Team Member Spotlight: Lewis Craig’s Motivation

 In Physical Performance

Lewis Craig had any number of career options open to him at the end of high school but it was an event close to home years earlier that ushered him towards studying physiotherapy.

Lewis’s grandmother suffered a stroke while he was primary school aged and witnessing her struggles with recovery and rehab was one of the reasons he chose people over numbers.

“Nan never really got back to full function after her stroke,” Lewis says.

“We were always trying to help out and encouraging her in her rehab. She’s still very ‘with it’ but not high functioning, physically.

“I think nan’s situation probably put things in context, that maybe physiotherapy was a career path for me, helping people in similar situations to hers.

“I do like people probably more than numbers (but) it doesn’t mean I still don’t enjoy some good numbers.”

Lewis moved from Lismore to the Gold Coast after school to begin his Bachelor of Exercise Science at Griffith University and upon completing his Masters of Physiotherapy he faced another decision … what direction to take his career.

He originally considered the hospital system, most likely a result of his experiences with his Nan, and then widened his search after seeking some advice from his cousin who is also a physio.

“The opportunity to develop a better relationship with the client and the more sporting aspect appealed to me so I thought ‘let’s try there’,” Lewis said.

“I asked my cousin Tom if he knew of any good private practices and he mentioned Brad Beer would be really good to work for, and to have a look at POGO,” Lewis said.

“I had a look online and there was a list of ‘Is this you?’ and I was like ‘I think it is’.

“So I kick-started the application process and ended up getting a job here in February 2015 and it’s been pretty great ever since.

“I like one-on-one close interaction, developing relationships and getting people physically performing better is a great outcome of that.”

I like one-on-one close interaction, developing relationships and getting people physically performing better. #performbetter @pogophysio Click To Tweet

Lewis says a large percentage of POGO’s clientele are already highly motivated people attracted by the practice’s track record and high success rate.

“People come in and they want to get a job done so it’s much easier with those clients because you can hit the ground running,” he said.

“But finding where a client’s motivation lies … part of that rests on me as a therapist.

“It’s sometimes layers deep and if you don’t find that out then generally it’s a lot harder to get someone motivated.

“I certainly understand and appreciate that if we’re not taking a bio-psycho-social approach and just looking at the mechanical and physical stuff then we’re probably missing a lot.

“If we’re not having those conversations then people aren’t getting better.

“It feels good knowing people walk out of here better than when they walk in. And even better when that lasts and they maintain it.

“It’s hard work to get there but very satisfying to get that end result.

“And then to have people refer clients, that word of mouth at the end of it all reinforces that whole process, that it’s working, and that gives you tremendous satisfaction.

“We do like the Finish Line photos and it’s always a good moment, but there are little wins along the way in the overall process that keep reaffirming things.”

Lewis is a firm believer that “learning is lifelong” and is likely to undertake further formal studies in the future although at the moment he concedes it is not a very well structured process.

Lewis is a firm believer that “learning is lifelong” #performbetter @pogophysio Click To Tweet

“There are a lot of great inter-clinician experiences to be had,” he says. “I still do a lot of reading, a lot of podcast blogs in the physio and health sphere.”

Like so many of the POGO staff, running has now become a huge part of the 25-year-old’s life.

“I was never a standout runner through school, I didn’t run track,” he said. “But running is so ingrained in the culture here.

“I have only really developed a lot of that over the past 18 months.”

Lewis’s Saturdays and Sundays now routinely begin well before the sun is even peeping over the horizon as he seeks out the many trails in the Coast hinterland.

“I really enjoy getting out bush for a few hours just by myself,” he says.

“I find it a lot easier to motivate myself to do any sort of running when it’s on the trails, out in the bush with nature, it’s quiet and you can just grind away.

“It’s good stress relief and since I started trail running it has been about pushing my comfort levels more than being a good runner.”

It’s good stress relief and since I started trail running it has been about pushing my comfort levels #performbetter @pogophysio Click To Tweet

Lewis ran the Gold Coast Marathon as part of the POGO team last year and then two weeks later completed the Kokoda Challenge with a group of mates which was “a good experience”.

“I wanted to test myself further so I did the Blackall 100 in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland at the end of the year,” he said.

“It was a hot day and I felt horrible. I had a terrible stretch from 50 to 75ks, had a good spew and then ran home strong.

“I was a bit naïve. It was my first good go at that distance and I was doing a lot of things wrong. I probably hadn’t trained as well for that as I had for Kokoda.”

That experience certainly hasn’t deterred him and the UTA 100 in the Blue Mountains in May is the next big event on his calendar. That’s if he can avoid injury playing midweek soccer for Musgrave Mustangs with his university mates.

Neale Grundy

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