I was flipping through the channels at 4 a.m. one morning last year when I caught the words, "water ski accident." Intrigued, I watched as Montel Williams told the story of Tom Kallish, a weekend warrior who crashed into a submerged log while slalom skiing. Tom ended up with multiple surgeries for his back, hips and knees. His doctor prescribed compression wear to relieve his painful joints, but Tom found the compression wear restrictive and uncomfortable.
With a background in the fabric industry, Tom explored the use of copper woven into a multi-directional fabric. He patented the fabric and created Tommie Copper, a company which specializes in comfortable compression wear to relieve pain and promote healing.
As I watched the infomercial, I was skeptical to say the least, but I wanted to give the product a try. Four months earlier, I had surgery on my knee to replace the ACL I tore while barefoot water skiing. Despite three months of solid physical therapy, I was still experiencing a lot of pain while walking up and down the stairs. For two weeks, my therapists were taping my kneecap off to the side to relieve the pain. This would provide a temporary solution, but by the end of the day, I couldn't stand the tape and ripped it off.
My first impression of the Tommie Copper knee sleeve was one of surprise-- I couldn't believe how comfortable it was. Within two weeks, I was able to walk up and down the stairs without having to grip the stair rail-- and by a month later, I was completely pain free. I had a similar experience after I pulled a forearm muscle later that summer. Within 48 hours of wearing an arm sleeve, my pain was cut in half.
After sharing both stories on my blog, the Tommie Copper crew ended up joining me last month at the World Barefoot Center in Florida and filming my story. They also filmed Keith St. Onge, the two-time World Barefoot Champion and he shared the story of getting me back on the water barefooting again. Tom Kallish also flew in and we had a great time on the water. Tom took some slalom runs--it was only his third time back on the water since the accident-- and the pure joy on his face was an awesome sight!
That 4 a.m. infomercial with Montel Williams was definitely no accident-- now I'm thankful for the opportunity to share my story as well as help others find relief from their aches and pains. There's more to come!