Sunday, January 14, 2007

Walking with no pain.

I almost can't beleive it.I just got back from a 20 minute,fast paced walk where my knee did not talk to me ONCE during the entire time. I did not have to stop and stretch and try to adjust my kneecap or limp around trying to find a positition that did not KILL as I tried to walk somewhat normally.
The last time I could do this was in 1987 or so. I had pretty much given up on it and have resigned myself to needing a full knee replacement sooner rather than later if I ever wanted to have a chance at normal gait.
All this bodywork and stretching , weighted rack walks and the tons of swings and snatches I have been doing have been paying off. But I didnt know how much until I did those walks back and forth from my mechanics the other day and got a sense that something had changed. Drastically.
So I tested it out today just going for a regular walk with no weights.I couldnt believe it! I felt like a normal person with a normal gait! How amazing! ANd how much people take for granted the most simple acts until they can no longer do them.I stopped because I didnt want to push it too much as things sometimes have delayed reaction but I dont think so.

I remember so vividly how much I enjoyed being a runner and endurance athlete, the freedom I felt from just being able to "wander around" for hours under my own power.I honestly didnt think I would ever be able to experience that again unless I got a new knee.I have been having many running and jumping dreams and today is literally a dream come true.

At the RKC certs Pavel and Steve Maxwell always walk the 2 miles or so from the cert hotel to the cert itself. I was always jealous and hoped that one day I might be able to join them, but truth be told just being on my feet for the 12 hours each day kicked my ass and there was no way to even think about it. That has changed. And in April, at this years cert, my first as a true Senior RKC, I will join them, now I have no doubt.

I am adding in a walking workout on Sundays and will push this 20 minutes up to one hour of continuous walking. If I can do that with no pain I will be able to walk as far as I want.I will also take my weighted rack walks even more seriously as they have obviously been working well.

"..for legs that don't quit."

from one of Pavels ads for kettlebells. That is my goal.


Pete Diaz, RKC said...


I am happy for you! Although, I don't think I can classify you as a "normal" person :)I look forward to seeing you at the RKC in April. I have no doubt you will be walking the route to the training grounds.

RE: The TSC, are spectators welcome? I want to come out and watch to get motivated to try the next TSC.


Mark Reifkind said...

thanks man, and I agree, I aint "normal" lol. Yes spectators are more than welcome at the TSC IF these guys get off their butts and actually email me to confirm. I will be having it( if they do) at Girya though, not at Stones on second thought. But right now I havent heard a confirmation from anyone.

Robert said...


I am sure you have probably spent a lot of time tweaking with your posture and sensing what works and what doesn't in regards to pain and performance. Let me ask you this: have you spent time focusing on your breathing while walking? You might have heard of the books Chi Running and Chi Walking by Danny Dreyer. Check out the section on posture and breathing in Chi Running. I've applied this tech to the way I walk and run, and my knee health has definitely become better.


Mark Reifkind said...

hunter thanks for the imput.I will check it out.I originally "discovered" my breath many years ago when I first started learning how to run long distances.It is vital to not only running and walking but to posture while standing as well.

Pete Diaz, RKC said...


The TSC is something I would like to try, but March is too soon for me since I have not been deadlifting since my last posting on deadlifting. When is the next one supposed to be held?

Mark Reifkind said...

not usre pete

Tom Furman said...

Very impressive. You never want something so bad until it is taken from you. I remember not being able to hit the bag and spar because I was covered with poison ivy in my teens. Weeks seemed like years. I think about how you rebuilt yourself and your poundage total would exhaust many pro athletes, yet you hunger for more. That separates the intiators from the complainers.

Geoff said...

Nice job, buddy.

I hope you have the sequencing of your training sessions all written down so you can pass this gold on.

Royce said...

I am really happy for you man.
I can't imagine having trouble just walking.

I also know that most people in your position would give up untill the knee replacement.

Once again, very happy for you.

Sara Cheatham M.S., RKC said...

See you AND your new gait at the April RKC Rif! My husband, Mike, and I are attending together (finally!). Your progress and determination contines to be inspiring. Much continued success!

Mark Reifkind said...

thanks so much for the kind words. you are very insightful and know the real deal world so it means something coming from you. thanks man.

Mark Reifkind said...

This is one of the reasons I have been putting off exploring Z health; I have been feeling things coming together and I didnt want to throw off the mix.the combination of getting out of shoulder pain and then regaining my gait( we'll see how long it lasts)has been amazing.I do know the sequence; it has been a long time coming at each stage.

Mark Reifkind said...

thanks royce, I hope it lasts.

Mark Reifkind said...

sara so glad to hear your husband made it safely back from Iraq! thats fantastic. see you both in April!

Franz Snideman said...

Awesome news and great goal, to have your legs in shape and functional enough to do things like walking!

I have an idea for you Rif. Have you ever tried walking backwards? Try it, I think you will be pleasantly surprised how you will have less pain in your body. I don't know why exactly it works but studies have indicated that if hip replacement candidates walked backwards they were able to do it minus the pain. Obviously a neuroligical phenomenon.

Mark Reifkind said...


thanks, I have tried that, more than a few times. it actually is worse and causes my kneecap to lock up fast.too much direct load on the quad which is tight from restricted ROM to begin with. thanks for the idea though.

Franz Snideman said...

Ohhhh, well forget that idea :)

I have tried it with a couple of cleints with success but every case is obviously different.

are you looking forward to going out to the RKC to teach in April?