Our Barefooter Kate Mendel loves her rock climbing.
Kayaking – recreational paddling from a Physio’s perspective
Daniel is an extremely active athlete, playing rugby, enjoying swimming and hiking. Now his education and talents take him for a Canadian Adventure, where he is looking forward to both Summer and Winters so he can pursue all of his loves.
When you first came in, you were big into rugby and have since been filling your time with other activities – what would a regular week look like for you?
I like to try and do something on most days through the week. Lately rock climbing has filled the void of rugby and i like to go a couple of times a week. Through the rest of the week I try and do two strength sessions and then either a run or a swim. I do prefer swimming though, especially during the warmer months
You have now graduated from uni and are working full time – give us a bit of a background on your studies and the change over to full time work.
I’ve have just finished studying civil and construction engineering and was lucky enough to get a job through my final two years of uni working 3-4 times a week and taking the odd day off here and there when I needed to. This definitely helped to moving over to full time work and I do much of the same work but i get free afternoons to relax.
We’ve chatted lots about what is next – a Canadian Adventure! Tell us a bit about where you are going and what brought you to buy the one way ticket!
I always wanted to try a working holiday or student exchange to experience something different and always found Canada appealing from photos and stories from my friends and family. The hardest part about going was actually picking a place to live but I will be staying in Banff mainly due to the the range of ski resorts through the winter and the appeal of hiking and the national parks in the summer. Really looking forward to a Canadian Adventure.
Daniel has been a Barefooter for quite some time. Enjoying what Physiotherapy can offer in relation to ‘tune-ups’ and keeping his body performing at his Peak. If you would like to benefit from a tailored Physiotherapy Plan to support your body and your sport, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. More details can be found HERE.
We love hearing from our Barefooters and the incredibly cool things they do in their lives. It makes what we do so much more enjoyable (and entertaining!). Jason is a great example of someone who really leans in to life and enjoys all aspects. Read on for all about Brisbane’s dance scene – Jason is a great person to ask all about it and some fun facts about him!
Jason you are a very committed dancer – what type of dance to you do? Tell us about it (what made you choose to dance, what you love about it)
I dance a number of different street Latin dance styles primarily Salsa, Cha Cha Cha and Bachata. My favourite dance style is Salsa. Street Latin is quite different to what you would probably imagine when you think of Latin or ballroom and see on TV shows like Dancing with the Stars.
I’ve always been interested in dance but never actually took any classes until my brother asked me to come to a free “come and try” salsa class when I was about 25. I was instantly hooked and quite quickly went from dancing once a week to five or six nights a week in only a few short months.
Dancing has so many positive aspects about it. For starters, it is a very social activity as it is a couple dance so you get to meet many interesting people. At the same time, you are exercising and getting a work out but it doesn’t feel like a hard core gym session!!
No matter where you go in the world you can always find a club, social event, class or other dance event on that will allow you to get out and about and meet new people in different countries. I’ve danced throughout Australia and New Zealand as well as been lucky enough to have travelled to USA and a number of other countries through Europe on organised dance tours.
We often see people dancing in the square in Brisbane City – is that ever you? Does Brisbane have a good dancing community?
Yes, Brisbane Square is one of the events that I attend from time to time. This event in particular is really good, due to it being outdoors and visible to the public. It attracts a big crowd every week and also exposes non-dancers to the Brisbane dance scene. The Brisbane dance community is still relatively small but it has grown significantly in the last few years. In fact, you can go out and social dance or take classes almost every night of the week now, something which was not possible a few years ago.
Some other great regular dance events are Thursday nights at Cloudland which has a live Salsa band, and Sunday nights at Jade Budda. In addition, there are plenty of other events organised by dance schools and passionate individuals which change from week to week.
The Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast scenes are also really growing at the moment, and there is a lot of travel between these locations for classes and social dance nights.
During the week you help run your family business – what type of work do you do and what’s it like working as a family?
We run a small business which imports timber from New Zealand. I look after a lot of the admin and logistical side of the business. It’s great working in a family business as it offers a lot of flexibility and freedom. This is something which I really appreciate when trying to get away for class or other dance events that I constantly have going on.
Working in the timber industry is something that I never imagined I would be doing as a kid, however as the family business was expanding an opportunity opened up to join. I couldn’t be happier with the opportunities and work/life balance that have come my way.
What are 5 fun facts about you that you’d love to share.
- I used to play football (soccer) for about 20 years both outdoor and indoor. This is something that was a very big part of my life and spent a lot of time doing. I met a lot of great people and travelled all around the world playing and training at some amazing venues and football clubs.
- I met my girlfriend out at a social dance night. (Something which I was not expecting but was pleasantly surprised). Yes, it is possible to meet your someone special in the dance scene and I know quite a few people who have met and married from dancing.
- I am a bit of a nerd and have a love for all things tech as well as drones 😊 I try to get out every couple of weeks to do some drone flying as well.
- I love to travel and in my early twenties I took a year off to live in London. I had a great time and would recommend that experience to anyone thinking about it.
- I am currently learning Spanish and hopefully one day will be able to master this as a second language 😊
Dan Ludgater recently moved to Medellin, Colombia to pursue the Digital Nomad lifestyle. His Colombian Adventure so far is something most of us would love to do.
So you’ve been living in Medillin, Colombia for the last 2 months. How does it compare to life in Brisbane?
Well, everyone speaks Spanish… except for me lol. It’s actually been fun learning a new language and doing our best to navigate situations. My “food ordering Espanol” is pretty good now, and as far as we know, no one has ordered any mystery meats.
