Tell us about you! My name is Mike Mensah. I'm a sports Chiropractor in West Hollywood, CA, but I've had a much more global life than that might suggest. I was born in New York (to parents who were born in Ghana) and raised in Vancouver, BC before leaving Canada for the University of Arizona on a track and field scholarship, competing in the short sprints and jumps. I eventually landed in Los Angeles for Grad School and subsequently opened my own Health and Wellness clinic, Mensah Chiropractic, where I help athletes recover and rehabilitate to reach their maximum potential. I also like to say I am still a track athlete because I coach a Speed, Power and Endurance running class for my gym (Brick Fitness, Co.)
You will regularly catch me lacing up my shoes and showing everyone how I used to do it back in my competition days. You will not catch me bouncing back quite as quickly as I used to. Outside of work and the track, I love sports (especially tennis) and... dancing.
Why and how did you get into your sport? Like a lot of young athletes, I had a lot of energy. Too much, according to my parents, who were desperate for an outlet for all of my excess enthusiasm. Thankfully, all of my cousins in Vancouver were in track clubs, a perfect solution for a kid who couldn't sit still for 30 seconds.
What's a fun fact about you? I have a Buzzfeed video published about me and my chiropractic treatment that has over 30 million views. (#blessed)
As an 11 year old I remember telling my parents that when I grew up I wanted to compete for team Canada and then become a chiropractor.
Have I mentioned I love to dance?
What are your goals and aspirations? My professional goal is to open a clinic in Vancouver one day and live there part time to be closer to my family. Outside of the office, I aspire to keep training and coaching at an elite level and passing on my knowledge to patients and runners in my classes.
What has been your biggest challenge throughout your career? How did you overcome it? I would say the biggest challenge was finding the belief in myself to go to grad school after completing my Track and Field career and studying for another 4 years to become a Chiropractor. It seemed like an impossibly long wait to start my life. I was practically helping all my friends with their injuries already, and I was frustrated at delaying my dream. I overcame it by remembering how much I wanted it as a kid and believing it was the right path for me. I also overcame it because of my family. In addition to their unwavering support, my sister was also a track athlete who was following in my footsteps.
Injury is a part of life and sport - how did you deal with yours? My parents were always very impressed at how eager I was to learn about rehab and biomechanics at a young age. I was fascinated by the fact that a weakness in one part of the body would lead to decreased performance and then an injury in another part of the body. I dealt with every injury by first understanding how it happened and how it was impacting the rest of my body. Then I turned to determining how to heal myself and how to prevent it from happening again. I loved learning about technique and form in running and jumping. I treat all my patients in the same manner: analyzing how and why it happened; correcting/reteaching proper form; and strengthening the injured area to prevent it from becoming chronic.
What gets you the most excited about Stoko? Stoko has just been amazing all around. The product blew my mind when I was introduced to it by a former national teammate who wanted to help me get back on the track after having left medial meniscus surgery in July. As soon as I reached out to the company to inquire about the product, everyone at Stoko was so helpful and informative. I have learned so much about this product, I basically tell everyone that they need a pair.
Do you have any pre-competition rituals? Sprinters love a show, and I was no exception. I’ve always leaned towards flashy (see my IG handle) kits, and in high school, I had Nike track spikes (before Michael Johnson had his in 1996, ahem) with the classic swoosh that I used to colour Metallic Gold before all big meets. Ever since I was a kid I had to say a prayer before I got into the blocks before every race because I was terrified of pulling a muscle out of the starting blocks.
Favourite snack before/after a sweat session? Grapes.