John Kohler’s Run across Kansas journey!

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Introducing John Kohler, a husband, father, brother, partner, friend, and to some a hero! John is also an avid believer in gradient athletic compression for performance and recovery, and recently began wearing our TheraSport Athletic Performance and Recovery Socks and Sleeves.  Last November, he set out on a trip that most of us will only dream of – a LONG foot-run across the entire STATE OF KANSAS. Yes, think Forest Gump style.  He averaged 40+ miles a day and accomplished it in 11 days. Let me clarify, he ran 435 miles in 11 days with his two feet! We were so intrigued by his journey that we wanted to know what his secret was.

Q: What inspired you to do the “run across Kansas” challenge?

A: The thought to run Kansas came to me a few years back. I did some research and noticed that no one had run across the state East/West or West/East. At that point I was enticed to make the first attempt. As I began to look at it more seriously the reasons to do it only grew from there. What turned out to be the biggest reason was I wanted to do it for my kids. My hope is that one day down the line, if they’re having a tough go at it, they will draw some strength from this. And of course the charity aspect of raising funds and bringing awareness to SocialHeart.

From socialheart.org: SocialHeart is a non-profit organization that is 100% volunteer managed with the goal of creating a better community by supporting all local charities through unique, fun fundraising events, social media and marketing promotions and volunteer support. 

Q: Did you ever feel like giving up or regretting this journey? What kept you going?

A: You definitely have your moments when you want to throw in the towel and think “WHAT AM I DOING?” On the fourth day, after about 10 miles I was sitting on the side of the road in the middle of Kansas and I just lost it. I was tired, the pain of the last three days had accumulated and set in, and I just felt spent physically and mentally. The three guys on my crew stood there and they just let me release all that frustration. After I composed myself I got up and looked down the road, to my left the road I came from, to my right, down the road I was headed. At that point there were only two options, to quit, or to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I then thought of my wife and kids. They had already sacrificed so much to allow me to do this. If I quit, it felt like a waste of that sacrifice. I owed it to them to give it everything I had and at that point realized quitting was not an option. So I put my head down and told myself to just take the journey 5 miles at a time. Thirty-eight miles later the day was done and I was stronger for it.

Q: What did your sleep and diet look like during those 11 days?

A: My diet wasn’t exactly what I hoped it would be, but when you’re running 10-11 hours a day it boils down to convenience. My dad was the cook and when he could, he made chicken, breakfast burritos and grilled burgers. That being said I had to have A LOT of calories to sustain. Besides recovery, having sufficient food intake was integral in keeping me going. In the morning I would eat leftovers from the night before, peanut butter sandwiches with chips and protein bars were a main staple on the road during the day. At night there was pizza, burgers, and sub sandwiches, which are things I do not normally eat, but I worked with what I had and it got me to the end. Sleep was roughly 6-8 hours a day, as the journey progressed I had a hard time falling asleep and just sleeping in general. I would sleep 1-3 hours and then be awake and then sleep 1-3 hours, etc.

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Q: What was your average run a day?

A: I averaged roughly 41 miles a day. Looking back I should’ve taken a more even keel approach instead of the 50 mile days followed by 30-40 mile days, but this was a giant experiment so you just kind of wing it!

Q: What did you do recover for the next day?

A: Going into it I knew recovery was key. As soon as I got back to camp I would sit on top of two 10-pound ice bags and then put two more on the top of my legs covering my thighs/knees. Afterwards I would put on either compression socks or compression pants and keep those on for a while before bed.

Q: Do you wear compression or have you worn any before?

A: I’ve been wearing compression since I began running and I’m a firm believer in its recovery abilities. During the days I would also periodically wear calf sleeves while I was on the road. I feel that they help with reducing the stress put on your legs as they hit the road.

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Q: If you had a choice, would you do this challenge again?

A: When I started this journey I was just wanting to, well…just run. I never thought in a million years I would get so many messages and stories from folks inspired by what I was doing.

 Q: What would you want us, the readers, to know about your goal?

A: My hope is that people will realize that it’s not about running, in fact it’s not even about sport or physical fitness. It’s about finding your passion, something you love. When you find that, do it with all your heart. Set some small goals and set a big goal, one that really scares you. Accomplish those little goals and it’ll give you the confidence to keep raising the bar. Then one day that scary goal will feel attainable and realistic. Then, just go for it, all in! Don’t be afraid to fail. You will be surprised what you’re made of and who YOU will inspire.

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What an unforgettable experience! Thank you, John, for taking the time to share your journey with all of us, as well as supporting TheraSport!

