Reframing Our Mindset


As a physical therapist I’m embarrassed to say it, but last night I GOT INJURED! I was on my last rep of my last set of deadlifts and I felt a pop in my back that almost immediately brought me to the ground. I had trouble sitting, bending, sleeping, and even breathing. ⁣

I felt discouraged, nervous, and anxious. How was I going to work out? How was I going to work? Do I need to go to the hospital?⁣

 All these thoughts went through my head… then it hit me! I talk to patients all day about how these injuries occur and how we cannot let our injuries define us, yet here I was reacting the same way my patients do when they get injured. ⁣

Was it unfortunate that I got injured? Yes! 

However, what changed between now and 24 hrs ago? 

My mindset and my approach to my rehab. My thoughts became less of what I COULDN’T do and my focus became what I COULD do. ⁣

This morning I had my good friends at MOVE Athletics do a proper assessment and we identified my mechanical stressors. I listened to and performed my home exercises and tonight I attacked my first full workout since injury my back. 

Guess what the first exercise was? DEADLIFTS.

 I could have substituted or just skipped this movement completely. But I didn’t,all I did was managed the load and I was good to go. ⁣

Were my lifts PRs? No! ⁣

Did I have to modify some movements? Yes!⁣

But guess what?! I had a great workout and I feel better after that workout than I have in the last 24hrs.⁣ 💪🏽

So here’s a PSA for all my patients, future patients, those who are injured or those who just need to hear this.⁣

🗣 Pain does not = damage⁣

🗣 Rehab does not need to be boring or complicated ⁣

🗣 Managing load and redefining expectations can make a WORLD OF A DIFFERENCE ⁣

🗣 Don’t let your injuries define you. Get a proper assessment and find a PT that empowers you to succeed, not holds you back!

Thoughts about Trail Mix

Trail mix is one of the most diverse and customizable snacks there is. Literally anything can be labelled a trail mix as long as there are peanuts and raisins in it, right? You want some sweetness thrown in there, BOOM, chocolate chips or M&Ms. Do you want a healthier option? Dried fruit. You like a nutty trail mix? Almonds, cashews, pistachios. Need some protein in there? Chia seeds. Literally anything you want to throw in there go for it. There is no judgement in the world of trail mix. 

Great thing is it can lend itself to any situation that you really need it to. You can tailor it to your nutritional needs. It’s easy to bring around with you, it’s got calorie-dense foods that are pretty good for you, and it is relatively cost effective depending on what you put in it. 

Now that I’ve stepped off my love for trail mix soap-box, I’d like to reveal the true intentions of this blog: nutrition. The body requires food to function properly. This includes allowing the body to heal. If the body does not have sufficient fuel to carry out these functions, it will waste energy on other areas that could be used to help the body heal. The same can be said for eating too much or not eating the right food. The body will expend energy on trying to digest or store the food rather than using it to help the healing process. 

Now, just because I confessed my love for trail mix at the beginning of this doesn’t mean that you should replace all your meals with it. You should eat full meals consisting of whole foods. Those times throughout the day where you need a snack that has whole foods, sufficient macros, and is enjoyable is where trailmix can fill the gap. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a trail mix either. If you know of another snack that exists that meets your nutritional needs and bridges the gap between meals, go for it!

This leads us into a greater conversation I like to refer to as the holy trinity of things people like to let go to the wayside: nutrition, sleep, and hydration. All of these things play a role in your recovery from an injury. However, that conversation is for another blog. In the meantime, play around with your trail mix recipe and feel free to share it with us!

New Kid on the Block: Meet Doc Miguel!

What’s going on MOVE athletes! 

Just wanted to take a second to introduce myself to the team and give you all a little background on myself and my journey that has led me to join MOVE Athletics.

Ironically, the article is called new kid on the block but really this is just a welcome home. I grew up in the Western Mass area and left the region to pursue my undergraduate and doctorate degree. While in the Western Mass I attended South Hadley High School and was a three-sport athlete in soccer, basketball, and lacrosse. My career in basketball ultimately led me to Saratoga Springs, NY where I played basketball for Skidmore College. Training for basketball provided me with mental clarity and helped spark a passion for human movement and strength training which ultimately led me to pursue a degree in Health and Exercise Science. 

Following my time at Skidmore, I decided to return to Western Mass and I began working as a strength and conditioning coach at Train For Life (TFL) in Chicopee, MA. At TFL, I continued expanding my knowledge in all thing’s strength and human movement. I became even more interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the human body as it pertained to athletics and performance.

