The Right Fit: How Sports Lab Are Reshaping The Future Of Injury Management

Abraham Lincoln once remarked that if you gave him six hours to cut down a tree, he would spend the first four hours sharpening the axe. We are not too sure if Abe was much into a pilates or crossfit, but there is something about his advice that applies well to the world of sports and fitness. Making sure that you have the right gear is one thing. The other thing is to make sure that you are using your body properly.

From analysing your stance to your bike setup, Sports Lab has the setup and expertise to make sure that you are not only starting out the right way, but also keeping your body maintained.
With labs in Albany and Grafton and a crew of experts, including physiotherapists, massage therapists, a nutritionist, Pilates instructor, podiatrist, cycling specialist and a puppy named Tony, Sports Lab offers a holistic approach to injury management and biomechanics under one roof.

We talk to founder, Vaughan Craddock, and resident Podiatrist, Hannah Cerecke, about how collaboration and different expert perspectives working alongside each other are the future.

Can we look back at how Sportslab started?

Vaughan Craddock: Me and a few of my mates started in my parent’s basement. We didn’t have a location, but we knew we had a passion piece that we wanted to solve. We both came out of an industry where we loved what we were doing, but we didn’t necessarily love the vehicle that was available to us.

We both made the decision to step back from that and then figure it out together. So I set up a pretty good network from the basement.

Was that a convergence because you’ve got a bit of an athletic sporting background?

VC: I guess it was a convergence. For me, my athletic history was more about shaping how I feel about managing other people’s present time. I learnt a lot from the mistakes that I made and the things that I didn’t understand. That helped me to strive to understand more for other people, so that I could get ahead of it for them and give them options so they don’t make mistakes without knowledge.

You can’t prevent people from making mistakes, but if you can help them to understand the key elements of their decisions and what the implications of that will be, good or bad, then they’re making an empowered decision. That’s probably how my athletic background influences me now.

And in terms of the business, did you have a vision for where things were heading?

VC: I had a vision about two years before I up and left where I was. It was mostly around wanting to focus on things differently. Our industry is all about high volume and not necessarily putting that deep quality of thinking into each person. It was more about getting onto the next one, almost like a conveyor belt.

For me, that’s not my passion. I’m all about going deeper for that person and trying to solve the puzzle longterm. The vehicle was quite fixable. This location lent itself because of the flexibility that it afforded.

It was just an empty shell and we laid it out as we saw fit at that time, a bigger space with bigger treatment rooms. We wanted to make sure that we could spend the time with people in the way that is necessary to understand their needs and not be restricted by our physical environment.

Hannah, At what point did you join the practice?

Hannah Cerecke: I joined the team about two years ago. I enjoyed the heart of what this place is all about.

I was getting a little bit over the industry’s standard way of doing things and found these guys and thought that it matched my ethos and the way that I treat and what I love doing in my day to day.

Can you describe what the heart is?

HC: The heart is the people and what we do. It’s not about making money. It’s not about how many people are filing through the doors. We have time to spend with our clients.

In old jobs, I’ve had 15 minutes to half an hour with people. And half an hour was your big, long slot. Here, we have an hour for every appointment. Which is cool to actually be able to have the time to share your knowledge with the clients, rather than just saying, ‘We’re diagnosing you with this and here are three exercises to do.’

We get to teach people about their anatomy and their biomechanic and why it’s happening to them. That way you’re empowering them so they are not just going out and getting another injury. It’s good for business.

VC: Good for business is helping people not need you. The more we can help you to not need us, the better job we’ve done. If we do a good job, then hopefully people will word of mouth refer.
There’s probably a lot of conversation around being focused on the client, but that looks different for every person. For us, this is what it looks like. It’s about taking that time to find out everything we need to work with them and collaborate.

To walk along that pathway with them to what we believe the resolution is and that’s more than just getting rid of their pain. It’s about getting them back to their passion piece – what are they excited about in life?

When you talk about moving from 15 minutes to 30 minutes to hour-long appointments and patients getting to a point of not needing you anymore, have you noticed the return in terms of revenue and cash flow into business?

VC: There is a compromise when you place the client at the centre of everything. There has to be a compromise in terms of the financial aspects of things. My philosophy would be that a business is people-focused or financially-focused. If it’s people-focused, like it is here, finance has to be a part of every decision, it’s just not the centre of every decision.

