OCT
14

OT Continuing Education (New Mexico Edition)

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NM OT OTA

New Mexico Occupational Therapists and OT Assistants have an approaching CE deadline of September 30th. According to the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing twenty (20) hours of OT continuing education must be completed during the annual renewal period. Practitioners may carry over up to sixteen (16) hours into the next renewal period beginning October 1st. Ten (10) hours may be completed with online CE courses. 

As an AOTA Approved Provider (7487), Milestone CE is approved to provide continuing education courses for New Mexico OTs and OTAs. Start preparing to fulfill your annual CE requirement by reviewing our extensive course catalog, featuring over 690 hours of online or mail order courses under categories like: Movement System Impairment Syndromes, Imaging in Rehabilitation, Geriatric Rehabilitation, and Orthopedic Physical Therapy. Additionally, all Milestone CE courses are designed with the most recent information available in your field. You'll never find a stale subject here! 

At Milestone CE, we know that the occupational therapy motto is "Living Life to Its Fullest," and we believe that not only includes your patients, but you as well! We also know that completing your OT continuing education requirements take precious time out of your already busy schedule, so we pride ourselves in providing our hardworking OTs and OTAs with affordable, top of the line CEUs that deliver the information and training to hone your practicing skills, and enhance your career. Our continuing education is designed to help OTs and OTAs to:

•  Function efficiently in their work environment

•  Improve overall knowledge of the latest studies and practice methods in the OT realm

•  Develop and hone OT training skills and techniques 

•  Add to their arsenal of effective therapeutic approaches 

Your 20 hours of occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant continuing education requirement will be due before you know it! With the remaining time you have to complete your CEUs, we hope you will consider Milestone your number one source for OT continuing education. Milestone CE is on the way to becoming a top provider of occupational therapy CE in the continuing education industry, and has developed online course work to help you achieve the training goals you need to meet for recertification. At Milestone, you can complete your CE requirement with one easy purchase,, and eliminate the stress and expense of attending occupational therapy seminars! 

AOTA Approved Provider

Contact us and talk with our knowledgeable CE Specialists to find out how you can benefit from our courses. To learn more about what it means to be an AOTA Approved provider of occupational therapy continuing education, please visit the American Occupational Therapy Association website.


OCT
10

October CE Deadline Roundup

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Milestone Continuing EducationWe're running a little late on our deadline reviews for the month of October, and just in case you're running a little late purchasing CEU courses for the renewal period, click on your state and it will take you directly to the Course Catalog (or if you don't see your state and profession below, click on the Course Catalog link!). Opt for online CE, select your course titles, and get started immediately with this easy downloadable option. What are you waiting for? Time is ticking away!

Physical Therapy:   

Occupational Therapy: 

Massage Therapy: 

And of course, we can't forget about those license number or birthday-based deadlines. You know who you are... And if you want to get to know us better, check out our FAQ Section or give us a call at 1-800-709-8820


OCT
3

Massage Therapists: More Than Magic Hands

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Milestone Continuing Education for Licensed Massage Therapists

A huge challenge to your job is people don’t understand all your profession has to offer. Too many people think of massage therapists as people who rub backs and relieve tension…period. Your job is to teach them the scope of your practice and stress the fact that you are a trained professional. People always want to know what they are going to gain from a service. So be sure they know exactly how your sessions can help them with their specific problem.

Information Please:

A simple sheet that explains the different types of therapies you offer might help. Mention the services people don’t usually think of when they think massage therapy. Always answer the client’s unasked questions of: who, what, when, where, why, and how. Once people have all the answers, they are better prepared to commit to a plan. A massage therapist is not usually the first person a client thinks of to help them reduce pain and increase function. But that’s all part of your training. Educate the public.

Why Massage Therapy?:

  • Feeling Better: often people just aren’t feeling as well as usual…  and hope you can make them feel better
  • Pain: is a reason people might seek your service
  • ROM: improved function is another goal
  • Clients need to know that you can meet their needs and get them to where they want to be.

Prevention: Part of your goal will be to educate consumers that your service can help with present problems. But another part of that goal might be to prevent future problems. Prevention treatments will help your clients and give you a steady stream of repeat business.

