I’ve heard the words “I feel broken” more times than I can count. The high performer you wouldn’t think was suffering from chronic injuries can surprise you; they hide pain so well. But I know it’s going to be a hard fall when the crash occurs because now they realize they are in trouble and need help.
After transitioning from a career in sports, I landed my dream job as a lead physical therapist at U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command. I evaluated and treated traumatic and chronic injuries, working one-on-one with over 3500 active duty U.S. Marines. My job was to keep seasoned operators deployable and to help new operators perform better than they ever had before.
Cleaning up old injury baggage was a non-negotiable part of day-to-day operations, and I felt the weight of that baggage myself. But there was something unexpected that kept me going, renewing my passion for supporting the mission and its incredibly dedicated members. It was a simple quote, stretched out in large letters along a wall I passed every day:
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack. -Rudyard Kipling
Dave and I started ALPHA Performance & Recovery to continue the mission of helping the helpers, because the strength of the pack depends on it. We aim to deliver direct pain and injury care to other members of our community dedicated to rigorous jobs, so they can keep doing the work they love.
Too often we’ve heard “They told me there’s nothing I can do about it” and “I guess I’ll just have to live with it.” You don’t have to crash and burn before you can get help. Let's change that narrative.
You may be thinking that our name is a nod to our formative years working for the military, and you would be partially correct. But the main reason is much more practical. Like the alpha female wolf, my job is to create a path forward so you can stay on the move.
Photo by Chadden Hunter, BBC Frozen Planet, 2011, of a massive pack of 25 timberwolves hunting bison on the Arctic circle in northern Canada. In mid-winter in Wood Buffalo National Park temperatures hover around -40°C. The wolf pack, led by the alpha female, travel single-file through her tracks in the the deep snow to save energy.