Your Stories: From Agony to (Half) Ironman

“I’ve known Rick for 10 years.  Having suffered a variety of injuries he has been an inspiring patient to help rehabilitate. The key to his success has been determination and commitment to helping himself and his story below is one I hope others will use to help maximise their own potential. Thanks Rick.” 

I’m something of a late bloomer when it comes to exercise. It wasn’t until my late 40s that I started to have ambitious leisure goals, running marathons, competing in triathlons, racing in sportives and other tests of physical endurance. I’m proud that I can continue to use my body to its full at 58 years old – and that’s thanks to the team at WLP.

I first met Cam when he treated me for a knee injury from overextending myself in a tennis game but it was with my back where he first made a truly life changing difference.

15 years ago I switched to consultancy work which was largely done from home. I was no longer cycling every day and instead went straight from bed to my cheap office chair where I would sit for hours. Fast forward a couple of years and my back was wrecked, so agonising that the only way I could work was to lie on my stomach, propped up by a pillow with my laptop in front of me.

Cam did his best to treat the problem with physiotherapy alone but it became clear surgery would be required. He referred me to a surgeon for a series of treatments to remove the material pressing down on my nerves.

The surgery rid me of most the pain but I still needed physio to strengthen my back so that its weaknesses wouldn’t rear up with new injuries down the line.

Being freed from my debilitating back problems made me want to make more use of my body. I had started running with a friend of mine and before we knew it we were training for the London Marathon. Then I joined a running club for even more marathons, then added sportives and triathlons into the mix as well – culminating in my recent completion of a Half Ironman.

Having goals to aim towards makes exercise, training and indeed day to day life so much more satisfying. Each trial completed is another life affirming accomplishment that makes me feel more capable than the day before.

Unfortunately my back isn’t my only weakness. My left knee was injured in a teenage motorcycling accident and later my right knee joined in on the fun with an torn ACL from a skiing accident.

However, thanks to the WLP team, my injuries have never stopped me achieving what I set out to do. They’ve never told me I need to stop doing what I love, instead they find ways to make sure I can keep doing them. They understand how important it is to be able to move freely and feel physically capable.

Visiting WLP hasn’t made me reliant on their care either. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The daily regimes of stretching and exercise I’m given allow me to be self sufficient, conditioning my body so I only need the occasional check up to make sure I’m on track and no new problems have arisen.

I’m even able to pass on the occasional bit of wisdom to my running team mates, though of course if anything seems more serious than the odd niggle I confidently refer them to WLP – I’ve sent quite a few friends their way.

That recommendation extends to you as well. I thought my injuries meant that I would never be as active as I wanted to be. If you feel the same, WLP could give you a second chance.

A big thank you to Cam and everyone else at WLP,

Rick Burne

Rick Blog Photo Cropped