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.
The flicker of an idea had been there for some time, but the flame was doused with gasoline when I read the article from "Guitar Player" magazine. It was entitled "Big Guitars From Austin". The issue: December 1986.
Stevie Ray Vaughan and his smoldering blues guitar had initially brought Austin to my attention in 1983 or 1984. But when I read this article, I realized that Austin was nirvana for guitar players. There was a seemingly endless list: Eric Johnson, Omar Dykes, Denny Freeman, Derek O'Brien, Doug Sahm, Jimmie Vaughan, W.C. Clark. Apparently, this was a city that I needed to explore - pronto.
But looking back on that article, there is one musician that now truly stands out in a sea of Austin six-string guitar slingers: David Grissom.
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.
There is nothing more amusing than a cold front barreling into Austin in December. It can certainly be an ominous proposition as freezing rain can shut the city down in the blink of an eye. Although I grew up shoveling snow from my doorstep, removing a half inch slab of ice from your car in the morning can be a daunting task indeed.
A week prior to the impending front, meteorologists were projecting the end of the world - or the winter wonderland equivalent of it. As it turned out, it was all much ado over almost nothing - again. The fear and paranoia of the impending doom made the whole experience far worse than it really needed to be.
Please, oh please, could we have a voice of climatological reason in the deep south?
In the meantime, grab a cup of hot cocoa and get ready for the next episode of the Rhubarb Report.
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.
I can say that the year 2013 has set a new standard. As hard as it is for me to believe, I actually heard Christmas music while grocery shopping early this month. Yes, I am serious. There is nothing like having 8 weeks of lead time to get you into the Christmas spirit.
But before we forge into December, we will experience Thanksgiving. What are you giving thanks for this year? That is definitely something to ponder over that second plate of turkey and stuffing.
Meanwhile, it's time for another episode of the Rhubarb Report. Grab a plate and dig in.
Each of us, injured or not, has a daily struggle against gravity. Fortunately for us, we adapt to the demands imposed upon us, assuming we are in an environment (cellular and metabolic) in which we can do so.
Our capacity, our load tolerance, fluctuates as a function of both training and de-training. Daily. Humans are very dynamic in this process.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems in the world of injury recovery is the blatant ignorance of some simple principles that govern life on planet earth.
You can now add three more high-profile athletes that have recently found (or will soon find themselves) under the knife of the spine surgeon: tennis pro Andy Murray, former F1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen, and Arian Foster, running back for the Houston Texans.
I am starting to get concerned that spine surgery is becoming trendy in international sport. At first, I thought it was just a reflection of the over-utilization that is witnessed in the general public in the United States. But now, "minor" spine surgery is all over the sports pages.
I have two words for these, and many other, athletes: directional preference.
Speechless. Yes, that would have been me this week. It wasn't for lack of verbal capacity. I was speechless because I found myself without a voice this week. In reality, I still had a voice, but it was some strange amalgam of squeaks and crackles. It was a vocal sound worthy of puberty far more than that of a 48 year-old man.
This is what happens when the allergens start kicking up in Austin. For all the positives of life in Central Texas, the pollen counts definitely have a negative impact.
I am sure you can imagine that there were at least a few students (and probably a few friends as well) that were more than happy that I was a little speechless. But I digress.
So what do you do when you are tending to a vocal impairment? Stop talking and start ... writing! Welcome to episode 079 of the Rhubarb Report.
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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.