As a runner I believe life brought me here for a purpose beyond inspiring those who run or want to start to run. I have been a performance/fitness professional for the past 12 years. In that time span, I trained high level individuals in many disciplines and sports. My clients ranged from high level athletes in running, baseball, mixed martial arts, soccer, basketball, tennis, volleyball, wrestling, Olympic swimmers and American football. I kept on open mind, because everyone had different requirements for success. I learned new things, experimented with new ideas, and took calculated risks along the way. Working with them allowed me to grow in certain areas in life and give up on others.
I did my best to stay on the frontier and become the best in the world in what I do, both by preaching new methods. My passion and misery compelled me to create ”Kenthaichi” and living up to the standards I preached. I lived running and fitness, and breathed high sports performance. I must say, having such a diverse clientele base is a blessing that gave me many opportunities to find existing limits and push for new boundaries. It also gave me the chance to see the short-comings of each field.
The most glaring thing I found after all these years: Runners, out of all the athletes, lacked the most in terms of education in the areas of fitness/performance training, nutritional support, supplementation usage, and lifestyle choices.
My role with the the fitness and therapy world is to bridge the gap between the lifestyle and the sport. I want to build the ultimate runner deep in the road and track: agile, fast, powerful, skilled, resistant to injuries, and undisturbed by fatigue. I also want to build the ultimate warrior outside of the ring we sweat and bleed upon: lean, muscular, balanced, symmetrical, healthful, and educated with wisdom of a true warrior. Finally, I plan to build a fortress around the athlete: a tight-knit support system of understanding friends, significant others, and family, who not only understands the battle inside training and competition, but also the lengthy journey to get there.
2. What inspired you to start your massage therapy?
It’s a funny story actually, but I will try to tell it from a top of the hill where the view is always wise. I’m a descendant of a wise warriors called ”Orkoiyot” who have the ability to predict the future, from when I started walking at eight months old, my life was shaped to be different from other children on my village. Growing up to this day I’m forbidden to be angry or embrace the other dark spirits that makes us sad, disappointed.. etc… Sometimes at school I used to get bullied and pushed to the edge, sometimes I lost grip of my soul and attacked like a crazy baboon and bit the kid who bullied me, cause I was very thin and little..Haha.
My Mom will hear from the teachers or other people that they saw me getting angry, she would whoop me like she was paid to, she had three ways of punishing me, second one was, she would give me a two-minute lead to start running, then she wold chase me like a dog chasing a squirrel, and I would run for my life like a squirrel sprinting towards a hole on an ant hill and dog on its tail.
The run was for 30min if she hasn’t catch me by then, I will get off scott free and save my buttocks from being whooped. Third form of punishment was Massaging her for 2hours. My Mom was a great cross country runner and a 2:31 Marathon runner, so massage has always been part of my life for a very long time.
In the year 2007 I had a very bad knee injury I got while doing 800meters at a time trial in Kenya, I took some time off from intense training, and focused on things that made me weak, like adding more stretching, core and strengthening the whole body.
Even when injured most of Kenyan runners continue to jog for 20 to 30minutes a day, and walking on uneven grounds, like in the forest or climbing big hills for about an hour to four hours a day. For Icebath, we use soaking on the river for an hour or two, to help speed the healing. I tried to go back home to the village but things didn’t feel right, so I went to Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. – to try other things, like massaging other runners so I could feel connected to the world I understand, cause I wasn’t fond of farming and the slug life in the village and how everything even time seem to have stood still. Yeah, the village I hail from is that sleepy, it’s where Sun goes to rest, the only thing you would see is birds flying, herd of cattle, sheep, donkeys and goats grazing, and every once in a while you can catch a ghostly glimpse of random runner swooshing by like he’s being chased by bees.