Where to Look for New clients? If referrals aren’t keeping you busy enough…try more marketing. Massage therapists need to constantly promote their business. Reach out to your neighbors and offer your services. You could give a short talk with a brief demonstration at local venues. Look locally for potential clients to avoid internet scams.

·  Gyms/ fitness centers have customers who might need your expertise.

·  Health care centers and offices have patients who might benefit from what you do.

·  Senior Centers welcome speakers. Become one while providing  information about what you offer. Many senior centers offer sponsorships for a reasonable fee. A sponsor usually gets access to the seniors, advertisements in the monthly schedule, and space in the senior center to leave information.

·  Don’t overlook churches and synagogues. These institutions are  interested in the health and welfare of the members. They often  have a health information center where members look for  available resources when the need arises. Make sure that your information is there.

·  Local business associations offer opportunities for business owners to share their information. 

·  Cancer centers are open to various avenues of pain and stress relief.

Brochure/ Information Sheet:

A simple brochure or information sheet is a great advertising tool. You can easily make either item inexpensively by using a computer and  printer. You can produce professional looking items for minimal expense. The massage therapists I know, all work with small budgets. Be sure to cover all the pertinent information and answer those unasked questions. And it sounds basic, but you would not believe how many people forget to include these: name of the business, their name, address, phone, email, and website. You can also make your own business cards. Having one with your photo on it helps clients recognize you instantly. Photos also help clients feel connected.

Word of Mouth:

Once you get the word out there, the word of mouth should take over. That is the best advertisement there is--a personal recommendation from someone who says you are good at what you do. Positive experiences are usually shared with friends and neighbors. Get more locals to come in and more locals will follow.

Examples:

Give examples of cases where you helped, especially the difficult cases (obviously, you would not break customer confidentiality). However, you are free to say something like, “Some people had ____ but when we finished therapy they had/did ____." Keep it general and the  client will not be recognized. Show people that they can reach their goals with your help. Show them that other clients were even worse off but they improved. That gives people hope and encouragement. Educate, heal, and improve your clients. Your future is in your hands.

SEP
26

Maryland Message Therapy CE

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NCBTMB Massage Therapy Continuing Education CoursesThe Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene updated the continuing education requirements for massage therapists back in January 2014. This post will review those changes and summarize the CE requirements for current and new licensees. For comprehensive rules and regulations for massage therapy continuing education, please visit the Maryland Board website: www.MDmassage.org. If you are a new licensee to the profession (in practice for less than one year), you are exempt for the CE course requirement portion of the renewal process, although you will still be required to complete the other steps related to license renewal outside of getting your CEU credits. 

The previously mentioned changes to the continuing education requirements will apply during this upcoming biennial renewal period, ending on October 31, 2014. However, please note that all continuing education courses must be completed no later than October 30th! Licensees who have been in practice for a year or more will be required to complete a total of 24 hours of continuing education which the Board has broken up into the following specifications: 3 hours of ethics and jurisprudence; 3 hours of communicable disease (HIV/AIDS) education; 1 hour from cultural/diversity competency; and the remaining 17 hours from Board-approved CE courses focused on topics related directly to the practice of massage therapy.

Your CE credits can be obtained by attending live seminars or opting for home study and/or online courses. The only limitation related to the format of your CE courses pertains to local, regional or national conferences. Only up to 12 hours can be obtained from those events during the biennial renewal period. Board accepted CE companies are accredited (considered pre-approved by the MD Board) if they are also approved to offer LMT CE courses by organizations like the American Massage Therapy Association, Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation, or the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. If you opt to take CE courses at a state accredited university or college, or receive credit from the U.S. Military Commands, these are also accepted by the Maryland Board and will count toward your overall CE requirement. 

Choosing a CE provider can be tricky, even with the long list of accepted pre-approved options. But if you've found your way to this blog post, then you're on the right track! As a NCBTMB Approved Provider (#491), Milestone Continuing Education is  the perfect choice for completing your 17 hours of core CE coursework. Currently offering over 85 hours of online CE credits with course titles like "Integrated Sports Massage Therapy" and "Deep Tissue Massage Treatment" among others, our professionally relevant and affordable courses are designed for your convenience and professional development. Choose your courses in mail order format, or for instant access, choose online (PDF) format, download to your tablet device and get started on your requirement immediately after purchase. And don't forget to purchase your course modules in a "Bundle Pack" to save even more! Visit the Course Catalog and get started today! 

