Tom Storer, Ph.D.'s Success Story
“Knee and heel injuries had taken their toll. My right knee is bone on bone and the left is getting close. After over 20 years of very regular distance running, including a number of marathons and two surgeries, my running was over. Walking longer distances, steeper hills, or in the sand were good alternatives for fitness maintenance. My Achilles tendon had other ideas and kept me relatively inactive for nearly a year. I’m not 25, 35, or 45 any more and consequently take much longer to heal. Further compromising my fitness was a significant escalation of my workload as more and more attractive opportunities presented themselves including one that is bicoastal.
I spent a good part of my life swimming up and down the pool as well as a little ocean swimming - until recently. I managed to do a good job of overtraining one summer a few years ago which resulted in a rotator cuff strain. It was uncomfortable; I stopped swimming, used NSAIDS, cortisone injections, and finally had an MRI identifying a full thickness tear in my right RC. The left is close behind. Swimming was over at least temporarily. Surgery was a consideration but the rehab is a long and difficult process and I didn’t want to slow down what little activity I had left.
I remembered a former (outstanding) student, Trent Mitchell, who has had a great deal of success as an athlete, professional body builder, serious student of exercise science, and as an expert Fitness Specialist/Personal Trainer. We had stayed loosely in contact over the past 15-18 years. But I hadn’t thought of calling him until recently. I asked Trent if he would take me on as a client so that I could formalize my training, get a different point of view from someone I respected, and see if I couldn’t work through my limitations, regain some lost muscle mass, increase my activity level, and avoid surgery. After about 12 weeks of two and sometimes three times a week sessions supplemented with work on my own, I am on my way back and have achieved results I did not think were possible.
I won’t run marathons again and may not swim as I had, but the things I am able to do have surprised me. Trent has guided me through a lot of shoulder and back work and has worked my legs until I can actually see definition in my quads, train on the sand dune hill in Manhattan Beach, do lunges and knee extensions as well as squat jumps (formerly out of the question) and make a strong climb on Half Dome this past summer. My shoulders don’t hurt and I can swim without discomfort. I haven’t pushed the swimming, but I may be able to put together a few laps sometime down the road. The core work we have done has noticeably improved my balance and strength in situations when both are simultaneously necessary. This was never more evident than on Half Dome.
Trent’s approach has been very systematic, well thought out, and challenging. The emphasis on stability and functional training has provided the structural foundation for improved stability and strength. Over the years, he must have developed his uncanny ability to know a client’s limits and the ability to push them there but not beyond. The result is success everyday you train with no injury. Yes, I have been sore after most of our training – the good kind of muscle soreness – but without injury. The results have exceeded my expectations. My weight is down, my muscle mass is up, and I am more functional than I have been in years.
The idea of the personal trainer is a good one. S/he is someone to whom you must be responsible; they provide instruction and guidance in progressive training programs, and they stimulate self-motivation. Unfortunately, a potential client is not always so lucky as to find a fitness and rehab specialist such as Trent. He has studied hard, continues to study hard, and has learned well. His knowledge in fitness training as well as his ability to communicate that knowledge is in my experience, exceptional. Sound too good to be true? Maybe. But for me, Trent has been literally just what the doctor ordered.”