My whole life has revolved around sports and being active. I started very young and have played multiple sports at a high level, from academy football and competitive tennis to regional and international basketball through to my most recent activity of snowboarding.
The irony of a life spent in sports is that my body has suffered from a lot of injuries, something that all sports people can relate to. A lot of my problems have come through mental toughness and stubbornness and just not listening to my body, playing through injuries or just playing them down so that I can still be out on court or in the mountains. These are things that when I was younger I could brush off, but now that I’m getting older they are coming back to bite me.
My sport of freeride snowboarding involves a certain degree of managed risk and a lot of mental concentration, planning and physical demand. We essentially throw ourselves down remote mountains in the pursuit of personal achievement and the ‘flow state’ mentality.
Competitive freeriding looks like a reckless sport but in reality the people involved are very well practised and rehearsed and meticulous by nature. This mentality mixed with an open mind encourages us to try new things and to never dismiss something based on mainstream opinions.
3 years ago I rolled my ankle playing basketball, fairly innocuous at the time but it has turned into a debilitating and chronic problem with 2 surgeries and months on end of rehab and physio leaving me no better off. My ankle is a constant, daily pain. The initial ‘recovery pain’ after doing intense exercises seemed to last forever. This all led to anxiety. There is a part of sports that isn’t talked about enough and that’s the ‘tough on yourself ‘mentality it creates and how to deal with that state of mind when things are out of your control, an injury is a perfect example of this as a lot of mental side effects arise when a whole life in sports is in question.
After being fed up with using common medical pain treatments for my ankle and the after effects they were having, I was recommended to try a CBD cream while in Switzerland.
What happened after I tried CBD
I was under no illusion, I didn’t expect a miracle treatment that would cure my issues, but there are a few things I’ve discovered that I wasn’t expecting in the 4 months I’ve been trying CBD.
At first I didn’t notice much difference and it didn’t cure the pain but after a while I did notice some changes and the support that the CBD was providing. I found CBD to be great for maintenance of my ankle injury. I’ve noticed that I was able to move past my history and focus on my future. This led me into taking a deeper dive into learning about CBD and its credentials as a support tool and supplement. I was delighted to see how high impact sports athletes were starting to use it.
We live in an age where I believe it’s on us to do research and find information that might better suit our own bodies, after all we aren’t the same and something that works for me might not work for someone else, modern medicine is amazing but it can be dismissive to alternative therapies when we should be looking at how they can all work together to work for each person, It’s right to question processes and find out what’s going into your bodies and why.
Finding a CBD brand that works
After a lot of research I came across a couple top Rugby players and how they were reaping the benefits of CBD and this led me to IMPACT CBD, a brand that’s powered by renowned cannabis research company CIITECH and this whole philosophy resonated with me.
Athletes involved in high impact sports needed ways to support the strenuous impact that is put on the body, something that is legal and non detrimental when being used over long periods of time and CBD was becoming a real choice in this area.
High impact sports are tough on the body, no matter how fit you are and the problem athletes were having was finding that product that was safe to use and that would work within the strict drug guidelines that most sports have, IMPACT puts these facts to work by addressing these issues and working with athletes from all walks of life to develop the perfect range of CBD products.
It’s so easy to find information today, but we need to be careful where that information is coming from. I’ve found a good starting point is to see who is already trying something and then work backwards, why are they using it and who are the people behind it.
IMPACT ticked a lot of boxes for me, so I reached out and told them my story and that I wanted to see what effects their products would have on my training and recovery.
My take away
There are definitely questions to ask yourself before going down this road. Is it right for you? You need to be open minded and accept that it may take time to find an optimum strength and dose for yourself. A good starting point is to do solid research on the brand as there are a lot of imitations and misinformation out there. One thing which really swayed my decision was the research behind it and the history that CIITECH has. Learning about all the history, research and connection of CBD to our bodies was a breakthrough for me and solidified in my head that CBD could be a legitimate option to explore. I think that the R & D that is now going towards the cognitive effects is a positive step forward and that’s exciting.
Photos and writing by: Leon Butler
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