Mike Mallory, the founder of RAD Roller, is here to chat with Allison Langenderfer, Co-Founder and President of Spavia Day Spa, about his line of innovative recovery tools and education programs. We will get a deeper look into Mike’s inspiration, the use of massage tools, and a few tips and tricks when our minds and bodies are under a little stress.
Allison: Hi Mike – I’m so excited to talk with you today! Tell us more about your inspiration in starting RAD Roller?
Mike: Hi Allison, great to talk! Having been a competitive mogul skier and mountain biker all my life, I’ve racked up a lot of injuries. I wanted tools for myself and tools for my clients who were working through their own issues. Foam rollers were on the market, but we wanted to take an innovative spin on a product that wasn’t quite getting the job done.
Allison: What is the story behind the name RAD Roller?
Mike: I wanted a product that was accessible to everyone… and using some kind of medical name wasn’t in the cards. We wanted something fun and approachable, it was an easy choice.
Allison: Education is a key value at RAD Roller. Tell us more about this.
Mike: Throughout school as kids, we learn various ways to get our heart rate up, but that’s about it. Mobility and posture aren’t really touched upon, and mobility is one of the most important things we can learn in terms of keeping our bodies at their most optimal. It’s usually a simple process of taking the tension off your joints, which helps them to stay balanced, and injury-free. Self-myofascial release is the technical term for what our tools do. Fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds all our muscle tissues, and when you’re stretching, generally it’s the fascia that you’re feeling. At RAD, we have professional education that teaches the deeper science of self-myofascial release, and an amazing app for consumers to learn the myriad of techniques available to us all.
Allison: What health benefits does mobility training provide?
Mike: Honestly there are a million reasons, but what comes to mind when I think of mobility, I think of a kind of lightness in my own body. When you sit in a chair all day, you start to feel pulled down from your neck and back. When you feel aligned and mobile, you feel open, light, and full of possibility. Tight muscles are physical stressors; they contort your body, waste energy, and increase your chance of injuries. It feels great to live in a body that’s open, aligned, and full of possibility… It lightens the mental load as well!
Allison: How do your products enhance massage?
Mike: Think of an NBA player. They have massage therapists on staff, and they get treatment after every game, every week. For them, it’s convenient, quick, and helps them to recover for the next round. We’re not that different. In a perfect world, we’d all be getting massages a few times a week to correct all that time in chairs, driving, etc… But that’s not reasonable for a variety of reasons. Having tools at hand allows everyone to ‘put out the fires on a daily basis, allowing the therapists to take their expert training even deeper when we can deal with the daily stresses in our bodies.
Allison: I know you are an avid skier, what is your warm-up and cool-down routine?
Mike: My routine’s a little different than most, just because I’m a pretty aggressive skier. In fact, I’m in a wheelchair right now because of it ;)… Long story… So my current routine is dealing with a lot of scar tissue and using the Rod to pump out swelling that walking would usually take care of. Normally, it’s making sure my knees and back are open and mobile, ready to move through big ranges of motion. For normal folks who don’t ski every week, using the rod on their legs can help reduce all that soreness from the first day… It’s a game-changer!
Allison: When under a lot of stress, what is your go-to RAD remedy?
Mike: Definitely my upper back and neck. Stress tends to live there in a lot of people. Open up your upper back with the RAD Roller, and use the Rod on your upper neck. Stress manifests in the body as well as your mind, and helping to open up your back can be a backdoor to reducing mental stress. Five minutes can change your whole day!
Allison: What is your motivation to keep doing what you are doing each day?
Mike: I’ve gone through a lot of injuries and pains through crashes and whatnot and having the ability to help ‘fix’ my own problems has been super empowering. Helping people feel better is really what it’s all about, and we’ve got plenty of resources to do that.
Allison: What is something that may surprise us about you?
Mike: When I was very young I wanted to be a Garbage Man when I grew up because you got to ride on the back of the truck all day… That dream hasn’t come to fruition yet, but you never know ;)… Oh, and I can speak Mandarin, albeit a little rusty.
Allison: I love hearing people’s favorite positive quotes…what is your favorite?
Mike: Well it’s a bit of a cliche, but quite literal now given my rehab situation: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” Lao Tzu.
Allison: Thank you so much for your time, Mike. I loved learning about how RAD Roller started and your passions.
Mike: Thanks so much, Allison! Love what Spavia is doing to help people all over the US.