Fighting Gravity in College Football

Today’s topic might seem a little out of place for a blog that generally focuses on technology and Silicon Valley, but stay with me for a few moments.

Anyone who has known me long knows that love college football.  In fact, I am a rabid fan of  Alabama Crimson Tide football – going back to growing up in and near Birmingham, Alabama.  So, I subscribe to several internet news feeds to stay current about college football generally and the Tide in particular.

Today, I saw a very interesting article about how Alabama has recently purchased an anti-gravity treadmill for its football players (see the article here:  Alabama Now Trying to Beat Gravity, Introduce Anti-Gravity Treadmill for Players).

I happen to know a great deal about the anti-gravity treadmill.  It comes from a company called AlterG, which my fund invested in back in 2006.  I even joined AlterG as a part-time CFO for a couple years when they were growing so quickly that they needed help creating the systems to cope with that growth.  A great side benefit was getting to run in one of the machines each morning before starting work for the day.

The core technology in anti-gravity treadmills was originally created at NASA, and NASA researchers are using two of the machines to study the most efficient way to move in various gravity environments (Moon gravity, Mars gravity, “killer asteroid” gravity, etc.).

The primary use of the Anti-Gravity Treadmill is for faster and more complete rehabilitation after injury or surgery.  A person is able to get up and walk or run much more quickly if the legs don’t needs to support all of his or her weight – and the exercise is extremely therapeutic for speeding the recovery.  More and more physical therapy clinics in the US and around the world are installing the machines for the patients.

Will the Anti-Gravity Treadmill help Bama to a third-straight national championship and 4th in 5 years?  It is impossible to say right now, but if we see a key player suffer a knee or ankle injury and then return to action much more quickly than expected then the AlterG will deserve at least a piece of the credit.

And I love seeing that the administration at Alabama is looking to give the best care to their injured athletes that they can get!


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