Peter and I played Division 1 lacrosse together in college and hadn’t seen each other in many years. We ran into each other a few years ago. I had just suffered a severe infection to my spinal cord, which required significant surgery to cut out the infection and fuse 7 vertebrae together. After recovery and six eight months of rehabilitation, I had little strength and had been told that I would not walk again without assistance of a walker or crutches. Peter had been studying neuroscience-based performance and rehabilitation. He and Grove were working with wounded soldiers at the time. He gave me a drill to do which immediately improved my hand strength and function. I had just been told that it might take months to make that kind of progress. I bought in! We agreed to work together over the phone with occasional in person sessions. Within six months, my pain had reduced and strength and flexibility increased. I was able to significantly reduce my meds and, incredibly, I was walking every day. I even did a half mile in 7:50! I’ve continued to improve, and since have played golf, shot baskets, swum, cycled and sailed, with much of the progress coming through my daily application of the brain science Peter taught me.
I know he and Grove are working to bring the same knowledge that benefited me to athletes in many sports, starting with running. While my experience may not seem directly relevant, I can assure you it is. My takeaways from my experience would be this:
- Brain science matters more than you can imagine to everyday life, athletic performance and injury recovery and is not at all commonplace – my results came after some of the best medical and rehab care available.
- Peter and Grove are great teachers – the fact that we were able do most of this over the phone required great communication skills. I can make progress on my own because they not only suggest what to try, but spend as much time explaining why things work.
- I liked the immediate feedback I was able to get from my nervous system. We did drills where we didn’t know how well they would work for me personally. I was able to do an immediate assessment. The drills that assessed well always gave me improved function.
I haven’t run in many years but was a pretty good middle distance runner at one point. With my newfound understanding of the impact of brain science on performance, I can see clearly how this program will benefit runners. I wish I’d known this stuff when I was competing.