We caught up with Will to see how his recovery is going

Having had 8 weeks off following a bike fall which left Will (Co-Owner of Platinum Pilates) with a broken scapula & 2 cracked ribs, we caught up with him to see how his recovering is going and where his sights are set for next.

Will ByrneNo matter how much you exercise or how active a life you lead, there is no doubt in my mind now that we take freedom of movement & health for granted until it’s taken away from us.

Swimming, Running, Cycling & Pilates are the four key elements to my health & wellbeing, so to go from a place where I was preparing for an Ironman, to a place where I needed help getting dressed in the morning, was a long way down.  Taking the physical pain of the accident to one side (that needs it’s own blog post), the emotional effect of the fall was actually harder to deal with.

Men make bad patients – there you go I said it, and Im allowed to say it because I was one. Milena would meet some my clients at the studio they would console her for having to put up with me 🙂

With a broken scapula I lost all movement at the shoulder joint and the ability to then use my arm. Coupled with cracked ribs, even breathing really hurt, so cut me a little slack ladies.

Questions about my work as a Movement Therapist,  my role as a Principal Instructor in the business, my responsibilities at home, all really played on my mind.  Im so lucky and grateful that I was surrounded by a really supportive family both at home and in work to allow me the time to be able to take recovery at a pace that it required.

Will Byrne on his bike

Will back on his bike!

You see, one of the biggest learnings from my fall was that each body, each person responds differently to pain, trauma & injury.  I spent a lot of time reading various studies and guidelines on scapula breaks.  One study would say it can take 2 weeks before you get any movement in the arm following scapula break, another study sites 4 weeks before movement initiates. One physiotherapist suggested to start rehab after four weeks, another suggested only after 8 weeks.

The approach that I took was to listen to my body.  It’s something I have always tried to teach my clients and in my classes.  The skill of being intuitive with your own body is something that can really benefit us all.  I really believe that is the case in all aspects of our health, not just with movement but with diet and food choices too.

Our bodies are designed to find health and thrive when put into the optimal environment.

I began my rehab program by practicing Pilates Breath.  This tool was hugely beneficial in helping me deal with my level of pain.  It allowed me to tune into the purpose of my pain and to learn that my perception of pain would play a role in my recovery.  Some days I would feel strong and that life was coming back to the arm, and then the next day nothing, I felt like I was back a square one.

But my basic mantra when it comes to movement that I teach others and that I had to teach myself is this –

Form
Basic Movement in it’s rawest form is fundamental to recovery.

Skill
Once you perfect form, you need to practice that form so you become skillful at the movement.

Efficient Movement
Once you are skillful at a movement you should be able to fluidly move in that way all the time with little effort.

Three weeks in, I ventured back into the studio one quiet afternoon and began really light spring resistance work on the Reformer for my core & lower body.

Five weeks in, I introduced the thera-band into my program with some really light resistance movements.

Six week in, I managed to get myself back onto the Reformer to do some gentle spring resistance with the arm.

Eight weeks in – I got back onto the saddle for a gentle outdoor spin.

I’m almost at the 10 week mark now and I’m back in the pool and on the bike which gives me major optimism.  I’m still on track to take part in the Ironman in Lanzarote in September as well as The Ring of Kerry in the Summer, although I can imagine my times will be remarkably slower.  That said I’m not one to mope around and will give it my all in everything I take part in.

Work life is great, I’m so happy to back on the schedule working with my wonderful clients who inspire me to be better, work harder and learn more.  Also super excited about opening a new studio later this year with the amazing team at Platinum Pilates.  Our passion & goal is to spread our love of Pilates out as far as we can so that everyone can know what it’s like to have freedom of movement and live relatively pain free.

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