Hell and Back 2015
John's Story (The guy on the left):
I’m the sporty one in this partnership, or as Kevin calls me, the inspiration/guinea pig. Let me tell you a little bit about why I know so much about the importance of good recovery….
I’ve always been very active, at underage level I played 7 or 8 matches a week between hurling,football and soccer with my school, club and at county level. At that time, there was very little education about recovery and burn out. Pre-hab was something you did when you misspelt prefab.
At 17 I had my first set back in my hurling career when I broke my sternum. I felt so isolated not being able to train with my team, and as a result, I rushed my recovery, which I paid for in the long run when I started suffering from shin splints, tight hips, hamstring and calf trouble. A couple of years later, disaster struck for me in the form of the dreaded cruciate injury. The 6 month recovery I heard so much about was definitely a myth. After 2 years I was just getting back to what I considered a reasonable level of fitness. Even though I was using speed bands, parachutes and ladders, my pace wasn’t back to what it had been.
A few years passed and I was at a stage where for the first time in a long time, I was feeling really good on the pitch, my movement and pace were good, and I knew it. I was playing championship, having the game of my life, and a minute before half time my knee hyper extended. Next step I took, my knee ‘folded’. I knew when I couldn’t walk up the hill to the dressing room I was in trouble. My cruciate had ruptured a second time.
Recovery really became my life at this stage, I really started studying ACL rehabilitation. I was training every night, everything from Pilates and Yoga to circuits. Foam rollers and resistance bands were getting more common so I started using some of those, along with training in my home gym. I spent a lot of time with physios and experts in recovery, I feel like I’ve tried everything, done it all, seen it all.
Crossfit became my new go to for strength and conditioning, I could feel my fitness improving weekly. For a change, I was very cautious before I went back onto the pitch so I went to see my surgeon, Tadhg O’Sullivan. After an MRI and minor cartilage surgery I got the all clear to go back hurling. During all of this I was using a foam roller and balance board, I found them both good for certain areas but it did get me thinking there must be something better, especially for those hard to reach areas like groin, shin and IT bands.
On paper, my knee was now “perfect”. I was back hurling, still doing Crossfit, and really seeing improvements every week. This may sound like it couldn't be true, but, lightning struck for the third time. First league game out, I slipped chasing my man, and my knee popped. I was back to my recovery days.
This time though, I used all the determination and drive not just to get my knee better, but to develop something better to help people recover and speed up their rehabilitation time, and that’s where MRT began…..
Kevin's Story (The other guy, the one that's not John):
You've read some of the inspiration that got us thinking there had to be a better tool for recovery. I'm the engineer behind making something out of that thinking, so here's a bit more about me....
Throughout the years I've played a lot of five a side soccer, but in the last 5 years, like a lot of people, I've taken up running & completed my first half marathon 4 years ago. As I'm sure a lot of you can relate to, I suffered the aches and pains. I didn't even know what IT bands were until they started giving me grief. I tried using a foam roller, and while that gave some relief, it was never as effective as a trip to the physio - (At €50 a pop that's more than one MRT)
More recently I have been sucked into the fastest growing water sport in the world - cable wakeboarding. For those of you who don't know what this is, check out my local cable wakeboarding hang out - www.Ballyhasswakepark.ie - The guys here really put you through your paces and you always leave with a smile on your face, and plenty of sore muscles to test out your MRT!
Anyway, I've always been interested in making things, and I just love to know how things work. So it was no different for me when I was was recovering from injury. I didn't want to use any rehabilitation just because someone said so, I wanted to know the how and why these things work.
Around the time John was recovering from his third cruciate operation, over a cup of tea we were comparing what we were doing for recovery, and that's where MRT began for me...