Today was my last day in the clinic. Tomorrow I get a chance to do some more sight seeing. While doing this 2 week volunteer rotation I got to meet some great people! Overall the athletes were very appreciative of the care we provided for them. These young men and women put their mind, body and souls through things that us regular folk would never be able to do or could imagine. The saying that goes "seeing is believing" certainly holds true for the most part. I have seen what they do and at times it's still hard to believe! One of the best experiences I had during my 2 weeks was working with the Paraolympians. Their positive attitudes and friendliness was quite refreshing. I think we overlook these athletes, when we really should take more time and look at their incredible stories and accomplishments!
I must say when I first got to the Olympic Training Center sports medicine clinic I really didn't know what to expect. Would me being a chiropractor cause the other clinician to be wary of me or not accept me as a fellow health care provider? It was some what comforting to know that the clinic already had two staff members who were chiropractors. As the first couple of days went by I had to feel things out to see where I stood. To my relief everyone worked well together. The permanent staff that was made up of 1 medical doctor, 2 chiropractors, 4 athletic trainers, and 1 physical therapist, were great people. Their philosophy was an integrated approach for the care the athletes. Everyone helping each other to get the best possible care for the athlete. This environment was quite refreshing. The individuals that came in with me for a 2 week rotation were incredible people also. Jeff Konin is an Phd., PT, ATC who works at the University South Florida. He has written several books on sports medicine and has considerable knowledge about musculoskeletal ultrasound. Over the 2 week period we have become good friends. We were able to sit down during lunch and dinner and talk about several sports medicine topics, along with other things. He explained to me how he has been working with chiropractors at USF for some time. He even let me give him an adjustment the other day. He explained it was the first time he could move his neck with full rotation in several weeks. He's hoping it will help his hockey game. The other 2 weeker is Pam Ryan who is a massage therapist. She has extensive experience working with Olympic gymnast. She named several of them however the only one familiar to me was Nastia Liukin. She also works with Bradie James the linebacker from the Dallas Cowboys. Pam has also been a great friend. She is always smiling and never lets her positive attitude waiver. Even when things would get hectic for us at the clinic. Another individual I got to work with was Ray Tufts the head athletic trainer of the San Jose Sharks. I only got to work with Ray for 1 week, but in that week I learned a lot from him. He explained how he has integrated chiropractic into the care of the hockey players in San Jose. Hearing how these other health care professional utilize chiropractic services for their athletes and seeing it at the Olympic Training center is very encouraging! One other person I was able to work with was Zach Veres. He is a D.O. from the Cleveland area. He has a lot of experience working professional boxing matches and MMA. We got a chance to share a lot for the week he was at the clinic also. He promised me he would let me go down ring side to the next WEC event. I'm certainly looking forward to that!
Overall my experience here has been a very positive one. It was certainly a chance of a life time that I couldn't pass up. With that being said I can't wait to get back to good old Delphos, Ohio! We may not have mountains or Olympic athletes back home but as Dorthy said while clicking those ruby slippers together... there's no place like home.... there's no place like home!
We will be going to the garden of the gods tomorrow. I'll post pictures when I get back.
Until next time, God Bless!