Today’s blog post comes from Robert Babb, PT, MBA, of the Physical Therapy & Wellness Institute in Pennsylvania.
While in my last years of active duty in the United States Navy, I worked as a Physical Therapy Technician, Petty Officer Second Class, at the Naval Hospital, while working part-time singing telegrams and going to college (part-time. Taking three courses at night and on the weekend for the past year had left me physically exhausted, waking most mornings at 4 am to get to the Navy Hospital by 5 to study for an hour before the clinic opened. Clinical hours ended at 3, so then it was back to class at 3:30 until 9 PM on most nights. So why put in all the grueling and utterly exhausting hours? Many military physical therapists inspired me to keep at it, to take my game to a higher level. But none challenged me as much as Dr. Chris Bork, former Chairman of the Physical Therapy School at Temple University, in 1986.
It was a classic Philadelphia late December day: bone-chilling, cloudy, damp afternoon as I rode the subway to visit the Chairman of my University’s PT program. With only 18 months until discharge from the Navy, I was feeling “all in,” burning the candle at both ends.
After reviewing my transcripts, Dr. Bork closed the file, looked up at me, and apologized. He didn’t see how I could get into his program without taking more courses. Swallowing hard and fighting back emotions, I left his office nearly in tears, trying to understand why “it”—fulfilling my dream—had to come so hard.
One-year later, after a year of full-time college with both summer sessions and full-time active duty, I was accepted to Temple’s graduating PT class of 1990.
Looking back, Dr. Bork inspired me to fully commit in order to truly obtain my “it.” Realizing that every individual has more to give, even if they feel they are at their maximum, inspires me every day to reach, mentor others to reach, and help my patients achieve higher levels of performance, all in search of their own fulfillment, or “it.”
Thank you, Dr. Chris Bork, for helping me achieve and get it, both literally and figuratively.