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Why I Started a Career in Fitness

Nov 30, 2015

Ever since I was a young boy....maybe 7 or 8 years old and playing little leaugue baseball or Pop Warner football, I found a love for movement and athletics. I carried this over into high school but had one injury that set me back for a while, but in hindsight I think it started my health profession career.

I had injured my left shoulder while trying to make a tackle (held onto the ball carrier but my arm kept traveling out of the socket). I went for an arthroscopic surgery to tighten by anterior shoulder capsule when I was a sixteen year old. I was not exceptionally good at the time with my post surgical physical therapist instructions. But the memory of my injury and post surgical rehabilitation left a renounced memory to be rekindled.

After graduating high school, I still had no clear career path laid out before me. So, I chose to enlist in the United States Air Force to garner some self discipline and hopefully discover what my purpose was in life. The purpose did not reveal itself until I was about one year out of the military and attending a community college in Florida, working on my general education courses. That is when I decided that my purpose in life was to help heal people thru physical therapy.

I moved to Boston in 1994 to attend Northeastern University while pursuing a degree in Athletic Training (ATC). I did this because every applicant at Northeastern must pick two majors when applying for admission. Even though I had an overall 3.7GPA after receiving an Associates Degree from Brevard Community College in Florida, this was not good enough to get me accepted into Northeastern's Physical Therapy program, which was my first choice of majors. Disappointed, but not giving up I contacted the Dean of the Physical Therapy program and let her know that if any students dropped from the program, I would love the opportunity to take their place. Soon thereafter I received a call while on my Athletic Training co-op education training to interview for a spot in the Bouve' School of Health Sciences in Physical Therapy, class of 1999. I was accepted and graduated Cum Laude in 1999. While attending Northeastern I rekindled my love for sports and weight training by attaining my American Council on Exercise personal training certification and starting a job as a trainer at the Cambridge, Massachussetts Bally's.

Fitness to me is about finding a PASSION for movement. It does not have to be weight training as I know firsthand many people do not really enjoy but still incorporate into their lives because of its benefits. I really try to instill in all of my clients a love for movement whether it is: running, surfing, walking, biking, hiking, kayaking, martial arts, yoga etc. Fitness is a combination of strength, flexibility/suppleness, endurance/cardiovascular, balance and coordination/agility. I try to work on all of these with my clients always keeping in mind their main goal. We periodize routines to make sure we reach those specific goals and along the way increase all aspects of fitness.

The start of the year is filled with busy life, work and family schedules. Doing what you’ve always done is a lot easier than trying something new. So, what can you do to jump over these common hurdles and finish strong in the quest for fitness success?

The first step to accomplishing your health and fitness goals is with a real commitment to achieving success. You can’t wish your way to a healthier, leaner, more fit, stronger you. You have to make a real commitment that includes a support structure and lifestyle change focused on meeting your overall health and fitness goals.

Many fitness quests fail because people embark on the journey alone and let other items on their life calendar take priority over their goals. Set yourself up for success by wrapping your goals with a strong support system that includes the right professionals and tools to do the job wisely and successfully.

Another way to keep yourself accountable to health and fitness goals is by physically scheduling your weekly workouts into your personal, family and professional calendars. If you view your workouts as a serious appointment and dedicate specific time to a physically fit lifestyle, you will be less likely to skip your workouts when life becomes busy.

The same old workouts and lifestyle tendencies will yield the same old results. If you are committed this year to reaching new levels of physical fitness, it is important to change up your approach by combining a can-do attitude with new workout routines focused on measurable strength and conditioning goals. This is where consistent fitness testing and retesting come into play.

By pushing aside old barriers and incorporating new lifestyle behaviors centered around commitment, accountability and positive attitudes, you are well on your way to investing in a healthier body and happier you.

As far as motivation goes: you must reclaim your “WILL”. Below is an excerpt from Dan Millman, author of The Peaceful Warrior.

Inside you is untapped strength of will, of spirit, of heart. The kind of strength that will not flinch in the face of adversity. You have only to remember your purpose, the vision that brought you to Earth—the vision that will take you to the stars—to the depths of the oceans and up the stairway to the soul. Great strength of will resides in you, waiting for expression.

Motivation comes and goes. “So sail the winds of motivation when they blow, but in the calms and dry spells, rely on your will to carry you through” Millman.

For more information on Fitness, Goal Setting and Motivation please contact: Greg Sterner, Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist in Physical Therapy @ San Diego Sports Physical Therapy, 2750 Dewey Rd. Ste 101, San Diego CA, 92106.


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