Graduate PT school, check. Complete a sports residency, check. Pass the SCS exam, check.
My resume was growing, but my engagement in physical therapy was shrinking. The last two months had been spent studying for the Sports Certified Specialist Exam. It was the last thing on my list of things to accomplish. And now that I had, I felt disappointed. Is this all there is?
My notes were done, I wasn’t tired, and I didn’t feel burnt out. But, I had no excitement for physical therapy. Doing a residency and passing my specialty exam was supposed to inspire me, but here I was just going through the motions day in and day out.
Continuing education courses suddenly became my drug of choice. I’d feel so good after going to a course that I would convince myself I needed more. I kept going to courses, feeling excited about what I learned, and then slowly losing interest. I repeated the pattern over and over, but eventually realized it was only a temporary solution.
I knew I wanted to do something great in physical therapy, but I didn’t know what and most of all I didn’t know how. I looked at all the people I was surrounded by. They were doing awesome things and loving every minute of it. I was bored and although not burnt out, still disliking my career.
I was explaining how I didn’t know what to do with my career and had no idea what was next. Once I finished, Phil asked me, “Well, what would you do for free?” I had been talking for the last fifteen minutes and this question left me speechless.
I couldn’t come up with an answer in that instant. But after thinking about it, I decided that I loved to write and would easily do that for free. Before I knew it, we were discussing me starting a blog and then I was posting weekly. Tuesday became my favorite day of the week because that was the day I got to post.
I wasn’t just enjoying the writing, I was more present in my daily life as well. The weekly writing made me more reflective and engaged. I found myself more energized. I couldn’t understand how doing something for free could have such a profound effect, but I didn’t question it.
I now realize that PT was never the problem. There were many parts of me as a person that were not fulfilled by treating patients (and that’s okay). There were skills and activities like writing that were not satisfied by my day in clinic. Yet, when I started writing, my day in clinic was ignited. I felt more complete and because I felt more complete, I fell back in love with treating.
I had expected treating patients to give me ALL of my fulfillment and when it didn't, I resented it. When I began writing, it removed the pressure from physical therapy and suddenly I found myself loving it again.