Kara Lang is one of Canada’s premium football exports. Her list of accolades includes: being the first 15 year old to play for the national team (2002), numerous multi-goal games on the international pitch (including setting the record for fastest goal in an international match), a stint with the Vancouver Whitecaps of the W-league (United Soccer League) and a productive 3-year NCAA career with the UCLA Bruins (scoring a record 17 goals in 24 games as a freshman, leading the Bruins to the NCAA championships that year).
Simply put, my father is an athlete. Now in his 50’s, the sports in which he participates differ greatly from his youth. That isn’t to say he is any less competitive, in fact, I can hardly imagine him being any more so. Competition is in his blood and that will never change.
As a medical doctor, I know that the knee is one of the most commonly injured joints in the human body. Around 60% of sports-related injuries impact the knees, and the resulting lifetime risk of developing knee osteoarthritis (OA) is estimated to be as high as 45%. And yet, to date conventional knee braces have not really addressed this problem; many patients are left with mobility impairments that force them to give up on doing the things they love. I haven’t just seen this as an ER and family medicine doc, I’ve also experienced knee injuries firsthand. As an avid photographer, I’ve learned that sometimes you need to hike quite a bit through challenging terrain to get to the most photogenic spots. At times, it feels like the knee injuries I’ve personally experienced have the potential to progressively limit the way I can travel in the future.
I fell in love with basketball before I could walk; it has been a part of my family and my life since day one. From the driveway to Madison Square Garden in New York, MacKenzies have played ball at a variety of levels. My earliest memories revolve completely around playing basketball in the backroom with my father, brother and my sister. Being 5 years younger than my brother and sister I had difficulty keeping up, especially in the early years, but basketball quickly became the strongest bond in our family.
If you’re interested in making the most of your athletic prime, you’d be wise to take a good look at your knees. For almost every major sport, the average athlete hits their prime – that is, their years of greatest athletic potential – between 22-30 years of age. While the precise age of peak performance varies from sport to sport, the average individual will have 8-12 years to participate in athletics at their maximum potential . As an athlete now in my 30’s, this statistic can feel a bit grim (at least when I’m not in full-out denial!). As a result, almost every athlete asks a similar question: how can I make the most of my athletic prime? More»