Meet Peiting (Patti) Lien.
Patti is one of those women you meet and you feel like you instantly get smarter just when you hear her speak... but not the kind that makes you feel kinda dumb... she's a great teacher and has a way of explaining things. She is seriously intelligent you guys... and she is passionate about the power of movement. Not just for herself, but with her patients. Patti is a physical therapist at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD.
Always up for learning something new, which is how she got herself into racing an Olympic Distance Triathlon, makes her adventurous and humble (a great combo, we think!). Random facts, Patti was born in Taiwan and also lived in New Zealand before moving to the United States. Working at Hopkins also had her flying back and forth to the UAE for a few years to care of high ranking officials, which is pretty awesome.
You can connect with Patti on Facebook! Alrighty, now let's get to know Patti a little bit and see why she is this week's #WCW.
Q: What do you do?
A: Physical Therapist that specializes in working with neurologic conditions as well as adolescent scoliosis.
Q: What else do you do?
A: Come up ways to challenge myself outdoors- from whitewater kayaking, doing triathlons, backpacking and dream up of more adventures.
Q: How do you define the word 'strength'?
A: "Strength" is having the ability to do life in ways you're called to live it - from ability to trim hedges to changing lightbulbs to hauling dog food and bags of groceries in all at the same time.
Q: How did you discover your passion/work/niche?
A: I was inspired with the privilege to work with people where their life has changed dramatically due to a neurologic condition - be it stroke, brain tumor, traumatic brain injury or a long term degenerative condition. It gives me the greatest joy to be able to see them get back to doing what they have loved before their diagnosis.
This can be as simple as sitting to standing and to walk from A to B without falling or run after their child to cross the road safely to hiking with their family again or travel the world. All these movements are often taken for granted and it takes a lot of tenacity to regain these activities with efficiency. These patients are have to work just as hard as an athlete, actually harder, in many ways and it's inspiring and emotionally moving.
Personally I love learning how to move - from learning to kayak to swim and to run or bike with more efficiency and how we learn to move is also what fascinates me.
Q: How do you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle?
A: I have a dog named Jobi that I walk on a daily basis. I analyze movements at work by watching people move and then figure out how to make that movement more fluid - often using principles of OS - so when my patients are rolling, crawling or marching, i'm also joining them as much as possible. I train for triathlons so there's usually a swim, bike or run workout waiting for me after work.
Q: Where would be a good starting point for someone who is looking to add more movements into their life like what you do?
A: Simple answers are:
- Get a dog or a walking buddy and start walking around the neighborhood!
- Aim to walk 5-10 minutes with rest breaks as needed and then build.
Not everyone can just run out and get a dog (actually you can volunteer at a local shelter realistically) so it's good to keep an open mind to trying all sorts of new things.
Trying new things makes me appreciate the reality of some barriers to why some patient don't want to go to try something harder. Trying new things reminds me of how amazing our body really is and how fascinating it is to explore and even overcome some fear and uncertainties about the task or activity.
I know learning to swim and whitewater kayaking was all of that. It made me realize how hard it can be to learn a new movement sometimes.
Q: How do you recommend people get into trying something new?
Be adventurous.... yet gracious to ourselves of the outcome. You have to embrace whatever it may be, and understand that often it probably won't look that pretty or fluid-- but just keep trying!
Oh, and keep having fun. The best part is to find others to join you in the activity. A lot of times the experience is more special because of the people that you experienced it with!
Q: How do you define 'fitness'?
A: Fitness to me is the ability to do the daily tasks of life when demanded without getting injured - like shoveling snow, putting a kayak on a roof rack or carrying groceries up steps.
I hope the future of fitness shows 'fitness = living life to its fullest'
Q: Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?
A: I think it isn't just movement itself but perhaps the ability to learn the movement and be changed by that new found ability to move that empowers me. This then increases my confidence.
There's nothing like overcoming the fear of drowning whether it is open water swim or whitewater kayaking, but practicing the techniques build that confidence in knowing my ability to not drown!
Q: What motivates the crap out of you? (quote, music, people, sport, etc)
A: "Who you become while you are waiting is as important as what you are waiting for" - Louie Giglio
Q: What advice would you give to your younger self and anyone out there?
A: Enjoy and trust the process -there's more of you inside than you think there is.