"The race provides an opportunity for people to reconsider, recalibrate what is, or is not possible. For that reason, I think it's really important."

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“I've been here at Spaulding for 17 years this time.  When I first came to Boston over 30 years ago for residency, I rotated at Spaulding as my first training in physical medicine rehab.  I've been working with primarily amputees, specifically on the amputee program for probably 10 or 11 years, although throughout my 30 years I’ve been working with amputees.  

 

The concept of the Bionic5k is great.  It happens during Limb Loss Awareness Month and it’s a visible way to show people with limb loss or variable mobility getting out there and doing stuff.  When I ran my first Bionic 5k in 2019, it was the first time my wife ever ran a 5k. So that was pretty exciting. To be out on the course and see some of my patients out running or walking was great. It's also really good for the staff here at Spaulding to use the event as something to aspire to.  In 2019, I went to administration and I said, ‘I want more of us to want to do this.’ We went out and got Spaulding Bionic shirts and then there was almost this internal marketing between all the different programs. People saw the bionic shirts and said, ‘Wow, that's really cool. I want one of those,’ I said, ‘Well, then, you’ve got to participate in the event.’ And of course, anything that has beer for breakfast is exciting for some. I'm a home brewer and I've actually prepared a bionic IPA to serve at this year's race. It's another incentive to step it up and run with our group.  One of my favorite photos from 2019 is the group posed together with our bionic beer. Anything we can do to feel people are part of the team and expand that team, both for patients and staff is really helpful. 

 

It's not the distance of 5k that matters. It's the idea that you set a goal and you have to train. You have to find ways to make it. And then you get the satisfaction of coming up with new goals. The ability to highlight ways that people can be active and be healthy is a good message for me as a clinician at Spaulding where we carry the torch of what it means to find your strength.  As one of my mentors, Paul Corcoran, said ‘You can't do anything you can't imagine doing.’ You’ve got to give people the cues and the interest to imagine themselves doing something beyond their comfort range. The race provides an opportunity for people to reconsider, recalibrate what is, or is not possible. For that reason, I think it's really important.”

- David, Bionic5K athlete