Here's what David had to say after his first full day in China, at the Rehabilitation Center for the National Sports Training Center:
After the morning’s run, my day began in the athlete dining hall at the National Sports Training Center, offering buffet-style eating and the NBA playoffs on TV (Mavericks v. Rockets, I’m sure because Yao Ming is such a big–literally and figuratively–person in China’s sporting culture). It was a pretty cool opportunity to hang out and eat with China’s National basketball, tennis, gymnastics, and weightlifting teams.
So why do I enjoy coming here?
Someone asked me why I accept the invitations to travel 13+ hours to work with these athletes and students. My professional passions are twofold, I enjoy helping athletes reach their sporting goals and I enjoy teaching. Traveling to China allows me to do both. Further, I will be helping start a treatment program at the NSTC and I will also work with some of the training staff on rehabilitation/physical therapy concepts. My unofficial guide is Steven; he is a sports medicine doctor who explained to me that the Chinese knowledge base rehab-wise is “very very low.” I’m glad I can help begin the process of advancing that for them.
I was asked to prepare a lecture for track and field, so I talked about rehabilitation of athletes following hamstring strain, including some of the super cool new research on the benefits of the Nordic Hamstring Exercise. We finished and they wanted more lecturing, so I made up a lecture on patellofemoral pain on the fly. Trust me, it was interesting demonstrating proper landing technique on slippery tile floor . . . while wearing dress shoes! I took a high level athlete with knee pain through an exercise session, that was one of the highlights of the day!
To wrap up the day, I was able to work with several athletes and coaches, including the following:Soccer player from Beijing Guoan who previously underwent knee surgery
- National Table Tennis (Ping Pong) athlete with ankle ankle and low back pain
- Professional tennis player Regina (nearly all people I have met have American names in addition to their given names) who is struggling with her future after surgery to repair cartilage in her wrist. Regina is interesting. She traveled from Chongqing, over 1000 miles, away to see me. She explained that she didn’t have any resources in Chongqing to help her with her rehabilitation following this surgery. Unfortunately she will not be able to do anything for a few months while the surgical repair heals and I will be gone. We are working on how to get her help once she’s able to rehab.
Surprising to me is how little rehabilitation is performed in China. Regina told me that she would just “do it on my own” because there is “nobody to help me” in her town (Chongqing has nearly 30 million people). There is so much she could do but it doesn’t appear she has access to the kind of care she will need.
Later today I will be joined by three others from the US and the four of us will be treating more athletes. Another update tomorrow!
We can't wait to hear more!! Way to make a difference in the world David!