© 2016 JOELLE KARAM

Foundation is Everything

As the new year begins, we are prompted to think about new goals, reflect on past goals and achievements and start planning for our year ahead. .

 

This past year was great on many levels and a bit of a rude awakening on other levels. All of which remind me how important building a foundation is for achieving your goals. A solid foundation in your thoughts and actions will set the stage for achieving any of your goals!

 

Starting with the great, I've been able to accomplish many of my life and work goals I can't help but be ridiculously grateful for that. 

 

Life Goals:

 

I had the absolute pleasure of being able to travel to New Zealand, Australia and Bali early in 2017, with the goal of bypassing Canadian winter and knocking off a few countries from by bucket list as well as the goal of  "getting it out of my system", taking the longest trip I've ever taken at a whopping 7 weeks in a row (massive risk as a physio who ultimately loses or gravely diminishes their caseload after just 2 weeks away from the clinic) so I can come back, refocus and move forward with my career....

 

How did that work out? Well, I caught the travel bug and became obsessed with more travel, not ready to be back home and dying to fulfill that lifelong dream of living by the beach so that I can hear and see the ocean every day, something truly therapeutic for me. When I went to Australia, I could actually see myself being there and making my lifelong dream come true (something I always thought was just a pipe dream). The vision was always there, it was just a matter of making it a reality....

 

So, cut to end of 2017, I've been living in Australia for the last few months, by the beach and working at a clinic, also by the beach (cha-ching....mission accomplished...happy as a clam). I'm writing this after spending the end of the year and the first few days of 2018 on the Sydney beaches.

 

Watsons Bay, Sydney, NSW, Australia 

 

 

Work Goals:

 

One of my main goals as a physio was to be able to help professional athletes, growing up in Canada, hockey was always the sport I wanted to be involved with. As someone who doesn't know how to skate, let alone play hockey, I feel like it might have been an odd goal. But I loved watching the sport, among others, and really wanted to work with those athletes...ok I'll admit it, I wanted to be the physio for the Toronto Maple Leafs, but in physio school a sport doc for the Raptors at the time came in to do a presentation and pretty much shattered my dream, saying that professional teams don't hire female therapists. That was pretty disheartening, but I'm also of the mind that nothing is impossible!

 

Over the years, I focused on taking tons of courses, building my experience and surrounding myself with incredible mentors. Then, this summer, I was able to finally work with some professional hockey players. It was an amazing experience in an incredible environment that truly lit me up every time I got to the arena. Working with the players during their offseason, helping them prep for the year ahead and working as part of a team of who I consider the best therapists, trainers, staff and all around humans was a dream come true. I'm excited to get back to it this summer!

 

Further, a small idea, shared with a colleague with similar goals a few years ago, is finally coming to fruition, which will satisfy our goal to add to the physio profession, build a community within the rehab world, educate, guide and provide optimal care to our patients. The ball is rolling on this one and I can't wait to see how it grows! 

 

 

Self Care:

 

My rude awakening for 2017 centres around foundation...in this case, my physical foundation, aka my core. For the past few years I've experienced one bad back spasm around the same time each year. The one I had in April 2017 had to be the worst and was the most humbling. I am in fact not invincible and perhaps sadly "getting old". OR I'm just neglecting the most basic actions that can set me up for success. I preach it every day, yet haven't been following it myself. So 2018 is my year to finally practice what I preach, focus on self care and building the strong foundation necessary to protect myself from future "humbling experiences". The year of foundation building starts with a focus on correcting bad movement patterns, improving my stability system (core), myofascial release (see below pic) and acupuncture to allow my body to heal from past injury, and getting the right nutrition and enough rest to allow for recovery.

 

My goal is to share this with you so that not only do I need to stay accountable but I can help give you ideas to help build your foundation as well. Stay tuned for tips, exercise ideas, professional opinions and helpful links as I journey through self care in 2018!

 

 

 

Myofascial release with a cupping technique of my pectoralis and deltoid muscles

 

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