To PTs Striving For Something More…

Ten years. It was ten years ago that I took the NAIOMT upper quadrant course which consisted of Cervical II and Shoulder/elbow/wrist. It was ten years ago that I left the course and distinctly remember calling my husband and telling him that it was just too hard. I was so excited about what I was learning but was convinced that I could never pass the tests. I told him (and myself) that I would continue to take the classes for the knowledge but would never be able to pass the exams. They seemed impossible for me to pass.


Fast forward ten years and now I am teaching the same material that I thought would defeat me. How did I go from impossible to teaching?

Ever see Finding Nemo? While watching it with my six-year-old daughter, that song that Ellen’s character sings just stuck in my head—“just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” And I think that that is what I did when it came to my NAIOMT training and exams. I just kept swimming. Even on the days I did not want to, I kept swimming. On the days when I was tired and felt the mommy guilt while studying, I kept swimming. On the days when studying the mechanics of sacral torsions made me want to cry, I kept swimming.

Every day I would “swim” just a little bit more. Some days my success was that I was able to get in 3-4 hours of good study time. Others days my success would be that I took my books to bed and feel asleep with them in bed with me—before I was finished reading even one page. However, one page was better than no pages read, and it helped me swim just a little more upstream.

I would like to tell you that it was easy. However, as any of you in the middle of the studying process knows, that is just not true. What I can tell you though, is that when it is done, it will have been worth it.

Just keep swimming (or just floating on those days when life completely falls apart) and I promise you will move from the impossible to the possible.


Stacy Soappman, PT, DSc, COMT, FAAOMPT


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