As Seen In: Pregnancy & Newborn January 2017 Issue

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Brand new Patterned Core-Spun Compression Socks by Therafirm (makers of Preggers) are featured in the January 2017 issue of Pregnancy & Newborn.  Sweet and feminine Thin Line socks are super cute and super comfortable. Be fashionable AND healthy in the New Year!  Thanks P&N for introducing your readers to benefits of Preggers and Therafirm legwear!

Read more about Preggers legwear benefits here!

Looking at Life 100 Years Ago

Emma Morano was born on November 29, 1899 in Italy and is currently the oldest living person on Earth.  At just two months short of 117 years old, she is one of the world’s roughly 450,000 centenarians.  A centenarian is someone who has lived to be 100 years old or older – something that Ms. Morano did back in 1999.

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Nearly 117-year-old Emma Morano.  Photo from people.com.

Living to be 100 years old is quite a feat, but one that is becoming more common with increases and health care and living conditions.  In fact, according to www.thecentenarian.co.uk, centenarians are the fastest growing segment of the population.  Since National Centenarian Day is today, September 22, this got us thinking about how much our industry, as well as the world around us, has changed in 100 years.  The comparison is mind blowing!  Check it out below:

1916 for Industries Served by Knit-Rite and Therafirm

  • Knit-Rite and Therafirm were not yet in operation.
  • Nylon was not used for stockings until the 1930s. In 1916, stockings were made of cotton or silk.
  • Amputations resulting from WWI during this time brought the importance of technology and development of prostheses to the attention of the US Surgeon General of the Army. This led to the formation of the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association (AOPA) the year following in 1917.
  • Medical compression was used to treat some conditions, such as varicose veins, but due to the lack of today’s chemical fibers, materials used included laced stockings, elastic bands and tight bandages with resin.
  • Use of gradient compression was still a half a century away.prosthesisA look at prosthetic devices from the past. Photo from prosthetic-limbs.yolasite.com.

1916 Cost of Living

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A postage stamp from 1916. Photo from vistastamps.com.

(Costs are averages) 1916 2016
Postage Stamp $0.02 $0.49
Coffee (per pound) $0.30 $7.94
Sugar (per pound) $0.04 $1.74
Eggs (per dozen) $0.38 $1.33
Bread (per loaf) $0.04 $1.98
Car $360 $33,560
Gas (per gallon) $0.22 $2.21
Home $3,000 $379,800
Gold (per ounce) $20.67 $1,272.50
Movie Ticket $0.07 $8.17

The average income in 1916 was roughly $700 per year for men and $350 per year for women.

1916 US Politics and History

  • The 33rd US Presidential election was held on November 7, 1916. Incumbent President and Democrat Woodrow Wilson beat the Republican challenger and Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes.campaign-buttonCampaign button from the 1916 election. Photo from britannica.com.
  • The Democrats held a majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
  • Speaker of the House was Democrat Champ Clark. The House had 435 voting members.
  • The Senate, led by President pro temp. James Clarke, had 96 Senators.
  • Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was Edward Douglass White.
  • The US population was 101,961,000.
  • The American flag had only 45 stars even though the US had 48 states.
  • The first woman to serve in the US Congress, Jeannette Rankin, a 36-year-old Republican from Montana, was elected.
  • The Reserve Officer Training Corp – ROTC – is established.
  • Louis Brandeis becomes the first Jewish justice of the Supreme Court.

1916 World Events

  • The world was embroiled in World War I (then known as the Great War) between Allied Powers, led by France, the British Empire and Russia, and the Central Powers, led by Germany and Austria-Hungary. The US would later join the Allied Powers in 1917.
  • Paris, France was first bombed by German zeppelins.
  • The Battle of Verdun, one of the largest and longest battles of WWI, was fought in France between February 21 and December 18, 1916.World War One, Battle of Verdun. French trench on the front lines, 1916. (Photo by Roger Viollet/Getty Images)Front line trenches, Battle of Verdun, 1916. Photo from history.com.
  • US President Woodrow Wilson sends 12,000 troops across the US-Mexico border to pursue Pancho Villa during the Mexican Revolution.

1916 Sports

  • The Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA) was created.
  • The World Series was won by the Boston Red Sox. Babe Ruth, then a 21-year-old pitcher, won game 2.  The Red Sox would go on to win the series again in 1918 before suffering an 86-year drought.babe-ruthBabe Ruth during the 1916 baseball season. Photo from libaseballmag.com.
  • The Chicago Cubs played their first game in Wrigley Field (then called Weeghman Park). Wrigley is currently the second oldest active MLB ballpark, opening in 1914.  The Cubs have never won a World Series during their 100 years playing at Wrigley, and are now in their 108th year since a title and 71st year since an appearance in the World Series.
  • The Super Bowl was still 51 years away from existing. The NFL, which began as the American Professional Football Conference, was still 4 years away from its inaugural season.
  • The first Tournament of Roses football game (Rose Bowl) was played between Washington State University and Brown University. The Rose Bowl is the oldest American college football bowl game.
  • The Summer Olympics was scheduled to be held in Berlin, Germany, but was cancelled due to World War I.

