So, we are back in Perth, Scotland, to do the first of the three blocks of training kindly donated by Mike Poole at MP Fitness. Alek was quite nervous to see Mike and the guys again and this is what he had to say about his first day of training:

‘Well today was the first day of training at MP Fitness in Perth. I was a little nervous to meet Mike again but at the same time I was very excited to do a two week block, and determined to do my best. As usual I was warmly welcomed and I walked on my own into the parent room. After talking about how it was going, we walked through to the gym. It felt really good going in to the gym again. My mind started to look back at what I have achieved in this actual gym, like when I took my first steps on my own in my life and when I got into my small orthoses…..I have the memories of all the laughs we have had.

So I came in and sat down on the classic red bench as normal but Mike decided he wanted me to lie down on the red mat. Mike was going to give me a massage using a tennis ball. I have to say that sometimes it was nice but especially the further down the back the ball got the more it hurt. It was a long massage but it felt great afterwards. After that we did some hamstring stretches and strengthening because I have been very tight in my hamstrings lately. After really pushing myself hard during these exercises, Mike told me to get up on the treadmill. He told me that when I walk I should “lift and kick” and he said that I should do the same on the treadmill. So I did, but then after I while I noticed that Mike was speeding the treadmill up! Mike was saying “lift and kick, lift and kick, lift and kick”, and then I was running! I was actually running! I could not believe it. Well after a lot of intense running Mike told me to have a seat on the red bench, and gave me a sweetie. After resting for a while. Mike told me that I should trie to “lift and kick” while I was walking on my own. So I did the same as on the treadmill but on the floor. And even there it felt like I was basically running! Well you can easily say that the training is hard but I really enjoy it and couldn’t ask for a better trainer!’

For us it was amazing to see Alek attempting to run with Mike close behind. Some support round the hips and verbal prompts of how to do it had him running so fast he was actually panting for the first time in his life!!! Not a sensation Alek was too familiar with as his legs have always tightened to a stop before any training became really Cardio vascular. Mike had Alek try some new things stretching, focusing on the hamstrings and front of the calf. It’s great to see Alek working so hard and concentrating to remember…but what is also great is that it wasn’t only Alek that got to learn new stuff. To ensure the work Mike does can be continued at home, he had Mum and Dad touching their toes and working like Alek will with a new stretch and strengthening technique for the hamstrings.

A tough Monday session over and into day 2….Alek was Mikes first of the day Tuesday so we were up early to get Alek fuelled up with a good breakfast and then off to the gym. A good warm up massage to work out the kinks, particularly in those tight hamstrings and then it was down to business. We decided to leave Mike and Alek to it on Tuesday and watched from the safety of the parents room, being sore from the exercises the day before

Mike got Alek panting on Monday, but Alek had loved the running so they were back on the treadmill working on getting the lift and kick right. Some more running, walking backwards and focused strengthening and Alek’s session was over…..a quiet afternoon followed but by the time evening came Alek was tired and ready for a relaxing bath and a good sleep….

But then came the tough part… ending our sessions with Mike! I was concerned that while two weeks of Mike’s therapy was awesome, could we really continue to get even more out of it with Mike’s home workouts afterwards? The answer is, absolutely! We have been doing the home workouts for 4 ½ weeks now. In some ways, what we’re doing now, as many days a week as we can, to follow Mike’s plan, is producing even more dramatic results. The workouts are AWESOME and definitely nothing we could have come up with without Mike! Of course as always, what you put into it is directly proportional to what you get out of it. Almost every day my son will say, “Mom! Watch this!” and he shows me something new he can do or something he can do better than before! This in itself is so energizing that it motivates us even more. As you all know I’m sure, no one said SDR or the PT afterwards would be easy, but difficult things can be so incredibly rewarding as well. So please seriously consider making whatever sacrifices you need to in order to become one of Mike’s clients. We are convinced you won’t be disappointed!

Alek Poulten
Alek post SDR operation