Building an Ironman Competitor. How Catalyst Helped Achieve a Dream
You’re as young as you feel – and when you’ve got the experts helping you maintain your health and fitness, you can feel amazing for a long time to come. At the age of 47, Sandra Auw is just getting started in the upper echelon of competitive sport: half-Ironman triathlons! It didn’t happen overnight – but with determination, hard work and the help of our professional doctors, coaches and massage therapists, Sandra just keeps going on to bigger and bigger challenges.
From Health and Fitness to High-Octane Sports
When Sandra Auw began her fitness journey, she knew she would need help. Running triathlons is a very different activity than jogging around the neighborhood. She knew she needed to get advice she could trust on how to improve her fitness and get real results before she started competing.
“After getting a referral from a triathlon coach, I started working with Excercise Physiologist James Greenwood to get an understanding of what I needed to do to prepare,” Sandra says. James helped get her on track, understanding her challenges and helping her nail down her fitness goals – along with key metrics for showing how she could achieve them.
Sandra was keen to train hard and get into competition as soon as possible, but she was also realistic about the need to avoid a sports injury. The worst outcome would be to train for a few weeks and then find herself having to recover for months by stressing her body out too much.
This is where Sandra first recognized the convenience of Catalyst’s ‘one-stop shop’ opportunity for health and fitness services. “James recommended I see Dr. Brandon Grant because I thought I had an injury on my knee and calves,” Sandra says. “He gave me some adjustments, gave me advice about how to avoid future problems and also introduced me to a massage therapist at Catalyst, Janelle Lee. I really liked the way she worked – I felt like I had a whole team behind me!”
That comprehensive support has helped Sandra to compete and continue training, injury-free. Sandra ran her first triathlon in 2013 and is now gearing up for the International Triathlon Union’s Long Distance World Championships in Sweden. “Going to see the professionals at Catalyst for maintenance has been the key to that,” she says. “If I feel my movement in my shoulder is restricted from too much swimming or weightlifting, I see Janelle for a massage and he aligns everything the way it’s supposed to be. If I didn’t come here, I might get unaligned and just wouldn’t perform as well. Your body is like a car; maintain it and it will run great!”
While Sandra is proud of what she’s been able to achieve in competitive sport, her visits to Catalyst have also helped her performance in her outdoor hobbies. “I play golf, tennis and skiing – I’m quite active. I use every muscle I’ve got, but I’ve never had any downtime!”
As athletes in any sport know, a big part of success is in overcoming psychological hurdles – and again, Sandra credits Catalyst with going above and beyond. “My first race, I was very nervous,” she says. “But I always come out of their center feeling so confident – I know that being positive impacts my physical performance as well.”