All I could think about on Friday was how I didn’t feel like going.  Saturday morning was going to be long, stressful, and tiring. As we set up for the next day, I looked around the clinic.  In about twelve hours, the place would be packed with high school athletes. Lines would snake around the stations we had just set up as students would make their way through high school physicals.  

As I shared my reluctance to go the next day, my friend asked what physicals entailed.  I began to explain and as I did, I could feel my attitude changing.

High school physicals are organized by my work and the doctor’s office we work closely with.  Doctors, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, athletic trainers and other volunteers from both companies would show up Saturday morning.  Over three hundred athletes would pay ten dollars to have their physical done. That money would then be given back to the student’s perspective school.

The physical I had done in high school included touching my toes and reading an eye chart.  These athletes would go through the comprehensive screening of the Y Balance Test, Functional Movement Screen, and medical exam.  They would then be given individualized corrective exercises and education.

By the time I finished describing physicals, I recognized how amazing the experience sounded.  How lucky was I to be a part of something so remarkable. We had the opportunity to intervene before an athlete got injured or lost time.  We were able to make sure the athletes were ready for their season.

If we aren’t careful, we become immune to the opportunities around us.  We begin to see them as work. We lose sight of the purpose and the ability to make a lasting impact.  And, we miss out on the positive experience.

My mindset going into physicals was transformed by the conversation I had the night before.  I wasn’t upset when my alarm went off, I was energized. I didn’t fake a smile, I felt lucky to be a part of something.  And, the time flew by.

I am reminded that I am my own biggest obstacle when it comes to opportunities.  The way I look at an experience determines how I feel about it. Nothing changed after explaining the physicals to my friend… except for my perception of it.  But, perception becomes reality.


Can you redefine your perception?

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