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Triathlete Lina Miller is not afraid of a challenge. In nearly five years, she’s completed fifteen Half Ironman races (70.3), three Ironman races (140.6) and four World Championships.
But when it came to finding effective treatment and recovery support for a major injury, the challenge seemed nearly impossible. With her sights on a fifth World Championship this October, Lina had to find elite care that matched her extremely high performance goals.
Seeking Answers and Expertise
“In February of 2022, I tore my ACL skateboarding,” says Lina. “After seeing several doctors who examined my leg, each indicated that it was not my ACL but probably an internal bruise and badly sprained.” With that advice, Lina continued training for the May 2022 Ironman World Championship 140.6 in St. George, Utah.
“I finished 22nd in my age group, but I knew something was completely off as I had to change my gait for the run during training and the race,” said Lina. When she got home and met with her strength coach, a sudden popping in her knee caused her to collapse. But her doctors once again determined it was not her ACL.
Lina tried acupuncture and injections to feel better as she pushed through her Ironman training. But once a chiropractor finally prescribed an MRI, Lina got the answer she was waiting for.
“The MRI came back as a complete tear of my ACL, complete tear of the posterior portion of my medial meniscus, a grade 2 tear of my MCL, a pivot shift contusion of my distal femur and proximal tibia, and large joint effusion.”
Finding Athletic Training Leaders Close to Home
Lina had ACL surgery in Colorado and continued traveling back and forth for rehabilitation — despite living in Florida. She was disappointed by some of the care she was finding in her home state, and their skepticism about her full recovery.
“The focus was on what I was not able to do rather than what I wanted to achieve,” she says. Some therapists even suggested she quit endurance sports altogether. “Giving in to those words was never an option for me.”
In October 2022, Lina found the experts at the AdventHealth Training Center, including Dr. David Garcia, a board-certified physical therapist, AdventHealth Sports Med and Rehab clinical operations manager and center manager at the AdventHealth Training Center. He's worked with Olympic, MLB, NBA and NFL athletes, and is an instructor in our orthopedic physical therapy residency program.
“Lina came to us determined and experienced,” said Dr. Garcia. “She was not trying to retire — nor did we want her to. Her goal was to be stronger, faster and wiser than before her injury and to race the Ironman World Championship in Kona 2023 that she was already registered for.”
Lina spends up to three days a week at the Training Center getting personalized rehab and training. She was relieved and grateful to find the perfect fit with a clinical team who got to know her and understood her vision.
“It's very rare today to find a health provider that desires to treat both the individual and the symptom,” says Lina. “Each session at the Training Center is put together with thought and a purpose. This has resulted in vast improvements for me.”
Lina has seen measurable growth and increased strength that makes her feel ready to take on her next race. “I believe discipline plus accountability equals results — and my results have been phenomenal to say the least. Progress becomes addictive! The therapists at AdventHealth are an amazing group of warriors in my corner making my passion possible.”
Recovering and Thriving
“I was looking for someone who would listen to what my goals were, believe in me and make my goals theirs,” said Lina. “AdventHealth is the foundation for my success. Moving forward I’ll be less prone to injury because of my commitment to the sessions that Dr. Garcia has created for me.”
The AdventHealth Training Center is home to a world-class multidisciplinary team that not only helps athletes of all ages and abilities recover from injury, they can also show you how to optimize your performance and put you at the top of your game.
“AdventHealth is truly a luxury provider that uses their skills and the heart they have for rehabilitation to nurture the injured back to wellness. They've been an absolute blessing in my life. With AdventHealth on my team, truly all things are possible!”
“We’re honored to be a part of Lina’s incredible story and are so inspired by athletes with passion, drive and goals that we can help them achieve,” says Dr. Garcia.
Learn more about the pro-level care available to you at the Training Center here.