Having a degenerative disease
adds serious complications to an extreme adventurer’s lifestyle. Here is an account of how Jono, and the head coach
of Spartan Race Training UK, Mr Michael Cohen, have managed to overcome this and lead the extreme lifestyle.
Jono has Ankylosing Spondylitis. (AS) is an inflammatory condition that affects the joints in your spine. Spondylitis simply means inflammation of the spine. As the inflammation settles, calcium is laid down where the ligaments attach to the vertebrae. This makes your back less flexible. Eventually the individual bones of the spine may link up (fuse). This is called Ankylosis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ankylosing_spondylitis
With limited and even no movement in parts of the back and body ,pain is a constant. Jono manages this through exercise and various movement techniques.
Constantly researching and looking for ways to ease his pain,Jono met Michael Cohen (head of Spartan Training UK and owner of Wild Forest
Gym in the UK). Michael identified with where Jono came from, and the combination meshed comfortably.
This is Michael’s story.
‘I founded the RaphaYad Bioenergy Treatment and Research Foundation to help clients overcome debilitating, difficult and long-term emotional, psychological, physical and physiological symptoms.
RaphaYad Bioenergy Treatment is a hands-on/off technique that works with the body’s electromagnetic (energy) circuitry system to release blockages and enable the body to function to its full potential.
My inspiration came from self-treatment of RaphaYad Bioenergy Treatment to overcoming 20 years of debilitating spinal disabilities including degenerate discs and Scheuermann’s disease
. As well as 16 years of debilitating symptoms of hyper-sensitivity to chemicals, electronic equipment and food intolerances”
A remote forest very unassuming very quickly becomes the playground of 20 odd people working to achieve a goal and not only for myself but as a group.’
On the 7th of July 2013,Jono overcame his fear and began his Spartan Adventure. A Beginners
Training session was what Jono had signed up for, at the beautiful Pippingford Estate-home of Spartan Training UK.
What does Spartan Training with Michael involve?
Lesson 1: Team work (we very quickly become a team when we had to move rocks both big and small, from forest area to another.) As you can see in the stunning photo’s below, Jono gave his all,motivated by Michael and fellow Spartans.
Lesson 2: Climbing up and down hills on all fours.This teaches you to make your centre of gravity as low as possible. In this way there is no chance that you can lose your balance and take a tumble,inevitably causing injury.
Lesson 3: Using your bare feet to feel the floor so you are careful not to roll your ankle in the race. All good training for a mighty Spartan!
Lesson 4: Rolling:- Spartans were shown the correct way to barrel roll. Should you slip during your Spartan experience,knowing how to fall correctly prevents injury.
Next was an enlightening experience in an outdoor gym area. Here, logs and trees are used to teach useful techniques on how to strengthen your body in the outdoors,unlike a controlled indoor gym environment.
The mighty Water Crossing was next. Jono and his team mates had to cross over a river on a tightrope.Backward crawling on the return journey using your hands and feet to prevent you dipping into the icy water was a thrilling experience for all.
Cold Water Acclimatisation was also on the agenda. Here Jono and the gang were shoulder deep in cold,slimy muddy water.
All in all a fantastic way to get out of your comfort zone, learn about yourself and most of all, achieve what you never thought possible. Thanks to Michael and the Spartan Training UK team for a great afternoon of fun,laughter,camaraderie and new friendships forged.
Jono is truly a Spartan!! If he can do it, so can you!
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