Have questions? We've got answers! E-mail info@MilestoneCE.com or call 1-800-709-8820 to speak with a friendly CE Specialist today. 

SEP
22

Geriatric Occupational Rehabilitation

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Occupational Therapy Geriatric PatientsThe number of older people is increasing daily and OTs need to be ready to treat them.  Geriatric rehab patients/clients require a different approach than the younger set. First of all, these people usually do not see the need for occupational therapy because they are retired. They see an occupation as a livelihood—NOT an activity. Therefore, your first step will be to clarify what OT is all about.

Next, you must get the senior to understand why occupational therapy is necessary and how  it will benefit him/her. You are “selling” the senior on doing therapy; so act like a salesperson. Customers want to know the WIIFM factor. That is…what’s in it for me?

You’ll need to stress the positive outcomes as well as the negative of what will happen if they don’t do the therapy. “Your life will be a lot harder than it needs to be, if you choose not to do therapy,” always worked for me.

Make it seem as if they are making the choice. It’s similar to dealing with children by saying, “Do you want to wear your blue coat or your red coat?” The bottom line is…the child will be wearing a coat. Offering controlled choices can lead your elderly patient/client into occupational therapy.

As a rehab nurse, it was my job to get patients to do their range of motion exercises each evening. The stretching hurt, so people didn’t want to comply. When I explained it was their choice if they wanted a normal looking limb or not-- they always did their ROMs.   

Sometimes geriatric patients/clients think that occupational therapy is a waste of time. I often heard the complaint, “They tried to make me to do things a kindergartner would do!” That was followed by, “I wouldn’t do it.”

If that senior citizen understood that putting pegs into holes on a board would ultimately help him regain the function in his weak arm, he probably would have done it. 

Show and Tell

Show the geriatric person the goal and explain how you plan to help them reach it. Some forgetfulness is a natural part of aging. So, writing it down helps to provide a visual reminder of how and when to do the activity, as well as why the person should put in the effort.

Problems, Problems

Focus on your goal--to get the senior to do what you need him/her to do. Meeting that goal will lead the patient/client to improve as much and as fast as possible. Avoid focusing only on the issue you are there to treat. Look at the whole picture.

Normal aging with decreased visual acuity, decreased stamina, forgetfulness, and decreased motor function all need to be taken into account.

Most geriatric people have more than one problem. The senior might have general deterioration from aging as well as some chronic health issues. And now, that senior has another problem that requires OT.

Pain

Say the senior already had arthritis and now has a stroke…that could double the amount of pain that person usually tolerates. Monitor each person carefully to be sure there is adequate pain control. A person in pain is NOT going to do much therapy. Determine the pain source and treat it accordingly. Try ice, heat, massage, manipulation, topical treatments, oral pain medication, or whatever you think will help make your session most effective.

Most patients I treated did not want to take oral pain medicine regularly. They worried about “getting the habit.” It took time and effort to educate them before they understood that taking pain medicine before therapy would help them to function better and get home faster. After they finally understood…they took it because they knew it was in their best interest.

Motivation

Motivation is not a strong skill in the elderly. They complain, “I’m tired and retired. “ Convince the patient/client that it will benefit him or her to do OT.

The geriatric mind set is different from that of younger people. Older people usually worked hard all their lives. They typically want to “follow the rules’ and don’t want to be seen as a “troublemaker.” Use that to your advantage. Explain what you need them to do. Then tell how and why they should do it.

Motivate seniors with constant praise. Also, remind them of the benefits they will earn by working hard. That way you will both be doing your best!

SEP
17

The Circle of Care: Working Together

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PT, OT, AT, CSCS, CPT, MT, DC

While Certified Personal Trainers do design fitness plans and encourage clients to “Drop and give me 20” they also work in concert with a client’s other medical professionals.  These professionals may include physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists and athletic trainers.  Collaborating in tandem gives a client the most complete circle of care. 

If a client is experiencing serious health issues such as heart disease or extreme obesity, Certified Personal Trainers can work with the client’s primary physician to develop programming, avoid contraindicated activity and cooperatively assess the best course of action for the client.  Physicians can provide trainers with a complete list of prescribed medications and discuss activities that should be encouraged or avoided.  

