A Moment of Reflection: The Enduring Impact of a Patient’s Poem

A person standing in front of the sunrise

Dear Friends and Patients,

As I sit in my office today, surrounded by the familiar comforts of our clinic, my mind wanders back to a special moment—a heartfelt poem shared with us by a family member of one of our patients. It’s not a new piece of correspondence, but its words have stayed with me, echoing a sentiment that feels as relevant today as when I first read it.

This poem spoke to the very heart of what we strive to do here at Athletic Advantage. It wasn’t just about the physical aspect of healing, but the emotional and human connection that forms between a healer and those they care for. The poem reminded me that what we do isn’t just about treatments and techniques; it’s about understanding, empathy, and the shared journey of recovery.

There’s a particular line in the poem that often comes to mind — “With every person he helps, ripples of goodness flow outward from each and enhance the world they live in. Ripples big enough to return and embrace him in the goodness he began.” — This line, for me, encapsulates the essence of our mission. It’s a reminder that the care we provide goes beyond the physical. It’s about making a real, human connection with those who walk through our doors, understanding their struggles, and being a part of their journey to wellness.

The Healer Who Would Put Shoes on My Mother’s Feet

He sees in her tense muscles the self-sacrificing life she has journeyed.

He sees how vital her health and comfort are to her loved ones.

He knows most ails can be cured by his gentle touch.

He knows that however insignificant to him, her hair matters to her. He compliments her so he can see her smile.

What he might not know is that in her 80 years of life, she hasn’t allowed anyone to put her shoes on her since perhaps when she was a child.

As I held back tears, I wondered, what did he do to earn this honor?

He keeps a cheerful countenance because he guesses that outside of family, this might be the only interaction she has with another human soul today.

He knows that communication is a two-way street. He wants to be heard and understood so he makes every effort to hear and understand.

If she is not answering a question quickly and confidently, he does not assume slowness. He knows that it is simply because she has either not heard nor understood clearly. Instead, he speaks slowly and loudly enough to make connections.

He patiently repeats himself for the same reason, until he gets a viable response.

He actually listens after asking about her aches and pains, even though his skills and years of experience already told him where she was hurting.

He skillfully works his magic ensuring her comfort and relaxation every step along the way.

He takes his time to explain what is happening in her body, and how she can help herself heal and strengthen.

He finds inspiration, fuel, fulfillment, and rests in the peace of mind, which only comes from knowing he has helped another human being today.

Tomorrow, he will wake up looking forward to serving the next soul to whom he can bring relief, relaxation and gratitude for being in their own body again.

With every person he helps, ripples of goodness flow outward from each and enhance the world they live in. Ripples big enough to return and embrace him in the goodness he began.

The man with the humility and deep respect for elders, who shows kindness to a grandmother who always gives, is a man worthy of much respect himself. I bow in deep gratitude.

God bless this healer who would put shoes on my Mother’s feet today.

Thank you so much, Mark.


Reflecting on this poem, I’m reminded of the importance of the connections we build. It’s these connections that motivate and inspire our team daily. They remind us that our work has a lasting impact on the lives of our patients and their families.

Humility and respect are values we hold dear, and being recognized for these in the poem was both humbling and affirming. It’s a powerful reminder that in healthcare, how we treat people is just as important as the treatments we provide.

The concept of ‘ripples of goodness’ mentioned in the poem beautifully illustrates how the care we provide can extend far beyond the initial interaction. It’s a principle we aim to embody in every aspect of our practice.

As I reflect on this poem, I’m reminded why we do what we do. It’s about so much more than just physical therapy; it’s about being a part of something bigger, a community of healing and support.

I wanted to share these reflections with you, our patients and friends, because it’s your journey, your stories, and your trust that inspire us every day. If you’ve had a moment in healthcare that left a lasting impression, I encourage you to share it. Your experiences are the threads that weave our community together.

With warm regards,

Mark Read

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