1916 Achievements, Inventions and Other Firsts

  • The first blood transfusion was performed by British Royal Army Medical Corps.
  • The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, at 984 feet, was the world’s tallest building. The tallest building in 2016 is the Burj Khalifa in dubai, UAE at 2,723 feet.eiffelThe Eiffel Tower in 1916. Photo from warbirdinformationexchange.org.
  • Albert Einstein completed his formulation of a general theory of relativity.
  • Claude Monet painted his Water Lilies series of paintings.
  • The light switch was invented.
  • The Saturday Evening Post published its first cover featuring a Norman Rockwell painting.
  • Actor Charlie Chaplin signed with Mutual Studios earning $10,000 per week.
  • The tow truck was invented by Ernest Holmes, Sr.
  • The first supermarket, Piggly Wiggly, opened.pigglyThe first supermarket, Piggly Wiggly, in 1916. Photo from historic-memphis.com.
  • The hamburger bun was invented by a fry cook named Walter Anderson. He later founded White Castle.
  • The first Boeing aircraft, a Bluebell seaplane, made its first flight.
  • Lincoln Logs were invented by John L. Wright. His son Frank Lloyd Wright grew up to be a famous architect.
  • German automobile company, BMW was founded.
  • President Woodrow Wilson signs legislation creating the National Park Service.
  • The first 40-hour work week begins at the Endicott-Johnson factories in New York.

1916 Miscellaneous

  • Only 6% of Americans had graduated high school.
  • The US had only 230 reported murders.
  • Life expectancy was 49.6 years for men and 54.3 years for women.
  • Only 14% of homes had a bathtub.
  • The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was 30.
  • The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
  • 90% of all doctors had no college education.
  • Marijuana, heroin and morphine were available at local drugstores over-the-counter.
  • The leading causes of death were pneumonia, influenza, and tuberculosis.
  • Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the country.
  • The first fortune cookies were produced in Los Angeles, California.
  • “Somewhere a Voice is Calling” by John McCormack was the number one song title.
  • 8% of American homes had a telephone.

1916 Notable Births

  • Jackie Gleason, American comedian, actor and musician
  • Dinah Shore, American singer
  • Gregory Peck, American actor
  • Beverly Cleary, American author
  • Robert McNamara, former US Secretary of Defense
  • Roald Dahl, Welsh-born author
  • Walter Cronkite, American television journalistcronkiteWalter Cronkite was born in 1916. Photo from blogs.uoregon.edu.
  • Kirk Douglas, American film actor
  • Betty Grable, American actress

Things have changed dramatically in 100 years.  Imagine how different life will be by the next 100.

Sources:

www.thecentenarian.co.uk

http://thecircular.org/sixteen-differences-1916-2016-100-years-change/

http://www.infoplease.com/year/1916.html

http://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2016/01/1916_sports_famous_firsts_achi.html

http://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2016/01/1916_facts_famous_firsts_birth.html

http://dailygenius.com/facts-about-the-year-1916/

http://kimberleykoz.com/a-look-at-one-hundred-years-ago-1916/

http://www.amputee-coalition.org/resources/a-brief-history-of-prosthetics/

http://unyq.com/the-history-of-prosthetics/

http://www.stockingirl.com/HIST.html

http://www.twistcollective.com/collection/107-articles/1776-hosiery-history

http://www.hidez.com.au/?route=information/information&information_id=4

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compression_stockings

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/05/13/shes-only-person-left-born-1800s/84321322/

Therafirm-Sponsored Marathoner Wins Santa Barbara Race

On November 7, 2015, 36-year-old Moninda Marube won the Santa Barbara Veteran’s Day Half Marathon in Santa Barbara, California for the fourth time with a time of one hour, eight minutes and 41 seconds.  The event was the culmination of Moninda’s 3,700-mile journey that began last July in Auburn, Maine.

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Moninda grew up in Kenya.  A lack of steady money and political violence contributed to a difficult life as a youth.  But, his talent for running allowed him a way out, and his journey landed him in the United States.

