From treatment to personal development
This is not your common article. I’m going to tell you my story of how physical therapy had a strong influence on my body, mind and spirit. I owe most of my transition to one person alone.
I met Anca Tudor by chance in 2014 when she was leading the kinetotherapy program at the company I was working for.
One evening, as I was heading home, I ran into her while she was talking to some of my colleagues who had already been enrolled in the program. She asked me to join the program. I don’t remember exactly the reasons she gave me for why I should, and I don’t remember why I decided to do it. It’s most probably all in the way she asked. In the end I decided to give it a go. I had been experiencing some back pain lately and I figured I had nothing to lose.
The big day comes knocking in
Next Monday, 17:30, I was there all dressed up for kinetotherapy. And by that I mean I was wearing my long sweat pants, a loose t-shirt and – sneakers. I have to admit I was a little self-conscientious about my shape, me being overweight and all that. Which explains my choice for long sweat pants during a hot summer day in a room without air conditioning where I knew I was going to perform some sort of physical exercise.
The others were already there doing their thing, warming up. They had been going to the therapy sessions for a while now and they knew the routine. Anca greeted me with a big smile on her face.
A dive into my medical X-files
I came prepared. I brought along my medical history because she had already told me I needed to provide her all the information I could regarding my medical conditions, in order to devise the best treatment plan for me. Nicely printed out, not all of it, of course. That would have required too much paper. It contained just the issues with which I thought the kinetotherapy could help me, i.e. my spine problems.
She carefully looked at all the papers I brought, analyzed everything, and once she was done she looked a bit perplexed.
– Am I beyond repair? I said jokingly.
– No no, of course not, she answered.
– It’s just that you have a lot of problems, she said with one of those “oh my God” expressions on her face.
That made me worry a little bit. I guess Anca noticed that. She shook the expression off her face and put on a big smile:
– Don’t worry George! We’ll get you better. I’ll take care of you and I know exactly how to do it.
And by that she meant that she would create a custom set of exercises which were specifically designed to help improve my particular set of medical problems, exercises that she would adjust every time she considered fit to do so based on how I’d feel.
The start of my new relationship
We started working. It was hard for me at first as I was not used to doing physical exercise. And I mean I wasn’t doing any! The best I would do was to walk to work. Which, I found out from Anca, was not enough to keep me healthy.
It didn’t take log for me to get better at doing the workouts. I was feeling better day by day. No more back pain, I had more energy, I was actually sitting straighter than before, and it was not a conscious thing. It was just a side effect of Anca’s physical therapy. I also lost some of my extra weight.
It wasn’t just the therapy though, Anca has a certain way of taking care of her patients. She puts a lot of care and kindness into her work. She made me feel I was her only patient. I watched her carefully. She treated all her patients like that and she was always researching ways of helping her patients. Sometimes I would arrive early to the therapy sessions only to find her reading from one of her medical books trying to figure out new exercises that would help her patients get well faster.
Beyond a simple therapy
I continued to go to the kinetotherapy sessions for a long time after that. In 2014, with Anca’s help, I had the following remarkable achievements: I went from no physical exercise to a one hour session of kinetotherapy three times a week. Not only that, but she made me believe that I could take up running, something I had tried in the past, failed miserably at, and convinced myself that I was just not cut out for it. Anca guided me through the process starting with my first run, which by the way was like a puny 500m after which I thought I was going to die all the way to my very first 10k. And that is something that made me believe I could take on any challenge this life keeps throwing at me. That year I managed to run a total distance of more than 50 kilometers.
One for all
Anca is one of the most passionate professional that I’ve ever met. She puts all of herself into helping her patients and has this stubborn determination to help people who are suffering. She never gives up on a patient.
Anca changed my life, helped me understand the role of movement in keeping healthy, taught me to pay more attention to my body and that I can achieve anything that I set my mind to, if I put the right effort into it. She is a force of nature and I’m very grateful to have met her.
Anca is now working for Activelife as their premium wellness advisor where she continues her mission to help people lead an active healthy life.