Susan L., M.D.

Susan at the Nike Half Marathon

Susan at the finish line of the Nike Half Marathon

When I was 30, I ran the NYC marathon. I finished it, smiling, but when I stopped, the pain in my right knee felt like I was being stabbed with a knife, and I almost fell to the ground. It took months to heal. Over the next few years, I had 2 kids, nourished a busy career, and tried to get back into running. Every time I did, I got silly but limiting injuries like shin splints or achilles tendonitis for which the cure was to stop running.

Now I’m about to turn 40 and decided to sign up for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco (a Tiffany necklace presented by a firefighter at the finish line served as motivation!). A friend of mine told me about Rolfing and how it had significantly improved her posture and her life. I found Matt Hsu online. I was hoping for a painful, yet passive “fix” to my ongoing knee and running problems.

Instead, Matt systematically considered the mechanics of my whole body and began recommending strengthening, stretching, and foam rolling exercises that targeted not only my knees, but seemingly distant muscle groups that ultimately had a direct impact on my pain. There were moments of discouragement when new problem spots seemed to appear out of nowhere, but Matt used these as clues which led to a more complete assessment of the underlying causes – and thereby correction – of my running pains. After just 2 months working with him, I was shocked to able to run long mileage without pain.

When I actually ran the half marathon, I cried for the last 3 miles because I knew I was going to finish after all. Now I know I can reincorporate running back into my life, injury-free. I really don’t think I could have finished the race or signed up for the next one without his advice.


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