It started in a half marathon, as I recall, shooting pain in my hip. And it didn't go away. Eventually, I took my sore hip and back to my family doctor, physical therapy, a general surgeon, the Rothman Institute, and various other experts I met in my job covering sports. Everybody had different opinions, but nobody had a solution. They told me I could keep running, and I did, competing in marathons and relays and all kinds of stuff as best I could. Eventually it got so bad that I was in pain around the clock, day and night, month after month. My nightmare: I had to stop running, which has long been a big part of my life, just out of pain. And I still didn't even know what was wrong.
At last I got an MRI, and the radiologist diagnosed four different injuries in my lower back and hips. His best guess was I'd need two major surgeries. One wasn't covered by my insurance and would cost tens of thousands of dollars, the other was on my spine and came with scary potential complications. I didn't want to do any of that, and kind of stalled. But the pain was getting worse.
At some point Eileen, who I'd known for years, recommended I just come to a group workout class. What could I lose? She made it fun. A bunch of us went -- friends and family. It was hard, but particular. Put your feet just like that. I learned how to squat correctly, and 100 other meticulous moves.
Two hours a week, strengthening things I'd never strengthened before. Unlike all the experts, I felt Eileen had a theory of what had caused my injuries, and was teaching my body to move in better, healthier ways. I felt my posture improve, and started noticing things like muscles in my back. It was fun.
Then: a miracle. About six weeks in, I remember I was standing in the kitchen doing dishes and holy cow ... I was pain free. The first moment in years.
That was years ago. I've been going twice a week ever since, and could not swear by Eileen and Clover CrossFit more profoundly. I say that she saved my life, and it's not far off.
For work, I ended up once interviewing some of the finest sports scientists in the world, who work with NFL, NBA, MLB, Premiereship soccer players, Olympic runners and the like. I told those doctors my story, and they loved it. "Oh wow," I remember one saying, "you found a unicorn. Don't let her go!" My wife Jessica and I fixed up our house with our own two hands and never plan to move, but we say that if Eileen ever moves we'll just have to move too!”
I was 46 years old and in the worst physical shape of my life when I started working with Coach Eileen. I had no idea where to start, but I knew I had to do something or it would only get worse. Like most people in my situation, I was nervous about joining a gym and embarrassed about weight. It turns out, I had nothing to worry about. When I joined Clover CrossFit, everyone was friendly and made me feel good about being there. Over the course of the next year, I lost over 40lbs and developed levels of strength and endurance I never dreamed of. As I continued training with Clover my physique improved, my confidence shot up and I developed a love for barbell training and burpees. Now, at 49, I'm in the best physical shape of my life and have a new tribe of friends that I train with every week. It took self-discipline and commitment, but I owe most of my progress to the excellent coaching and programming from Clover CrossFit.
When I first started working out with Eileen I was truly out of shape. She took the time to ask a lot of questions to understand what my needs were and any limitation I may have had. She was never anything but encouraging. I was able to participate in class and she always modified any exercise as needed to fit abilities.
Her positive attitude and energy makes you forget how hard you are working. Her knowledge of the program and the human body always amazes me. Eileen has helped me do things I never thought I could do...always raising the bar to help me become a better version of myself. All this and having fun at the same time - you can't beat it.
Before I started training with Eileen, I considered myself a fairly fit, almost-forty-year-old who ran and did yoga to keep old-age sag at bay. But I was getting worried: my hip hurt all the time and running was painful. I hoped that Eileen's class would help me stay in shape in this new, non-running universe. What I didn't expect was that her class and active release adjustments would actually completely rehabilitate my hip, allowing me to do any exercise I wanted. But it has. Within six months, I was pain-free--even while running. Now, I'm well-over forty and stronger than I have ever been. And our class has formed a real community: we laugh constantly, which makes even the really brutal workouts fun!