In this edition of ‘In the Spotlight,’ let’s talk with Darlene Ciampa. Darlene and I have worked together since November 2019. She is fun, hardworking, and willing to put in the effort to get better each and every day. When no one else is in the facility, we crank up the heavy metal music and get to work!
Darlene and I first started working together in the Healthy Running Program’s 6-Week Challenge for Runners. She was coming off a hip injury and eager to take the next step to address her imbalances, improve running form, and return to running in a way that would provide the most long-term success. Her actions directly align with her goals as she continues to put in the work to build the best foundation possible. This has been demonstrated by noticeable improvements in several weak areas and the ability to run longer distances without pain. I’m super excited to continue watching her progress throughout the remainder of the year!
Without further ado, let’s shine the spotlight on…
Q: Where are you from?
A: “Livonia, Michigan.”
Q: What do you do for work?
A: “Workers’ Compensation Claims Manager.”
Q: When you aren’t working, what are some of your favorite hobbies?
A: “Road and trail running, going to heavy metal concerts, and traveling.”
Q: What are the top reasons you enjoy running and being active?
A: “I love feeling the sun on my face, my heart racing, and blood pumping.”
Q: If you could live anywhere in the world where would that be? Why?
A: “I would live in Southern Utah, I love the serenity of the canyons. The beauty and peacefulness of the environment are where my soul is. In 2013, we vacationed in Southern Utah to tour the canyon country and I have always wanted to go back.”
Q: When you first started working with Garrett, what were the goals you wanted to achieve?
A: “When I first started working with Garrett, I wanted to run 3 miles pain-free. My goal was to get stronger and condition myself for longer races.”
Q: What motivated you to work with Garrett and/or start making changes in your routine?
A: “I met Jodi Friedman at a 5k race last fall, after I had completed a month of physical therapy for bilateral hip inflammation. Jodi described Garrett as a great resource who had small group Running and Conditioning workshops that would help me get to the next level in my conditioning. The groups were comprised of women my age who were struggling with different physical challenges that wanted to improve their running experience. This was exactly what I was looking for, we were kindred spirits working together to become better versions of ourselves.”
Q: What are the most noticeable improvements you’ve seen so far?
A: “I can hold single leg side planks for 20-seconds on each side, do squats with a 30lb kettlebell and my hips, glutes, back, hamstrings are all much stronger and can take the pounding of running. I have rediscovered the joy of running and daydream about where I am running next. I am really happy running!”
Q: If someone is in a similar situation as you, could you provide them a little background on what it takes to be successful?
A: “As a runner, it’s hard to give up the one activity that I was doing for 35 years because of pain. The weeks and months that it takes to reduce mileage and focus on strengthening and conditioning will pay off. Be kind and forgive yourself for not running, the investment of time, rest, and conditioning will pay off. The exercises are building the foundation of where you want to be physically.”
Q: While returning to running after a hip injury, what are the key aspects of your training program which you think have allowed you to build mileage without re-injury?
A: “Bridges, side planks, jump and stick, dead bug, hip band exercises, arrested superman, dynamic warm up.”
Q: What is your favorite part about the sessions and now recent shift to a remote training program with COVID?
A: “I love having worked with Garrett for 5 months before the shift to the remote training program. Garrett knows my strengths, weaknesses, goals, and inspires me with the next phase in my program.”
Q: What is that one thing you dislike the most but continue to work on because you know it will help?
A: “Single leg side planks.”
Q: Looking ahead, do you have any new goals/races you are working towards?
A: “I want to consistently run 8 miles by the end of June and 10 miles by the end of September. If the Black Toe Nail Race is going to be live in November 2020, I want to take 5 minutes off of my 7.5 mile time from 2019.”
Thank you for reading this ‘In the Spotlight’ segment. And, a big shout out to Darlene Ciampa. To learn more about the Healthy Running Program, please click here.