Monthly Archives: August 2013

The perfect sports massage

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As athletes, we are well aware of the intense physical strain we impose on our bodies at times, especially during strenuous training. Quite often, you will hear marathon runners, cyclists or triathletes talk about lactic acid accumulation and fascia build-up. Sound familiar?
 
While endurance athletes will rave about the exceptional adrenaline rush, yet increased fatigue, loss of strength and speed are inevitable side effects. Needless to say, that this can lead to injuries! Body stiffness and knots will ultimately catch up on you and your posture, making you feel like you are walking around in a tight, straight jacket.
 
It was during an intense cross-country training program that my body batteries hit red light, my hips were achy while my calves felt as tight as a rock.  I knew that it was time for a therapeutic sports massage to help my body deal with this stress, alleviate the pain and help my muscles loosen up. It was at this incredibly sore time that I heard about a new kind of sports massage in town- a Rolling Massage, offered by Stott Pilates instructor, Ricardo Cuellar Barrios.

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Using the Myofascial Release (MFR) therapeutic technique, designed to release constricted tissue with a specialized rolling pin, this massage helps open blockages in the fascia, a web that holds the body together, allowing your muscles to relax and lengthen. Evidently, circulation and nerve conduction are revitalized, and inflammation is reduced. As Ricardo patiently massaged my left leg with a Grid Foam Roller, the pain was excruciating, yet he helped channel my breathing to control, and ultimately dissolve the pain. ‘This will help dissolve the fascia,’ he explained, adding that it would soften and release the fascia by breaking down scar tissue or adhesions between the skin, muscles and bones.

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Fascia is the connective tissue that runs through and between every muscle, vessel, nerve, and body organ, including the brain and spinal cord. It is the incessant web running from head to toe, and, in a normal state, it is fluid and pliable. However, over time; the life experiences of physical trauma, stress, injury, scarring, and inflammation cause the fascia to harden into knots affecting our body functioning. These restrictions and the resulting pressures cause muscle spasms, pain, tightness, discomfort, fatigue, loss of movement and many other symptoms.
 
Having completed the rolling massage on my left leg, Ricardo asked me to get up and walk around the room. Quite simply, I couldn’t balance my walking. While my left leg felt as light as a feather, my right leg still weighed a ton.
‘It’s time to work on the other leg,’ Ricardo smiled.
 
After four massage sessions, the results on my body are astounding and I can recommend this treatment to any endurance athlete without hesitation. In my 14 years as a runner, this is probably the only sports massage which has helped restore my body balance and has given me that extra dose of flexibility and strength which my body needs during marathon training. Have to keep rolling that fascia away!
 
The photos are courtesy of PILATES Body Harmony, a STOTT PILATES® Hosted Training Center.

Loving life

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My friends often say that they admire my discipline and dedication towards
marathon training, a work project or an event. This morning, I read the following in ‘The Monk who sold his Ferrari’, which I believe explains the reason why I get so enthusiastic. They are the words of Indian philosopher, Patanjali:
‘When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all of your thoughts  break their bonds: your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness
expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person than you ever dreamed yourself to be.’

As I always like to say… make sure that passion is the main ingredient in all that you do… Life needs that extra touch of spice…

let the journey begin

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August 10: Training day 1 at 7am at Athalassa, Nicosia, Cyprus and 78 days till the Big Race..!
Marathon training is not just about the race. It’s all about the journey towards the destination. The fun, the laughter, the excitement,  the sweet pain and your adrenaline sky high. It’s also about your running buddies sharing that experience with you and holding your hand along the way. It’s about your wellness warriors telling you what to eat while reminding you to smile when pain kicks in. It’s about the people who inspired you to sign up for that race in the first place and the sweet anticipation of reunion. But above all, it’s about the reason you are running… All this excitement, blended with countless beautiful energies and prayers, will be dedicated to a beautiful family which I have in my heart. A family with which I will be re-uniting on the final countdown to the race. Let the journey begin!

Fit to Inspire

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Living and loving passionately is my life’s motto. After all, it’s all about that extra touch of spice, which we put into what we do!
In May 2013, I joined Fit to Inspire, an inspirational community which fosters fitness and well-being.  This new venture has invigorated me immensely and I have since been inspired to try new challenges- SUP yoga, trail running, even inspiring my sister into fitness!
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Founded by a precious college friend, Rebeca Plantier, FTI’s philosophy is that ‘living a healthy life starts with friendship – and friends who work out together not only have more fun, they ultimately feel better about themselves and their life.’  Having known Rebeca for over two decades now, inspiring fitness in others- including myself- has always been a way of life. Which is why I salute FTI with great delight, enthusiasm and a smile!
 
What’s more, I am honored and delighted to be part of FTI’s team as writer and community manager (stay tuned for FTI’s soon-to-be launched website www.fittoinspire.com ). Pursuing your passion is wonderful… Writing about your passion and sharing all the goodness and inspiration is extraordinary!
 
Today, I would like to share this passion through some photos which speak for themselves… They are all about my love for running and what inspires me to keep running…
 
 
 
…the morning mist… nature in all its glory… my running buddies, and so much more. Whether it’s my dear friend Maria who ignites that spark to hit the park every single week, or, my wellness warrior who keeps inspiring me with his love for challenging sports and wellness as a way of life… my running is a magical experience every single time.
 
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With running every life’s challenge becomes easier and creativity keeps flowing..! Which is why it is essential to keep the inspiration factor up in the air!
 
The photos were captured through the artistic eye of my fellow TEDxer, Andri Josef (AJphotoart) who managed to grasp all that inspires me!