At Carle Cancer Institute in Champaign you’ll find Charli Kahler, RN, providing comfort to head and neck cancer patients at what may be the most vulnerable time of their lives.
However, when the Scottish Highland Games are underway, a different side of her emerges as she competes in five or six hours of pitch. That could be tossing a 15-foot-tall, 65-pound tree trunk 360 degrees, swinging an 18-pound weight on the end of a pole over your head, or using a three-pronged pitchfork to toss a 12-pound sack of burlap. . a bar.
Similar to a decathlon, each “game/competition” consists of nine throwing events and you must complete all nine events. to receive points and place at the national level.
It takes strength and endurance, which she’s learning through the Carle Performance Enhancement through Advanced Kinesiology (PEAK) program at Carle Sports Medicine in Champaign.
“I realized that games existed since I saw the movie “Braveheart”. I was looking for a change in fitness culture as well as keeping fit with better control of my movements so I could continue to stay active and healthy well into my middle years. I am over 40 years old and I want to avoid injuries due to my lack of knowledge – that is where PEAK helps strengthen my movements to prevent injuries and allows me to continue moving safely,” said Kahler.
Kahler started working with the PEAK program about eight months ago and never thought it would progress the way it has. “It has changed my life,” she said.
Kahler is among the clients who have signed up for fee-for-service PEAK training that tests people and works with them to gain or maintain strength and mobility. She can attest that referrals are not necessary and anyone can work with this program to achieve her individual goals.
Kahler has some very specific goals because of the competitions. Twice a week for an hour, he gets a 1:1 workout designed around his goals for the season, which ultimately is to increase endurance in competition, ability to throw heavy weights and prevent injuries. She attributes her success to PEAK program athletic trainers (ATs), Christopher Danbury, MS, ATC, CSCS, and Aaron Alford, ATC, who designed her training program.
“After every match, I watch videos to see where my throwing form was “off” (ie not having enough speed, not going down enough, overusing my shoulder instead of my core). My PEAK athletic trainer takes this feedback and designs my training activities for that week to strengthen and correct where I was struggling in competition the week before. Workouts are never the same. I went from reps with 15-pound kettlebells to reps with 30-pound kettlebells,” he said.
She is very appreciative of the athletic trainers who work with her to make sure she trains properly. “Athletic trainers really focus on my needs and what I hope to accomplish in competition,” Kahler said. “They focus on the individual competitions I sign up for and help me train so I don’t get injured, and that’s it.”
Athletic Trainer Danbury said, “Anyone can participate in the PEAK training program. We help everyone from a first time user to college athletes.”
“You have to move good, then strong, and then you can move fast,” he said. “We focused on movement patterns for the first few weeks. As long as we start adding weights and resistance training, we’ll be moving safely first and foremost. Then we work to move fast and to compete.”
“They’re so good at it,” Kahler said. “His scope of knowledge is quite deep. I’ll tell you what I experienced or felt during the competition, and Danbury will bring in a whole new drill to help me get through that.”
Kahler said athletic trainers have the experience and knowledge to improve it from start to finish. She thinks it’s a win-win.
“Our main goal for our athletes is to restore core functional movement patterns,” Alford said. “Most of the time that’s the bottom line when working on improving strength and mobility.”
Kahler said the games are also a perfect complement to a busy work/life/workout balance.
Danbury and Alford said the program focuses on sports and everyday life with trained health professionals who follow COVID-19 safety recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Public Health. Illinois (IDPH).
Appointments are available every half hour and a session with an athletic trainer lasts one hour. Sessions can be once a week or more. It depends on the need agreed by the client and the physical trainer. For more information on PEAK training and other performance enhancement programs offered, email [email protected] or call (217) 383-9756.
Carle Cancer Institute,