Recently I was away with the family to Idaho. We went down to Silverwood for some roller coasters and water slides. And with a 4 and almost 7 year old our plans for the rides were dictated by their sizes and appetite for thrills. And this reminded of a time with Olivia, the almost 7 year old, when we were going to go on a drop slide together.
Sometimes a young person can see the slide at ground level and express their interest in going on that slide. And then you line up and spend whatever amount of time it takes to wait in line for your turn to go down. And at that point everything can change. The perspective of looking at a slide from the ground as a spectator is much different than standing over the flume at the top as a rider.
And so I had my doubts as to whether we would actually get on the ride or excuse ourselves to let the next person ride. And begin the long walk down the slide to mom at pool level.
But to my surprise we loaded and did the ride. Olivia was quiet throughout the ride mostly because the fear of the ride had taken her voice away. But either way, she did it. And she was so proud of herself after. And she kept reminding her 4 year old sister how scary it was and how her younger sibling was much too young to even attempt such a ride.
And for me it felt really good to see one of our kids face their fears and overcome. And was incredible to see how good they felt about themselves. And you could see the wheels spinning in her head as she scanned the water-park seeking the next challenge.
This is similar to the feeling I have with Dale Charlton. You may recognize Dale as he comes in weekdays around 930 am. He’s heavily involved in pickleball but that is only part of the reason he trains with us.
Let me tell you a little bit about his story and successes.
We started with Dale in January of this year. A shoulder injury was preventing pain-free movement, sleep at night and most importantly performance on the pickleball court. As well, Dale had also suffered an Achilles injury that could potentially derail his chances on the court.
Secondary goals for Dale included improving his fitness and lowering his playing weight. Similar to tennis, pickleball games can last some time especially if you are playing a comparable opponent leading to long rallies. And in tournaments there is the possibility of playing multiple games in a weekend. Depending on which side a tournament bracket i.e. winner or loser, you end up on there is also the potential of playing extra games compared to other players.
And as for a lower playing weight, Dale recognized that his sport involved moving his body. And with less mass to move he could move more quickly. Plus over the course of numerous games the extra mass would catch up with him and play a role on his fatigue. He also recognized the benefits of a lower mass on longevity and overall health.
Fast forward 6 months and Dale is crushing it. Check out some of his results below.
Dale now is able to sleep through the night.
Prior to starting his training at OPP Dale was waking up every 60-90 minutes due to a painful shoulder. Within a month of starting Dale was sleeping through the night. It had been four months, or the time of his shoulder injury, since he was able to experience this.
This improvement in his sleep is helping his performance on the court.
He has more energy to play at a high level and for longer times. He is also able to recover more quickly after our training sessions or after tournament play. And with improved sleep this has helped him lose the extra weight and become leaner. I would normally add that better sleep can also improve someone’s mood and make them less irritable but Dale was already an easy going guy and always smiling. So there wasn’t much to improve on that end.
As for his shoulder Dale can now move this joint in all planes.
Previously reaching overhead induced pain and there were restrictions in other areas as well. Dale is starting to incorporate shoulder strengthening exercises into his program now that he has addressed the pain and increased his mobility.
In terms of his Achilles injury Dale shows no side effects of this injury.
He now squats comfortably through a good range with load. When coaching him you can’t see a difference left or ride to indicate which side had been inured. And his doubles playing partner had been encouraging him to get lower when on the court. With his increased mobility Dale is able to get low and be more effective on the court.
As for his playing weight Dale was 163 lbs when he started with us.
With the additional strength training and improved weight Dale has dropped 10 lbs and now sits at 153 lbs. It was great seeing the smile on his face when he told me this at one our training sessions. It’s important to note that this was achieved without ditching the Friday dates with Riyoko at Boston Pizza.
So what about performance? It’s great Dale has addressed his shoulder, Achilles, fitness, playing weight and is now sleeping better but what is going on with the pickle ball?
Before I answer that I’m sure most people would trade results in their sport for improved joint function, less pain, lower weight and better sleep. But that’s not the case here.
Check out some of Dale’s results on the court.
- Centralia, Washington Gold mixed doubles, 4th men’s doubles
- Comox, BC Gold men’s doubles, 4th mixed doubles
- Kelowna, BC Gold mixed doubles, Silver men’s doubles, Bronze men’s singles
- (location) Gold mixed doubles, Silver men’s doubles
Now you may be thinking how much training did he have to do? How intense and long were the sessions? And how many supplements did he have to take achieve results like this?
The answer may surprise you but Dale accomplished all of the above with just two hours per week of coaching. With a little over 1% of his week he has been able to address painful joints, improve his sleep, lose weight and improve his performance.
As for supplements Dale is using Vitargo when he plays pickle ball. This isn’t an everyday supplement but one he uses when he’s on the court for hours on end. At this point he says tropical and watermelon are his favourites.
As a competitive person I know Dale is not done yet. Coming up he has the BC 55+ Games here in Kelowna as well as Nationals this November in Arizona.
It was fun reminiscing with Dale about all of this. One thing that stood out was that he mentioned that after the second session he knew Okanagan Peak Performance Inc was the right place for him. When I asked him how he knew he said it was because OPP offers a friendly and polished environment. And he said that the coaches at OPP, including Sam, Harry, Nathan and Jane do a great job of finding the appropriate version of an exercise for the client’s abilities and goals.
Congrats Dale! We’re all proud of your accomplishments. And we’re excited to see you’ll do in the future.
What about you?
Do you sleep through the night? Do all your joints move optimally and pain-free? Are you the leanest you could be? Are you having success in your sport?
If you didn’t answer YES to all these make sure to connect with one of our coaches. It can take a 1% investment in your time to achieve great results. To find out more email athlete training (at) shaw (dot) ca, call 250.212.2972 or stop in to Okanagan Peak Performance Inc. We’d be happy to find the right plan for you.