By Julie Bergfeld
Over the past 4 years,
I have struggled through many injuries. After a solid spring of racing 4 years ago, I was in peak shape and then things started to deteriorate after a succession of falls. One fall was down a hill and I caught myself to fall backward onto the right hip and the next fall was forward, catching myself with my right wrist and subsequently breaking a bone in my hand. Next, it was the fibula on the left and the following year, the right hip. Resting for about 3 months seemed to fix the hip, but after that incident, which never was fully diagnosed as to what the problem was, I moved with fear.
Walking and running caused no pain, but I moved from a place of doubt, holding, and fear. Doubt that I could do the sport that I had loved for more than half my life, holding onto the pain of the past and fear that I would get injured again. I continued to run, but with the constant fear of falling; fear of injury stuck in my body. As a result, my speed decreased and I stopped racing.
I recognized there was an issue that was beyond pain
I recognized there was an issue that was beyond pain when I noticed (at first) running downhills caused a sensation of falling. Soon, that sensation became what I felt when I ran all the time. My body was unstable and my gait was uncoordinated and unbalanced as if I were a car with one flat tire. At first, I turned to the pool. I have been pool running since high school, with success in staying sane through a litany of injuries. While in the case of stress fractures and soft tissue injuries, pool running was highly effective, I found with this problem pool running didn’t “fix” anything. The imbalanced sensation resumed after a short time back on the ground. I tried massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, lots of yoga, red light therapy, somatics, Feldenkrais, pilates, nutritional changes, Chinese herbs, meditation, PRI, and even contemplated BUYING a more expensive anti-gravity treadmill. Once I learned of the cost, I decided that was not an answer.
I sought alternatives and found Lightspeed.
That was three years ago after one of my falls. Of course, I thought I was recovered, but over the course of these past years, it became clear that something was still very wrong and my body was slowly getting more and more imbalanced. I did many bouts of physical therapy and have been rigorous with consistent core and hip strengthening, all to no avail. I wasn’t giving up running and still had dreams of getting back to marathons and ultras, although I had no faith in getting “fixed.”
In the summer of 2019,
Over a period of a few months, I had fallen 3 times. The last time I fell was in early August 2019, and when in early September my knee felt worse, I decided to get it checked. I learned that I had fractured my distal right femur. By December, I was back to running again, but mostly on a treadmill because of the intense fear and flashbacks of falling every time I started to run. Through stubbornness, I kept running, even though I knew something was not right. I supplemented my short runs with lots of walking, pool running, and intense elliptical sessions. Then, I fell off of the treadmill and I resolved that I was unable to overcome this on my own. In May of 2020, once again I reached out to LightSpeed and was grateful to learn that the company still existed and was supportive and receptive to my issues. With the help of Malcolm and Bud, I arranged for a 30-day trial of the LightSpeed Lift LSP 400.