Willpower: Brigid M.

Brigid came into PT feeling like she had exhausted all her options. However, her drive to still try PT despite multiple uneventful outcomes was outstanding. Because of this and willingness to learn, she was able to perform one her biggest accomplishments to date: participate in a weightlifting competition.  However, in my opinion, her greatest accomplishment is believing she has the confidence to treat herself.

-Henry Mercier, MS, ATC

Brigid says:

“For the last ten years, my wrists and hands have been a problem for me. When I first started having pain, my physical therapist told me that I was just going to have to choose which hand-related activities were most important to me and give up all the rest, because my tendons just couldn’t handle the stress of doing too much. I gave up texting, changed the way I used my computer, and quit my high school lacrosse team, joining the cross-country team instead, despite a strong dislike of running. Over the years, I’ve just stopped whatever activity I had picked up when my hand started to hurt. When I took up powerlifting about 6 months ago and my wrist started to hurt during the bench press, I decided that I was sick of giving up activities that I enjoyed. Surely, my hands weren’t beyond repair at the age of 24.

I went to several different physical therapists this time around, where I received the same advice that I did 10 years ago–if you can’t do it without pain, you’ll just have to stop doing it. Then I found SBPT on a list of “lifting-friendly” physical therapists and thought that I should give one more place a try.  I knew that my experience with SBPT was going to be different 5 minutes into my first appointment when I told Henry what was going on and he could confidently say, “I don’t think that you’re going to need to give up powerlifting.”  I even didn’t have to stop training for a period of time while I waited for my injury to heal. Henry helped me to work on my bench press technique so that I could do it without pain. I think that I’m actually stronger than I would have been if I hadn’t gotten injured and come to physical therapy.  Henry also helped me to modify some of my assistance exercises. But at no point did I need to stop all upper body work or stop bench pressing like I had been told before.

I really appreciated the focus on helping me to learn about how my body works so that I can work on things myself in the future. I was having wrist pain with a few yoga poses in my weekly class. Before I would have just avoided the poses, or even stopped yoga altogether, thinking that I had to choose a limited number of activities to use my hands in. But after using what I learned at SBPT, I played around with different positioning of my hands and elbows to adjust so that I can now do the poses without pain.

My greatest victory by far is competing in my first powerlifting meet. Before I started with SBPT, I had signed up for the competition, but was afraid that I was going to have to drop out because I couldn’t bench press and powerlifting requires that you do all three of the squat, bench press, and deadlift. With Henry’s help, I was able to stick to my training program in the weeks leading up the the meet and do really well at the competition. I can’t wait to sign up for the next one because I know that I can do even better with more training.”

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