Tag Archives: critical thinking

Pegs and Holes: Thoughts from the not so beaten path

I’ve been thinking quite a lot lately about systems.

The systems we create, rely on, and get stuck within.

As a business owner I have (somewhat unwittingly) created and bought into systems for efficiency and growth. As a society we innately reside within systems for the same reason. Efficiency, social construct, and organization of the masses.

Every single one of us is required to live within numerous systems, and abide by systems that have been predetermined. Think insurance policies, healthcare, government constructs, etc. We also have numerous self-created systems that most of us aren’t aware of.. how we react to pain, our process around relationships, and our systems behind day to day decision making.

In the start-up of my businesses I quickly realized problems within existing systems and set out to create solutions. That is largely how businesses start.. as a solution to a problem the masses have within existing systems. What I quickly realized, working with health related fields, is that there are copious amounts of systems that create more problems then good.. both on a global scale, and a local/individual scale.

More then once a day I think to myself (or, lately say out loud), “but.. why does it HAVE to be that way?”. Majority of us take comfort in systems. It’s easy to follow a set out pathway. It doesn’t require much thought, and generally it just makes intuitive- forward moving sense. BUT. Is the comfortable option always the best? If you’ve read any of my material, you’ll know my answer to that..

Current example.. in ongoing discussions with an insurance company we direct bill through who’s policy is to have exclusive provider numbers for each staff at each separate location.. and now requires me to send in individual direct deposit forms for each staff at each location. I have four therapists that we bill to them for, all of which work at each location intermittently, so now I am sending in the same form with the exact same information on it (the only different info would be the name of each provider), eight separate times… No big deal- just annoying and seemingly unnecessary if one could think just a micro-metre outside of the box they’d been placed in. I suppose in a round about way, systems and policies like this are just an attempt at job creation?

That is quite an inane example, but it did fit into the thought theme I’ve been on.

I’m not an in the box systems creator. Obviously. So much of my career so far has been about looking outside the box, thinking laterally, and finding effective and sustainable solutions for everyone involved. Often this happens unwittingly, just because I see a system that doesn’t serve whatever it was designed to serve any longer- and can’t force myself to not question it..

How many times in a day do you get caught in a pattern because that’s just the way something has always been done, even though there are likely ten different options to accomplishing the same task.. perhaps even more efficiently?

Let’s bring system thought into the perspective of our health.

Systems are a type A term for habits. A series of mental processes we follow until it becomes an automatic process carved into our neurology. Routines, for good or for bad, that we rely on to exist.

The system I see most frequently is one surrounding pain (mental or physical).

No matter what the issue physically or mentally we all seek out the system we see as the most efficient. We find resources/pills/remedies to alleviate the symptoms, and often begin to just normalize those symptoms as a part of life, and move along our merry way.

Yet, time after time, I see people follow this pattern down a road until decades later they stop and think.. is this making any sense? I haven’t corrected the problem, I’ve only masked it. I’m still uncomfortable, and this seemed convenient but now looking back.. it hasn’t been convenient at all as now nothing has changed and I’m still not healthy.

This same analogy can be transferred to humans and their careers/family/relationship goals. We have been raised in systems and conditioned to think there in a linear path to follow. Find a career, sustain your lifestyle, find a person, follow point A to B to C to D..

I’ve always had an inner question mark surrounding this. I haven’t always known where I was headed, but I also have rarely seen a need to know. Where others have pressured and found safety in formulating a plan to makes sense given the paths they were told were the “right” paths, I’ve felt claustrophobic. In times where I have found comfort in routine and “normal” systems.. it’s rarely been lasting before a questions comes up, or a different way becomes obvious.

 

There has been a lot of value placed on routines.Maybe it’s the number of times I’ve been lost traveling in foreign countries, or in my home city.. and been forced to figure out new systems to get to where I need to be without (but sometimes still) panicking. Maybe it’s my rebellious nature, but I find routine in flowing with what feels right in the moment. That is certainly not for everyone. With each personality comes a different way of operating, and what’s healthy and useful for one, may not serve the next. As a health care provider, this is an invaluable lesson to learn- though the formation of any successful system when it comes to our wellbeing will always come down to figuring out how to effectively help someone listen to their inner workings and react accordingly. A system can both assist in that awareness building process for some, or come as a result of asking inward questions.

