Vincible Knees

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When I was 15, I was an avid hiker, competitive kayaker, and runner. I was (and still am) one of those people who really enjoy physical challenge. I love pushing my body as hard as it will let me. That summer, I averaged six hours a day on the water and another two on dry land doing lake runs and other cardio activities. I was getting faster and stronger every day, it was the kind of training they make montages about in the movies. Then, with about two weeks left in the summer, I traded my worn-out sneakers for a new pair. My first run on them was 22km, and left my knees wrecked.

These sneakers changed my running alignment (they were corrective sneakers, but the local shoe store didn’t share that with me), and as appose to stopping when I first noticed the pain, I just kept running. After I stopped running, I knew I had done some damage, but didn’t think much of it until I tried to run the next day. Even in my old sneakers, I could now only manage about 300m before pain set in. The physiotherapist told me to stay off it for two weeks, but it took me nearly two months before I completely healed the injury.

In that time, my kayaking training was seriously affected, as was my running. I watched my training gains fade; all that work, just to lose it to a stupid pair of shoes. It was at this point that a thought dawned on me: I use my knees for almost everything I enjoy. Biking? Check. Rock climbing? Check. Yes, even kayaking.

At first I didn’t understand how my body could hold me back; I was in control of it wasn’t I? But as the days I spent on the sidelines numbered, I realized just how wrong I was. I was completely at the mercy of my body, an awful thought for a 15 year old: I wasn’t invincible. This injury taught me just how important, and sometimes fragile, knees are.

Thankfully I made a full recovery, but today I know many people never completely recover from knee injuries. When I think back to my feelings of frustration and helplessness when I was told to “take it easy” for a few weeks, I can only imagine what it must be like to be told you might never be able to do your favourite sport again. That’s what makes working at Springloaded so meaningful to me: Knee injuries suck!  It would be monumental if we can succeed in giving someone their favourite sport or activity back. That’s what we’re working toward: getting knee injuries out of the way so 15 year olds and 50 year olds, alike, can get back to doing what they love.

Right now, we are a finalist in the BDC Young Entrepreneur’s Awards and need you to vote today and every day up to and including June 17th. Winning this contest means we will be able to get our product to market exponetnially faster and get knees around the world back to feeling invincible!

My coworker, Larisa, wrote another dev blog about what working at Spring Loaded means to her, check it out here!