Age Related Balance
“I have always considered myself to be a giant klutz with very poor balance. I thought that good balance was something that you had to be born with and could not learn.
I met Jim when he ordered some coats from my company. I went to his balance studio to meet him and discuss the job and he showed me around. I was instantly intrigued. In Park City we have every work out, fitness, diet and exercise program imaginable, but no one had focused only on balance. I had
to try it and was astounded with the results.
The workouts were really fun, incredibly challenging, and vigorous. After an hour session my limbs were shaking, I was sweating, but my heart was elated. Each time I was pushed well out of my comfort zone, but NEVER felt endangered. Jim or Janet were there by my side, always ready to spot or catch
me, and were masters at getting me to believe in myself enough that I could push to the next level. I felt that my improvement was astounding. And even though I had long periods of time between each session I felt like I never backslid, and I could take up each time where I left off.
The most amazing thing for me was the crossover effect it had on other sports in my life. I am a passionate skier. I love any type of skiing: powder, moguls, steeps and cliffs, and especially ski racing slalom and GS. The first day on snow after my fall SlackBow sessions was unreal. I felt like I was on a new improved set of legs. I have been skiing since age 2 and have always felt comfortable on skis. But now I felt rock solid. Everything just seemed easier. Flat light was not as difficult. Committing to the fall line, pressuring the outside ski, moving into the next turn, going over rough terrain or icy slopes and bumps was just easier. I was skiing with a new level of confidence. I now feel like I no longer look at each part of the slope thinking here is a bump, watch the compression, its icy here etc but rather just dance over the terrain. Probably the best tell was my husband. He has been a ski racing coach for 30 years, coaching everything from little kids to US ski team. He does not give praise easily. After watching me ski one day that winter he shook his head and said, “what happened to you? You are skiing like one of my FIS kids”—this is an unimaginably HUGE compliment from a crusty German Schilehrer—I just smiled and said “SLACKBOW.”
This summer we went to Alaska and backpacked the Chilkoot trail. This is not a hike for the faint of heart. We had a lot of rain. So the streams we had to cross were deep rushing cold torrents. We had to jump from boulder to boulder carrying a 45 pound backpack and a misstep or slip and fall could have been disastrous or even fatal. We also hiked through miles of steep slippery wet boulder fields and snowfields that were converted to glare ice because of the rain. When we hit thestreams I channeled Jim’s River Rocks training took a deep breath and hopped across. My new improved ski legs got me through the snow fields, and the confidence I gained on theSlackBow and SlackBoard got me over all of those slipperyboulder fields, and this was after I watched a hiker in front of me slip and fall and break her leg.
Finally, I am an Emergency Physician who has worked in emergency rooms for over 25 years. Falls, especially among the elderly, are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in our country. The cost of injuries secondary to falls whether it is the actual medical bill, cost of lost productivity, or cost to
care for people who are no longer able to live in their homes because of disability secondary to the fall is astronomical. One also has to consider the emotional cost to patients and their families when they can no longer be self-sufficient. While balance training is great for athletes, If I was queen of the world, I would make it a mandatory part of our health care system for anyone over the age of 55. I am a strong believer that the long term physical improvement that we would see in a elderly population who has had good balance and strength training would greatly offset any cost that program might incur.” — Celeste Raffin, MD
“I have been skiing for over 50 years, 40 of them at PCMR. For the last 20 years I have been a part of a gang that skies every Tuesday morning before we go to Rotary lunch. I am an expert skier, but after passing age 60, I noticed that I was slowing down; over the years with the same gang, I was slowly moving further back in the pack on arrival at the lift. Part of this was that some younger folks had joined in over the years.
Jim did a demo of SlackBow for our Rotary club and then invited us in for a private session. I had a one-hour visit where Jim put me through the entire spectrum of activities he had devised. The following week, skiing with the same bunch in same conditions, I found myself standing at the lift at the bottom of the hill waiting for the gang to catch up. One of the gang is the father of the world champion ski racer and a very fine skier—my age—himself.
I never would have believed that this simple training could produce such outstanding results.” – Kevin
“My name is Jim Black, and I was a professional ski instructor for 24 years, first in New England, then in Utah. As I have gotten older, my skill level has diminished, so I decided to take
one of Jim Klopman’s SlackBow courses, and it was everything I hoped it would be. I felt much more comfortable on my skis, especially at speed or in difficult conditions, and overall much more balanced and sure of myself. I found it also helped my cycling, both road and mountain.
I may not be 25 anymore, but I am skiing better than I have in years.” — Jim Black
“Quite a few years after my career as a professional ballet dancer and a few after a shorter stint as a Certified Personal Trainer, I thought I knew a thing or two about balance from my training in these two areas. Especially when I began training older adults, including yours truly. I observed firsthand how older people (me included) struggled with balance, sometimes with serious injuries. With younger ballet dancers, you are constantly challenging your balance with an endless variety of movement.
Back to us older folks. I cannot underestimate the importance of good balance as to the quality and safety of your life. Jim Klopman, through his research and innovative thinking in and out of the box, has brought this critical life issue into a broader and more complete understanding. One that people can understand and prevent falls that can change a life significantly. Jim’s knowledge and training methods, I believe, reach far beyond conventional and traditional thinking. I hope you have the opportunity to learn from Jim Klopman. He will keep you on your dancing feet! This extraordinary man is for real.” — Fred Schwab (84 Years and Still Moving Along)
“I believe the statistics are that one out of three people over 65 fall each year. Keeping active requires balance. I am 72 years old (physically, but I still feel like I am 21). I want to stay active. I ski full time in the winter and do other outdoor activities and exercise classes in the summer. I attended a number of SlackBow classes in Park City with Jim as the adviser/teacher.
In standing on the SlackBow on one foot, I went from raising my other foot for a millisecond to doing it for single digits of seconds. That is a huge improvement. I skied faster without consciously trying to. Jim’s advice on posture and focus was invaluable. Using the SlackBow to teach the balance sensors—ears, vision, and proprioceptors—to fire the small muscles and reduce the shaking that happens due to repetition—not cognitive thinking. Balance can be improved with training. Jim knows the tools to train with.” — Calvin