We all love success stories, particularly those that defy the odds of medicine. Meet ClubV member Gord Maric, founder of Ciram, a boutique business intelligence advisory firm. From 0 to 100km in 4 months: this is his story.
By Gord Maric, ClubV member
Last weekend I rode 100km in 4 hours and 15 minutes in Halton Hills, in Greg’s Ride, a charity event named for a fallen OPP police officer. This was a thrill and huge achievement for me: a few years ago doctors told me I was a candidate for injections or surgery on my left knee.
As background, I am 52, was very active in my 20s and 30s but since then I’ve been focused on work and have become mostly a desk jockey. About 4 years ago, after a particularly long bout of work, I decided to strap on a pair of running shoes and go for a run. It felt great until I got home with a swollen left knee that did not recover with rest. My doctor took X-rays, and a specialist prescribed knee injections, and possibly surgery. At that time I learned that I had Osteoarthritis (OA) due an injury when I was young, and sitting on my butt for more than 10 years did not help.
My father-in-law is an avid hockey player, and when I told him about my knee, he mentioned he was seeing Dr. Chapin at High Point Wellness Center to manage similar hockey injuries and he encouraged me to see him before agreeing to any injections or surgery. When I saw Dr. Chapin, he said “we can probably fix this with physiotherapy and if it fails you can go to surgery, but surgery is a one-way street”. I decided to go the therapy route.
Physiotherapy helped and I soon realized how much I had deteriorated over the years. Unfortunately, physio was not as straightforward as I thought it would be. I’ve had my hits and misses and doing dumb things, like trying to play squash, or running too much before I was ready and I re-injured myself. Each one of those misses taught me something about my body.
I came across a book called “Younger Next Year” (2004, Dr. Henry Lodge and Chris Crowley) that has become a huge motivator for me to exercise regularly (highly recommended for middle-aged people). The book mentioned cycling and I decided to dust off my old bike from high school. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my knee did not act up and I was actually enjoying the exercise. That was in May 2016. Soon after I started riding casually, I found an internet-based charity event (Great Cycle Challenge) where one simply collects sponsorships and logs miles for the month of June. I decided to challenge myself and I pledged to ride 1,000kms (33kms per day). When I told Dr. Chapin about this, he said I should meet a guy call Julien who is into cycling and builds bikes.
Not knowing what to expect I booked a meeting with Vitess Founder Julien Papon to chat. We talked about our backgrounds, interests, bikes, etc. I ended up getting myself fitted on my old bike and was surprised to find that some small tweaks made a big difference.
In June I rode 1056km and raised $2700 (to my amazement); and I was hooked on cycling.
I started looking around for a new bike and realized pretty quickly that the bike stores were doing things backward. They would ask me what bike I would like and they would make it fit somehow. I asked why they would not measure me first and tell me what is best based on the measurements. Everyone gave me a blank stare.
I booked another appointment with Julien and decided to go through the Vitess process and get a bike properly fitted.
I now have a wonderful Vitess bike that fits me great and motivates me to continue riding. I also like the camaraderie inherent to ClubV, which further motivates me and helps with training. So my secret to completing my first 100km ride is having the right tools, good mentors and a community of like-minded people who support my goals.
Gord Maric – ClubV member (@gmaric)
Want to learn more about the Vitess experience & ClubV? Connect with one of our Toronto-based brand ambassadors: ClubV members Zac Webster (@zwebster) at (416) 885 4879 or Keith Sanger (@ksanger) at (647) 205 3100. Or reach out to your VitessX LevelUP Concierge at (416) 503 8987.