Clients with postural alignment or impingement issues may have an ongoing relationship with a chiropractor.  Throughout their careers, Chiropractors are required to complete PACE approved continuing education courses.  Similar to a collaboration with a physician, Certified Personal Trainers and Chiropractors can work together to design a program that complements (rather than impedes) the chiropractic plan.

Massage Therapists specialize in relieving muscle tension and alleviating discomfort.  A client may have a predisposition for a posture or behavior that causes tight muscles.  Certified Personal trainers and Massage Therapists can join forces to provide an even higher level of care for the client.  Trainers can integrate corrective exercises into the workout program and massage therapists can concentrate on keeping muscles loose. 

Post injury or surgery, rehabilitation or physical therapy is usually necessary.  Out of all the collaborations discussed, this is possibly the most critical.  Physical therapists will design a comprehensive recovery plan for their patient and Certified Personal Trainers must intimately understand that program in order to further the progress rather than hinder it.  The nature of the recovery will dictate how much exercise as well as what type of exercise is permissible.  A complete training program will include all major muscle groups but based on the client’s issues and current physical therapy plan, the trainer may need to skip certain muscle groups.  Once physical therapy is finished, the personal trainer may implement therapy-specific exercises or stretches into the training program to further benefit the client. 

Guided by physicians, athletic trainers work with a large variety of clients in hospitals, schools and industrial environments.  Serving as an intermediary between a physician and physical therapist, athletic trainers administer medicine/first aid, conduct injury appraisals and teach preventative care.  Athletic trainers must complete continuing education courses in order to stay current in their fields.  Often, athletic trainers work with sports teams to provide on-site care, assessments and nutritional direction.  Athletic trainers and Certified Personal Trainers can team up to either integrate sport-specific exercises into a training program or avoid over-training of specific muscles. 

Clearly, cooperative medical relationships can significantly elevate the level of client care.  However, do not initiate medical relationships without the consent of the client and a signed Release of Information form.  The Release of Information form protects you in the event the client decides to pursue legal action.   

SEP
10

Motivating Your Clients

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Motivating Clients for Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists

You will never get people to reach their potential until they are motivated to do so. Everyone knows that motivation has peaks and valleys. However, it is your responsibility to stimulate motivation in patients/clients, so they can reach their desired goal. 

The main way to do this is to ASK each patient/client what goal he (or she) has in mind. Then explain exactly how that goal can be reached.

 Patients/clients who have suffered a life changing injury, may have to go through the stages of grief before accepting a hard fact…such as they will never walk again.  If the goal is totally unreasonable, tactfully direct the person to a realistic goal. For example: if a person with a severed spinal cord says, “My goal is to walk my daughter down the aisle at her wedding next month.” I suggest you tactfully tell him that it is not a realistic goal. But offer an option that IS doable. Something like, “Let’s concentrate on building up your strength so you will be able to attend the wedding and the reception.”

Remember what the patient/client wants and make sure goals meet the SMART criteria. A SMART goal is:

  • Specific
  • Measurable (you will be able to walk X number of feet)
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timed (by July you will be…)


Written goals are more concrete; they motivate people. The person can see exactly where he (or she) is going. I’ve had success motivating people by telling stories or showing them pictures of other s who have overcome the same obstacles…or worse. It is hard for a person to wallow in self- pity because of an arm injury after hearing about a soldier who lost both of his arms in an active combat scenario. And when they learn that the ex-soldier now shovels the snow off his walk…it blows away excuses for NOT doing more. A person can hardly feel sorry for himself after hearing something like that. The person learns that no one is hopeless.


One patient became despondent after his leg was mangled. He wasn’t even trying to improve. I brought in a journal article that included a before and after picture of someone who had an even worse injury. He said, “You mean my leg can actually look almost normal and move again?” Whenever a person learns that something is possible, he (or she) is more likely to work towards a goal that seemed impossible before.

