By: Dr. Laura Wenger, PT, OCS, FAAOMPT

Resilience: The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

With the whirlwind of the past year during a worldwide pandemic, resilience is a word that comes to my mind often. I’ve witnessed resilience on so many levels in this past year: in our families, our community, our nation, the world, and within our clinic. The challenges of this past year have brought stress and difficulties to all of our lives, but our ability to maintain consistent relationships with our patients and help you all move better, feel better, and live better has been a bright light and source of inspiration to keep going strong.

Recently, our entire team had the opportunity to celebrate our resilience through the pandemic by participating in a guided three day mountain biking trip on the White Rim in Canyonlands National Park. Not only did we get to reflect on our ability to maintain and build our team in the past year, but we also had new opportunities to demonstrate our resilience through the activities of the trip itself. While some of us are seasoned mountain bikers, others of us are not, and there were good mental and physical challenges abound while navigating the gorgeous desert terrain. Whether it was staring up at the inclined road as it wound up from a low point, knowing we would need to make it to the top to eat our well-deserved lunch, or jumping over a two foot crack in the rim rock knowing that there was an 80 foot drop below, only to be able to stare in awe at the majestic view of the Green River bending and weaving through the canyon floor below us when you made it to the ledge, the challenges we faced led us to more strength and resolve knowing that we could do hard things and yet keep going to wherever we needed to next.

Looking up at the steep climb, knowing lunch is at the top!

The views making it worthwhile!

And, really, this is the greatest metaphor for physical therapy and life in general: facing challenges head on, whether they are mental or physical (or, more often than not, both), and doing what needs to be done to get to the next phase of the journey of recovery. The members of our team feel so lucky to be your guides along the way. Sometimes there is a delicious meal, or the comfort of camp, at the end of the challenge. Sometimes there is the excitement of meeting a milestone or goal that you have set for yourself. But, there is always power in the knowledge that you can do hard things, and that you have support along the way.