Before I start this month’s column I want to thank not only The American Chiropractor for allowing me this venue but, also, the many doctors who have taken time to write, call and e-mail me to thank me for my “adventures” in chiropractic. (Re: TAC, August 2006) Thank You!
One of the most frequently asked questions I get is, “How can I get involved in International Sports?”
I tell young doctors, it took me ten years to become “an overnight success.” The formula I recommend is:
• Find where you want to live.
• Invest yourself in your community by volunteering for everything.
• Become the “Go To” person in your city for youth sports programs.
• Be patient, but also be very aware that you are being watched.
By 1985, after traveling with the various judo teams for two years, I started getting a lot of calls from the managers and coaches for the women’s teams. For the next eight years, seventy percent of all the trips I took were with the women’s teams. Two events sealed this confidence in me.
In 1984, while on a trip to Austria, I was asked to help with “weigh-ins.” This is a very important event in sports that have “weight divisions.” The “official” scale determines who will or will not be able to compete because of weight restrictions. The “Official Weigh In” usually takes place the night before competition. If you’re even one ounce over the maximum, you can’t compete. The athlete is allowed several unofficial tries at making weight. Since every ounce counts, presence in the women’s weigh-in room is very restricted. One of the women referees did not show up so, as a replacement, they asked if I would be willing to help. There I was, surrounded by close to a hundred mostly naked young women standing, talking and playing around in line, waiting for their turn on the scale. I kept my eyes exactly on the center of the scale weight bar, marking down names, pass, retry or fail. Every second, I was watched like a hawk, from multiple sets of eyes, to see how I was behaving. I acted like this was something I did every day.
The second occasion took place in January 1985, while returning from a trip to Japan. We had a six-hour layover in Anchorage, Alaska. Because the Customs Office was closed, we could not leave the gate area where we had landed, waiting for our next flight at 6 A.M. Since it was after midnight, none of the shops or kiosks were open. So we had to sit by our bags and wait for our flight.
Shortly after getting settled in, I noticed several girls running back and forth from one gate area to another, looking as if they were in a complete panic. I turned to one of the women’s coaches and asked what was going on. She turned to me and said one of the girls had started her period unexpectedly and could not find any feminine products in any of the bathrooms.
I reached into my trainer’s bag and pulled out a full box of Tampons and said, “This help?”
She got the biggest smile on her face and said, “Doc, you are just too much!”
Saved the day, helped my reputation and I became known as the guy you could go to in almost any situation (not to mention the teasing I got for carrying Tampons around with me). For me it didn’t seem like such a big deal. Traveling with eighteen young athletes, two coaches, a manager and two referees, all women; there were bound to be problems.
I enjoyed traveling with the women’s teams. They were dedicated young athletes, but never forgot whom they represented and always remembered to have fun. I was very happy they trusted me and looked forward to my many trips with them.
The point of all this is: Please remember that you are being watched. Every move you make, every word you say (or more importantly don’t say), every joke, slur, salacious leer or gesture is being noted, appraised and marked down for future reference—not just the bad but the good things you do as well. Be aware of who you are, whom you represent and what the International Sports World thinks of us.
Dr. Le Beau practices at Chiropractic Industrial and Sports Center; 1365 West Vista Way, Suite 100; Vista, CA 92083. Send your questions to Dr. Le Beau, send them to him at [email protected].