Owner and lead therapist Alika Antone and the A2 PT staff challenge their patients every day to put in hard work. They push patients to overcome obstacles that can sometimes seem insurmountable.
So when Dr. Antone was challenged by his super-fit wife to compete alongside her in a grueling, muddy Spartan obstacle race — he could relate with how many of his patients feel at the beginning of their journeys toward better health. Overwhelmed. Almost impossible.
That’s why knew in his heart that he had to face the fear. Running in muddy gunk. Cardio. Everything about it seemed unappealing and, well, odd. So he took a big breath and signed up.
“I had never participated in any sort of marathon or Spartan challenge prior to 2018. I am not a runner, or much of a cardio person at all,” Antone said. At the race, “My burpees were ugly, my lack of cardio fitness was limiting, and my lower back killed me. (Yep, even physical therapists aren’t immune!)
“My muscles went into spasm, and affected me negatively for the second half of the race,” he said. “I already knew cardio was a weakness of mine, and my wife had to wait up for me on several occasions while I tried to keep pace with her. That was humbling.”
Dr. Antone slogged through 5 miles and 20 obstacles— and when he completed the race the sense of accomplishment (and getting over roadblocks along the way) left him fired up for his next Spartan race. Yep, that even surprises him!
Next time, he will do better because he learned. Here are a few of his “a-ha” moments:
1. Make a Plan: Based on the weaknesses identified by the Spartan, I have numerous ideas about how to better train for improved physical performance on my next attempt.
2. Dedicate the Time: My wife and I discussed getting a sitter for the kids at least once a month so that we are able to run trails, or extend our training to include at least 5 miles, which we do not include in our regular training. This will also help us remain motivated to train consistently. The 5 miles will be a good monthly test to check how prepared we are.
3. Get Your Head in the Game: The ability to withstand difficulties and disaster —and to be resilient — are good qualities to have not only in a Spartan race, but in Iife.
4. Connect with Community: I ran this race with my wife, although many participants were part of a group/team. I’m not sure how to articulate the feeling or connection that happens when you’re both sliding down a muddy hill into a pool of muck that goes over your head. We both agreed it was the best date we’ve had in a long time!
So what does a Spartan race have to do with A2 and physical therapy? Quite a bit, Dr Antone said. Everyone faces journeys, obstacles, and challenges. Whether it is working hard to get your mobility back after a car accident with the A2 team, or getting physically fit to keep up with your wife during the next muddy race you need the same things: A plan, patience, consistency, and you must make your health goals a priority. And when you have people cheering you on — well, that makes all the difference in the world.
Whatever your challenge is, Dr. Antone added, “Commit. Do it now. You’ve got this!”
Learn more about Spartan races here.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for all that you have done to help me get better. What I admire the most is that you have a kind, caring, outstanding staff that not only listens to what is going on with us but goes the extra mile to help each of us achieve our goals. Danny and Alika never, never, never gave up on me and helped me reclaim my life. I love all of you dearly."
− C. Marez
"My name is Irvin Markham. I am a member of A2 Physical Therapy and Fitness. I have been a member of several gyms but never had a personal trainer. With no schedule or workout plan, I would always eventually quit. My wife suggested to go see her personal trainer Kristi Cruz. What a difference the experience has made in helping me get the most out of my workouts. Kristi has not only helped me get 71 year old body back in shape physically, but mentally as well. She has put me on a set schedule and encourages me to do all the things I need to do to stay healthy. I cannot thank Kristi and the entire staff at A2 for all of the support they have shown me."
"Last Sunday I played full court basketball for the first time in 15 years. I will qualify the contest by saying it happened on a court just out of the back door of an elder care center. The teams consisted of a 7 year old, an d8 year old, a young woman in flip-flops (I played in sandals), a woman who proudly stated she was 55 years old (I retorted with my age of 65), and a couple of other young guys that really played well. I ran the court, I played defense, blocked shots, made shots (missed a lot), got lots of rebounds, and talked a lot of smack while playing with a group of people a lot younger than me. I even made a behind the back-twisting fall-away shot, then fell and tumbled on the court. I jumped up and continued to play, and we played for about 45 minutes.
I attribute my ability to play this game that I love so much again to the excellent training receive from Kristy who is a trainer at A2 Physical Therapy. I have worked out and trained since I was very young. I played high school basketball, baseball, and I ran track. I spent 20 years in the Army with all the training requirements associated with that occupation. I played on community and city leagues, and I have trained with weights for many years. The training program Kristy has devised for me at A2 is rigorous, thorough, diverse, fun, challenging, and focused. She prepares workout plans that are age and fitness level appropriate. My work out now is so much different then it was when I first started. She both trains me individually and as a couple. I run, jump, stretch, lift, balance, squat, push, pull, and every other movement you can imagine. I look forward to going to my workout every time. Kristy is completely in charge of every workout. I am retired, and my training at A2 allows me to fill the need to accomplish something positive every day I work out. I am doing physical activity with ease that I would not have thought I would be able be able to accomplish at the age of 65 such as hiking on Mt Rainer and running 4 days per week. Kristy and A2 have really changed my life…"