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What is your Why?

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Most everyone has a “why” story for how they broke into their profession.  Side note:  If you don’t, you should get one or change jobs.  Mine started quiet unexpectedly as a junior playing quarterback on the high school football team.  I drop back to pass, step up in the pocket to evade pressure and begin to run.  Only a few steps into my scramble, my foot is grabbed and I fall forward.  Simultaneously, two defensive players hit me; one to the left side of my head and one to my left shoulder.  As you might imagine, this hit violently pushes my head and shoulder in opposite directions.  I fall to the ground, motionless.  I am not unconscious, but I can’t move either.  The referee rushes over to me and asks if I’m alright.  “I can’t move.”  I’ll never forget the look on his face as he motioned to my sidelines for the trainers; terror.

Fortunately, the drama ends there.  The trainers rush over to me lying on the field and within minutes (seemed like hours), my body came back online.  Well, everything but my left arm.  I had a feeling of intense burning shooting from my neck all the way through my arm and I could barely lift it from my side.  Most healthcare folks would call this a burner/stinger, I called it an MRI, nine months of a barely functioning left arm, extensive rehabilitation and a lost opportunity at the play-offs.

Divine Providence

Do What You LoveFast forward through a career of college athletics and a successful career as a sports performance coach and I am still saddled with remnants of that hit back in high school.  The arm is strong as ever, but the neck pain on most days is glaringly apparent.   As fate would have it, I get one more opportunity to play arena football about 5 years post-college.  At the time, I never really understood I got picked up by the team.  I mean, comparatively, I was older than most of the guys on the team and hadn’t played competitively since college.  In hindsight, I know why.  It extended well beyond football.  The team that signed me just happened to have a chiropractor as a team sponsor.  Still experiencing neck pain and knowing nothing about chiropractic other than they treat neck pain, I give it a crack.  Pun intended.  The first neck adjustment scared the day lights out of me.  The chiropractor gave me little warning about the noise that was about to come forth from my cervical spine.  After I recovered my wits, I notice IMMEDIATELY a difference in my neck pain and motion.  Several treatments later, my neck pain was almost completely gone.  At that moment I was hooked, my course was set.  I realized then just how vital chiropractic is to helping athletes.

That hit in high school happened exactly 20 years ago, and it shaped my life’s path.  In some ways, it lit a fire in me to educate, get educated and serve athletes.  I’m not just talking your traditional, high-profile, pro athlete.  I’m talking the middle-school athlete trying to make the baseball team, the mom who wants to take a fitness class at the gym or the overweight banker who wants to join the church basketball league.   My entire career is now designed around getting and keeping people healthy.

That’s my why.  What’s yours?

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