I have been a photographer for many years. It all started with an Instamatic, progressing to a 35 mm SLR, a point-and-shoot digital camera, and now to a digital SLR. I think I had my first camera when I was 9 or 10 years old. Having a camera in my hands is a natural feeling for me.
Photography was almost my chosen profession. It was that or physical therapy. Yes, a strange dichotomy and a very intriguing story to go along with it. I'll share that tale at another time, but suffice it to say we all know which pathway I took.
I appreciate the challenge in taking the best photo possible. It is all about being in the right place, at the right time. Part of it is the creative aspect of putting colors and tones and lines in an image artistically. But part of it is a technical process. You have to select the right lens for the task at hand.
It is a call to action that has resonated with me for years. It is a call to action that I have used repeatedly, having even written a blog post of the same title last year.
The Right To Choose.
It was a great day when physical therapists in Texas adopted this phrase as a rallying cry for consumers. Simple - and to the point. The next legislative session in Texas is in 2015, and consumer awareness can't begin a moment too soon.
In a country founded on free markets, you would expect consumer choice to be a primary element in health care. My question to you, the reader, is simple: does a patient have the freedom and the right to select their health care provider freely and of their own volition? The answer, in the vast majority of states across this great land, is a resounding "no".
Wise men say that we won't face more adversity in life than we can handle. Wise men say that each moment of our lives prepares us to live life more fully today and tomorrow.
I can say that over the past few weeks, I have been a little hard-pressed to feel or truly appreciate the wisdom of the wise.
Loss. It is something that invariably and eventually appears in our lives. We will all experience loss in some way or another: a friend, a family member, a love. Loss makes an appearance in our world and can challenge us to the core of our being – but there is much to be learned.
The zone. It's a magical place to be. The zone is a moment in time when everything is clicking and flowing.
We often think of it in terms of sports. With March Madness upon us, I always think of the point guard who is shooting the lights out. He's in the zone. He can't and doesn't miss. Shots are flowing. There is a rhythm, a tempo, a feeling of insurmountable confidence.
We find ourselves in the zone in all aspects of life at one time or another. It's a place that we all seek, be it in our work lives, our athletic endeavors, or our creative pursuits. But we also find ourselves struggling at times to find it.
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.
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Smart Physio posts are on professional and career-related topics such as health, fitness, training, and health care.
Rhubarb Diaries posts are commentary, perspectives, opinions, humor and insight on all of my favorite topics: music, sport, and politics/current events.
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.