So I asked my mom what its like to have an Athletic Therapist as a daughter, her response "don't understand what you are talking about half the time". It is also important to note that she was the first person to say I was sadistic. Apparently getting joy from healing people is wrong, her theory is I enjoy the pain it sometimes takes for the healing to occur. I will admit I do enjoy doing trigger point therapy and friction massage is great.
I keep prying for her to explain more and this is what I got, "I still don't understand everything that you do". Okay, apparently I need to do some more work. I have been a Certified Athletic Therapist since 2005 and a member of CATA since 2002. So 11 years of working towards becoming an Athletic Therapist not including my first few years of university. This unfortunately seems to be the never ending battle we as Athletic Therapists face. Our parents don't even understand what we do.
The one thing my mom does enjoy, is that when they do have something wrong I always have suggestions as to ways to get better. Recently she has been suffering from shoulder bursitis which was greatly affecting her day to day life. It got to the point where she had trouble lifting her arm, sleeping and her golf game. As much as she doesn't enjoy the hands on therapy I referred her to a massage therapist and gave her some exercises. She hasn't tried golf in the last few months, but is able to pick up her grandchildren and gets a massage once a month. I recently pointed out to someone who couldn't believe that I had done a similar treatment on my mom as I had on them, if I can't or won't fix my family, then whats the point.
I do know that my parents always worry about me career wise. My dad wasn't so sure he was okay with his daughter working in male sports. He wasn't comfortable with me being in or around the locker rooms. My mom worries about the hours, it doesn't matter clinical or field. We work stupid hours. A colleague who works at a post secondary college recently finished a 13 hour day on a Monday. Think of what her Friday and Saturday are like with games. I know my mom didn't like me leaving the rink late at night, but I did get a car starter because of that.
No matter what happens I know that my parents have my back. I need to do some more work on getting them to understand what I do. I expanded my dads understanding by doing some acupressure and trigger point therapy and was able to relieve some of the pain he was experiencing. So if you are a parent whose child is thinking of going into the field of Athletic Therapy, please encourage them. They will endure long hours and will constantly be explaining what they do, but they are doing it because they want to help others.