We just talked this week about how you need good governance of the resources and the finances to ensure the success of a business, but what we’re really about is reaching people at their needs. We’re not about the bottom line and not about shareholder things. There is a compromise.

People start to gel with the fact that you’re there for them. They can feel the difference, that you take the time, that you’re not rushing them out the door. If someone needs a little bit extra, you’re willing to go past that time and apologise to the next person and get their permission to spend longer. They know that you’re there for them. But there’s got to be a balance of making sure it’s viable for your staff and viable for the client and viable for the long term.

For me, my responsibility sits with making sure that this is sustainable, to provide a vehicle for people like Hannah and other like-minded people to come and work here and know that this is going to be something that is sustainable and they’re not having to sacrifice everything to work the way they want to.

When you look at your background, there’s a certain amount of discipline and a whole load of methods associated with athletic successes. Does that cross over into business?

VC: I think so. Time management is something you learn from sport. I think without my sport, I wouldn’t be good with time management. Not just time management with the client, but also time management with the staff.

It does also give you that tenacity to push through, it keeps you focused to see what’s really important and put other things to the side. You learn to prioritise, because you can’t do everything in training, you can’t do everything in your business, everything has to be prioritised.

We talk about periodisation – what’s the focus for that time and where’s it building to. That short-term focus and how does that fit into the long term vision? I think there’s lots of crossovers.

HC: In terms of understanding our clients, when you enjoy sport and have a sporting background, when that’s helpful for your mental health and all those sorts of things, you realise the importance of continuing to do your activity.

I think so often we see clients that have previously been to another physio and they’ve just said that if something is sore, then stop doing it. It’s not the answer. We’d rather allow people to do the things they want to do, rather than preventing them from doing it just because it’s sore.

If you were an athlete or somebody who enjoys sport yourself, you can empathise with that and help them get back to the activity that they enjoy doing because it’s so much more than just a physical activity. There’s the social aspects, there’s the mental aspects, there’s so many layers to it, so we need to be able understand it from that level as well.

VC: I think it’s a really important point. We’re of the same community as the people we’re working with. We understand them because we’ve come from that place. It makes that connection that little bit easier, you can find that commonality because to have those discussions and empower people, you need to find that commonality.

We’re trying to teach things that may be outside their current understanding. We have to find a point of congruence between us so they can learn what they need to know. If you can’t get that connection, it’s going to be difficult to do that. Because we’re of the same population, same community, it’s an instant connection that we can make. We’ve been there and done that and probably made the same mistake.

Can you talk about the importance of mental health when it comes to health and fitness?

HC: I think one thing that is so highlighted is that Western medicine in particular, for years has been compartmentalised medicine. For example, if your foot is sore, we treat the foot; if you’ve got a headache, we treat the headache. What we’ve failed to do for so long is realise that a human body is not the sum of its parts, we are our body.

Everything links into everything. Your gut health changes your mental health, your physical health changes your emotional health. If we can treat somebody as a whole rather than treating an injury or a pain, then you’re having a better impact on the entirety of somebody. Pain is such a fascinating thing because pain is all in your head, it’s processed in your brain.

The mental aspects that you’re going through, whether you’re happy or sad or stressed or other things are going on in life, they mix into your pain signals as well. If you have an unhealthy mental health, that can reflect in increased pain levels or vice versa. If you’re feeling really happy, you can down-regulate your pain.

There’s so many stories about it. I heard a story about a builder who jumped off a small ledge and right onto some wood that had a nail sticking up out of that. He’d gone into full shock mode and they took him to the ED and the nail had missed his foot. It had gone straight between his toes and he didn’t have a scratch on him. The way that we perceive things going on in life can have such a direct impact on pain.

We don’t like to compartmentalise and say that’s your mental health, that’s your physical health. It’s great that these conversations are becoming more and more common about the importance of mental health. It definitely opens up the door for us to have more open conversations with people because that conversation has been around for a little bit longer.

VC: That’s why we evolved from our first starting point, to being physio and podiatry. That was our experience level and that was our comfortable level. But we quickly realised that this is the model we believe in. You have to surround yourself with other people so you can look at the same problem from different eyes.

Hannah and I have got very, very strong similarities, but we’re very different people. We have different training so we can look at the same thing differently and collaborate on that. That passion piece that we both have to solve the problem for the person helps to smooth over any of those ideology differences and then you start to get to a stronger ideology that’s collaborative, instead of not agreeing on something.

Was that hard to start with?

