12 Jul Reflections on 15 years of service to the Community
July 2017 marks 15 years that Body One Physical Therapy has served the Greater Indianapolis community by providing physical therapy services and sports rehabilitation to active people of all ages. Since our humble beginnings in 2002, we have grown from one to 5 locations, from 2 to 15 physical therapists, and from 3 to 36 employees. And through it all we have seen tens of thousands of patient’s literally limp in and then walk out with renewed strength, purpose, spirit, and aspirations. What a blessing this journey has been for us!
15 years is a long time to do anything. Over this time my children have grown from grade school to college graduates, colleagues and friends at Body One have been married, purchased first homes, suffered tragic losses, had babies, and have returned to school to complete professional degrees. One has even come back to join us as a colleague!
We have seen patients young and old struggle to regain physical strength and self-confidence, often learning much more about themselves than they would have imagined, and rising to meet unexpected challenges along the way. We have cared for children and grandchildren of former patients, seen young patients grow up to become husbands and wives and moms and dads, made dear friends who we have cared for during many illnesses and injuries over the years, and have seen some pass on to their eternal reward. In all of it we have been proud to serve so many great people in such a wonderful community.
Here are some of the things that I have learned on this journey that started in 2002:
1. People are resilient: We have seen people who have been broken, bruised, crushed, twisted, and electrocuted; who have suffered from illnesses that have taken much of their strength and mobility from them, and others who have suffered for long periods of time with chronic pain of all sorts. Through it all, the amazing common thread is the will of people to push forward steadily, despite their struggles. There is a resilient inner strength in people that often goes unrecognized, but it tends to come to the surface under adverse conditions, and perhaps is the greatest gift that I have received from folks over the years. Hope never loses.
2. Fear is real: Despite the resilience of people, fear and anxiety take a remarkable toll on the psyche of many people. These fears exist in all of us, but they can become paralyzing and lead to avoiding doing the things we love for fear of pain without earnest discussion and professional guidance. Fear avoidance has become so common in our society that it is now viewed as a significant factor affecting the ability of an injured person returning to full capacity. As in many other aspects of life, real freedom comes with facing our fears and overcoming the anxiety that accompanies avoidance behaviors.
3. Uncertainty is the enemy: I can’t tell you how many times patients have expressed relief in knowing that their condition had a name and that “yes we have successfully helped treat someone with your condition”. In the absence of knowing, it is human nature to let your mind consider the worst of all possible scenario’s. I believe that the mental component of the healing process begins with the knowledge that your condition has a name and some defined parameters. Until that time, it can be pretty scary listening to friends, family, and internet horror stories that are often not rooted in the same reality that you face. We enjoy calming fears and dispelling myths!
4. Familiarity enhances recovery: After 15 years, we have a steady stream of folks who return with various ailments over time, with about 40% of our monthly new patient visits being familiar faces to Body One. It seems to me that there is an underlying patient confidence and understanding that we can work together to get through this setback and return to independent activities with these folks. And every time that I am able to renew acquaintances with a former patient, I learn more about the resolution of the past condition, the complexities of the current condition, and the active aspirations for the future. And as I learn more, not only can I enjoy catching up on life, I am able to provide a greater breadth and depth of assistance to improve health, mobility, fitness, and performance.
5. The future is in good hands: Over the past 25 years, I have been fortunate enough to raise two children, teach in two physical therapy programs, coach youth soccer, mentor students in the clinic, hire eager young extenders and physical therapists, take on younger partners, and treat countless young students and athletes. Without reservation, I would submit that these young people are going to make us all proud with their kindness, compassion, intellect, curiosity, drive, and enthusiasm for life. They will do things differently, but they will do them well.
6. Fight for Independence: As we get older or suffer from a chronic condition, one of the most compelling underlying concerns is that of being independent in taking care of ourselves. Our physical abilities are one of the major determinates of the ability to live alone or with our family. Over the years I have found that people who are active, or who find time to exercise in some form, are more likely to be able to participate in important aspects of their own care and are less likely to lose their independence. In many respects, you have more control over your destiny than you may think.
The Body One journey is far from over, but reflecting on the past 15 years makes me very proud. As in most every great endeavor, we pour our hearts into our work every day and are rewarded with kindness and the joy of sharing in small and large celebrations of ‘getting better’. And, when we take the time to reflect on it, we know that we are incredibly blessed with the support and loyalty of our colleagues, referral sources, and patients, who have and continue to value the services that we proudly provide. Thank you for your part in our journey!
We hope that 15 years is just a small portion of our journey, and we hope that you come along for the ride whenever we can give you a lift!