Improving Performance through Physical Therapy with Jim Jamieson

Former Marine, healthcare entrepreneur and triathlete, Jim Jamieson shares how he uses Physical Therapy to improve his performance in endurance events.

Jim Jamieson has been an athlete since high school. From quarterback to Marine to Iron Man triathlon competitor, he’s made it a priority to improve his physical health through every venture he tries. 

It wasn’t until a bicycle accident landed him in Physical Therapy, that Jim realized he could train better for the endurance events he had made a big part of his life.

“I was doing nothing but wearing myself out. And hurting every body part I had,” he said of his training prior to rehab. “I’ve got a really, really bad lower back on top of it. So I was compounding that issue.” 

In this episode of Powering Health and Wellness with RPM Rehab, the healthcare entrepreneur explains how Physical Therapy allowed him to unlock the full potential of his body’s movement capabilities and how it changed the longtime athlete’s outlook on health.

Starting from scratch

Jim doesn’t remember what caused his bicycle accident. He only remembers waking up with severe injuries – everything from a broken shoulder to a broken hand and a severe concussion. 

“The next thing I knew, I was waking up to a husband and wife picking me up off the ground. And I was just a hot mess. It was not a pretty situation,” he recalled.

His injuries landed him in Physical Therapy for the first time in his life. He had to relearn a lot of movements he had been doing over the course his entire life. Most importantly, his Physical Therapist taught him how to view his body holistically. 

“He taught me a lot of how to train and what body parts to train and what days of the week to train and how to recover,” Jim shared.

Prior to his injury, Jim wasn’t aware that Physical Therapists had the tools to help athletes train. Each session, Jim learned more about how each specific movement impacted a part of his body.

“When you get off that bike, when you’re exhausted, how do you properly take care of your body? And do it the right way?” he said. “I think PTs know the body so well, and they’re typically dealing with athletes often. The average everyday triathlete like myself, we’ve never learned that from anywhere.”

Jim’s Physical Therapist taught him how to optimize each one and build a better baseline for running, swimming and biking.

“What’s important for me is he gave me just two or three things to work on, that if you fix those, it will automatically address a lot of the other things in there,” Jim said. “And I work on them. I do them every day.”

Getting results

Since then, rehab has become an important part of how he trains and recovers from each race he enters.

It didn’t take long for Jim to begin to see remarkable results. After his Physical Therapist taught him how to properly shift his movement while running, he began to shave off up to 20 seconds each mile he ran. 

“My goal is I’m not trying to win these races, but I want to get better and at least maintain and not get worse. And as you get older, running, especially, can be hard on the body,” he said. 

Through Physical Therapy, Jim feels like he can keep his body young and able to do the things that make him happy. He said he wants to see more triathletes like him utilize rehab to prevent injury and improve performance.

“I just encourage people, as you get older, especially former Marines like myself, you’re always afraid to ask for help. You think you can do it yourself,” Jim shared. “Go talk to a nutritionist, talk to a PT, talk to a coach and you’re only gonna help yourself and do better. It’s going to make your life a lot easier.”

His years of participating in Iron Man triathlons have made him appreciate the importance of staying fit and taking care of his body. He’s been inspired by all the different people he’s seen – even in their late 70s – cross the finish line. 

But Jim knows that’s only possible through the support of people like Physical Therapists.

“You can’t do it yourself. You just can’t do it alone.”

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