Back in Nairobi I met a Chinese massage teacher who was looking to teach his rare technique in Kenya, luckily destiny aligned our path to meet… To this day I never get broken when something bad happens because fate always changes things, and what we think it’s our destiny to hold on to, often turns out it was just a bridge to cross to a better a place. He gave me an opportunity of a lifetime that will forever change the course of my future, to go to China and Thailand to study Sports Massage and Thai Chiropractic, turning it down would have earned me a first class express ticket to hell for being selfish to myself.
I took the chance and it became my branch that shapes my life to this day. I used my overdeveloped sense of discipline and passion from years of running training to acquire the knowledge and skill necessary to flourish in the fitness and therapists world. Without one, there wouldn’t be the other. I made the leap from one industry to another, and then proceeded to keep the best of both. Although I cannot run fast like I used to, enjoying running is something I will never cease to.
3. Do you have any helpful advice for stretching, and also recovery from injury?
Running is more than waking up an go for a workout that was set before you. To be a healthy, effortless, fast and strong runner, you must balance all four aspects that builds a great runner. Which is Flexibility, Endurance, Strength and Speed… One leads to another, without the other one can easily be broken.
Flexibility helps not to get easily injured and make the endurance training become active. Endurance helps us stay graceful to run for long like a gazelle. Strength brings out speed. and when we bridge all four, what comes out is called speed endurance. Which makes us seize our quests.
4. Why is massage therapy beneficial for us runners, and how often should we go get a massage when training for an upcoming race?
I can swear to you holding the warriors spear towards lightning, it is impossible to be a great athlete without sports massage. I learned that from me, my talent got crippled because when I came to America there was no one to massage me like it was in Kenya. I could feel the shape of my fitness fading after two months here, later an injury came which felt like I was attacked by a pack of hyenas.
Back in my prime days, so as every other athlete from Kenya, I share the same fate with them of getting 2 to 4 intense massages a week. For none professional runner, it will be glorious if the get worked one once a week. Learning from my clients, hose who get worked on once a week improve significantly on their performance. Also the more you train hard and get worked on often, sports massage helps with losing weight. cause when we continually dig deep on the muscles, the muscles start to get thinner and very strong when it get stretch often and enables them to work independently and supporting each other, which makes the body very swift and full of confidence.
Sports massage like the one I do is a poetry beneath healing, the swiftness within the body, and confidence on a brave athletes hear. Kenthaichi is a unique combination of intense flexibility, endurance exercises and aggressive massage.
This therapy is aimed to reduce the amount of muscle contractions and thereby allowing them to relax not just for days but for months. This kind of massage is one of the treasured secret of Kenyan athlete success in running. By gliding gently deeper into the layers of all muscles and connective tissue, and stretching them in short intervals, As an elite runner I found out an athlete finds enhancement function, stamina, aid in the healing process, and promote relaxation and well-being in and off training.
This goal is achieved through deep gentle massage and stretching most important running muscles by reducing the amount pain at its threshold from strain, twisted ankle and also the amount of waste products such as lactic and carbon acid, generated by strenuous physical activity. Massage is the most transformational and among the oldest of the healing arts. References to massage and its values go back to the beginnings of recorded history. Among the most widely recognized benefits of massage are: As usual after a deep massage soreness may follow but when the soreness is long gone, you will experience a confident beast in you. It doesn’t just give you hope of improving but taste of improvement.
Mentally and physically soothing.
Increased energy, speed and confidence
Reduces waste products allowing the body to recover faster from physical exception
Prevents injury by helping muscles relax and improves blood circulation
-Who may benefit from Couple of Massage?
Elite Athletes, Middle Athletes and weekend warriors and Anybody who performs strenuous physical activities.
5. Tell us a little about you. What is your running background, and do you have personal experience with overuse injuries? How did you overcome those injuries?
For me my life has always been a breathtaking story that begins with running, for it’s the footsteps of my wonderful mother. Running has always been a lifestyle for, it’s where I have achieved my greatest victories, travel around the world, the friends I have almost all of them I met them through it.
