I talk a lot about the wheels falling off. But, they’re actually not supposed to.

I tend to blame my joint issues on getting older, but here’s the thing. Our bodies are actually built to last. We’re designed to last through millions of cycles of movement. Millions! So, what gives? Why aren’t we lasting?

Because we’re designed to move correctly. And most of us don’t.

Our bodies give us signs that we’re moving incorrectly in the form of pain, swelling, tingling, numbness, loss of force, and loss of range of motion. But if you’re already experiencing one of these signs, it’s too late. You’ve already been moving incorrectly for a while so there’s no other option except damage control.

I’ve had part of my knee reconstructed because I wore it out. At the ripe old age of 35, I had worn out a joint. Even my surgeon couldn’t believe my age. How does that happen?

Years before surgery, there were signs. First, I noticed a loss of force. One day at the gym I noticed I couldn’t do a 1-leg box jump on the right side. And on the left, no problem. I chalked it up to muscle weakness so I started working my right leg even harder. My poor knee! It was simply trying to get my attention that something was already very wrong. And I answered its signal by abusing it even harder! You can imagine how that turned out.

After a loss of power came more signs: pain, swelling, and loss of range of motion.

Hindsight’s 20/20, and I have to remember that I navigated my knee issue the best I knew how at the time. My lack of awareness back then was detrimental to my physical health, but there’s a silver lining. Now, as a fitness trainer, I have a heightened awareness of these things, and that’s a huge benefit, and allows me to serve my clients so much better than I could if I hadn’t gone through all of it.

I believe I could have prevented my knee from wearing out if I’d have addressed the faulty movement pattern on my right side. But you don’t know what you don’t know…

Mobility work is preventative maintenance. It frees up our joints so we have a better shot at moving how we’re meant to move.

How do you know if you’re moving correctly? First, don’t wait for a sign that you’re not. Then, get someone who knows what they’re doing (like me!) to take a look at your mechanics.