Let me start by saying that I am guilty. Physical therapists make the worst patients. Some time in early last year, I did some 5000+ reps of lunges holding a medicine ball. The next day, I could barely lift my arm. That works out really well when you have a newborn baby tipping the scales on the growth charts. Every time I picked him up or nursed him or put him in his car seat, it hurt. Badly. Now one would think that I would head in to the clinic and tell one of my coworkers, “Hey, can you look at my shoulder?” But what did I do? Absolutely nothing. And here we are, almost a full year later, and the dang thing still hurts. What’s even worse is that I know exactly what’s wrong with me, and I’ve yet to do a thing about it. So here’s my goal for 2016: Take care of myself.
My profession is spent caring for everyone else. Giving encouragement, support, sympathy, and even a kick in the butt to my patients. It’s so exhausting that I don’t have any energy left for myself. But here is what I have also learned in this journey of life. We only get one body. Protect it. Nourish it. Push it. But most importantly, take care of it.
Maybe it’s my fault for not reaching out to more of you, but I see it every day at the gym. People grabbing hamstrings, foam rolling IT bands, stretching hips until they are blue in the face. Kneeling over with back pain. Let me tell you this about injury…It doesn’t go away. In fact, it gets worse. And it’s not your fault that you got hurt. But it is your fault if you don’t do anything about it. Or ignore it. Or the inevitable, “it will just go away.” There are people out there who can help you, so don’t be afraid to ask.
So here is my goal for your goal: Take care of yourself in 2016. Treat your body like it’s your most valuable possession, because it is. We are all working so hard day in and day out to be the best version of ourselves, but we can’t do this alone. We can do this together.
To better health and deeper squats,
Kristen Valentin, PT, DPT
Kristen Kemp Valentin, PT, DPT
Cactus Sport and Spine, P.C.
8000 S. Lincoln Street #6
Littleton, CO 80122