As short as it seems to have been since Peter’s inaugural State of the Union Address in 2015, Integrative Human Performance has enjoyed fantastic development and success in the interim. Peter and I have made remarkable advances in our understanding of physical and mental well-being, our clients have made tremendous accomplishments (which you can read about here), and our articles and videos even enjoyed a modicum of internet celebrity. These successes have stoked our optimism and ambition, and we are as eager as ever to continue our process of ongoing improvement. That being said, we want to share some highlights from the past year and to express our gratitude to our phenomenal mentors, colleagues, and everyone else who has contributed to the continued growth of IHP.
In the spring of 2015, I interned with the Los Angeles Galaxy’s Athletic Medicine staff. I worked with the Galaxy’s Athletic Trainer, Aki Tajima, to help players with their rehabilitation and training programs. Tajima, who now works with the Seattle Sounders, was one of only a handful of practitioners in California with a Postural Restoration Trained certification, so I thoroughly enjoyed nerding out with him regarding the ideas and methods of the Postural Restoration Institute (PRI). Not only did I learn a tremendous amount about assessment, treatment, and sport-specific training for soccer players, but my soccer skills also may have improved from sub-mediocre to mediocre. My sense of humor, however, may still have plenty of room for improvement. I also got free Galaxy merchandise, which has prompted people to ask me on more than one occasion if I play for the Galaxy. The truth seems to have mildly disappointed the questioner every time: “No, actually, I’m not an elite athlete–I just trained and took care of those guys. You definitely don’t want my autograph…”
This past summer, I enjoyed several new opportunities to develop my skills as a teacher and presenter. I gave multiple presentations on athletic development and injury reduction as part of the New England Patriots’ Alumni Youth Football Camps, as well as a workshop on PRI’s ideas and methods for the strength and conditioning staff of Athletic Evolution, a Nike SPARQ-affiliated private training facility in Woburn, MA. In February, I led a workshop for members of Kailo Fitness’ training staff on the topic of PRI’s application in yoga as well as strength and conditioning. I plan to lead more workshops in the coming months, and intend to share more details about those as the presentation dates approach.
Peter and I also continued to avidly invest ourselves in continuing education. We both attended PRI’s secondary course, Impingement and Instability, at Northeastern University; Mike Cantrell delivered with his usual masterful and comedic approach and shared countless gems of knowledge. In the fall, I took PRI’s affiliate course, PRI Integration for Fitness and Movement, as well as Andreo Spina’s Functional Range Conditioning (FRC) course. Both courses deserve lengthy recaps, though suffice it to say that they may have been the most valuable continuing education courses I’ve taken to date and have had profound influences on my approach to training. In January, I attended PRI’s affiliate courses PRI Integration for Baseball and PRI Vision Integration for the Baseball Player. The instructor for the former course, physical therapist Allen Gruver, revolutionized my understanding of not only baseball, but other rotational and overhead sports (e.g., volleyball, tennis, etc.) as well. The one-day vision course, taught by optometrist Heidi Wise, was the first PRI vision course I’ve attended and did much to augment my understanding of the deep, deep lens through which PRI sees the human organism (puns totally intended).
Currently, I’m in the midst of the oh-so exciting application process for medical schools and physical therapy schools, with the intent of matriculating this summer. Despite being accepted into a number of schools, I’m contemplating taking another year off in order to make the decision of which school to attend–and which career path to pursue–with greater confidence. Nevertheless, I’m tremendously excited about my options and am eager to begin school when it comes time to do so. Related to my aspirations to work in medicine, I’ve worked in recent months as a lead author on case reports regarding progressive and novel treatments for addiction, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Tourette’s Syndrome. This work has been enormously engaging, edifying, and meaningful–and I hope that it is just the beginning of a long and fruitful career in this area.
When not working on the aforementioned applications and research, I’ve enjoyed helping my athletes and general fitness clients achieve fantastic results. I’ve worked as a strength and conditioning coach with several of Loyola High School’s athletic teams since the fall, which has been thoroughly engaging, enriching, and enjoyable. I’ve also trained clients one-on-one through Kailo Fitness, which has afforded me the autonomy to design and monitor their training with an acute attention to detail that delights
control-freaks like myself me. Since returning to Los Angeles in the fall, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with exceptional and inspiring doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, and performance specialists as well; these kind and talented people have shared with me invaluable advice, emboldened my ambition, and become dear friends who I expect will continue to support me throughout my life.
Thinking about the future often makes me animatedly giddy. My continuing education schedule is chock full of courses that’ll expand my knowledge and skills of the human organism. In April, I intend to attend PRI’s Interdisciplinary Integration Symposium in Lincoln, Nebraska. I also have tentative plans to attend at least three more PRI courses by the end of this summer; if that information doesn’t make you giddy, then you need not be alarmed–that reaction is probably normal.
Given my extensive exploration of PRI, this fall seems to be a good time for me to apply for PRI’s certification for strength and conditioning coaches. The application is notorious for its rigor, though people resoundingly report that it’s an extraordinarily edifying experience. I’m eager to begin the application, deepen my understanding and application of PRI, and, last but not least, get discounts on the courses that I attend.
That’s a wrap for today. If you’ve read this far, then enjoy an imaginary gold star, courtesy of yours truly. In the coming days, we intend to share with you our best content from 2015, including our most popular articles and videos, as well as our salient insights. Though Peter may make a nauseating number of Star Wars jokes throughout the posts, you won’t want to miss them.