Deserved Success at Howard Head
Vail, Colorado – Bob Goddard, one of my favorite fellow rehabbers, was in dire need of a coach so I jumped at the opportunity. Bob – at the tender age of 57 – is battling serious nerve damage to his hips due originally to a mountaineering accident 18 months ago. Since his accident, he has undergone surgery on bi-lateral sports hernias and bi-lateral labral tears. Since October and his first labral surgery, he has seen huge improvements. Only 5 months ago, one of his doctor told him he needed to completely limit his walking to only exercise in a pool. After hearing that in Atlanta, Georgia, he uprooted his life as a real estate executive to completely focus all of his effort on recovering in Vail, Colorado at Howard Head. Bob needed a coach/secretary for his interval spin workout so I was psyched to give this sarcastic, kind, and gentle friend a little beat down. Bob is pretty awesome. It’s not just his endless generosity, smile, or classic entertaining banter so visible on the surface; it’s his observant, perceptive competitiveness that fires us up.
Mike getting Bob ready for me.
There are a number of people at Howard Head with similar stories of uprooting their lives to make sure their rehab is most effective. After spending a couple days here, it is clear Howard Head is not your average physical therapy center where you’re given a few exercises, pushed out the back door, with regular work hours. Howard Head is open 12 hours a day everyday. Bob and I are among the luckiest ones to have Mike Wahoff as our peerless lead therapist. Mike like almost everyone at Howard Head is pretty kickass. He’s constantly seeing as many patients as possible and completely willing to help and educate anyone with a keen eye. I owe much of my rehab success to Mike and so does Bob. But it is Mike that has created a unique social support team for fellow rehabbers to unite, persevere, and conquer. It’s his unwavering commitment that makes all of us work together to help each other persevere our former glory. I have to say it’s a lot easier to be battling along side comrades as the rehabilitation road is often fraught with unexpected obstacles. A support team is crucial to success.
Mike and his sidekick Topper Hagerman, who owns Howard Head, weren’t able to administer Bob’s grueling 34 minute workout so – like any proper teammate – I jumped at the opportunity to help my fellow comrade rather than just hammering through my workout.
It was 10:20 AM and game time for Bob. He just finished stretching and confidently strolled to his stationary bike, set the seat height, and slowly tossed his right leg over the seat – something he could barely accomplish 3 months ago. It was time for battle and his eyes filled with determination demonstrating how prepared he was for this fray. Bob started with a slow warm up, before I took over as his coach to tell him exactly how long to spin at a certain level and RPM. During first two sets he was struggling a little from an ongoing cold that plagued him – one that is circulating the Vail Valley and especially Howard Head – but he soon hit his stride.
Time to turn down the suck and turn up the good!
In the end – during his final push – Bob went for 2 full minutes at level 7, at 120-130 RPM before his heart rate peaked at 173 beats per minutes (at age 57 an average max heart rate is 163). It was an impressive final push. For many of you that haven’t had nerve damage it’s hard to comprehend the magnitude of this accomplishment. It is a very painful, slow process that takes a small step back before each step forward. I felt the glory of his victory as his competitive nature and commitment to getting back on the mountain are as strong as ever. Bob, your charge to fight back is starting to show your deserved rewards.
Spinning it out.
Bob’s interval summary.
Bob’s excitement is obvious. Too bad our overly paid photographer can’t get a focused shot. Good times at Howard Head.