When I worked in one Rehabilitation Hospital, most of my patients were quadriplegics, paraplegics, and hemiplegics. The doctors and therapists asked our “old” patients to come back to talk to the newly traumatized ones. It gave encouragement to the newly injured. The newbies asked the “old pros” things they would never ask a professional. Issues like: catheters, bowel function, and sex were discussed candidly. Seeing people who were working, going to college, dating, and raising families while in a wheelchair, inspired them. It motivated them to do more than they had been doing. It gave them new hope. Even if life would never be “normal” again…they understood that life was still worth living. Eventually, they developed a new normal. 

That’s where you come in. Show the patients/ clients what their new normal will look like. Then show them how to achieve it. Motivate people by showing them what they will get from all their hard work. Nothing is more frustrating than failing at something when you are trying your best. Yet that is exactly what happens when someone is recovering. So encourage people to keep trying. Be sure to break the goals down into manageable tasks and praise all efforts. It will be your job to routinely review the goals and the progress. Remind people they can reach their goals IF they continue to work at it. Then do your best to keep your patient/client moving forward.


SEP
4

Working Out at Home: What Do I Need?

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Certified Personal Trainer Home Equipment Advice

While gyms are one-stop-shopping for just about any type of workout, there isn’t always enough time in the day to make it there.  If you find yourself short on time for exercise or if you prefer to exercise at home, here are the best at-home workout items. 

1.  Yoga or exercise mat – Sometimes the carpet isn’t clean but that shouldn’t be a reason to miss a little core work.  Slippery floors can make certain exercises (like lunges) dangerous because of sliding.  Alternatively, you may need a little extra padding during supine abdominal exercises or stretching.

2.  Exercise ball – Fitness balls have declined in popularity but they’re still a great inexpensive item to have at home.  Choose a ball that is appropriate for your height.  You should be able to sit on the ball with your knees at a 90-degree angle.  Use your exercise ball for lunges against a wall, lower back support during crunches or overhead reaches.   

3.  Balance Trainer – While these are a bit on the expensive side, they’re relatively small and easy to store.  The purpose of a balance trainer to add instability to exercise in order to recruit more muscles.  Hands down, the most versatile balance trainer is the BOSU ball.  You can use it ball side up or down.  If you have knee or ankle stability issues, the Step 360 may be a better choice.  The flat surface of the Step 360 prevents torqueing of the knee or ankle.  Either can increase instability during upper or lower body exercises. 

4.  Resistance Bands – Light weight and easy to store, resistance bands are an excellent choice for an at-home strength training workout.  Typically, different colors indicate different levels of resistance.  Color codes may vary between brands.  Use them for both upper body and lower body workouts.  Never miss a workout when you’re traveling! 

5.  Hula Hoops – When your child is at school, take her hula-hoop for a spin.  Although they are technically a toy, they’re actually great exercise.  Hula hooping gets the heart rate up and is an excellent way to strengthen the core and hips flexors.  Don’t fret if it’s not as easy as it once was – it does take a little practice.  Search online for videos and how-to’s.   

6.  A Step – Steps are another relatively inexpensive piece of equipment and they’re multi-functional.  Depending on the length of your step, it can double as a weight bench.  Use them to add different levels to lunges and squats.  Step aerobics are also a fantastic cardio workout. 

7.  Gliding Discs – Gliding discs add another dimension of instability to leg work and core work.  Use them to up the ante and challenge yourself.  Pro tip: Instead of splurging on “official” discs, opt for the furniture moving discs – they have the same purpose, work just as well and usually cost less.  Additionally, you can use folded towels on tile or wood floors. 

8.  Foam Rollers – Unless you live with your massage therapist, there will be days when your muscles need intervention and a massage isn’t possible.  A foam roller is the next best thing.  Utilizing a similar technique as a massage therapist, foam rolling involves myofascial release.  You use your own body weight to find the knots and roll them out.  Foam rollers differ in hardness and if you’re new to foam rolling, start with a softer version. 

Fitness equipment doesn’t have to be expensive or bulky to be effective.  With just a few items, you can have an arsenal of items for home workouts.  Don’t forget DVD or online exercise videos too! 


AUG
27

PT Continuing Education (Illinois Edition)

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Illinois Physical Therapy Continuing Education CE Courses at MilestoneIt's not only "back to school" time for students, it's also time for Illinois physical therapists to start thinking about their education too - their continuing education, that is! This post will review the key points for the renewal process for physical therapists because Illinois PT assistants are not up for renewal until next year on September 30, 2015. For a quick refresher, physical therapy assistants are expected to complete a total of 20 hours of CE by the renewal deadline, 10 of which may come from online CE courses and 10 that must come from live courses.  