In the U.S., Moninda began training, but ran into financial difficulties.  To help out, he began training with other Kenyan runners under a manager.  It was with this manager that Moninda fell victim to human trafficking.  The manager would keep winnings from the races the Kenyans ran, leaving little for living expenses.  Moninda lived in a house infested with bedbugs with no air conditioning and very little food.  Finally in 2012, Moninda met Dan Campbell, the technical director of the Santa Barbara Half Marathon.  He ran the Marathon and broke the course record.  Campbell helped him get out of his situation and relocate to Auburn, Maine, where life is finally good.

Becoming involved with the Auburn, Maine Police Athletic/Activities League (PAL) and motivated to help others, he began The Moninda Movement to help bring awareness of human trafficking.  The Moninda Movement consisted of Moninda’s one-man goal of running 3,700 miles in four months and finishing with the Santa Barbara Veteran’s Day Half Marathon. This amounted to running roughly 30 miles per day, 6 days a week.

Early into his journey, The Moninda Movement gained two sponsors – Bedard Pharmacy and Medical Supplies located in central Maine, and Therafirm, a compression hosiery manufacturer based in Hamlet, North Carolina with corporate offices in Kansas City, Kansas.

Bedard Pharmacy and Medical Supplies has a long history of serving its local community.  As a small, family-owned and operated business headquartered in Auburn, Maine, they are a company that cares about their customers like family. Providing the community with the best quality medical supplies and equipment available is how they strive to inspire and empower individuals to take life’s challenges as they come, and to live life on their terms. They are also proud to be one of the last independent pharmacies in the state of Maine.

Moninda’s mission was a perfect fit for Therafirm.  The U.S. manufacturer produces true gradient compression socks and hosiery including a line of athletic compression socks and leg and arm sleeves.  Gradient compression in athletic socks and sleeves feature compression that is greatest at the ankle and gradually decreases toward the top of the stocking to help increase energy for endurance, better performance and reduces muscle fatigue and recovery times.  But, equally important, Therafirm, as well as parent company Knit-Rite, Inc., holds improving lives as its mission, not only in the products it makes, but also in the many causes it supports locally and beyond.

The co-sponsorship included Therafirm-branded compression socks and sleeves and Moninda’s athletic apparel.  Custom screen printing on Moninda’s apparel advertised The Moninda Movement’s message.  Bedard and Therafirm also donated a portion of the proceeds from retail sales of Therafirm’s athletic compression products over an eight-month period to Moninda’s foundation in support of ending human trafficking.

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Originally, The Moninda Movement’s 3,700 miles was to be a cross-country journey where Moninda would run from Auburn, Maine to Santa Barbara, California stopping in several cities along the way.  Unfortunately, the logistics of getting his team of supporters through each leg of the journey proved difficult and the cross-country run had to be scrapped.  Moninda did not let the setback discourage him from his goals, however.  He continued to run his 30 miles each day from his home in Auburn, Maine making sure he reached the 3,700 miles it would have taken him to run from Maine to California.

Moninda finished his 3,700 mile run in time to catch a flight to Santa Barbara to run in the Santa Barbara Veteran’s Day Half Marathon – a race that he won for the record-breaking 4th straight year.

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Memorial Day Facts

Field of Flags at sunset, Lubbock TX

Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer.  The three-day weekend is chalk full of barbecues, parades, super sales and pool and water park openings.  But, what is it, truly, that we are celebrating?  Many people don’t know that the day is set aside for remembering and memorializing American servicemen and women that have been killed in American wars.  But, there is so much more to the story.  Here are several facts about Memorial Day you may not know:

  1. Civil War origins – The late spring remembrance to American war dead began in the aftermath of the Civil War. Originally called Decoration Day, it was an informal commemoration of the roughly 620,000 soldiers killed during the Civil War.
  2. Freed American slaves organized earliest commemorations – On May 1, 1865, black US soldiers, including the Massachusetts 54th Infantry, gathered in Charleston, South Carolina at a new burial for Union dead. They distributed flowers and sang hymns.
  3. Official holiday founded in May 1868 – General John A. Logan, who was commander of a Union veterans’ group called the Grand Army of the Republic, decreed that May 30 would become a nationwide day of commemoration.
  4. Did not become a federal holiday until 1971 – After General Logan decreed a national day in 1868, more than 27 states adopted some form of commemoration. By 1890, every state had adopted it, but the day still only recognized Civil War dead.  After our entry into World War I, the holiday was expanded to include those killed in all wars.  But it wasn’t until 1971, when the U.S. was 6 years deep into the Vietnam War, for Memorial Day became the federal holiday set aside on the last Monday of May that we know it as now.
  5. Many have lobbied for it to return to May 30 – Many Veterans groups that American do not use the day for its intended purpose, but instead associate it with the first long weekend of the summer. They argue that returning the commemoration back to May 30, regardless of the day of the week would return the significance to honoring war dead.
  6. Memorial Day traditions and practices – On Memorial Day, the American flag should be hung at half-staff until 12:00 noon, and then raised to the top. In 2000 Congress passed a resolution that suggested Americans should pause at 3:00 pm local time to offer a National Moment of Remembrance.
  7. Who is included in a Federal Holiday – A Federal holiday, like Memorial Day, technically only applies to Federal employees and those in the District of Columbia. However, many of the 11 federal holidays, Memorial Day included, are observed by all 50 states and many businesses.

