Sterosport are very proud to collaborate with Paralympian Hannah Dines. Hannah will be a guest blogger for our new Sterosport website. Hannah is known for her ability to race round in circles (very fast). But, more usefully, as an acclaimed contributor to the Herald and Guardian. As a postgraduate in Exercise and Sports Physiology, she will use her scientific smarts and writing wiles to let you in on the latest at Sterosport. As we facilitate the new Injury Rehabilitation Network NW, release new products and support Hannah as she endeavours to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
So, without further ado, below is Hannah Dines very first guest blog.
I’ve spent four years in a gym lifting weights and yet I’m nothing like Arnold Schwarzenegger. I mean I’m not a bodybuilder- I’m a Paralympic trike racer but I still have to pedal myself up hills which is no mean feat. Yet it irks me; no matter the protein shakes I down I remain more like the 5ft 3inch 26-year-old with cerebral palsy than like the Terminator.
You can imagine my glee then, when I realised I could say “I’ll be back” (with associated gravelly tones) and really mean it! Injury takes all of us elite athletes in the end. Well, actually, it takes more recreational athletes and more semi-pro athletes than elite athletes. This time it was my turn.
I’ve been 4th and 5th in my cycling world-level races over the past 5 years. In May I stepped it up, quite literally, onto first step of the podium and won Time Trial bronze. It wasn’t exactly what the doctor ordered- 3 months ago I was unconscious and having a lengthy and invasive surgery on my vulva to remove a lot of swollen tissue. To bash it again with a saddle seems a little ungrateful. However, the Paralympics and one’s golden intentions there wait for no woman and I was lucky enough in my healing to know I’d be back in time for this competition. It could have been very different. That’s the thing about injury rehabilitation and medal winning- they work in mysterious ways.
My type of injury probably occurs more than people let on (chronic vulval swelling caused by saddle pressure). But, let’s be honest, it wasn’t a common or garden ACL tear. Whatever your injury you’re much more likely to overcome it if you’re an elite athlete with access to a whole host of physios, doctors and rehab facilities. If you are an amateur athlete you don’t have easy access any of this and you’ll get injured more, in the first place.
So, that’s why Steroplast decided to make it better.
The business deals in ‘medical consumables’ for healthcare. Yet, they don’t suggest putting a plaster over something that requires deeper understanding. They’re in a perfect position to bring together injury specialists, sports organisations and medical professionals and so that’s just what they did.
Like everyone you’d see at Manchester 10K, you had your die-hard Masters’ runners, elite blurs in national colours, and your new-to-running 10K converts covered head to toe in K-tape to ward off shin-splints. We had representatives from all corners. Quite fittingly, off the bike and doing a bit of healing I was welcomed into Steroplast HQ too, and did a talk to open the inaugural meeting of the Injury Rehabilitation Network NW.
Steroplast describes the aim of the network like this “to help local professionals working in injury prevention and treatment to collaborate. Bringing the latest hot topics and evidence base to the group. Hopefully playing a part in helping our communities move more”. I’d also describe it like this:
Wherever sport goes, injury follows. Then come the people who can pick up your pieces and show you how you fit back together.
I think it’s going to help a lot more wannabe Schwarzenegger’s like me. Till the next blog (yes you lucky reader, this is a series as I work my way towards Tokyo 2020)… Hasta la vista baby!
Huge thanks to Hannah Dines for that fantastic insight. Keep your eye on Sterosport News, for more from Hannah, plus other blogs and how-to guides.