Well, April 21st, 2013 was only 395 days ago, BUT, those 395 days have gone by FAST.
After learning a TON in 2013, 2014 has already brought incredible experiences. After realizing I haven't written much this year, I figured it was time for a little self-reflection.
While I don't consider it necessary to update the world with what I've been doing (most people don't really care anyways!), I find it beneficial to occasionally look back and reflect on where I've spent my time and how it aligns with my short and long-term goals.
*Plus, I haven't spoken lately with the only three people that read my blog (my mom, my grandma, and some random person in Denmark); I thought they at least might be wondering what I've been up to.....
And damn proud of it.
While most of my friends are getting married and having babies, I'm still spending my days studying movement and the human body (which is still less stressful than a wife and kids???).
I will complete my DPT (doctor of physical therapy) program at the University of St. Augustine and sit for my boards (PT licensing exam) next summer. Until then, I will be completing the didactic portion of the curriculum while spending months doing rotations in various hospitals and clinics around the country.
Additionally (excuse my bias), I believe physical therapists will soon be among the leaders in healthcare.
My good buddy Dr. Garrett Mandel wrote a solid article on PTs being "gatekeepers" to healthcare. Needless to say, I'm excited about the future of my profession.
Plus, my "orange class" classmates are awesome (see photo).
And we go to school on a beach.
The biggest way I've been able to develop my professional career (and my profession!) is by getting involved in advocacy for physical therapy.
Basically, advocacy is promoting your profession; at a personal, professional, public, and legislative level. Participating in our Advocacy Team as well as the the advocacy project committee for the American Physical Therapy Association has been crucial in my development both as a professional and as an individual. I've also been able to participate in a #DPTstudent chat via Google Hangout to discuss advocacy recently. Overall, I've been able to practice public speaking, interact with state legislators, and contribute to moving the physical therapy profession forward by getting others more involved.
A few months ago, myself and a few other members of our Advocacy Team traveled Florida's capitol, Tallahassee, to speak and attempt to educate legislators on what physical therapy is. More specifically, removing a bill that was proposed to expand the scope of practice of athletic trainers in the state of Florida (without expanding their education) was the primary reason for our visit.
Talk about a great experience! Do you want to improve your confidence and ability to speak and defend your profession? Sit across the table from a state senator while they ask you why they should vote in favor a bill that helps you support
The trip to Tallahassee was well worth it as the bill (which would have been a huge blow to our profession) was removed.
Things are much different "in the trenches;" having the opportunity to spend a day with people that do it the right way has certainly helped develop me professionally and has absolutely been worth the time commitment.
During a recent trip to Durham to support my best bed Paul graduate from Duke Divinity School, I was lucky enough to be able to spend a morning at the Duke Sports Medicine clinic. Talk about surrounding yourself with intelligent people! Having the opportunity to hang out and speak with the current physical therapy sports resident and a physical therapist at Duke was huge to my professional development.
During my time studying at Kentucky, I would spend hours reading Gray Cook's book "Movement." Heck, I even took the time to study and become certified in the Functional Movement Screen.
Being able to visit the place I used to only read about on the internet and in books made me stop and reflect how blessed I was for another incredible opportunity.
To top it off, the intern PT at Mountain River was a former NBA strength coach, Mike Irr. Coming from a bball background, I didn't mind talking shop with him!
Having both come from a fitness and strength and conditioning background, it only made sense to us to combine our knowledge of the human body and physical therapy with our knowledge of fitness!
This past March, we decided to make it official and form St. Aug Fitness, LLC! We both have the professional goal of owning our own training/physical therapy practice (or something similar), so when the opportunity arose to start learning how to do this, we jumped at it.
A major complaint I hear of physical therapy students after they graduate is wishing they had more exposure to the business side of physical therapy. Although we aren't running a physical therapy business, we are running a real business nonetheless; billing, scheduling, hiring, administrative stuff, etc. Even if our business doesn't do as well as we are hoping (so far so good though), having gone through and learned (some things the hard way) the business side of things will prove beneficial in the future.
Our population varies significantly. We have been forced to learn how to train around various ailments and co-morbidities, which will be great practice for when we get into the clinic!
We have recently hired two other trainers, and are excited for the future!
Be sure to check us out.
Come on now, who really cares about this anyways?????
Either way, no, I'm not married. And no, I don't have any children.
I'm a planner. I love to plan for big picture goals and then plan the steps necessary to achieve them. While this approach has definitely contributed to getting me where I'm at today, I've found it stressful to always be planning my next step.
At this point in my life, I'm not quite sure what that next step after I finish my DPT, and that sort of scares me.
Should I do a sports residency and study to become a sports certified specialist?
Do I move back to Michigan right away and start a business?
Should I make a ton of money doing travel physical therapy for a year?
Should I further my education and enroll in a PhD program (ha. yeah right.)
Do I stay in St. Augustine and find a job locally?
After speaking with the sender of this text (and hitting golf balls at the driving range with him), I've realized life isn't always about planning the next step; it's about living in the moment and being thankful for the opportunity of the "now."
Don't get me wrong, I still have short and long term goals and I'm still going to pursue the heck out of being the best physical therapy clinician, business owner, advocate, person, etc.; I'm just not going to stress myself out by having to plan each step along the way.
Like it says in the text message above, having plans and goals are important, but it's not worth it to stress about not knowing the next step. As long as you're moving in the right direction and have the ability to adapt to any situation, you will eventually reach your goal, whatever that may be.
Looking back, I realize how foolish that was.
I hope to write one post per week moving forward. Whether it's something simple such as notes on a recent book I've read or topic discussed in class, or a review of a research article I am interested in. Or, a post like this one that forces me to reflect on the past few months.
I have a goal of becoming a better writer. The best way to do this? Write! So that's what I'm going to do.
Mom, Grandma, and that random person from Denmark- I hope you enjoyed reading this update on what's new!
I'm off for a weekend getaway to a nearby island. Excited to disconnect and get away.
Keep making it happen!