Thursday, 23 May 2019

Triathlon & Hands

Image result for matt hopkinson physio
Matt Hopkinson. Ordinary triathlete, elite dancer!
I was recently chastised in a nice way by my “landlord” Matt Hopkinson. Matt is the owner and principle physiotherapist at “Glenferrie Sports and Spinal” which is where I work every Monday afternoon. Matt, and Ben Holland the peoples’ podiatrist, had just returned from a weekend in Sydney on practice management, and in particular, the use of social media. Matt had a crack at me for not keeping my presence on social current. He’s right of course, it has been 10 months since my last blog, and so I promised him I would get something down. 

The something that has been buzzing around in my head is the result of a triathlon I completed in February. Around the same time, I saw an elite triathlete, who had had an extremely nasty injury to her wrist after a fall from her bike. The injury, whilst it didn’t necessarily stop her from training, certainly impacted on how she trained and what she could do.

Image result for clip art triathlonTriathlon is a sport that demands different things from the body at specific times. There are things that are similar between the disciplines, eg cardiovascular fitness; and there are things that are different such as the demands on upper body in swimming that are not there in running. I would argue, and I will argue, that a wrist or hand injury can impact all three; swimming, cycling, and running. 

I first saw triathlon on the Saturday afternoon TV show “Nines Wide World of Sports”. The Hawaiian Ironman. This race began in 1978 when Judy and John Collins proposed combining the three toughest endurance races in Hawai’i—the 2.4-mile Waikiki Roughwater Swim, 112 miles of the Around-O’ahu Bike Race and the 26.2-mile Honolulu Marathon—into one event. 15 people raced that year, 2400 last year in what is now a qualification only event (1).

It really is that colour. Swimming through goose poo.
My first triathlon was in 1985 around the Kew Boulevard. We swam in the Yarra River which is revolting now I think about it, and I was 296th out of the water in a field of 300. Jumped on my trusty but rusty 10 speed Lawrencia bicycle with its pack rack still attached and rode my guts out. Did okay in the run and ended up in the First Aid van with cramp at the end. A fantastic morning and whilst the experience never led to a lifetime of racing, I’ve always loved the sport.  

In the next blog (and it will be up very soon), we’ll talk about swimming, my least favourite leg but an important one for fingers!!


(1) http://ap.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas/ironman/world-championship.aspx#ixzz5onGPe21q

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