Don’t Judge By Appearances

Courtesy of Joanne Dowds MISCP

Brad Pitt and I have something in common – face blindness or the official term prosopagnosia. It’s a self-diagnosis based on finding from E news and google, I find it difficult to remember people faces, particularly people I have only met a few times or haven’t seen in a long time. I don t recognise people by their faces, maybe it’s the physio in me, I much more likely to remember the way someone walks, a distinctive hand gesture or the clothes someone is wearing than their facial features. I may get a sense of familiarity but it won’t click who it is until I recognise something else about them. It means that on more than one occasion I look like a tool, I have spend time trying to figure out where I know someone from only for the individual in question to inform me we have never met they were on a TV show.  A few weeks ago, I was making small talk at a work do when someone else joined the coffee queue, as it is not unusual for me to not click who someone is straight away and they seemed to know me so I smiled and nodded along until they started to drink their coffee with the stereotypical pinkie rigidly sticking out when the penny dropped; it was someone I had lived with for years, admittedly donkeys ago but still cringeworthy.

Anyways what I am trying to say is I notice things that others don’t while am completely blind to what most people see clearly.  Gym wear can be so distinctive and help me act like a normal person,  in the pilates class it’s the girl who wears the customised slogan sweatshirts, tech heads in the most up to date acclimatising sweat reducing workout gear or the guy with in the yoga class rocking the harems pants. I recognise all of these from their posture or their gear not from their faces. I would like to think that I am not judging them based on their clothing choices but I would be fooling myself. I make judgements and I am sure they are judging my hobo chic too.

I bought a few new bits of exercise gear in the new year- good intentions etc. By that I mean leggings and trackie pants. I never buy t shirts, I pick them up from events, favourite bands, travelling, acquired from the communal laundry bin. The new lower limb gear varied in price, less than 10 euro up to a pair only justified by the substantial reduction in the sales. The lower priced pair looked good, repeating triangle shapes in black and red, lots of seams – stylish.  These bargain bin leggings fit great, I was feeling smug until the first and only mildly stretchy yoga class that they had a wear, I got a rip. A big gapping seam, right in my geometric patterned derrière.  Having a big round bum makes sitting down comfortable- I bring my personal pillows with me everywhere but I do prefer that it is kept covered in public.  God help the poor women on the mat behind me for the last few asanas, she is not going to forget me. The leggings went straight in the bin. I couldn’t even be that annoyed.  I don’t think work out gear needs to be expensive but sometimes you do get what you pay for.

For me exercise gear shopping is normally a needs based exercise.  I will spend money on runners and sports bras without a thought. The most up to date technology and engineering will sucker me into handing over serious dollars to be fully supported! The foundations are strong and stable. It is a mismash, but it keeps me comfortable, active and injury free. So judge away.

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I qualified with an Honours degree in Physiotherapy from Trinity College Dublin in 2004. Since graduating I have worked in St. James Hospital Dublin and have worked in all the areas of speciality within the hospital including cardiorespiratory, orthopaedics, rheumatology, care of the elderly, neurology, burns and plastic surgery among others . I have also completed a post graduate certificate in acupuncture in UCD 2009. The Physiotherapy Department in SJH has strong links with Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and I have supervised undergraduate and postgraduate physiotherapy students on practice placements and also delivered lectures on the undergraduate academic programme in TCD. I have a keen interest in all sports and currently plays with Cill Dara RFC 1st team squad, and Milltown GAA. I have previously worked as Physiotherapist to Co. Carlow Senior GAA Team, Milltown GAA, Leinster Junior Rugby Team and Cill Dara RFC. I am an experienced runner and competed in the Dublin City Marathon in 2002. I continue to participate in running events and multisport disciplines such as Gaelforce West, Gaelforce North and the Motivate Challenge. I have a particular interest in strength and conditioning. I utilise this knowledge of resistance training in the treatment of his clients. I am committed to continuous learning and development in order to ensure the optimal level of care is offered to my clients, and with this in mind I am currently undertaking a certification in Strength and Conditioning (CSCS) with the NSCA.

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