Running is something that I was best at while growing up, it is a part of me that deserves no complain whether I’m drowning in the in bitterest of pain or the shallow alleys of defeat where sad people go to hide, for if it wasn’t for Running I wouldn’t be the warrior beneath the man who I stand today. It has taught and gave me allot. I’ve had my share of victories and defeats, but being humble in it all I never failed to become.
Running has helped me overcome a lot of misery and change my life, although sometimes I hate it, but I love what it does to me. Running is one of extreme discipline. is a sport that’s beyond physical, one that requires supreme dedication, mental strength and will of a hungry wounded lion. Both exist on the extremities of their respective categories. Separately, they uplift mere mortals into inspirational leaders in the villages and communities around the world. Together, they can combine to turn local legends in small cities into icons in the eyes of millions. I am who I am today because I rooted all of it in the depths of my heart.
Running was my first passion as a child growing up in Kenya; it is my root. I found my discipline and passion there. Fitness brought me success in America till one day I was attacked by an injury that brought me down to a standing still like a carcass. Despite the beautiful talent being ripped off from my breath, I had another rare life within that cannot be compared to any other person who exists. Warriors we’re bred to have more than one great ability, because depending on one hand is not wise, for it may get tired or hurt.
When I got injured, I tried to visit every doctor on my field from Chiropractor, Physical therapist, Trainer, Acupuncture but none seem o help, so I decided to take the matter to my own healing hands like I’ve done in the past. At the edge of hope, I started stretching than ever before, I pulled the tire 30minutes a day to be able to straighten and strengthen my alignment. I had a slight scoliosis, I used to call it ”Antichrist” it was pain that was terribly annoying in the back and only way to overcome it was pull my bloody warrior pants up and kick its butt, it took me 3 weeks to be able to stand straight, and after a month I as able to start jogging, that injury kept me out of running for 2 and half years. After doing the hardest work, I still needed help from one of the most wonderful Chiropractors in Austin TX, her name is Dr Anice Le’Bouf, both our works brought me back to life, where I could run again.
I liked her because she was different from other doctors who tell you that you’ll never run again, that’s a dreadful thing no one should ever say to anyone even to an old toothless goat with three legs.. One of the things one must never do or say to a runner is to never try to bury their spirit of the things they love most.. They will hate you with a sheer passion than any hill on their way. For me I’ve always believed that nothing bad is meant to last, if you cut my heart open you will find these words engraved on its walls, but you have to wait till I’m on the other side of afterlife.
6. What does the phrase “Run Culture” mean to you?
I’m from a wonderful tribe called Kalenjin that has a tradition of producing world fastest runners and great farmers, often we say active people in our tribe become runners and lazy ones become farmers. Run culture to me means we should look back where we come from, deep in the past where our ancestors run effortlessly for thousands of miles to fulfill whatever was on their quest. It means we shouldn’t suffer on what we say so often to everyone that we love doing no matter how painful and treacherous the road gets.
It means the moment we lace up our running shoes and hit the road and clobber whatever may arise or we get clobbered, when we come back home, we must return with joy, for our loved one know we went to do what we love, and doing what we love makes us happy and joyful. To me as a warrior ”Run” means courage, and culture means Tradition, Honor and a village that we must never plant weakness in it. As a runner you mustn’t spend your life holding yourself back and blaming the past injuries or age for the reasons you are slow. We’re blessed with awesome legs to move forward not backwards.
Whether you think your legs will go fast, or it wont, those legs will carry you forward if you let them. But you have to let them, let them be wild by pushing yourself from holding back, for there will never be victory when there’s fear and doubts of attacking the pace. Remember winning isn’t hard when you train hard, so Run because you love to, and push like it is your culture.
Running culture is something we must help it grow, inspire others to be part of it, for in running you can make more than friendship. Trust, compassion and family can come out of running with one another, in running you’ll be blessed to visit most astonishing beautiful places and meet wonderful people… Runners we own a piece of heaven, enjoy every minute and place, pace and people you get to meet for that is the true culture of running.