If Life Gives You Lemons


If you’re in the fitness industry it’s probably safe to say that you are no stranger to injury. If you’re a martial artist, the chance of this statement being true is even higher.  In March 2009, Chris Craig, manager of Eris Martial Arts and 10th Planet Jiu-jitsu Peterborough incurred one of the nastiest Jiu-jitsu injuries that I have heard in a while, and I’ve been around some rough ones! Chris sustained a knee dislocation which resulted in a severed ACL, LCL and peroneal nerve. If that wasn’t enough he also tore his hamstring, calf, and had to deal with drop foot caused by the nerve damage. As athletes, when we sustain an injury, we usually have to deal with a lot more than just the physical injury itself. The mental aspect of having to sit on the sidelines and not being able to perform at an optimal level is trying on an athlete as well. The downward spiral of depression can be even worse than the physical pain. This can also quickly lead to weight gain from inactivity.

This unfortunate turn of events did not keep Chris down for long. The doctor had told Chris that he needed to lose some weight before his surgery to ensure a speedy recovery. Chris was cleared for high exertion activity to accomplish this and his doctor suggested spin classes. Spin was too painful, but since he was cleared to exercise he did so with the thought that if his knee had popped out like it had in the past, it would have expedited his surgery since it was his doctor’s idea. Chris began focusing more on his nutrition and began to work with the Training for Warriors book, adapting the exercised to accommodate his needs. Where there’s a will there’s a way!

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” –Lance Armstrong

ImageAfter being shuffled around through the Canadian healthcare system and having surgery rescheduled numerous times, Chris was finally able to have tendon transfer surgery to help correct the drop foot after a little over a year! This procedure was only partially successful. After having to wait another year, Chris was able to have his knee surgery in August 2011, which was a high-tibial osteotomy and a hamstring based ACL repair. A tibial osteotomy is a procedure in which the tibia is cut and reshaped in order to relieve pressure on the knee joint. Chris was so driven that he actually even worked out the morning of his surgery at 5:30 am. It’s hard for me to do that when I’m 100% some days! The doctors were so impressed with his self-healing and rehabilitation that they told him not to go to physical therapy to get better, but to just keep doing what he was doing.


Fast forward now, 2 years later! What’s Chris been up to since his long road to recovery? Chris, a personal trainer, fitness instructor and nutrition coach, became a Training for Warriors Level 1 Instructor and the affiliate for TFW Peterborough. Chris runs clients through the TFW system at 24/7 Family Gym in Peterborough, but he also does something bigger than that! Chris is an educator at Fleming College. Chris is contracted with the college to help with the uniform fitness classes. That’s right, those going to school to be firefighters, EMS and police officers! Lots of people can have fancy gyms, lots of people can train others, but not everyone can say that they’ve had the opportunity to shape the bodies and minds of heroes. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him run future firefighters through workouts and helping them prepare for the job duties in front of them. I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel safer knowing that the person breaking through that door to save me if I was in trouble has put in the time to train to do so. Not only that, but the person who trained them is someone who doesn’t believe that giving up is an option.


“If life gives you lemons, make some kind of fruity juice.” – Conan O’Brien

TFW 24 Seven Family Gym is located at:
234 Charlotte St.
Lower Unit
Peterborough, Ontario K9J 2T8


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