Focus PT September 2018

Focus Physical Therapy Monthly Focuspt.net 949.709.8770 School’s In A LOOK BACK AT MY DAYS IN CLASS

September 2018

September is back-to-school season, and as my son, Kaden, heads into his first year of high school, and my daughter, Macy, enters her first year of junior high, there are a lot of changes happening at home. For three years, my wife has been home- schooling them for a chunk of each week, so now that they’re off to school full time, it’s a whole new world for all three of them. Luckily, everyone’s excited: My wife is looking forward to taking some time for herself and catching up on things she’d put off over the last three years, and the kids are thrilled to be able to spend more time in class with many of the friends they’ve made from past sports and extracurriculars. Of course, it’s already proving to be an adjustment, but I’m proud of how the kids have confidently stepped into the daunting high school and junior high spheres, ready for challenging new levels of accountability and difficulty. Growing up, I never had much of a problem when the summer ended, as I was eager to get back to my buddies and sports. But, like many people my age, looking back, I cringe at how lazy I was before I shipped off to college. I did fine; it wasn’t as if I was flunking out or anything, but I never pushed to realize my full potential. Instead, I was content to let everything come a little easy, skirting by under the radar. During my junior year in high school, I took one of those vocational placement tests, which put a future as a physical therapist in my top ten options. Back then, I had no idea what physical therapy even was, but after a little research, I realized it would be the perfect fit for me. After I shadowed a couple of physical therapists for school, my path was pretty much locked in — although, if I had continued to just do the bare minimum in class, I’m pretty sure I never could have made it in the field. Still, I liked school. It probably won’t surprise people who know me well to hear my favorite subject was math. While it may not be the most obvious parallel, I think the granular problem-solving that you do in geometry and algebra translates pretty clearly to the

kind of detective work I do today as a physical therapist. English class, however, never sat too well

with me. Writing short stories and explicating novels that

bored me to death at the time weren’t my top activities as a kid, and as a result, I pulled a D+ in English my freshman year, the worst grade I ever got in school. Fortunately, I’ve come around and don’t dislike writing anymore. My hope is that Kaden doesn’t have that experience. I think he’s a little more driven than I was back then. When it came to crunch time, I got some help from my parents, took out a few small student loans, and made my way to higher education. Something finally clicked. Maybe it was the fact that I was ultimately responsible for myself and paying a good chunk for my own education. Or maybe it was my realization that getting into a physical therapy program was a pretty competitive business, and I would need to step it up if I was going to pursue the career of my dreams. In my first semester of college, I pulled grades just shy of a 4.0 and began dedicating myself fully to my studies. It took a lot of hard work, but I got into PT school after my undergraduate, and the rest is history. Kaden and Macy aren’t as weird as I was in junior high; they don’t have their career path mapped out so far in advance. But as they dive into full-time classes, I’ll be curious to see how their interests and passions evolve. It’s a brand-new chapter for each of us, and I’m excited to see how it all turns out.

-Julian Manrique

Focus Physical Therapy • Call 949.709.8770 • 1

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