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Pain Free Knee and out on the Trail (Pacific Coast Trail that is...!)

December 2, 2018

 

This summer I travelled the length of the country on foot – from the Mexican border to the Canadian border, following the Pacific Crest Trail. The foot path winds its way through the dusty desert with nothing but Joshua Trees and Windmills for shade, over the tallest passes and coldest alpine lakes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, and then along the backbone of the Cascade mountains through three states and constantly evolving ecosystems dominated by coniferous forest and stark volcanoes. This journey took almost five months. There were good days, like the day I summited Forester Pass and glissaded down the other side, or the day we could finally see Mount Rainier after a week of clouds and rain.

 

 

There were also bad days, like the day I walked into dusk in Northern California trying to out-walk the forest fire smoke, dodging poison oak plants in the fading light, only to find ants crawling all over me as soon as I lay down for the night, and frantically setting up my tent in the dark. However, the most remarkable part of each day on the PCT was my lack of knee pain. I credit this almost entirely to MAT, along with a strict regimen of muscle conditioning.

 

 

A few years ago, a hiking trip wore out my knees to the point that every step was painful. I discovered MAT shortly after, and since then I have been honestly addicted to the types of changes it can create in how I use my body. Before hiking the PCT, I worked with Greg to specifically target muscle groups that weren’t working, and build up a daily exercise plan to prepare for months of endless walking. While nothing can really prepare you for that kind of endurance exercise, the MAT exercises payed off! I had remarkable fewer muscle and joint complaints than any hikers around me. I know that this experience could not have been possible without physical therapy, and I am so deeply grateful to be able to take my body to wild, outdoor places

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