When Glen Ellyn native Carolena Carstens makes her Olympic debut in London, Wheaton chiropractor Mark Myers will be there with her as her health coach, to help get her mind and body ready to go for the gold.
Carstens, 16, will compete for Panama’s tae kwon do team in the flyweight category on Aug. 8. She made the Panama team after she lost the bronze medal match at the 2011 PanAm games in Mexico, but qualified for the team through an International Olympic Committee wild card system that allows small teams to expand their delegations, according to the Daily Herald.
Carstens won the junior and senior titles at the U.S. Open in 2010, when she won the junior bantamweight gold medal and then defeated the senior finweight fighters days later.
Myers is one of approximately 100 chiropractors heading to London with Maximized Living, a company run by chiropractors, that work withs patients to maximize their mental and physical health following five principles.
While the medical personnel will be on call to support the USA Wrestling, Weightlifting and Judo teams, Myers’ focus will be on Carstens, whom he coaches based on the following Maximized Living essentials:
- Maximized mind: an understanding of the principles of health and healing, and a mindset of success
- Maximized nerve supply: restoring and maintaining the proper function of the nervous system through spinal correction
- Maximized quality nutrients: nutritional science that sustains well-being, disease prevention and ideal weight
- Maximized oxygen and lean muscle: cutting edge exercise programs to facilitate optimum fitness
- Minimized toxins: supporting the body’s ability to remove toxins from cells
“The mental aspect of the game is just as important as anything else,” said Myers. “Then we work with the nutrition, (we) have exercise plans we use for Olympic athletes to increase sports performance… And focus on minimizing toxins in the nerve system.”
Myers said he works with Carstens to ensure her nervous system is functioning at its best so her body performs at its “peak.”
“We help them do that by optimizing (their) nutrition and getting them on an eating plan so they aren’t exhausted when they’re cutting weight,” he said.
“She’s getting older and she’s growing, and she still has to cut weight to get to the weight category.”
Myers works with Carstens as her health coach before, during and after competitions.
“Once I adjust (during warm-ups) I say ‘your power’s on?’ and, ‘your body is ready,’ and I reaffirm that everything we’ve done up to this point is for this day. … I constantly reassure them of that,” he said.
Myers said he’s confident Carstens is ready for a gold medal, “I think she has worked so hard to get here. She’s an amazing girl. I think she definitely has a great chance of bringing home the gold,” he said.
“She’s already beat several of the competitors ranked higher than her. It’s really anybody’s game at this point—competitors are all really good, so it comes down to who’s feeling good.”
CORRECTION: Carstens will be competing in the flyweight division, not featherweight.