Ep. 86 Chaser – Nick Balenger – APTA NEXT Conf Keynote Speaker

Balenger--life changing

In this episode, Jimmy chats in the backyard with 2016 NEXT Conference Keynote Speaker Nick Balenger (@NickBal05). Nick responsibly enjoys a lemonade, while Jimmy enjoys a SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale.

Right-handed relief pitcher for Lake Braddock Secondary School and member of the 2012 Virginia State Baseball Championship team, Nick Balenger is a senior at George Mason University studying Global Affairs. He is an avid Nationals and Redskins fan, and likes golfing, fishing, driving a truck, and good food. Nick is currently an intern at the State Department in Washington, DC, and has more recently picked up public speaking as well. He was the recipient of the 2014 Victory Award, and the keynote speaker at this year’s APTA NEXT Conference.

Before getting to the highlights, mark your calendar for July 31st to hop on twitter and wish Nick (@NickBal05) a happy 21st birthday!

Now for the highlights:

  • The basic rundown on the melting pot that is Global Affairs (2:57)
  • NEXT 2016 experience in Nashville during the CMAs (3:43)
  • Great people and the obligatory opportunity to share a story (5:12)
  • Step out of your comfort zone and learn as you go – lessons that began with two Craigslist ads and a first year #DPTstudent (8:25)
    • Shout out to David Fathalikhani (@doc_fath11)
      • Research plug: interested in dry needling for baseball players? Reach out to this guy right here!
  • Nick’s story – from C4-C5 SCI to walking at graduation (13:53)
  • What makes a good PT? (17:46)
    • Empathy without taking bullshit
    • Being in tune with the patient’s goals
    • Shout out to:
      • Lauren Russell, DPT the catalyst that catapulted Nick to where he is
      • Katie Sewer, DPT who stayed after to play catch
  • It really takes other people to push you (23:45)
  • Work at the George Mason Rehabilitation Science Program exploring the frontiers of the neuro world (25:08)
  • Not quite Jason Bourne on the roof, but still learning a lot as an intern (26:51)
    • Bonus: look out for Jimmy’s Eminem story in a future episode!
  • Being the guinea pig before the cage and wheel, and the development of an expanding research project (30:50)
    • Shout out to Dr. Suzanne Groah, MD, MSPH
  • The MedStar Gala Victory Award – “to honor individuals who best exemplify exceptional strength and courage in the face of physical adversity” (33:39)
  • Highlighting the patients’ story at NEXT and on previous episodes (35:17)
  • “It really takes a lot of adversity to bring out the best in us” (41:52)
  • The next Malcolm Gladwell? (@Gladwell) (43:35)
  • #PartingShots: (45:42)
    • Step out of your comfort zone
    • There’s a light at the end of the tunnel of PT school
    • PT’s are unsung heroes
    • #FuckTheBook and write your own script
    • Make it personal
    • Empathy, but don’t feel sorry

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