I am very excited to be writing you with some good news for a change. We are daily faced with insurance denials, prior authorizations, documentation issues, poor patient compliance, and individuals with lack of concern for themselves seeking medical care, and this can be very discouraging and often causes us frustration and even the feeling of wanting to throw our hands up and walk away from medicine. If you are like me, you genuinely want to help people ‘be better’, but are constantly running into obstacles.
I graduated with my Masters in Nursing 6 years ago and although I had the knowledge to run out into the world and ‘help people’, I was never prepared for what it truly takes to HELP people live better, happier, healthier lives. I was down with the latest and greatest medications, therapies, supplies, you name it. I worked hard and poured myself into trying to ‘fix’ health problems and ‘make’ healthier people, but there was still a missing piece to helping people change and live healthier. About 5 years ago I was introduced to CrossFit – this was a style of working out like none I had seen or done before. I was challenged, did not get bored, and could be done with my workout sometimes in 15 minutes (just what I needed in my overextended life). Soon after adopting this into my own life, I realized I needed to be sharing this style of fitness with my family and my patients. Luckily, my husband felt the same way. We felt so strongly about how this could help our community that we went as far as opening up our own CrossFit gym.
Fellow providers, I cannot even begin to explain and tell you about the greatness coming out of this CrossFit Community. You may have heard of CrossFit and there are many who have a pretty negative outlook on the style of fitness for different reasons. Some even advise their patients to not do CrossFit or to stop doing it after reporting various complaints or injuries. You may have treated or heard of injuries from CrossFit participants, you may have seen videos or pictures of participants doing crazy things like handstand walks or rope climbs, or maybe even heard of someone getting rhabdo from a workout. However, what you are not hearing and seeing are the daily success stories of weight loss, reduced A1C’s, better cholesterol, grandparents able to play with their grandkids at the park and even expedited recovery from injuries or surgeries. (and I know you are not seeing this because I was not seeing this either until accidentally stumbling into CrossFit).
I have researched the path to change in depth, both in literature and in my own patients over the past 5 years, and my fellow colleague, the bottom line is ACCOUNTABILITY is key. Find a fitness program that offers accountability for your patients and you will find an answer to one of your long-awaited questions of ‘how do I get people to change and take more investment in their health’. I encourage you to check out CrossFit and I do not mean by reading and googling CrossFit, but walk into a local box, or talk to a few of the coaches or members about how it has changed their lives, or even better attend a class for yourself. Look at your patients’ labs and statistics that ARE doing CrossFit. I also encourage you to not be so quick to blame CrossFit for injuries, but consider it a means to rehab and strengthening to prevent injuries. I speak all this out of truth and experience, and encourage you to save yourself some time and frustration, check out CrossFit and what it can do for yourself, your family, your community and your patients.
Julie Styles, MSN, APRN-CNP, WHNP-BC
Co-Owner, Nutrition Coach, CrossFit L1 Trainer at CrossFit West of the River