As an Olympic legend and a cancer survivor, AMTA 2015 National Convention keynote speaker Scott Hamilton is a constant reminder that with fortitude and determination, anything is possible.
Get to know Scott, and read the full interivew in Massage Therapy Journal (mtj).
Did you use massage therapy as a professional athlete?
Scott: When I was skating, I had an amazing massage therapist that I know added three years to my career. He was a genius at getting my body to move properly and he was also great at getting my ankles to operate normally after the pounding I gave them every night.
How did massage therapy enhance your athletic performance?
Scott: Strained muscles, injuries, and general soreness can interrupt normal training which can put you behind your competitors. It also helps prevent injuries to know that your body is moving the way it’s supposed to. If you limp because of a bad ankle, the imbalance will work it’s way up to your knee, then hips, then back. Your body is an amazing instrument. It needs to be “in tune” to operate at it’s highest level.
What are some of the biggest life challenges you’ve faced?
Scott: Being ill as a child, in and out of hospitals is the first one that comes to mind. But that would be what made everything else in my life possible. Other huge challenges were: Being the littlest kid in school. Choosing figure skating as my sport (the teasing was endless). Losing my mother to cancer at age 18. Being diagnosed with cancer 20 years later. Two brain tumors, one treated with radiation and the other treated with surgery. And, according to Art Linkletter, growing bald publicly.
What words of encouragement would you give to people facing their own personal or professional challenges?
Scott: You will never regret the work it takes to be at your best. Never let anyone steal your joy or enthusiasm. Don’t be afraid to dream something with an “open hand” and an “open mind”.