. My confidence in my ability to go solo zoomed as Jeremiah continued to teach me the techniques that would help keep my body strong and my mind keen.

With a good friend I met the challenges of the first 50 miles well. The ascents were tough and the descents challenging. Yet I always had good energy in the morning, which made me ready to continue. Since I wasn’t exhausted, I was able to keep my attention wide to enjoy all the splendors of the backcountry. I never had a moment of pain, which meant I was using the techniques I learned with Jeremiah. The strenuous eleven-hour hike out of the wilderness included a short climb followed by a steady 6,000 ft. descent over eight miles on a trail full of rock, rubble, and brush. I really pushed my body much harder than I had before and in some hot temperatures. As I rested the day after the trek, I experienced a type of exercise-induced heat rash on my leg, called golfer’s vasculitis. Consequently I had to abort my plan to finish the JMT solo that year. Four days of rest, elevation, and ice returned my leg to normal. I was thankful that I was not on the trail when the vasculitis erupted. I was disappointed not to continue, but grateful that I could recover quickly. It was a good reminder for me how important it is to know how to respond appropriately when the unexpected happens.

In 2014 I prepared to finish the hike, but had to abort due to a virus which I unknowingly had within me as I started up the mountain. Fevers and backpacking are a bad mix! Disappointed to leave the mountain, I appreciated Jeremiah’s wisdom of the imperativeness of knowing your body well enough to know when you are putting yourself at risk.

Now, a few years older, wiser, and remaining physically strong I am looking forward to hiking my final section of the JMT during the summer of 2015. Every day I use the techniques Jeremiah taught me to keep my body strong. It requires vigilant mental awareness and allows me to create rich and satisfying personal experiences. The quality of life that I have often exceeds my expectations.

- Mary Clements

What a Joy to Experience Fluid Movement

I hired Jeremiah thinking he was going to whip my butt into shape. Instead, he taught me how to move, transforming me from a ball of pain back to an active, joyous hiker.

His ability to identify the real root causes of issues, coupled with the knowledge of how to eliminate them, has resulted in my ability and desire to be active again. The two-notch decrease in belt length was a bonus. I appreciate his specific guidance targeted at my needs, not a “one size fits all” approach. If I had to sum it up in one word, it would be gratitude.

8 Month Update:
The few pounds that I initially dropped have turned into over 20. The real payoff, though, has been in physical performance. At 59, it’s a joy to focus on and experience performance development! My backpacking friends were amazed on our last eight-day, off-trail trip.

- RN

Getting the Younger Me Back

Working with Jeremiah on my fitness has been one of the highlights of my 50s. He has helped me move more freely, strengthen my core, and get back the agile rhythm of my younger years. Back in high school I was voted most athletic, but over the course of my adult life my interests in sports shifted to more subdued activities. It feels so good to be getting the younger me back.

The most enjoyable part of working with Jeremiah is that I can be in the gym one day, then on a softball field, or a basketball court, or hiking the trails around Mt. Diablo another day. He takes the time to explain why I move the way I do and how I can make improvements that carry over to my recreational life. I highly recommend him for both individual and group coaching.

- Maggie W