“OK, I will admit it – I set out to hike the Grand Canyon (North Rim to Phantom Ranch) with too much weight and not enough training. Carrying 40+ lbs of camera equipment (plus food, water, clothes, etc.) I descended the well marked trail with a cool North wind at my back and my three friends in front of me. Being an amateur photographer who had never been this way before, I was captivated by the ‘enormitude’ of the canyon. However, as I stopped to take amazing pictures, my crew rarely ceased their trail pounding. After each time I stopped to compose, I turned to find them a hundred or more yards in front of me. I would run and catch up, then stop to shoot, then run again… I guess my IT band did not get the message that I would be doing this for 14 miles and 5,000 feet of decent. About half way through the hike, it seized and brought me to an abrupt halt. It was like a ball-peen hammer was striking the side of my left knee with every step. I thought about living there at mile 7 for the rest of my life, but just did not see the rangers accepting my excuse.
Now, along with my (unwisely packed) heavy equipment, I also (wisely) packed a TP Massage Ball – just in case. So, I gave some of my equipment to my great pals, and at every stop along the way (i.e. fewer photo ops), I rubbed that TP Massage Ball deep into my thigh, knee, calf, soleus – anywhere and everywhere from my hip on down. Painful, yet quite effective – otherwise I would be sending this message via smoke signals. It was still a difficult hike to the bottom and then back to the top, but with my three amigos and my TP Massage Ball, I made it out, with frames to spare.
I was also able to save a fellow hiker (about 50 years old), whom I met on the return hike, from great pain, when both of his calf muscles cramped. It had happened to him on the same hike the year before, when it took him 5 hours to finish the last mile of the hike. He felt them seize with about 3 miles to go and I could tell from the look in his eyes he did not want to go through that again. I pulled out the TP Massage Ball, showed him how and where to roll it, and within 5 minutes, he was back on the trail – pain free. As I understand it, as soon as he got back to civilization, he ordered the whole set of Trigger Point products. Pain relief sure is a great selling point for someone who sees immediate results and wants to keep hiking that Grand Canyon, year after year.”