The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics are now officially a part of Olympic history. We've witnessed the highs and lows and the tales of victory and defeat with unprecedented clarity through countless cable TV stations and social media outlets.
This year, I didn't get mesmerized by curling (Note: that phrase might actually be an oxymoron, but I digress). But having been born and raised in Canada, I probably don't have to explain my desire to watch hockey.
The beauty of the Olympics every couple of years is that we are exposed to special performances from what we think are special people. However, one quick look around you and you might just find that there is an Olympian in all of us.
It occurs in countless clinics and facilities around the world every day. It may, in fact, be the curse of modern medicine as we know it.
The logical fallacy.
It rears its ugly head in any number of ways. Take, for example, the premise underlying the "logical" (yet arbitrary) concept of asymmetry and muscle imbalance. In our world today, there are countless examples of normal anatomic variability being "treated" as a problem when in fact they are, as I mentioned, normal for that individual.
Forget about what you think you witness in the clinic for a moment. Forget about what you were taught about asymmetry and imbalance. Let's step back and take a look.
Let me start this post by saying that I am a cyclist. But don't think for a moment that I am just going to rant about crappy drivers. It's not that simple for me. I am a motorist as well.
I live on a street that has two northbound lanes and two southbound lanes divided by a median. There is also a very wide, well-marked bike lane northbound and southbound. It is a popular thoroughfare for cyclists riding to and from Austin and San Marcos.
As a motorist, I always try to be aware of cyclists. I have heard too many horror stories over the years, and I do my part to give them the space necessary to ride safely. With that said, as a cyclist I try to be cognizant of a motorist's challenge in seeing us and understanding how we function on the roads.
I have had many years of guiding athletes through the maze that is injury recovery. I've witnessed not only the physical effects of injury and illness, but also the struggles faced by the athlete mentally and emotionally as they work their way through it.
I've mentored them through the process, offered insights, and advised them regarding the attainment of life balance throughout this challenging time in their lives. I have always seen injury not as a failure, but as an opportunity - to learn from the experience and to put good strategies in place for the future. Through it all, I have gained a deeper understanding of the psyche of the athlete and the fine balance between all the factors required to make it all work.
That is, until I became the athlete in question. It is amazing how when the tables are turned, your head spins with the reality.
It is with great pride that I announce that Smart Sport International (SSI) turns 10 years old today. Oh, how the time goes by quickly! This anniversary is marked by a new location (at H.E.A.T. Bootcamp in Austin) and upcoming open house on February 7. More details on that later.
The roots of SSI go all the way back to 1992. By 2004, a vision had evolved to create a seamless integration of sport science solutions for training, rehab, and life. Another 10 years later, and SSI is moving into decade number two and has become the home of competent self care. Be it injury recovery or endurance sport performance, SSI has always focused on sports science-based and athlete-centered approaches to both injury prevention and injury recovery.
Track coaches may have had it right all along.
I am one of the first people that will advocate for science-based strategies for training and injury recovery. But I am not averse to acknowledging what may have been done well in the past, without the benefit of sports science. This is where the track coach of yore comes in.
You see, track coaches in the 1970's probably had a lot of sound concepts already in place to make better runners, long before the running community evolved into a mass of fads, testimonials and marketing plans.
The year 2013 is now officially a part of history. Hard to believe, but another year has come and gone, leaving us with plenty of challenges and beautiful memories along the way.
Once again, I have compiled my annual Top 10 list. In 2013, my goal was not only to write consistently but to also write more focused posts. With that in mind, I had fewer overall posts this year: 117 (compared to 172 in 2012). Hopefully that also makes it a little easier for you, the reader, to consume regularly!
I don’t necessarily believe that the posts with the most traffic are my best posts or my best writing, but it provides a good starting point for the Top 10. I’ve also added five personal favorites, just to round-out the list. So without further ado, here are my Top 10 posts of 2013. Count them down, and enjoy!
The pages of my blog have been eerily quiet recently. You could almost hear a pin drop around here. I could use the holiday season as a fine excuse. But it isn't the presence of festive cheer that makes my writing world silent of late.
You see, the evil crud hath struck me down.
Gone are the days when you had a little stuffy nose or tickle in your throat. Nowadays, you get some bizarre strain of strange upper respiratory crud that seems to wipe you out, drain you of your energy, and put you in a haze for a few days. Or longer.
Welcome to my world of late.
Rest and ice. Rest and ice. Rest and ice. The broken record plays "rest and ice" repeatedly. It is a phrase uttered by injured athletes and clinicians around the world. And it doesn't matter if you are an elite athlete or a weekend warrior. Same record.
If you are active, then chances are good you have sustained some form of injury in your sport history. Chances are just as good that you have been told to "rest and ice" by any number of clinicians.
With the state of sport science, it's time for the collective sports wisdom to change. Rest and ice is not the solution.
We hear the phrases bantered about by physical therapists, lobbyists, and legislators alike: unfettered direct access, restricted direct access, and many other state-dependent variations on a similar theme.
There is oftentimes much rejoicing when physical therapists gain some "degree" of access for consumers. Celebrations take place in the streets. The proclamations of "another state with patient access" can be heard resounding through the valleys.
But there is a significant difference between access - and permission.
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Allan Besselink, PT, Dip.MDT has a unique voice in the world of sport and health care, one that has been defined by his experiences as physiotherapist, mentor, McKenzie practitioner, coach, innovator, author, educator, patient, and athlete. Read more about Allan, contact him, get updates via email, or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.