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.
"Dan was great to work with, as was the whole staff at A2 PT. I have been through PT on my shoulders twice before with different places and by far this has been my best experience. As a fit person, who wanted to remain active during my recovery- I felt like my PT program covered that. Dan knew what my preferred activities were and tailored my treatment to be able to do those things. The treatment plan was more like a workout and I loved it. I felt like each week I was getting stronger. I also appreciated that I was asked for constant feedback about how I was feeling/doing. If I ever need PT again (fingers crossed I don’t) I’ll be back!"
"I had a lot of fear after surgery, afraid that I would not regain mobility and strength. I feel that A2 helped me achieve a higher plateau of health, motion, and strength than I would’ve achieved elsewhere. Also, A2 has taught me the exercises to go even further, to strengthen and mobilize my shoulder. I fully trust A2 and will recommend them to all my friends, family, and coworkers. They have all treated both me and my wife with a gentle kindness that is rare today and have made us feel welcome in their care. Very professional, but with a sense of caring; that is how I would describe A2. I will miss them all and am very grateful to have been in their hands."
"It was very helpful to be taught exercises I could do at home to alleviate the pain in my back and to make my stomach/diaphragm stronger. It was a great experience and I took away a lot of knowledge to help myself."
− T. Docherty