VC: Of course. I think the culture of the team dictates whether that’s going to be successful or not or whether it’s going to pull you apart. But everybody that’s here believes in what we’re about. I think we’re fortunate in that we’ve never had to go out to recruit. People have sought us out because they looked at the culture and said, ‘We believe in that too. We’d like to be part of that.’

It’s almost like a self-selecting model where people that may be disenfranchised with how they’re seeing the health model or they’re just excited to get involved in something that they perceive as being new and progressive or something that just resonates with them. Some of our staff actually started as clients. Some of our staff just hit us up and said that they’ve been following what we’re doing and they’d love to come in and have an interview. 90 percent of our staffing has come through that.

It’s also helped us to really move down that multidisciplinary team that’s collaborative. A lot of multidisciplinary teams are actually separate teams under the same building, as opposed to truly collaborative. If you’re going to be able to understand the person as a whole, as opposed to the sum of the moving parts, you’ve got to have different people looking at it differently. And so our job evolved from two disciplines to separate disciplines and we hope that we continue to add as that is relevant and necessary.

In terms of the connection within the body, do you think that we need to start making more of a shift in terms of healthcare?

VC: There’s a discussion piece that’s been happening between typical modern medicine and what would be perceived as being alternative medicine. That’s becoming more of a mainstream conversation now, which is great. There’s still animosity between the two camps to some degree, but it’s not too dissimilar to how the discussion started ten years ago between mainstream allied health, which is things like podiatry, physio and chiropracty.

They were once considered to be so out here and now it’s a mainstream thing. As science starts to back up these theories that have been around for a long time and gives validity to it, it brings down people’s resistance to trying something that is outside of their current paradigm.

People are innately distrustful of things they don’t understand and you have to re-educate them that there’s a model that has validity to it for them to want to bring those barriers down to try.
Things that resonate with you, you’ll continue with. There’s a lot of stuff in the peripheral model that is actually central to wellness and we’ve forgotten about it and we’re coming back around to that discussion again.

20 years ago, the New Zealand government legislated against promoting plant-based medicines. However, I sense that that’s starting to shift.

VC: I think technology is key to that as well because acupuncture is something we use here. There’s many more forms of acupuncture than what we use, but we use three dominant ones. Even 10 years ago, those were being thought of as being peripheral pseudo-science.

But the improvements in technology with real-time MRIs to show what’s physically happening at brain-level; all these things are now opening up to us because of the technological advances. That’s now helping to explain these theories that have been around for sometimes hundreds or thousands of years.

What fascinates me is how did these people understand this prior to the technology we have now? The knowledge, the skill, the foresight and the insight these people had is outrageous. We like to think that we’re advanced, but actually we’re missing a part of the puzzle piece because if that was known then without the technology, there’s a piece that we need to reimagine.

HC: There’s pros and cons to each model. We’re not going back to the dark ages by using these ancient techniques that nobody had any idea what they were doing with them. Any treatment that’s out there is part of your toolkit. It’s not saying that plant-based medicine works for everybody, or acupuncture works for everybody. There’s all these different things and we have to work out what’s best for that client and their needs at the time.

VC: I think it’s about assuring the person that they’re in safe hands and that you actually know what you’re talking about. For us, it’s really important that we keep our upskilling at the cutting edge of science and are constantly reading the new research and we understand it and whether it’s good research or not good research.

If we don’t, then we could easily move into that grey world of just trial and error and people don’t feel assured by that. It has to be progressive, but rooted in a basis of knowledge and science. That’s where we try and use our technology and our alternative skill sets and our mainstream skill sets together, so that people can get to the level that they feel comfortable. Some people don’t feel comfortable with everything, but we can always pick something.

Coming from a sporting background, you can connect with clients on that common ground. Do you still find people are hesitant to try things like the aerodynamic assessment?

HC: We offer people what they need, we’re not here to upsell. We ask, what are your priority of needs? What are your finances available? What is your time available? And then look at the hierarchy of where we can get the most benefit for the client and then they self-select into those.

It’s not an upsell program, it’s being able to offer people what they need. We wouldn’t offer the aerodynamic assessment to a weekend punter who commutes to the supermarket. The people we offer it to are tech junkies, they are looking to make that one percent adjustment so that they can go from fourth place to third place. They are looking for those really subtle differences for the high performance cyclist.

VC: If you spend the time to listen to them, you hear what makes them tick. So then you’re just meeting their needs. If that’s what their passion piece is, we’re here to help them. But generally, they’ll self-select into that because they know that they’re looking for something.