My constant curiosity and drive to gain a better understanding of the human body eventually led me to return to school in Charlestown, MA at Mass General Institute of Health Professions (MGH IHP). At MGH, I gained valuable experience and knowledge working at some of the top hospitals and outpatient orthopedic clinics in the East Coast. In addition, I also had the opportunity to work at Achieve Fitness and Rx Strength in Somerville, MA allowing me to further develop my coaching and strength and conditioning knowledge. 

Once I graduated from MGH I took my first job at an insurance-based clinic in West Hartford, CT. I quickly learned the grind of the “typical” outpatient orthopedic clinic and I felt overwhelmed and limited in my pursuit to help my patients.  After two years of treating, I felt burnt out, unmotivated, and extremely unfulfilled!

By chance, at the point of peak frustration, I found MOVE Athletics. I was attracted by the culture, the knowledge, and the freedom to treat patients the RIGHT way. After meeting with Doc Rog a few times, I decided to take the leap and pursue a career at MOVE due to frustration with the health care system and the freedom of working at an out-of-network clinic would provide me and our patients. I understood the day to day struggle patients had with their health care and I wanted to be part of the change. From the one on one treatments with patients to the clinical mentorship between clinicians, I can honestly say I haven’t looked back and I am extremely excited to see where this chapter in my life takes me. 

With that being said, I am extremely excited to start working with all the MOVE Athletes! My goal is to help navigate patients through their rehab journey, gain a better understanding of their bodies, and provide realistic/effective techniques to get out and remain out of pain in order to return to all desired activities without limitations.

Meet Doc Alex!

Hey everyone!

I’m Doc Alex Fontaine PT, DPT. I wanted to start making some regular blog posts to our board to share some of my experiences as well as my knowledge on a variety of topics. For those of you who do not know me, I have been a member of the MOVE Athletics family for the better part of a year. I started out here as a student on a clinical rotation while earning my physical therapy degree. During that rotation I learned there was a whole other side to the world of sports performance and rehab. 

The stuff I saw and experienced during that rotation was mind blowing. Treatment wasn’t dictated by what an insurance company deemed necessary or inappropriate. I got to spend an hour with a patient instead of trying to squeeze as many billable units into 30 minutes as possible. I could talk to patients and treat them as another living, breathing person instead of just seeing them as a number on a productivity sheet. These are just a few of the reasons I decided to join the team, but getting to work with highly motivated athletes who want to perform at their highest capabilities was the real deciding factor.

As a kid I always had too much energy and didn’t really know what to do with all of it. My parents came up with the idea of get this kid into sports so he can channel that energy into something productive instead of just bouncing around the house. They signed me up for soccer, basketball, baseball, etc… Turns out, I had a very short attention span that could not be occupied while playing defense. At a loss, my parents decided to sign me up for ice skating clinics that winter. I fell in love with it immediately. Something about the atmosphere of an ice rink and the feeling of flying around on your skates opened a whole new avenue for me. Obviously, the next natural progression from here was to strap on a couple hockey pads, put a stick in my hand and let me go.

Hockey was my life for the next 15 years after that. I decided to become a goalie and pursue my dream of playing professionally one day. I started to run into roadblocks when in my sophomore year of highschool. I got hurt at the beginning of the season, which had never happened before. I had no idea how to handle this kind of thing so I took some time off, let things feel better, and just went back to playing when I did. However, this injury kept recurring several times a season over the next 3 years. I would feel great for 3 months at a time and then be out with an injury for the next 2 months. I tried all different kinds of things to solve this problem: PT, chiropractic, sports physician, etc. Issue was I still kept getting hurt. This all came to a head during my senior year of highschool. I was playing for a team in Boston, I had a verbal commitment to play in college, and I saw my future as a hockey player opening up. In a practice that week I got hit pretty hard during a drill. I ended up having a proximal hamstring tear as well as a partial tear of my MCL. In an instant my whole future was uncertain. I ended up losing my commitment to play college hockey and very quickly had to figure out what I was going to do. In the following months I found myself very lost and without purpose. With college soon approaching and the perceived weight of my entire future on my shoulders, I decided to pursue a career in physical therapy. 

From there the rest is pretty much history. I developed a new passion for helping athletes stay on the field, court, or ice functioning at their highest capabilities. It just so happened I found myself at a sports performance clinic in West Springfield that could help me pursue that dream the way it was meant to be.