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Finding the Athlete in Each of Us

By Dr. Von Glaser

Athlete is defined in the dictionary as “a person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise”, but what truly makes someone an athlete in my eyes? You may not be catching touchdowns at Kinnick Stadium or hitting homeruns at Busch Stadium, but I guarantee you that there is an athlete in each of us. I don’t mean that we are all actively playing sports at this point in our lives. You could be lifting baskets of laundry or trying to chase your grandkids around the back yard. My idea for an athlete is that we all have a reason for moving more efficiently in our respective lives.

I am part of the crop of physical therapists that got into this profession because of being an athlete. Following a knee surgery in junior high school, I received outstanding care from a physical therapist in my hometown. My goals were directly related to getting back to playing my favorite sport of basketball as that was my specific functional goal. All my focus was working as hard as I could with my physical therapist to return to form for the upcoming basketball season. How does my experience translate to all patients? Have a functional goal in mind.

What are you currently having trouble with in your life that you would like to be easier? Translating your pain or chief complaint into a functional goal is something I value with each patient. Replicating an activity like climbing the stairs can be achieved with step ups or carrying groceries via a kettlebell carry can be built into your treatment sessions to get real life application to therapy. Next time you have an activity that isn’t going as smoothly as you’d like, come see us. You might find that achieving your own functional goal may feel like winning a national championship!

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