The generation I exist in is a hybrid of one’s past. With some of my peers staying comfortable in trust for systems they were raised in, and many of us having been raised in systems that clearly were broken.. we have started asking the “but, why?” question- and more often then not just pursuing our own path and working to create better options for a society that is full of faulty systems.

When I work with clients now, I feel a need to constantly challenge their inner workings. Usually if they’ve found their way to me it’s because they have experienced a broken system externally or within themselves- and knowingly or not need a shift. I’ve found that working with clients on this deeper level to help them rebuild their systems for themselves is what truly feeds my fire.

So- the next time you find yourself frustrated by a system.. in work, life, and love.. ask yourself a why. Does it HAVE to follow the linear system you have been told the situation must follow.. or is there a way to step off that track and create a different path?

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Meet your Athletic Therapist

That cool and calm silhouette bundled and layered on the side of the football field.

That critical eye efficiently assessing and educating in the clinic.

Those quick hands managing to tape quicker then you can say “zagopophyseal joint”.

The craftsperson that can stabilize any structure, and the magician who can mobilize each one as well.

The healer who can get you back to where you want to be.

The support system when you’re exhausted, and running out of perseverance.

The motivator when you need that extra push, and the responder when you push (or get pushed) too hard.

The mediator between parents, athletes, and coaches.

The comforting hand on your shoulder when there’s nothing else to say.

The brick wall when you need protection and solace.

The one heads turn to when an athlete falls down.

The under-recognized professional who asks for nothing more then a positive outcome for their clients.

The behind the scenes hero that hopes to never have to be in the spotlight.

Trainer. Teacher. Comforter. Pusher. Hydrator. Protector. Therapist.

On the field we stand by our athletes, doing everything we can to keep them performing their best at what they love.. but above all keeping them safe and healthy. We put our critical thinking and practical knowledge to use in every situation, creating tape jobs that have never been seen and remedying the most abstract injuries. The thank you we want is the well-being of our athletes and the trust of our coaches. We breathe easy when nobody stays down. Prevention is our jam, and we know how to train each athlete functionally so they go into play ready to perform their best.. every single time. Our pride can be found in each wrinkle-free, sturdy tape-job that runs by our special spot on the field.. and in every athlete who performs better because of our work. We don’t lose our cool, even when we are bombarded with a eager parent’s arguments, a coach’s hopeful questioning, or an athlete’s pleading. Come rain, shine, snow, hail, downpour, delays or all of the above…we’re there. Our job is our passion, for nobody could survive our daily routine without a special spot in the heart for what we do.

In the clinic we are the healer. After the lights go down on the field, and in between practices…we’re there to make you better. Professionals, recreationals, or occasional go out and get-er’s come to us for relief, improvement, and education. Fixing the pain is one thing, but fixing the problem is the athletic therapists’ bread and butter. Think we’ll stop once you’re “text-book” healed? Think again. Where you aim to be in your health and movement endeavours, we’ll get you there. Each body is unique, and our expert assessment and rehabilitation abilities are more then capable to figure out what works for yours. Our extensive background in exercise science, musculoskeletal care and variety of clinical skills offer more then just a quick fix. Health is dynamic, and so are we.

Ask us how we got here, and we’ll say we were inspired. Inspired by what we’ve seen and experienced ourselves as athletes, through injuries and downfalls. We’ve been there. We know. That comforting hand on your shoulder is one of understanding and compassion. We won’t let you face the challenges of healing and rehabbing alone. We won’t let you down when you need tough love through the extra mile. Each one of us has a story that led us to where we are now. Each one of us comes with a unique personality, and our own strengths and weaknesses. But every one of us has the same qualities of leadership, compassion, confidence, and unfailing drive to do the best we can to help you be the best you can be. Doing no harm is our responsibility. Getting our clients to their absolute best is our goal. Seeing our clients heal, improve, and perform is our thrill.

If you’ve been thinking of getting an ache or a pain remedied, think of an AT. If you’ve been wondering how you can prevent aches and pains and maintain your health… think of an AT. We’re your prevention and care specialist. All sports, all hobbies, all professions… athletic therapy is for everyone. We’re here for you, no matter what.

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