By Christine Danielson
Nearly all small talk I've had inevitably lead to, “so when did you decide you wanted to be a physical therapist?” I have gotten this question probably a hundred times both in and outside of work, yet I have the same answer for everyone: "I knew when I was a freshman in high school!"
I consider myself lucky that I found my passion rather early in life. I come from a family of athletes--swimmers specifically--and was regularly shuttled between sports practices about 5 to 6 nights a week. My practice schedule began with swim to soccer to basketball, then right back to swim. I would eat dinner or do homework in the car just so I could continue participating in everything. I played almost every sport growing up, but the constant in my life was always swimming. And it was because of this sport I was introduced to Physical Therapy (PT) at just 14 years old.
As a whole, swimmers are not known to have the best posture in the world. The typical forward head, rounded shoulders look you see when you watch any major swim meet you will now be sure to notice more than you will notice “good posture." You will notice this same posture in the general population as well (but that is not the topic at hand, even though many of the traits and stretches/exercises below can carry over to the general public). It is because of this posture that I found myself in PT. I was a freshman in high school and at the time and was committed to two swim practices a day plus lacrosse practice. Eventually, I began to notice pain along the side of my shoulder that would radiate mid-way down my arm. The pain was only made worse when I raised my arms overhead.