Left Behind: How to Use S+C for Chronic Conditions and Population Health

Genetics made me a natural athlete; I had little to do with that and using an innate state of being to sell gym memberships has a stench I do not indulge in. Hence a shirtless picture of me clean and single arm pressing a female in an effort to suppress crushing insecurities many athletes hide behind those muscles. I digress.

Given these genetics, I assumed a role human nature assigned me- investing in the physically compromised. The ROI being the emotional and mental capacity lent to our species by those compromised physically but gifted mentally. As all men and women are created equal, when a deficit presents itself in one capacity a strength presents itself in another. Every human being living today is physically deficient when compared ounce to ounce to nearly every other species on earth. The humility that comes with that realization- and the actionable ways to utilize what we learn from sport and apply it to systemic issues our community faces- is why I write this article.

I began training with physically compromised individuals at the age of 16. I participated in a program where a physical therapist taught students to work with people who could not afford physical therapy, but needed a physical outlet and were willing to risk unexperienced hands to do it. This interest never changed. While I myself pursued competitive outlets in basketball, grappling, and powerlifting, my focus sharpened on how to use these interactions with gravity to provide solutions for an entire population facing a divergent path of consumerism and a rapidly vestigial skeletal muscular systems. Preventable illness in the form of diabetes, bone density loss, nervous disorders, etc are simply a byproduct of our two main prime directives as a living organisms: Breed and Conserve Energy. If the environment created by consumerism facilitates the latter, we can not expect an outcome different than the one that has tested the limits of our health care system for 30+ years.

Minimum Effective Exercise Dose.

This is what I focus on, combined with a healthy respect for adaptation to demand. What can we do exercise wise to improve quantifiable measures such as bone density, strength, cardiovascular health, and flexibility? How do I present a product that highlights those qualities while more superficial, "quick fix" marketing implants bias into a client's psyche from every angle? The answer was given to me by my own unexpected physical deficiency.

At the age of 29, a previously undiagnosed congenital heart defect began to severely affect my athletic capability. I had open heart surgery a couple of months later and woke up with a body who no longer listened to my demands. I couldn't produce the bracing needed for heavy lifts, I was the weakest on the mats, and could barely walk the length of a basketball court without losing my vision. I'd been working with many populations (pros, olympians, spinal injuries, strokes, general population), but it was the population with extreme physical deficits from whom I drew motivation. Every session with someone who broke their back, had a neuromuscular condition, had a stroke began and ended with verbal and unconscious acknowledgments