I've been talking to people for the past few weeks. I've spent hours and hours talking to people. People I don't know or don't know very well. People from all walks of life, in all sorts of settings. And, for those of you who know me, you can imagine what a stretch it has been for me, the King of No Chit-Chat Just The Facts, to sit leisurely in a Starbucks and actually start a conversation.
But, turns out, I loved it.
Not at first. At first, I wasn't sure what would come out of my mouth or if I would just say, "Uh-huh" over and over. But, after my first conversation over coffee I fell in love with meeting and talking to people. Imagine that. I'm in the people business and finally I am comfortable talking to people.
Well, that's not totally accurate. I could always talk to anyone if the conversation was in the cozy confines of my consult room with all of my woobies. I'm in control. But, take me outside of that, outside of my comfort zone, and the conversation dried up like a drop of rain on hot, black pavement.
I have an entirely new respect for the power of some of the principles I have written and discussed over the years. Things like Kelsey's First Law of Human Dynamics, No Transformation Without Perturbation, the Power of Repetition, Building a Legacy. Although these principles and ideas eminated from real life experience, from working with people and helping them through their injuries, that real life was still in my cozy cocoon.
I had the chance to use the things I talk about, on myself. I chose to change my life by facing and moving into the thing that I feared (ok, you can chuckle if you want to about my fear of chit-chat but trust me, you have something too), embracing the perturbation, repeating the positive experiences, and as a result will have something spectacular to pass on to others.
While I'm totally at ease in the consult room, I've learned that many physical therapists are not; they feel like I used to feel about chit-chat. When a person complains of stiffness in the back or neck, or a clicking sound in the knee, a clunk in the hip, the inability to sleep, or pain in the heel while walking, therapists can feel overwhelmed (be honest - how many you reading can really say you know what stiffness means?) and slip into cope mode; find stuff to measure, things to do: analyze posture, measure motion, jiggle a joint, massage a muscle, stretch the hamstrings. Just get busy and do something - like me with chit-chat. I would find something else, anything else to do because I was just so uncomfortable.
If you're squirming because I just nailed you, just described you in your day, I have some good news for you. Sports Center, the fastest growing (65% over the past six months), largest, and highest ranked independent physical therapy practice in Austin, TX, has an opening for one, only one, physical therapist who wants to tackle his or her fear, walk into the sunshine, and be as comfortable in the exam room and on the lab floor as you are at a party.
It's not easy, it's not your average physical therapy clinic, but who wants to be average? You will have an unbelievable team of people, incredible tools, a super vibe, awesome music, learn how Sports Center solves a wide range of orthopedic problems, and well, about as much fun as you can have at work.
Progress is not made in your comfort zone but on the very edge; just outside it. Come to Austin and find your edge.
Oh, and, someday I'll tell you why I was talking to all those people and why it was so important for me to do it. It's very, very, exciting stuff.
P.S. - If you're itching to find your edge, email a one page cover letter explaining why you want to become part of Sports Center's team along with your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.