Battling Back from ACL Injury, Pedal Stroke by Pedal Stroke

Brian KathmannBrian Kathmann admits sitting still doesn’t come easy. Imagine, then, what happens when the avid runner, cyclist and triathlete is taken down by a bad ACL tear that requires a full year recovery:  it’s not good. Kathmann bluntly stated, “I realized I was going to lose my mind if I couldn’t get out and exercise.”

The 34-year-old Cincinnati resident was playing a game of basketball in July 2016 when he fell and tore his ACL in his right knee. It was a severe injury and one that required surgery. Kathmann emerged unable to walk or drive, and faced months upon months of intensive physical therapy. Kathmann realized that his road back to triathlons, running races and simply moving without pain was going to be a long one. But he also knew he had to find a physical outlet somehow.

“I was doing physical therapy and lifting indoors, but I’m the kind of guy where if I get on a treadmill, I’m off in two minutes. It’s monotonous. I’d rather go outside and run,” he said. “But I was struggling with even getting my knee around for a full rotation on the stationary bike, which was part of my physical therapy exercises. I was essentially learning how to bend my knee again.” He knew that he had to come up with some other way to get his endorphin fix.

That’s when his friend Charlie caught wind of Kathmann’s struggles and introduced him to the ElliptiGO bike in September.  The ElliptiGO turned out to be the answer Kathmann was looking for:  a way to get back outdoors and get a great workout in, but with a low impact motion so his knee could recover properly.

Kathmann rode several days a week on his ElliptiGO 8C and was surprised how his knee had no pain. As he put in the miles, re-strengthened his hamstrings, quads and hip flexors while getting the cardio workout he so desperately desired.

“Being on the ElliptiGO kept the reality in my mind that I’m still able to get back into shape and still able to get out there and get after it a little bit,” he said. “It was much more lower impact but still able to get back with the shirt dripping – a solid workout effort.”

From a mental standpoint, the ElliptiGO was key as well. “You’re back outside working out versus being in a physical therapy clinic or being in a gym. It was a relief getting outside again, especially since I’ve never been injured before. It was great for someone who can’t sit very well,” he shared with a laugh.

Now Kathmann has his sights set on finishing two or three triathlons by the end of the year, something that he admits is aggressive, but believes he can achieve. Brian is also a professional mascot for one of the Cincinnati professional sports teams and had to sit out last season for the first time during his 15-year stint. The side gig is one that he is passionate about, and he greatly missed getting the crowds riled for the home team. Now he can resume his life, stronger, without pain and with joy.

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