A guest post from a PT student, Maya, who was a part of our Girl Fit team this summer!
Over the last six weeks, I had the amazing opportunity to work with Kate Hamilton and her unbelievable team at Girl Fit Physical Therapy as part of my DPT education. While I expected to learn infinite amounts about patient management, clinical decision making, and professional development, there was so much I did not expect to learn.
From age 3 to 18, I spent countless hours in dance classes, rehearsals and performances. I attribute the person I am today to not only my amazing parents but also the discipline dance forced me to have inside and outside the studio. While I have nothing but positive memories of the 15 years I danced, these six weeks at Girl Fit helped me remember a lot I had forgotten.
During my first week, Kate had me research common diagnoses seen at Girl Fit so I would better understand the underlying pathology of our patients’ symptoms. Doing this research, I began having flashbacks to 10 year old Maya feeling weird aches and pains— aches and pain which sounded a lot like the diagnoses I was reading about. I started to see a version of myself in some of our patients, however the biggest difference between 10 year old me and the amazing young women who come to Girl Fit is that they have someone advocating for them. During those 15 years of dance, I never had someone talk to me about what was healthy pain and what was not. As a result, I think I pushed through injuries that I could have sought help for.
While all of my aches and pains have resolved themselves today, the PTs at Girl Fit are taking a more proactive approach. The PTs are helping educate young women about how to be the healthiest version of themselves. This knowledge is extremely empowering and can be seen in the determination of all young women who come through the doors at Girl Fit. The Girl Fit team helps their patients recover from injuries, leaving them stronger than when they walked in, but they are also teaching their patients how to prevent future injuries.
While I do not know where my future degree in physical therapy will lead me, I now understand the importance of my role as advocate and educator for my future patients. I will serve to be the person I wish I had when I was growing up, the person Kate and all the PTs at Girl Fit are for their patients so passionately and effortlessly.
Maya Johnson, SPT