From Pain to Peak: My Journey of Healing and Triumph in the Great Outdoors
Life’s unexpected challenges often lead to remarkable transformations. Like that of the extraordinary journey of Giulia Giraudo, an adventurous hiker who battled pain to triumph over adversity. A story of resilience, determination, and the healing power of expert care. Giulia’s year of outdoor exploration, from the Tour du Mont Blanc to Portugal’s Rota Vicentina, England’s Jurassic Coast, and the enchanting landscapes of Madeira, is a testament to the human spirit’s ability to overcome obstacles. But this journey isn’t just about places; it’s about the physical and emotional challenges Giulia faced and the crucial role of her Bodyset physiotherapist, Manjiri Gatty, in her recovery.
Join us as we follow Giulia’s footsteps from pain to peak, discovering the strength to conquer limitations and turn adversity into triumph…
“I wanted to share my experience with Bodyset because the results I got thanks to the wonderful Manjiri at the Bodyset Oxford clinic were life changing and I couldn’t be happier and relieved!
I’m not sure how my passion for long distance hiking became an actual passion… I just wanted to be outside and free. That’s when I decided I wanted to give the Tour du Mont Blanc a go. About 150km of pure bliss. I was hooked.
At the beginning of March 2023, I hiked part of the Rota Vicentina on the South-Western coast of Portugal, about 90km. In early April I squeezed 50km from Swanage to Weymouth, wild camping overnight on the Jurassic Coast, in a short weekend. In May I crossed from East to West the island of Madeira, camping all the way. The most incredible adventure so far. 130km covering Martian landscapes, tropical forests, tunnels, and steep cliffs. At times I thought I was in Jurassic Park, ‘dinos’… ahem… lizards included!
Finally at the end of May, I wanted to explore the Lake District. I had been before and loved it. My favourite place in England I dare say! I hiked and camped for about 80km summiting Scafell Pike and crossing the infamous Striding Edge before a stubborn and infected blister stopped me 2 days earlier than expected.
And then my wobbly knees… All of the above hikes had some degree of terrain difficulties. It was after Madeira that I started feeling some discomfort in both of my knees, the right one especially but I was too busy planning the Lake District hike to worry or listening to them. Plus, the right knee had been a problem for years, so it was old news, not worthy of attention. Or so I thought…
The Lake District ‘scree’ was the final straw. After recovering from the blister, I started noticing the pain in my knees was considerably worse and kept worsening day after day instead of the opposite happening. For the first time ever, I was truly worried. I realised I needed expert help when one morning I had to hold on to the windowsill in my bathroom to sit on the toilet because the pain was so bad.
In a little over months’ time I was supposed to start another multi-day hike in the Dolomites, a tough one non the less, at high altitudes on rocky terrain. A mix of camping and mountain huts. That was never going to happen with the knee pain I was experiencing!
Luckily, through my private health insurance I could do an online test and then, like magic, got a call to book an appointment with Bodyset. I was going in completely blind. It was the first time that I was ever seeing a physio. I had idea what to expect…
15 minutes with Bodyset Senior MSK Physiotherapist Manjiri, and it was like pressing a light switch. My pain was reduced. I don’t know how I held back my tears. 15 minutes into what, at the time, was just a consultation appointment, I got an answer not only to my recent knee issue but also to almost a decade of on and off pain and inability to kneel properly.
The end of July came, and I felt strong and confident I could do it. And I did! My knees were fine. They took me all the way up to 2752m, to the highest point of the trek.
I went back to Manjiri for more appointments, and even got my first ever calf massage! Last week I had a quick but very active holiday with 3 days of hikes, running and swimming. I came back with absolutely no pain. I had my last appointment 2 days ago and I didn’t hug Manjiri just because I wasn’t sure how appropriate it would be. So, I went for a hand shake instead, but I can assure it was filled with immense gratitude.
Bodyset’s help has truly meant a lot, thank you. I wish I could make you all a big tiramisu!” Giulia Giraudo