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  • Writer's pictureShannon Cobb

Tiger Woods and a Leaky Bucket

A few weekends ago I took some time to check out the PNC Pro-Am Golf Tournament. You may have seen it in the news. The big draw was to see Tiger Woods play with his 12 year old son.

The reason that I was interested was that Tiger was involved in a car accident that resulted in a very traumatic injury to his lower leg. So serious, that his medical team had to seriously consider amputating the limb.

However, he went through surgery (with pins and screws) , a hospital stay and has been through rehabilitation since the injury last February. His level of play was truly remarkable! And, while I do believe that the care he received after the accident has a great deal to do with his recovery, I also know that his level of physical fitness prior to the accident also plays a huge role.

It made me think how important our resilience is to best handle whatever comes our way.

Resilience can be defined as the capacity to quickly recover from difficulties. We frequently find ourselves working with folks who have allowed their level of resilience to dwindle such that, when they hit a “difficulty”- a stroke, an illness that lands them in the hospital, a fall and broken bone- they lack the resilience to “quickly recover”.

I always look at resilience like a bucket with a hole in the bottom of it. In our youth, the bucket is brimming with water. As we age, there are some natural things that happen to drain our resilience out of that hole in the bucket. One thing is a loss of strength, the other is a loss of cardiorespiratory capacity. If we don’t do something to “add to the bucket” the level of water can drop to a level where very little resilience remains. When there is little resilience, having some episode can set a person way back.

The wonderful thing is we can do things to specifically “add back to the bucket” to maintain that resilience. Strength training and exercise to build or maintain cardiorespiratory capacity are the key ways we work to help our clients maintain resilience.

What is extremely challenging for us is when we are working with our Physical Therapy clients after a “difficulty” and they have little or no reserve of strength or endurance. We can definitely work with folks to get back to where they were. But it is difficult and time consuming and takes a great deal of effort. And the older you are the more difficult it is.

That is why our focus going into the new year is building resilience in the folks we serve. Be on the look out for simple things you can do for yourself to build resilience.

If you are interested in our Senior Fitness assessment to learn where you are with your “Resilience level” call us at 864-203-3883 or email at to get yours scheduled. We will perform some simple tests of your strength, balance, flexibility and function so you can see how prepared you are to quickly recover from a difficulty.

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