Where to begin? I have so many thoughts regarding my last ten days in South Korea, I am not sure how to even organize them. Hopefully, writing this down will help. I am sitting at a wine bar in Phoenix (shocking) and the lady next to me asked if I was writing “the next great novel” because I looked so intense! Ha! Dayna….I told you I would give you a shout out! So here it is!
I am going to do this in two parts. This first part will be about the professional experiences I had in Seoul, and the second part will be more personal. I hope I can do this trip justice in my writing.
The second day there, I was invited to attend the Korean Olympic Training Center. What amazing facilities. The weight room was enormous, filled with machines, Olympic lifting platforms, climbing ropes, and other body weight lifting and control stations. Music was pumping and teams were getting after it! Gotta love that feeling you get in a fired up weight room, no matter where you are in the world.
We then walked over to the physical therapy and rehabilitation service center on the Olympic Training grounds. Beautiful facility filled with tons of space, tables, equipment, movement areas, and hydrotherapy. The staff was fantastic and were so welcoming to me. I could not thank them enough for their time. There seemed to be many similar and familiar aspects to treatment, as well as some unfamiliar ones. Quite an experience I was honored to have.
I also had the chance to visit the beautiful JDI sports clinic which was large and open, split into the weight room area with machines, space and an athletic training area for treatments. There were also a few separate large rooms for movement. And of course, the amazing gravity training unit for the core muscles (see my Instagram for a very entertaining video!). Again, the people! Everyone, including the athletes there, were so welcoming.
We began the first morning of education at the Korean National Sports University with a group of aspiring athletic training students. I was so impressed with their questions, their attention, their eagerness and their desire to contribute to the world and sport. I am so excited to stay in contact with them and hope to encourage them along the way. It was only the second time I had formally talked about “My Path”. (Hmmmm….a good blog perhaps). Moral of the story there was sometimes you don’t have to know what you want to do. Simply knowing what you DON’T want to do is just as, if not more, powerful.
We then moved to the main seminar hosted by JDI Sports Institute. The first day was in a gymnasium and it was so cold that when you see the pictures, I will have my coat, hat and scarf on. We actually took the labs outside for a bit as it was warmer outside than inside! But we had so much fun, and the hilarity of the cold quickly bonded the group. The welcome was amazing, the participation incredible and the learning experience for me was once in a life-time. We covered common lower compensation patterns on day one. On day two, we moved to the clinic in the sports hospital. Erwin covered manual therapy for the lower quarter in the morning and in the afternoon, I covered exercise techniques to improve quality of lower quarter movement. Check out the pictures on my professional Facebook page and on the KinetIQ Facebook page. You will see we covered a lot of different stuff, as well as had a lot of fun doing it!
The class was made of a mix of athletic trainers, physical therapists, physicians, yogini’s, pilates instructors and personal trainers/ strength coaches. Talk about an eclectic group who left their credentials at the door, and simply opened their minds to learning and discussion in order to apply the knowledge to their individual areas. A truly integrated learning model, where physicians were learning movement from the amazing yoginis we had in the group, and where the yoginis were learning how to look at movement from the personal trainer perspective, and the personal trainer was learning about injury and how to adjust their programs based on poor movement quality. This is how it should be, right? A truly integrated learning model as we specialize in our careers, not replicating what we have learned but learning how to integrate the new skill or thought in with our current practice. Honoring and respecting those in the profession who may have very different credentials from ourselves, yet have so much to offer, if nothing more than to provide us a new perspective from which to see something from.
Openness, mindfulness, gratitude, respect, tolerance. That is the moral of the story I brought home with me to the US. I hope, as sports medicine and sports performance disciplines, we will continue to strive for these qualities and integrated model as we work to elevate the study of human movement of the athlete.
(Cue: Michael Jackson’s We Are the World…..)