Vernon swimmer Dave Poggemiller (third from right) wears the eight medals he won at the 55+ BC Games which, he said, he never could have done without support from the likes of Dr. Steve Piper of Monashee Health Collective (from left), Sherry Klem, Cindy Elliott and Richard Hoglund (Paradigm Naturopathic Medicine) and Lianne Marquis (Monashee Health Collective). (Photo submitted)

Strong medical support boosts Vernon swimmer from ‘four months of hell’

Racked with pain training for 55+ BC Games, Dave Poggemiller rebounds with help to win eight medals

It takes a small village, it has been written many times, to raise a child.

Vernon swimmer Dave Poggemiller is of the belief it also takes a small village of therapists, relatives, teammates, chiropractors and doctors to get a senior ready for the 55+ B.C. Games.

Without the help from his village, Poggemiller would not have won eight medals at the Games in Kelowna – three gold, three silver and two bronze.

“I was away from swim training for 16 years, this was too long,” said Poggemiller, 66, a retired financial planner who last swam competitively in 2003. “I need to stay in touch with the water year-round and keep up some training.”

To get ready for Kelowna, Poggemiller returned to the water in May, four months before the Games in September. As he started dryland training, he had a tendon in his back go out that laid him up for six weeks. Then his knee and shoulder gave him grief.

It was, Poggemiller said, “four months of hell.”

READ MORE: Enderby swimmer dominates at 55+ BC Games

He turned to Dr. Steve Piper, a chiropractor from Monashee Health Collective, who helped Poggemiller with some exercise and stretching activities and taping his shoulder. Poggemiller also got help from Dr. Francois Deetlefs, who quickly identifies problems and prescribes the correct treatment.

Three days before the start of the Games in training, Poggemiller injured a tendon in his right shoulder — an injury that isn’t so great for a backstroke and butterfly swimmer such as Poggemiller.

He saw massage therapist Richard Hoglund at Paradigm Naturopathic Medicine who, said Poggemiller, “had magic in his hands and the amazing ability to identify and correct my many issues.”

With the Games starting on a Thursday, Poggemiller was sore but competed in three events. Friday, he said, with all the work done on him and with his own stretching, he was in half the pain he was the day before. And on the final day, he was pain-free.

READ MORE: Poggemiller invests in DundeeWealth vision

In those three days, Poggemiller collected eight medals, the highlights for him being a gold and silver in the relays with Kelowna swimmers David Balfour, Vaclav Tvrdik and Manfred Steinmann, all three in their 70s, who called Poggemiller the team’s “Junior Senior” and “The Speedster.”

“There was a team from Vancouver that always beat the Kelowna guys at meet and I said after the silver-medal relay that we were ahead of them,” Poggemiller said. “The Kelowna guys looked at me and said, ‘You mean we beat those guys’”?

Poggemiller’s results qualified him for next year’s Canada 55+ Games in Kamloops and he plans on attending.

The past six months have taught him some valuable lessons as he prepares for next year’s national event.

“Appreciate what you can do and be careful not to overload the body,” said Poggemiller, who reduced other activities like pickleball and water skiing while training hard for Kelowna. “Remember, everyone has issues. It’s how we handle them that makes the difference.”

Poggemiller also credited his wife, Dawn, for helping with home support and proper nutrition, the support teams at Paradigm Naturopathic Medicine and Monashee Health Collective, and Vernon Masters Swim Club coach Renate Terpstra.


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