They see a cost-effective way of doing it, because the alternative is to sit in a wind tunnel and spend tens of thousands of dollars, which is just for pros only, and even then, the pro’s sponsors are paying for it. Our goal is to take extraordinary things and make them available to everyday people. Take really complex difficult discussions and make them bite-sized and digestible for anyone that can be meaningful and they can take home straight away.

On the complete other end of the spectrum from the people looking for that one percent improvement, are the people like myself, who are intimidated about being in here and sitting on a Swiss ball. How many people like me do you see coming through?

VC: People like you are our bread and butter. Performance is a word that we think needs to be defined clearly because performance is whatever someone wants it to be. For some people, it’s walking the dog, but for some people, like me at the moment, it’s about being able to do what I want to do and not being restricted.

I don’t want to be good at anything in particular, I just want to be able to be diverse and do whatever I want, whenever I want. For some people, it is about those little one percent gains or winning a race or finishing a five K for the first time, but it’s unique to that person.

Our bread and butter is just realistically diverse people from everyday walks of life that have a need. We do treat some extraordinary athletes, but they would be the top five percent, because the reality is extraordinary athletes are only about five percent of the population. What we see walking through our doors reflects the general demographic.

HC: That’s certainly what we love to see as well. For those high-performance athletes, they’ve got resources all around them. If it’s not us, it’s going to be somebody else. They can plug into so many different resources.

But with everyday athletes, often they’ll go to the physio and the physio will give them a couple of exercises and that’s where it stops. They haven’t actually been empowered, they haven’t seen what’s actually going on. They haven’t had the opportunity to go, ‘Oh, this doesn’t actually work for you. Let’s try this new way.’

We’re bringing about resources that we think everybody should have. My favorite clients are the ones that come in and all they want to do is be able to climb a couple of flights of stairs without puffing. That’s what I love doing, getting people healthy and happy.

There’s an interesting point around stigmatised language too. There’s certain words that are quite stigmatised, like “performance”. We actually do hear from a number of our clients who initially felt apprehensive to come in because they thought this was just for sports people. The name ‘Sports Lab’ gives that impression. That was never our intent, it was maybe a reflection of where we came from.

To us, an athlete is anyone that wants to be active in their life and that can be just walking the dog. It can be having the ability to walk up the stairs at work and not be puffed. An athlete is just someone who wants to use their body in their unique way. There can be levels within that. One of our most important things is educating people on the meaning of words.

Sometimes when you get to a point where someone says they feel a certain way, it opens up a whole avenue of discussion that you didn’t realise you could have with that person. Their insecurities or their barriers to their goals actually invite that conversation. It’s almost like a problem invites a dialogue to get a resolution.

What tends to be the catalyst for the people that want to climb the stairs without puffing?

VC: Frustration, they’re frustrated with their current situation. Their expectations aren’t being met. They want more than they’ve currently got or they want to get back to where they were. It’s that sense of being frustrated to the point where they now want to do something about it and they want to invest in themselves and walk forward in a purposeful way, as opposed to just putting a bandaid over it.

We get a number of chronic complex patients here who potentially bounce around lots of different practitioners. They just want to stop, reset and look at it with new eyes. You might get that acute person walking through the doors who’s looked at your website, see that you want to look at the whole picture and they’re interested in that because they don’t want to just get back before they’re ready and have a problem 10 years down the track.

HC: We definitely see a lot of clients that slip through the cracks. They’re the people that often come in really engaged with the process already.

VC: People will often Google stuff. They’re looking to solve a question or problem they have and they’ll end up on our website and if they resonate with what we’re saying, they’ll give us a call. Sometimes it’s just that they can just connect.

The number of times I’ve had people say to me, ‘In your bio, you said that you had experience with this, so I wanted to come and talk to you because you’d understand.’ That’s a really nice thing to hear because they’re not here for anything other than to solve their problem because they know that you’re going to listen.

Is there a signal that you think you’re missing that you really want to get?

VC: That’s a very good question. Hopefully it’s not in the blind spot too much. In all honesty, we’re very well known within a small community and it’s about making sure that the wider community knows that there’s an option out there.

We started from a very niche place with a very small team and we’ve grown and we’ve solidified ourselves within that community. And now for us, it’s about opening up that discussion piece for people outside of that local community and that niche, so they can see there is another alternative out there.

