When planning for your theme park adventures, we often overlook the physical issues we may run into. And you DEFINITELY don’t want to be caught unprepared when pain, discomfort, stiffness, and fatigue start to set in. In order to have a successful theme park visit, free from pain and discomfort, it is INCREDIBLY important to have a plan. ESPECIALLY if you are going to be spending multiple days at the parks. In Pain Is Not Magical, a guide dedicated to reducing pain and discomfort at the parks (currently in development), I thoroughly explain the 4 Phases of Theme Park Pain Preparedness. Today, I am going to outline these phases for you, so you can get a good idea of what it takes to reduce and manage your pain during your theme park visit, so you can improve your overall experience.
Phase 1: Planning Phase In this phase, the primary focus is on identifying what issues you normally have or are prone to, and finding the root cause of these problems. This phase also includes identifying what tools or techniques will help you the most when you find yourself with pain at the parks. Without properly executing the Planning Phase, you may be left without the tools and knowledge you need to prepare and recover from your long days at the theme parks. Phase 2: Preparation Phase In this phase, we take the knowledge and tools we learned in the planning phase to prepare for the upcoming day at the parks. Certain conditions, such as knee or foot/ankle pain, may require you to put on or pack a brace. Others require you to properly apply kinesiotape, pack a mobility tool, or perform specific exercises to get you ready for the day. Without this phase, you won’t be PREPARED for the day ahead, and are more likely to experience an increase in pain or discomfort in the parks. Phase 3: Theme Park Phase You’ve planned, you’ve prepared, and now you are in the parks. What do you do now? Stay mindful, perform the in-park exercises described in this section of the book (depending on what helps your specific issues), and have a great time, knowing you can handle any pain or discomfort that may pop up throughout your long, active day inside the parks. Phase 4: Recovery Phase Finally, you have arrived back home or at your hotel room. Exhausted, sore, and maybe even a little stiff, you may just want to plop in bed and sleep (which is certainly important). However, since you are probably going to the parks AGAIN tomorrow, we need to make sure you are recovered from the day now behind you. This phase includes icing painful or sore joints, performing mobility exercises you aren’t able to do in the parks, and getting soft tissue work done to make sure your muscles and joints are ready to go tomorrow. If you put in the work, follow the guide (which will be released later this year), and implement the right techniques for your specific issues, you will have a much better experience on your Theme Park Vacation. Why? Because Pain is Not Magical.