The first time I walked into the gym at Tulane Physical Therapy Solutions, I found myself hesitant as to why I was actually there. The truth is, my parents and friends have been commenting on my poor posture for as long as I can remember, and “people are more critical of themselves when there is a trait, that they deeply care about” (Michael and Wilson). The pungent odor of sweat immediately surrounded me as I swung the double doors open and stepped inside towards the beginning of my upright future.
Most people walk around with slings, leg casts, and even full-body braces. Not many people think of physical therapy as an enticing activity, but “forming a new habit in order to improve oneself usually requires choosing between the pleasant or familiar with something less so” (Krakovsky). After being assigned my therapists, I came to realize that no injury was viewed as insignificant in a place that fostered a sense of community, a community that revolved around the idea of self-improvement.
“Welcome to physical therapy! Do not hesitate to ask for help.” Rather than my therapists diagnosing my injury, they listened closely as I explained to them what brought me to join the physical therapy community at Tulane. Immediately, I felt welcomed and my mindset changed from asking myself “why am I here?” to “this is the place where I will finally gain the motivation to improve my posture.”
Cruches: Anna ShvetzLasting change is very difficult to maintain, which is why my therapists go over exercises that I should practice daily at home. It is easier said than done because “lifestyle changes require adjustments to mindset, motivation, and intent” (Krakovsky). In order to self-improve and keep that improvement steady for the long term, it is essential to keep your original goal in the back of your mind and be realistic about the changes you want to see. Self-improvement is about creating new and consistent routines, which allows for making desired behaviors, such as sitting up straight, automatic (Krakovsky). With that being said, certain places and locations prompt certain behaviors (Krakovsky). I am always thinking about sitting up straight and improving my posture while I am physically in the gym training to do so. The community of people at physical therapy that surround me do the same with their own injuries. The therapists are constantly reminding patients to “pretend they are at the physical therapy center” while practicing exercises at home.