Have your individual ideologies been molded by each other?

HC: Definitely. I think it’s always important that you hang on to the uniqueness in each staff. It would be a shame if all of our staff thought the exact same thing. That almost defeats the purpose of having so many different professions and skill sets and ideologies under one roof. They rub off each other’s sharp edges a little bit.

You can always find a common ground while still looking at something fairly differently and I think what strengthens who we are is that we do have different ways of looking at things and approaching things.

VC: We certainly have conflict and points of difference, but we handle that outside of the client interactions. That sharpens us because you have to learn to justify your point of view, as opposed to just holding your point of view. There’s a strong challenge mentality here, but it’s a challenge for growth as opposed to a challenge and break down. A lot of times we’re taught at university level just because, so as practitioners we have to then challenge ourselves and to justify it.

Because after all, we are dabbling in the grey areas of what ifs and maybes and we’re using our clinical rationale to make that more clear and more concise and follow a clinical reasoning pathway to get to a resolution. We have to be able to explain our rationale coherently for each other so that we know that we have a meaningful dialogue.

Is a little bit of heated conflict necessarily a bad thing?

VC: No, it’s a good thing and sometimes you get it with the client and sometimes butting up against that emotional or idealogical reaction is going to then push them forward to be more emphatic with what they’re thinking, or it’s going to change their point of view, but either way it’s going to move them forward.

With this kind of environment and process, does it change the way that you think about other things? Are you more tolerant of each other’s politics?

VC: I don’t know if it’s an age thing, a stage thing or the people I surround myself with. I think it’s a combination of all those things, but I think that personally you’re a function of the people you surround yourself with regularly.

I’m proud of who I surround myself with here at work. Everyone that’s here holds absolute strengths, whether it’s their character or their acumen or their ability to connect and create a culture. We’ve all got diverse elements of our strengths and weaknesses that come together from that connection and also that butting up. I feel like I’m a better person since being here.

HC: This is something that I think about a lot and I guess we can label it as cultural differences, as your different ideologies and how you approach life. I think cultural differences don’t just occur at work, they occur everywhere around us in our families, in our work environments and the people that we bump into on the street, politics, all these sorts of things.

As humans, it’s so normal to gravitate towards what we know because it’s comfortable. We tend to find friends who agree with us, who have the same political opinion as us or who sit in the same financial bracket, because it reinforces that what we know is the right thing and it doesn’t challenge us. So you have to intentionally not do that because it is such a human instinct to gravitate.

When you’re doing it in one area of life here where you’re intentionally wanting to learn off of the other, then it does change your mindset and how you approach it. Rather than going in and being defensive about what you know, listen to opinions from other people. You’re not coming in to tell your opinion or to enforce that opinion on everybody else. You’re coming in to listen and you see the world in such a different way when you approach it with a listening ear, rather than coming in to preach

HC: We get really diverse opinions in here and we get to speak to some pretty unique and sometimes strong personalities. Every patient through the door is a different conversation. Our culture here is conversating about non-work related things as we talk.

Obviously we’re going to do an education piece around their injury, but we also want to get to know them as a person too, so you get to hear some interesting things and politics does come up sometimes. It’s a really uncomfortable thing to have your thoughts and your beliefs challenged, but it makes you so much more open when you can do that.

You have a brand partnership with Under Armour, what’s behind that?

VC: As a company, we align with their values. Their strategic focus on the future aligns with ours in terms of a focus on community. They also have a lot of local autonomy, which global companies might not always have. As a result, we have a great relationship with them and it’s a relationship that is built on heroing each others’ key aspects.

Looking at the structure of this place, do you think within this, there is the potential for a whole lot of other industries as well to take this kind of model?

VC: I think they already are. That would be the hope that we can be a part of it. Humanity is diverse, right? You want your business to reflect humanity and not to be totally separate. This company is a culture and it’s a family, and hopefully that’s a normality within businesses as opposed to the minority. We probably can’t speak too much outside our four walls, but that would be a hope that that’s what it’s like elsewhere.

HC: I think if we see businesses or companies as a group of people, rather than as a financial entity, then we’ll view that quite differently. A group of people who have their own fears, their own insecurities and if we can work to address those like people, rather than going ‘This is a clear cut rule of the business,’ I think humanity will be better for that. I don’t think a business should be separated from its people.

