A few years ago, I was listening to series of podcasts that talked about different physical therapy businesses around the world. This was a feel good series that talked about helping needy communities, solving complex problems, and creating opportunities for clinicians, customers, and communities. It had lots of good insight from different views around the world, and each person had a unique solution for the doubters, debtors, and downers.
This series opened my eyes to the world around physical therapy, and how we can use our position to build up the people around us.
Several episodes stuck out in my mind.
It was amazing to hear about physical therapists that specialized in mixed martial arts, traveling with competitors, being with them during training every day, and then helping them get back on track after each injury-riddled event. This therapist specialized in these athletes, and often she was training both sides of the fight card. She talked about how motivating it was to work with these dedicated athletes, but also how difficult it was to recover from the inevitable aftermath of each bout.
I couldn't believe that there were also physical therapists that specialized in E-game athletes. That's professional video game players if you're not familiar. These therapists had the difficult task of addressing the grueling demands of an E-sports athlete, including prolonged bad postures, neck and shoulder pains, visual fatigue, and thumb reaction speed. At first I listened with curiosity, but eventually, I realized that these therapists were solving real problems for real people.
Some therapy missions included charitable contributions for food, clothing, or housing for impoverished people.
Some worked full-time jobs at one clinic, only so they could work secondary part-time jobs in free clinics.
Some pioneered into the world of technology to make services accessible in remote locations, and affordable in lower-income areas.
All the stories were motivating, and they all helped to understand the potential of the position we hold. One particular episode resonated with me, and I continue to hold this idea close to me.
This physical therapist was passionate about bringing first-world rehab to third-world countries. This gentleman was an immigrant from Central America, and he spent each year preparing for an annual mission trip where he established, supplied, and provided physical therapy services to small towns and villages that rarely even had a medical provider. He would spend weeks working with the local people, and he would train certain individuals on the basics of triaging care, and how to access higher levels of service. He brought basic technology that allowed them to access online services including a database of common issues, and a communication channel to physical therapy providers around the world for those harder-to-address problems.
This was amazing to me! This provider was dedicated to the service of physical therapy, and each year, he helped another town learn to sustain themselves with health habits, enhanced information, and support services.
It was one thing in particular that he said that has stuck with me since I heard it. It was his mission. His mission was:
"A clinic in every community, a community in every clinic"
This was something more powerful and more moving than I could have thought of myself. When I heard it, I knew this had to be part of my future career. I knew that I wanted to have a community inside the clinic I worked in, and that I wanted to be the clinic in the community I wanted to be part of. This was one of the early seeds of Snowbeast Performance.
Recently, this story has come to the front of my mind as I reflect on the community that has been created around us. When Snowbeast Performance started, the plans were shaky, but we knew that creating community was one of the things that we wanted to value the most.
We made it one of our Core Values, and we talk about it every week in our team meetings. We look for more ways to get involved, more ways to support others, and more ways to open our doors to new opportunities. This isn't always easy to do, but it's what we choose to do, and we have found lots of people that want to be part of it.
We continue to have gratitude for what we are able to do, and for the people we work with. We continue to grow our community and grow our support, and the more we put in, the more we get back. It's awesome what can be done with the right group of people!
As we continue to grow our community of people that make us smile every day, we have also had to grow to keep up with fulfilling what people need. We want to keep contributing as much as we can to our community. This has encouraged us, and committed us, to growing our reach and strengthening our commitments.