Chris Hopkinson’s Long Journey and the Push IV and Peptide Therapies Provided

Standing on a paddleboard in the Chesapeake Bay on September 26th, Chris Hopkinson, 46, looks out. The Atlantic Ocean is a mile and a half away. Beneath the sea, dolphins jump and splash. He paddles in their direction. They swim beneath his board and pop out from the water on the other side, as though they are encouraging him to finish his strenuous journey down the Chesapeake Bay — a journey that’s over 200 miles and will take him nine days to complete.

Passing the dolphins, Hopkinson continues towards the finish line, water sloshing as he moves his paddle from side to side.

Hopkinson is the first person ever to attempt and complete stand-up-paddleboarding (SUP) the entire length of the Chesapeake Bay. Despite the grueling journey, he’s never felt better. IV and peptide therapies were administered to him by Karen Scott, PA-C, of All Star Wellness and Regenerative Medicine in Annapolis, Maryland, during and before the challenge, giving him the energy and stamina needed to complete it.

“With the IV and peptide therapy, I always felt ready to go, both during the nine-day journey and the training,” he says. “It was the best I’ve ever felt, and the hardest I’ve ever trained, which don’t usually go together.”

How It Began – Save the Oysters

The Chesapeake Bay is a unique habitat that harbors millions of oysters who filter the bay of unclean substances. At one point, there were so many oysters that they could filter the entire 19 trillion gallon bay in three to four days. But their population declined significantly in the past several decades, leading to murk and toxicity.

“I found out a couple of years ago that a single oyster can filter 50 gallons of water per day and that the Chesapeake Bay oyster population has declined by 99 percent,” he says. “Folks in the bay area know that it isn’t in good shape and that it often gets failing scores in terms of overall health,” he reflects.

The Maryland native felt prompted to raise awareness. A science experiment with his daughter gave him the extra push he needed to take on a challenge to make the issue known. He and his daughter got a dozen oysters and put them in a fish tank filled with bay water. After four to five hours, the water became so clear that he could see his hand on the other side of the tank.

“I had no ambition to SUP,” Hopkinson says. “I just wanted to garner attention about the oyster issue.”

Hopkinson, a 46-year-old father of three, decided he’d SUP the entire bay to raise money for his cause. As a novice in the recreational sport, having paddle-boarded only three to four miles a handful of times (with his kids in tow), he knew his journey would be inspiring for others. He partnered with Oyster Recovery, a non-profit that works to improve the Chesapeake Bay’s environment, and trained for a year and a half.

Training Days

Halfway through his year and a half of SUP training, Hopkinson began taking IV and peptide therapies under the supervision of Karen Scott at All Star Wellness and Regenerative Medicine. He visited Ms. Scott at our Annapolis facility initially once a week but eventually went twice a week as he got closer to the challenge.

“I was doing IV therapy and recovering that way because I was going for nine days and had to be ready to go each day,” Hopkinson says. “The IV therapy came into play because I needed to feel 100 percent.”

His workout regimen was strict. He was out on the water paddling four days a week and strength training two days. Despite his endurance training intensity, he says he felt fantastic thanks to the IV and peptide therapies.

“Once you start to feel tired, you’re setting yourself up for injury,” Hopkinson says. “Once you’re tired, your fundamentals start to break down, and your form starts to break down, and that’s when you’re going to get injured. I never had to deal with that.”

When he came to the All Star Annapolis facility for his treatments, Scott would administer the therapies, chock-full of antioxidants, vitamins and substantial fluids, over the course of 45 minutes. He’d read a book while the treatment took place.

“I mentioned to my wife several times during training that I’ve never felt this good,” he says. “I’m used to slogging through endurance training, especially towards the end. You’re just punishing yourself and not giving yourself enough time to recover.”

Iron Man Without the Therapy

Hopkinson is no stranger to enduring athletic competitions. He’s well aware of the toll long-distance competitions take on the body, mind and spirit. In the past, he’s participated in Iron Mans, a triathlon event that for many participants develops into a taxing twelve-hour long day of swimming, cycling and running.

“Doing any form of endurance training, including Iron Man, your body starts to get really worn down about midway through training,” Hopkinson says. “If you’re on a 20-mile training program, the last half becomes really difficult because your mileage is increasing, and your body is winding down.”

