After 20+ years in practice I am retiring my therapy table. If it could talk this is what it would say….

I remember it was the fall of 2007, when we started working together. You were so excited to start your new venture. Your new career. Something you had been working towards for years. You were presented with an opportunity. You really didn’t have any idea of what you were doing, or what you were getting yourself into. Your parents bet on you, you believed you were making the right decision. You bet on yourself. You thought you knew everything. There was so much you didn’t know. 

Remember your your first day? Did you ever learn how difficult therapy can be. I laughed when your first patient sat in front of us. He had lost both of his knee caps in an accident. You looked at me as if to say, “what text book is this injury in?” His knees were sore. He was looking for help. You were the person that was meant to help him. The prior therapist I had worked with was great. He had built a tremendous reputation and a successful business. While you were excited, I could tell you were nervous and unsure. The pressure was on. This was the day I vowed to look after you and our journey together began. We’ve been inseparable since. 

In your early years you focused on the hard science. Text books, courses, research, practice, more courses, more research. You thought that is what was going to make you the best. Then as you got older, I watched you shift. You realized there is no such thing as being the best. You realized you will never help 100% of the people you see. With insight came calm. You met people where they were, with good intent and hoped for the best. 

Early in your career your mistakes frustrated you. You would take things personally. You would let your ego guide the way and push yourself to always minimize your mistakes. You have gotten to the point now where mistakes are welcome. You realize you will never be perfect. Mistakes are what guide you along the path to becoming better a clinician and person. 

I’ve seen thousands of people with you. We’ve been through it. During our time together we’ve learned a lot. We’ve witnessed so many joys of the human spirit. We’ve had the pleasure of being the first to know that someone is expecting a child. We’ve had people share their hopes and dreams. We’ve learned about marriage and new jobs. We’ve watched people grow up from kids to adults. We’ve celebrating retirements, contracts, drafts, championships. We’ve been witness to those who have overcome surgery, or have been told they wouldn’t walk again. The list goes on. I think you’d agree that if there is one thing we’ve both learned it’s that the human body and spirit are remarkable. 

We’ve also had difficult times. We’ve been witness to pain. Pain from the partner who’s being cheated on. The person in tears who has lost their pet. We’ve seen the person a final time before they’ve passed. People have shared with us their stories of struggle, disease, war and loss. These are things I know you did not consider when starting your career. There is so much you didn’t consider. In 2012, you learned how important it was to take care of yourself. You had to learn how to leave work at work. You had to learn to prioritize your health. You had to learn how to be okay. In healthcare, providers often put themselves on the back burner. I am glad you eventually learned. You’ve become a better therapist and person because of it. 

Even in these moments of darkness there were always glimmers of hope. A smile, a thank you, a laugh. Tears were not always sad, but also joyful. With grief and loss, came perspective and appreciation. Watching human resiliency in action has been one of the greatest honours of our career. 

When you first started here you were young and naive. You’ve learned a lot about not only yourself but the things that make people who they are. I’ve watched you lean into the person you are and become more confident. I’ve watched you work on empathy and compassion daily. I’ve watched you accept that you won’t always have the answers. I’ve watched you listen. These were things you were not were always good at. You used to think of yourself as a fixer, but many things cannot be fixed.

Throughout the years people have come and gone. People have changed jobs, retired or simply moved on. At times people return. It’s always nice to see a familiar face, hear a new story and see people doing well. For those I don’t see again, I do wonder from time to time where they are and what they are doing.

It’s now time for my next chapter. I’m moving on to a new adventure. I am looking forward to my new opportunity. Change is scary, but I know I am going to a good place. I am exciting to continue to grow with my new therapist. If there is one thing I’ve learned from you over the years it’s that change is one of the only things in life that is guaranteed. 

I wish I could tell you what obscure thing my new therapist and I see on our first day together. 

I’m proud of you,  



About the Author

Conor’s Sports Injury Therapy background has earned him a growing reputation in the professional sports industry. Conor has consulted for athletes in the NHL, NCAA and IHHF and he was a therapist at the 2015 Pan AM games in Toronto. 

When he’s not at the clinic, Conor’s teaching at Mohawk College in the Massage Therapy program or teaching his course “Understanding the Complexity of Concussion” internationally. Conor has written for a variety of magazine and news outlets, as well as participated as an expert at a number of internationally-recognized conferences.