It’s also FAR more dangerous here. Kidding. When you mention a Colombian Adventure to most people, they think Cartels and Cocaine… Which would be accurate if it was 25 years ago. Though, to be fair, it wasn’t safe to travel outside the cities until about ten years ago.
Another big difference was living in an apartment with several friends and colleagues. The first month there were 6 of us sharing. Pros and cons to that, of course, but overall it was a lot of fun. As I write this, my girlfriend and I are in our own place here with a magnificent view.
What made you want to go and try out the digital nomad lifestyle?
We always wanted to try living abroad, but it’s been challenging since my girlfriend has a full-time position back in Brissy (currently on leave). We almost moved here a couple years back on the recommendation of a friend (so that I could pursue an opportunity with a company that needed me on US time). Didn’t make sense to me at the time though. So when I was talking with some colleagues at an event in Florida in October last year, spending some time in Colombia came up. And since we wanted to do a trip around the same time anyway, we finally pulled the trigger.
What have been your favorite things about working in Colombia?
It’s been fantastic getting to spend time with my friends and colleagues. With 5 from all across the States and 1 from Ireland, it’s not often we’re in the same place. I also love getting to immerse myself in the culture and go do fun things in my down time. We went paragliding, climbed the rock at Guatape/El Penol, went through one of Escobar‘s mansions that was bombed by the Cali Cartel, and plenty more. Being on a US timezone has been a nice bonus for me, too.
Tell us about the type of work you do while you’re abroad?
I help my clients grow their businesses with more effective marketing and copy. Fortunately, that means that I can work from anywhere as long as I have a laptop, wifi and a head set.
Have you had any serious or interesting problems on your travels?
Nothing too scary. We’ve had some times where debit/credit cards were rejected. Which can be stressful if you don’t have cash on you. But that was mostly when trying to do transactions online or through apps.
Another thing comes to mind. Not really a “problem”, and kind of funny… We had a couple occasions where we did a tour and were told by our driver, “If we get pulled over at a police checkpoint, we’re friends from when I visited Florida a couple years back.” The driver still had paperwork going through for that, and seeing as Uber is essentially illegal here (though everyone uses it anyway), they don’t want to look like that’s what’s going on.
Though their driving, on the other hand, WAS terrifying.
Are you going to be continuing your digital nomad lifestyle longer term? If so where is your next destination?
Absolutely. We’ll be coming back here again at some stage and no doubt will tour more of South America. Also want to check out Spain, Portugal and some other spots in Europe. As well as Thailand and Vietnam.
Do you have any advice for people wanting to trial the laptop lifestyle and work abroad?
A lot of people still have this fantasy of sitting on a beach with their laptop. Obviously it’s nothing like that. In fact, it’s hard work. That said, there are some professions where remote work is now viable. For me, as a freelancer, I’m responsible for making sure I have clients that can keep the money flowing. But, if you work hard during the day, that leaves the nights and weekends open for adventure. And there’s plenty of that to be had.
We hope you enjoyed Dan’s Colombian Adventure? If you’re currently on an excellent adventure, or about to take one, why not drop us a line so we can feature you here. Just click right here to send us some information.
We also know that while Dan’s is on this Colombian Adventure, he is watching this BLOG, so if you have any questions for us or Dan, please feel free to ask in the comments section below.
At Barefoot Physiotherapy we utilise techniques from multiple learnings all combined into our unique Barefoot Physiotherapy Plan. These techniques include; LJ Lee’s training in The Thoracic Ring Approach™all of our Bachelor/Masters degrees, Mulligan, Maitland and Ridgway Methods, Western Acupuncture, Dry Needling, and Pain Science/Graded Motor Imagery. We are continually learning and evolving our Framework and an essential part of it is the Thoracic Ring training we have had.
The Thoracic Ring Approach™ is an innovative assessment and treatment technique for the body (treating through the thorax – which is the middle of the back and ribs) based on a broader understanding of how these areas are designed to function optimally. It fits well within our framework of seeing the body as a whole and in the context of whole body movement and optimal health of the whole person.
What is a Thoracic Ring?
A Thoracic ring is the 2 vertebrae and the ribs attached. For example the T4-5 vertebral segment (including disc) and ribs 5 on left and right.
How do you know if the Thoracic Rings are ‘The Driver’?
With the assessment of multiple rings and treatment techniques for them we can facilitate optimal biomechanics and replicate ideal motor control for the Thorax while hands on. If this facilitation/correction improves movements/meaningful tasks we can know that this is a significant area of the body (and potentially a Driver further through the body). We combine this information with the rest of our Clinical Reasoning in our Barefoot Physiotherapy Plan to determine whether the Rings are a true underlying factor of the clients problem (ie the reason they are seeing a physio!). As the LJ Institute states: “The reason this is essential is that it is common for the thorax to be relatively pain-free but dysfunctional; the dysfunctional thorax creates adverse stresses, loads and forces that can cause pain in any other area of the body.”
Treatment of The Thoracic Rings
When we move well we feel good and we move more. But the catch 22 is that we need to have the body feel good enough to move. Our treatment framework is based on getting the body moving through hands on treatment initially and teaching people how to move well – whatever that is for them! This dynamic view of the body means that an essential component of treatment is training optimal muscle activation patterns and muscle balance around the thoracic rings if they are a Driver. Manual techniques, taping, needling and self-release techniques such as “self stack and breathe” are used to treat Thoracic Rings if we have found them to be Drivers or significant in the clients body. What this does is release non-optimal muscle patterns to create a window of opportunity to train new muscle patterns.