Geoff Harris is a Halifax-born middle-distance runner who has been pushing his own physical limits for the majority of his life. His lengthy list of achievements includes participating in the 2012 Olympics as well as being a two-time Canadian champion, two-time CIS champion, and a Canada Games champion. In the process of attaining such a high level of success, Geoff has had to deal with injuries along the way.
"I have had more than I would care to count. I have been running on the international stage for more than eight years now and I have had almost every issue that can plague a runner. For the most part, injuries for me stem from my feet. During our base season, we run over 100km a week and that pounding adds up!"
Geoff carefully manages the wear and tear he places on his body with proper rest and rehabilitation. He credits his experiences with physiotherapy and proper coaching as major contributors to keeping himself moving.
"I started using physiotherapy during high school to help keep me healthy while I was playing football. Ten years later, I still use it to keep me healthy and combat injuries during my running career. Staying injury free is a near impossible task, so I have found the key to managing it is to create a good team of coaches and therapists to stay on top of things. Communication is key; keeping your coach, physiotherapist, and massage therapist all on the same page and up to date on how your body is responding is very important."
Representing Canada is one of Geoff's greatest accomplishments. However, as a proud Nova Scotian, Geoff has some concerns about the overall health of our province. He offers some advice on what each of us can do to be active - and to keep Nova Scotians moving - for life.
"I believe Nova Scotia needs to immediately become a healthier province. We are one of the unhealthiest provinces in Canada and need to work together to create a society of positive reinforcement and encouragement towards a healthier lifestyle. It needs to be introduced into our schools in a much more profound way. The best advice is to understand that it's not a fad or something you try for a month; it's a lifestyle and it's worth it. The information is out there and there are many ways to do it right. You just need to find which way works for you. Doing it wrong is far too easy: eating too much bad food and not exercising always has the same outcome… So don't take it on alone. Find someone to work with and start today."
If you need help getting started, visit a physiotherapist today and get an assessment. A physiotherapist will listen to your concerns, evaluate your movement, and set realistic goals with you to get you moving. To get your exercise prescription, use our Find A Physio feature to locate a physiotherapist near you.