Did you know that 70% of SPEAR’s physical therapists have played professional or collegiate sports? One of them, Edwin Ramos, who has been a PT Tech at our 56th Street location since 2008, recently became a free agent with the NFL! While he isn’t eligible to be drafted during this week’s NFL 2014 Draft, he could join the likes of Tony Romo, Wayne Chrebet, and Wes Walker who all joined the NFL as undrafted free agents. We spoke with Edwin recently to ask him how his experience in competitive sports helps him get SPEAR patients #backtolife.
Is there anything you’ve taken from playing professional sports that helps you treat patients?
You know, I had great coaching. One of my coaches, Wayne Yearwood played in the NFL and another coach, coach Red, basically got me through my four years of football at James Madison High School. I ran track in college and picked up great things from my coaches at LIU, too.
How often do you use what you’ve learned from your coaches with your patients now?
All the time. When I’m coaching kids or coaching patients, I always motivate people to put in the work. With patients I try to find the best way to motivate them to do their home exercises regularly. Some patients come in and say they don’t want to do them, or they can’t find time, so keeping them motivated and keeping them positive is a big part of what I do. Once they understand the value of putting in the daily work, and they see the progress they make their motivation builds. If they’re doing the work at home, it shows at the gym when they come in for their next appointment, and that is always rewarding for both us and the patients.
Are there any parallels you can draw between your experiences in football to the struggles that your patients face?
Of course. I didn’t play college football. I basically took the long route to get where I needed to be. And our patients, when they begin their treatment, it’s the same for them. It’s the long route. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, but once you get there it’s completely worth it.
I love the motivational quotes you put up every morning on Instagram.
You know, I’m friends with a lot of our patients on Instagram.
Oh wow, so you’ve built long-lasting relationships with people you’ve helped?
Oh yeah. I still work out with some of them now that they’ve finished rehab.
Edwin stays in elite shape with regular grueling work outs, and is awaiting the start of the Grid Iron league next month. With the NFL draft around the corner, Edwin is excited and grateful for being able to impact the lives of New Yorkers through his positivity and motivation.