For even more specifics and details, review Section 1340.61 (Continuing Education) in the Illinois Administrative Code. And don't worry if you haven't purchased your online courses yet, because Milestone CE has got you covered there!  

With an approaching deadline of September 30th, PTs in Illinois will need to complete 40 hours of continuing education in order to qualify for renewal. The state rules allow for 20 of those hours to come from online sources like Milestone Continuing Education, but the remaining 20 hours must come from physical therapy seminars, live courses, conferences, university classes, etc. According to the rules, 50 minutes is the literal clock time for 1 CE hour. After the practitioner completes the first CE hour (remember, that's only 50 minutes by the clock), a full CE credit will be awarded for half hour increments (See Section 1340.61 [a]4). 

The rules weigh live courses differently, depending on the activity itself. For example, CE credits coming from a semester's worth of university courses will be weighed as 15 CE credit hours. If the practitioner takes college or university courses for CE credit for a quarter of a semester, then they would receive recognition for 10 completed CE hours. Be sure to review the rules governing credits for live courses so you can calculate your credit hours accurately (yes, I'm talking to you!).  

Now about those online courses. If you've finished up the live seminar/PT conference portion of the renewal requirement and want to complete your remaining CE hours with self-paced home study courses, then you've come to the right place. Milestone provides high impact continuing education courses for physical therapists and physical therapy assistants licensed in Illinois and 29 other states - review our State Approvals here. With over 1,000 hours to choose from, and customizable CEU Bundle Packs which allow you to combine modules at a discounted rate, you can be sure you will be receiving the latest information in your field in convenient mail order or downloadable PDF format without sacrificing a variety of course content! Opting for the latter (online courses) allows you to instantly access your course materials on your office, home computer, or tablet device. The choice is yours! Click here to get started today!

Visit our FAQ section to learn more about Milestone, or contact a knowledgeable CE Specialist at 1-800-709-8820 or via e-mail at info@MilestoneCE.com to get your questions answered!  


AUG
22

MCE Fitness Challenge Updates!

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It's been exactly one month since we announced our office fitness challenge, so we thought it was time to share some updates from some of our participating staff members. Your fitness tips, advice, and stories are welcome! Just leave your comments down below or on our Facebook Page in the comments section announcing this post. Ready? Set... Here we go!

Kellene - Fitness Goal: Run a full marathon 

The avid runner in our office, Kellene has been diligently training in preparation to enter her first marathon in the fall or winter. She's been so diligent, in fact, that she's kept her "missed opportunity" money out of the collection jar (What? Money? Huh? Read more about that here). She has been following the guidelines from the Higdon Novice 1 Training Program to help her get ready for her race. Which race you ask? She's not sure yet, but take a look at the list below to see the ones she has her eyes on.

Kellene's Picks for Fall Marathons - 

  • Rock 'n' Roll Savannah Marathon
  • Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Marathon 
  • Ft. Myers Beach Marathon
  • Santa Barbara International Marathon
  • Pensacola Marathon

Kellene's Picks for Winter Marathons - 

  • Hilton Head Marathon
  • Gulf Winds Track Club Tallahassee Marathon
  • Catalina Island Marathon 

Lindsey - Fitness Goal: Lead Rope Certification 

If you haven't read our previous MCE Fitness Challenge post, then you may not know exactly what this means.  There are many forms of rock climbing, but the main three that are found in most indoor rock climbing gyms are: bouldering; top roping; and lead roping. This type of climbing requires a pre-established and demonstrable skillset in order to qualify the climber for certification. At minimum the climber must be able to "send" (that means complete in "rock climber-speak") a lower-advanced route without making a mistake. I have tackled a few advanced routes in the last month, but I haven't completed one without making a mistake yet. Only time, diligence, and hard work will tell if I make my goal of lead rope certification by the end of summer. It's going to be a close call! 

So tell us, have you initiated an office fitness challenge where you work? Are you participating on your own with us? We want to know! Use the hashtag #MCEfitnessChallenge in your social media posts so we can see how you're doing! More announcements are to come, so stay tuned.