The debilitating exhaustion that comes with extreme physical exertion is the intangible wall that keeps many athletes from achieving their goals. Any athletic event requires a lot of time, money and effort. Hopkinson understands the disappointment that comes with not attaining optimal performance when so much has been invested in success.

“Having IV therapy when I did those things in the past would have made a great difference. They could have given me that extra push to do better, even win,” he says. “If you’re going to put your body through something like that, you know, that attacks everything, you need to look at all the tools you can have to ensure you’re avoiding injury and that you’re at your peak performance.”

While training for the SUP challenge along the Chesapeake Bay, Hopkinson watched Iron Cowboy, a documentary about James Lawrence, a man that attempts fifty Iron Man competitions in fifty days across all fifty states. In the film, Lawrence breaks down mentally and physically. He underwent IV therapy to revive his endurance, which worked phenomenally. He was back to normal and eventually completed his goal. Hopkinson was intrigued. He inquired about the therapy with his physical therapist, who recommended he visit Karen Scott at All Star Wellness and Regenerative Medicine. He began IV and peptide therapies under her guidance.

Along the Bay

On September 18th, Hopkinson pushed his paddle into the shores of Havre de Grace, Maryland, and began his enduring journey. The winds were heavy, ranging from 10- to 15-knot speeds with swells ranging from one to three feet. He persisted. On his first day along the Chesapeake Bay, he traveled 33 miles after a little over seven hours of consistent paddling.

Hopkinson looked at his fitness watch. “It recommended I spend 150 hours recovering,” he says. “It wanted me to recover for almost five days!”

IV therapy and peptides were working. He felt mentally and physically sustained. On day two and five of Hopkinson’s journey, he had IV and peptide therapy administered in the mornings before he set out on the bay. It wasn’t until the hundredth mile — halfway along the Chesapeake Bay — that he felt nervous about his health status.

“One of those days, I was already 100-plus miles and felt nervous because I put my body through an intense marathon and still had 100 miles to go,” he says. “So, the next day, I did IV therapy. I did it and felt fine. I felt good. I never felt tired or sluggish during the paddle.”

His journey was rife with beautiful scenery and sights that typically go unseen by man. With the extra nutrients provided by the IV and peptide therapies, he never felt mentally taxed, allowing him to appreciate his surroundings in great depth. Among them was the Honga River, a shallow estuary surrounded by pine woodlands and marsh wetlands difficult to reach by boat. He described the area as seeming untouched for over 50 years.

“That was really amazing — just to be out there on the bay with trees and nothing around you.”

Nine days passed and Fishermen’s Inlet in Virginia, his final destination, came into view on September 26th. He made it. The Chesapeake Bay community rejoiced.

Hopkinson’s Future and Advice to Other Athletes

“It felt like the beginning rather than the end.”

Hopkinson’s completion of the SUP Chesapeake Bay challenge was met with widespread community support. He received many messages from bay residents, thanking him for taking on the challenge and raising awareness about the bay’s depletion of oysters.

“I felt like, ok, maybe the paddle is the start of my mission to make the bay better than how I found it,” says Hopkinson. “That it was step one — not the final step. We raised around 180 thousand-plus dollars and put 18 million oysters in the bay.”

A documentary about Hopkinson training for and completing the challenge is currently in the works, a project that will expand his audience and further awareness.

In addition to becoming a promoter for oyster recovery, Hopkinson has become an advocate for IV and peptide therapies. The benefits he felt from the treatments were beyond his expectations. Prior to the paddle, he was unaware that any athlete could seek out these therapies to improve their performance.

“It was almost like the oyster thing. It was eye-opening,” he says. “To me, originally, IV and peptide therapies were meant for professional athletes, or football players or someone dehydrated and dying in the hospital. It didn’t occur to me that this could be part of training for your normal athletic endurance event.”

The therapies allowed him to perform his best and reach peak conditioning. For other athletes, he describes IV and peptide therapies as an ‘absolute necessity.’ He encourages Chesapeake Bay athletes to experience these therapies for themselves under the expert supervision of Ms. Scott at All Star Wellness and Regenerative Medicine.

“I am very grateful for All Star’s expertise, guidance and support,” he says.

If you’re interested in learning more about IV and peptide therapies and how they can benefit you, please give All Star Wellness and Regenerative Medicine of Annapolis, MD, a call at (410) 697-1255 or visit our contact page.

Follow this link to donate and support Chris Hopkinson’s cause.