In September last year my life changed, I was working at the time on a Superyacht in the Mediterranean slowly on my path to becoming a Captain. When I was sleeping on the top bunk, I rolled off the side and landed awkwardly on a bedside table nine feet below. Not knowing how much damage I had done, I continued working through the pain purely on adrenalin until I reached the next port in Barcelona.

Long Story short, after multiple misdiagnosis I finally received the correct scans which showed two serious fractures in my spine, I was then infected with an epidural shot and flown back to Australia (lying down) to finally receive the treatment I was in desperate need of. I was referred to Johnny by one of Australia’s leading Orthopedic Surgeons. This is when my rehabilitation finally started three months after my injury, by this stage my chronic pain had limited my life to the point I wasn’t even able to drive a car. 

My goal with Johnny was simple, I wanted to be able to live my normal life again, which included surfing and swimming. Seven months into my rehabilitation I am happy to say Johnny has given me the tools to mentally understand the pain I experience, and I am now back on a surfboard again!

There is still a long road ahead and I had to change careers to something less physical, but with the correct tools I have been able to overcome the lowest point in my life where the mental and physical pain felt like it had no end. 

One of the most beneficial things Johnny has shown me is that there is so much treatment out there and services available for people dealing with chronic pain daily. From where I was seven months ago to where I am now, feels like a different person. I am happy with where I am and excited to keep pushing to achieve anything I want without limitations. Chronic pain Is something that can make you feel like there is no escape, but there are ways of dealing with and overcoming it, Johnny and his team have helped me turn my life back into my control and I will always be grateful for that.

In only a few months Johnny addressed not one, but two physical issues I was living with. The first one was a very sore & upsetting low back pain, that had been with me for over a year. Johnny addressed this by assessing my gait & how I held my body. I followed Johnny's instruction to relieve this pain... and it worked! The second problem Johnny diagnosed was left hip arthritis. I have had this pain over 4 months although there was really nothing I could do about it. It was great to have some clarity & directions in how to deal with it & move forward.

As life has taught me, it’s generally easier to push, if someone else doing the pushing, but sometimes all you need is little push.  My injury to recovery is largely up to me, (sure a little help from some good doctors on the way), but really up to me. Thankfully with a little guided pushing, a clear goal and much needed reassurance and advice from Johnny, getting started was a whole lot easier.

After 8x Xrays, 3x MRI’s, 1x Cortisone and 3 months of walking in a Moon Boot (incl 2 weeks on a Summer o/seas holiday) I was tired of the questions from strangers and lack of answers. So when I was referred to Johnny, hopefully my last stop to recovery, I set myself a goal. Once I reach my 12mths anniversary of the injury, I’ll be doing all the things I’ve been missing out on and not give my injury a second thought, because even as I write this it’s still my first thought and it just goes on repeat each time I get up to walk.

To help achieve my goal, and in combination of Johnny’s advice, we set out 3 steps to follow on this journey:

Step 1: Switch the language I use to describe what I’m feeling. Change it from something that is pain to instead be uncomfortable. Sounds simple but takes practice and positive intent, so after 5 mths of pain, it took another month to learn to embrace it as being a discomfort that I don’t want to keep feeling.

Step 2: Consistency drives my change. This meant doing ALL my exercises at one time of the day when I knew there was no excuse to wiggle out, and so on I went doing all the exercises, week in and week out, each time more challenging and confronting than the week before, but doing it consistently.

Step 3: Focus. I needed to focus on my goal by doing the exercises right, even pushing myself despite knowing that if I pushed hard enough I might feel ‘that’ discomfort. It has to be done, still today as I continue with my weekly exercises.

I’ll add that none of this has been easy, or quick and still today I know I’m on the road less travelled. I thought I’d be back to business after 8-12 weeks (that was the prognosis), but here I am 9 months later still pushing and while I think I’m through the worst, I know the last 10% may be the hardest. Generally this is the time I’d start slacking off, why not, I’ve earned it right? Not yet, I’ve done great for sure, but I’ve not achieved my goal. Anything short of that, is just going to undo all my hard work, sweat and tears I’ve shed so far and I’m not going back there, no way, just a big bag of nope.

I have a goal and I will achieve it with a consistency, focus, a little push and listening to the advice from someone that knows better than me.

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