Athlete to medical practitioner, my transition from elite sports, to helping elite athletes.
From an early age I was always involved in sports, I don’t think there is one Australian team sport I haven’t at least tried in my life, water & ground, & I enjoyed most of them. As I got older I accumulated a passion for rugby union, water polo, swimming, motocross racing & the gym. Accompanied by this love for these sports at a top level for all, were the inevitable injuries associated with contact, high impact & heavy work load demands.
The older I got the more my focus shifted towards athletic recovery & the ability to stay pain & injury free, with not a lot of luck! Phasing out the team sports due to ongoing injuries shifting my focus to gym based training with the ability to work around injuries & choose exercises, I found myself now falling in love with the way the body moves, adapts, responds & achieves desired outcomes through movement & strength.
While I wasn’t personally competing in any competitive sports by the time I had finished my Bachelors of Podiatry, other than a few bodybuilding competitions, my focus had now shifted towards helping people that were still competing within their disciplines, primarily at the elite level, educating & treating them on the exact same issues that I wish I was better educated on while I was competitive, recovery, workload management, injury prevention, correct movement patterns, strength, stability, mobility & rehabilitation.
With that being said, I am grateful for the set backs, injuries & high demand of competitive sports as it now allows me to dive deeper into solving my clients problems when they’re faced with the unfortunate, yet inevitable speed bumps within their fields. Understanding the pain & the discipline has been a huge contributing factor to the great relationships & results I have formed with athletes at the top of their sporting discipline.
The more I learnt, the greater I expanded my knowledge base on principles, methods & treatment modalities, the greater my client outcomes became, & my patients began to feel taken care of like they never have before. Building trust through education is an inaugural component of not only solving a clients problem, but empowering them to now move forward with confidence following an injury or preventing injuries into the future.
Having walked in the shoes of a highly competitive athlete, I truly understand the impact injuries play on not only physical pain, but the burning mental burden it places on an individual. The psychological component of a time loss, sidelining injury is just as detrimental as the physical damage to the body itself, & in some cases, even worse.
As medical professionals, we are trusted by our clients to solve their problems. We have a moral obligation to not only continuously educate ourselves on methods & principles on the human body & how we can implement the greatest strategies possible for the best possible outcome, but also empowering them through education on why their issue has occurred, what the condition is, what to expect from the condition, how we treat the condition, how THEY are going to address the condition outside of the clinic, & map out this process, taking them through the journey from start to end.
Athletes choose us to embark on these unfortunate journeys of injury rehabilitation together, we are now apart of the process, treating these times as if their sporting career depends on it could mean the difference of them progressing, or throwing in the towel with what they choose to do in sports, & through this, I now believe my duty of care is to make sure that giving up is not an option.
Myself & long standing client of mine, Australia’s strongest man, all time Australian record holder & one of Australia’s top super heavy weight Mixed Martial Artists. Alex Simon