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"I wanted to share a recent experience I had with Mark Hatfield at Bridgetown Physical Therapy.  Luckily for me I have not seen Mark for more than a year and a half for anything other than saying hi. Our last encounter, he was helping me get to the starting line of Mt Hood 50 after recent meniscus surgery and severe plantar fasciitis.  However, that all changed on a late night indoor soccer game in November of this year, 2016. The “dreaded” hamstring pull. I had spent the last 23 months working towards completing an ultra race that I had to drop out of due to the meniscus tear. On the drive home that lonely November night I kept thinking this can’t be happening to me. I pulled my hamstring 6 weeks before one of the most important races of my life?! Two years ago it was a torn meniscus. The next day I ended up trying to run on the Wildwood Trail. The entire six mile run back to my car all I could think about was calling Mark Hatfield over at Bridgetown. The next morning I was waiting at the door for staff to arrive.

Mark immediately understood what the upcoming race meant to me and we went to work. Mark did a thorough evaluation of my current flexibility and strength. My hamstring was at about 15% of normal.  Uh no, that will not work in a 50 mile trail race. Mark setup appointments 3 days per week and I did workouts at home and at the gym the other 4 days. We did this for the next six weeks. I was able to continue training throughout this entire process. Mark gave me amazing guidance of exactly how to care for my injury. The most important piece of advice was telling me to stop stretching the injury.  Rehabilitation is always humbling for me. Simply just standing on one leg can be so difficult at times. We started with basic eccentric type drills and we finally ended with me doing weight training. We used every possible tool to increase my strength as quickly as possible. I have never worked so hard with an exercise ball in my life.

Before I knew it, race day was fast approaching. I went in for my last electrical shock therapy and rehab and then boarded a plane bound for Chattanooga, Tennessee. December 17th was the start of the Lookout Mountain 50 mile trail race. This was the race I had been waiting to complete for the last 24 months. I ran along sandstone bluffs, Civil War battle fields, waterfalls, had a few rope climbs and even some freezing fog, rain and wind. The race could not have gone any better. After three years of running Ultra marathons, this race was the first time without cramps. Must have been all those countless “monster walks” :) and newly improved strength in my hamstrings.

I can’t say enough about Mark and his entire team at Bridgetown. They impressed me last year and simply blew me away this year. I gave Mark a daunting task and he crushed it. I finished the race 48th/160th with a time of 10h44m with over 7,300’ vertical feet of climbing.

Whether your goals are to get back to “pre injury” status or simply improve your health or heck, even reach new lofty goals. Bridgetown Physical Therapy will ensure you exceed your expectations you have set for yourself."

Rob Hamrick