VC: For us, our people is our business. We’re a service-based industry. Our skill sets are our people. Our interaction is our people. Our business is our people, we can’t really separate it. If we have good people, good culture, and a strong family vibe of looking after each other and growing each other and bringing each other up, that’s got to be good for the individual, the client and the business.

That’s the wholeness of the business and that hopefully matches with the wholeness of how we see the client.

Is there a balance between running a business and tending to clients and your own personal fitness ambition and goals?

VC: There’s definitely balance. My life changed a little, my wife and I just had our first little baby, so that brings a whole new element to things. But that’s bought things into focus, when you really understand what’s important to you. I’m a little bit more tired and a little bit more distracted, but hopefully these other elements, like character, have been improved.

I’m not someone that shares my goals, I keep it quite close to my chest. But I really need to share more because I think it helps other people to understand what you’re about and why you do what you do. For me, it’s a balance of work to personal to health goals. At times I have de-prioritised my health for the betterment work, but overall that’s to the detriment of both.

That’s a discussion I’ve had with myself and I’m fortunate that I have colleagues who hold me to account. To be honest, without a number of people here, I probably would still de-prioritise things like health over business because for me, I feel a responsibility as the figurehead of the business to provide an environment for everyone else.

In our industry, you must first take care of yourself. I have to be reminded of that in the business sense. My goal this year is to become a bit more transparent in terms of my fitness goals. I feel vulnerable making that, because of where I come from to where I am now. I come from a competitive background and when you leave that behind, you lose a bit of traction and then you have to start from the point that’s so far away from what you remember. But that’s an ego piece that needs to be left behind.

I’m actually really enjoying my process now that I’ve left that behind. Getting out for a walk was a waste of time for me before, but now I really enjoy it. It’s time with my wife and my daughter. It’s time out in nature and that’s really important for mental wellness. It’s a big shift for me.

HC: It’s about that compartmentalisation that we often do as well. We often compartmentalise different portions of life. That’s my work life, that’s my personal life, that’s my fitness life. I think one thing that I’ve been quite challenged on that’s shifted my thinking quite a bit since I’ve been here, is that my personal life and my work life are getting very grey. I work with my friends. I do the job that I love doing. It can be very blurry. I’ll run with my workmates. I love getting my work done. I see that as invigorating as well.

I don’t know whether that’s a good or a bad thing in order to get work-life balance. I guess my goal is always to get a better work-life balance, but I’m starting to realise how difficult that is when they merge like they do.

VC: I find that difficult too because I preach it and don’t necessarily live up to it. I have a subconscious dialogue that was taught to me when I first entered the industry and I disagree with it and that’s what we started here. But it still is a discussion in my head so I preach it and enforce it with the staff, but I don’t necessarily follow it.

That’s why I really appreciate it when they hold me to account and say, ‘Hey man, it’s good to pull back a little bit.’ That’s why one of my goals is to have more accountability around where the line sits. I agree with Hannah, we’ve become friends through work and that makes it a family, it makes it easier to do the work. But it also sometimes makes it harder to understand where the line is.

What you’re describing would probably resonate with so many guys in so many different industries who probably spent too much time on the business and look in the mirror one day and realise how far things have gotten. What advice would you have for them?

VC: Just have the courage to listen to that voice that’s there, if it’s there. Surround yourself with people that will positively critique you, not just support what you’re currently doing. They will actually give you some feedback on it.

Be open to change as being a good thing, but be willing for what comes with change. It’s an uncomfortable process and you have to want to do it. But when you’re at that point, you’ll know when you’re ready. A thing that I remind myself of is the fear of staying the same is worse than the fear of change. That drives me to be better because to stay where I am, I’m genuinely not satisfied.
Sit down and work it through in bite-sized pieces. For me, I can’t suddenly change my habits. I have to make small goals, be accountable to them and get the wins on the board and then use that as my tool.

With pain being a mental thing, what advice would you have?

HC: I would say pain is your friend. Pain is a really good indicator for what’s going on. I really hate the whole “no pain, no gain” mentality that we have, especially in New Zealand and especially with men. If we’re looking at it from a physiological perspective, pain is a function of the body to warn it when something is going wrong.

The pain levels are going to creep up if you don’t listen to them. So listen to your pain, be thankful for your pain and make adjustments around it as well. A little bit of pain is okay, but it’s good to critique it and ask, what is this pain telling me? Is it telling me I should be doing something different? Don’t run from it because it’s a friend, not an enemy.


Photography by Journey Pictures

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