This Memorial Day, as you’re having barbecues and parades, pause for a few moments to remember those American servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. Happy Memorial Day from our team and Knit-Rite and Therafirm.

Celebrating National Student Athlete Day

Today, April 6, is National Student Athlete Day.  The recognition was created in 1987 by the NCAS (National Consortium for Academics and Sports) and is celebrated annually on April 6.  It was designed to honor outstanding achievements of high school and college student-athletes who have achieved excellence in academics and athletics, while having made significant contributions to their schools and communities.  To be honored, student-athletes must have achieved a 3.0+ GPA and be involved in outreach and community service.  Since 1987 more than 4.1 million student-athletes have been honored on National Student Athlete Day.

Our team at Therafirm, makers of TheraSport and Core-Sport Athletic Compression Socks and Sleeves, would like to congratulate all of the 2016 honorees, as well as those that have been honored in the past.  We know that excelling at sports, while also maintaining high grades and being involved in the community takes a special kind of dedicated person – one we know will go on to succeed in life beyond their high school and college athletic careers.  It may not always be to play their sport professionally, but their hard work and dedication will pay off in whatever career they move on to.

Sports Collage

We encourage you to continue your efforts in achieving great things in the academic world, as well as sports, and we hope that our products will help you to achieve your goals!

All of Therafirm’s athletic compression socks and sleeves feature true gradient compression, which is a controlled amount of pressure greatest at the ankle and gradually decreases toward the calf.  True gradient compression helps to improve blood flow from the ankle to the heart, improving oxygenation in the blood and enhancing your workout.  Other benefits include: increased energy for endurance, better performance, reduced muscle fatigue, and shorter recovery time after a workout.

Core-Sport Athletic Performance Socks and Sleeves

Core-Sport

TheraSport Athletic Compression Socks and Sleeves

TheraSport

Just in Time for Spring – EASE Sheer!!

Just in time for spring, Therafirm has released its brand new line – Sheer Ease!  This exciting addition to the already popular Ease line is sure to turn heads.

Like Ease and Core-Spun products, Sheer Ease garments are made with ultra-stretchy yarns making them easier to put on and more comfortable to wear.  And also like Ease and Core-Spun, Sheer Ease hosiery products are the highest quality gradient compression, but the beautiful and comfortable sheer fabrics give the impression of everyday sheer hosiery.

Sheer Ease garments are very durable and will hold well to repeated wear, resisting many of the rips and snags common to other sheer hosiery.  And contributing to exceptional comfort, the super soft and breathable material is moisture wicking helping to keep you cool and comfortable.  Sheer Ease’s soft, knit-in bands on the knee highs stay in place while providing non-binding comfort.  The knit-in pantyhose waistbands stay in place and prevent rolling, while the silicone band on the thigh highs keep them comfortably in place.

Like all Therafirm products, Sheer Ease features true gradient compression, which is designed to improve blood flow.  Gradient compression delivers a controlled amount of pressure which is greatest at the ankle of the garment and gradually decreases toward the top.  Sheer Ease premium gradient compression garments are designed to help promote better circulation and help control swelling, leg fatigue, mild to moderate varicose veins, leg discomfort, edema and DVT.

Sheer Ease is available in styles including open and close toe knee high, thigh highs and pantyhose in three compression levels – mild (15-20 mmHg), moderate (20-30 mmHg) and firm (30-40 mmHg).  Mild and moderate closed toe styles are available in Black, Natural, Sand, Bronze, Coal, Cocoa and Navy.  All open toe styles and firm compression level products are available in Black, Natural and Sand.

Ease Sheer is here.  Be one of the first to experience this beautiful and comfortable high quality compression hosiery.  Your legs will thank you.

** Contraindications: Compression products should not be worn and is contraindicated if you have any of the following conditions: severe arterial insufficiency, cutaneous infections, acute dermatitis, wet dermatosis, uncontrolled congestive heart failure, skin irritations, or allergies to dyes.