Introducing Colin Baillargeon with Move First Chiropractic
*If taking five to read this intro-to-Colin blog makes you want to step on LEGOs, scroll to the bottom for my booking link and mark your calendars for the Move First Workshop!
It’s not uncommon for me to refer to myself as both doctor and dumb jock.
I grew up in a small town in Michigan, which meant our high school didn’t have tryouts for any of our athletics. I wasn’t necessarily blessed with size or coordination in my younger years, but I had a whole lot of try-hard and went out for every team I could join.Throughout grade school, I played and competed in nearly everything you could think of: football, basketball, track and field, golf, and yes, even cheerleading.
Surprisingly enough, cheerleading won out, and I was given the opportunity to continue cheering at the collegiate level. Which in turn gave me ample opportunity to be injured by the sport I loved. How rude. I spent my first three years of college at Grand Valley State University building an injury inventory, which included a few concussions, a few broken noses, shoulder injuries, and lumbar disc herniations. Needless to say, cheerleading is no joke.
At the National Competition for cheerleading (yes, in Daytona), I saw Oklahoma State’s cheer team perform and instantly knew that’s where I wanted to be. I was fortunate enough to make the Co-Ed Cheer Team at OSU the very next year. A bigger and better team meant my training volume increased, and as a result, so did my injuries. Back injuries would come and go through my two years at OSU, but my most memorable mishap was a fall resulting in substantial ligament and muscle injury to my elbow. The initial projection was a 13 month recovery, but with a great surgeon and rehab team I was back to basket tosses in a mere 4 months.
At OSU, we were fortunate enough to have a strength staff, an athletic training staff, team doctors, and coaches that were all working to keep the athletes moving throughout the season. Through all of my work with these teams I never stopped asking questions, and I truly believe the focus on understanding my injuries drastically chopped my recovery time. Immediately after receiving my BS in Nutrition, I moved to Dallas to start chiropractic school. Turns out, all my time spent learning about the body through my own injuries after years of athletic abuse served as the catalyst to my career.
Finishing chiropractic school and dealing with personal injuries lit a kinesiological fire under my ass. I dove into studying more biomechanics, lifting technique, soft tissue techniques, and the neurology behind movement. I became certified in Applied Kinesiology, Active Release Technique, Functional Range Conditioning, and attended numerous post-graduate neurology courses.
After years of rehab, I was able to get back into training the way I truly enjoyed. I was building a practice, coaching CrossFit, training olympic lifting during the week, and hitting strong man workouts on the weekend. My goal was to explore movement, learn more about how we can recover from injury, and train to mitigate injury all in the same place: the gym.
After a few years working in Dallas I decided I’d had enough of the big city life and moved to Austin to continue exploring, to plant roots, to lift weights, and to ride bikes. After 10 years of being surgery free, 5 of which were completely injury free, I found myself in the operating room. Again. As my wife puts it, “I fell off my bicycle,” but at least I was in Utah on a mountain and not just cruising to Taco Deli. That fall resulted in a broken wrist, with substantial ligament damage, and a broken clavicle. A handful of screws and a metal plate later, I was mostly put back together, and so began another healing journey.
The experience of being in rehab again has brought on much reflection about not only the type of patient I want to see, but also the type of doctor I strive to be. If I’ve learned anything in my career as both a competitive athlete and a doctor, it’s that movement is medicine. Our instinct when we are injured is to wait it out; be horizontal, watch some Netflix, RICE, and then resume our old activities when the pain almost goes away. In most cases this is the exact wrong approach. This is where finding a good doctor, trainer, or movement specialist is paramount.
My goal when working with people is to dive into why someone moves the way they do. Is there a lack of range of motion or strength that is creating compensation? Have we learned sub-optimal movement patterns? Or are we moving around an old injury out of laziness? The aspect of the human body that amazes me most is that all of these changes in movement patterns happen subconsciously; born out of protection. Building a strong awareness of how you move and a general understanding of best movement practices is a key step in resolving injuries and pain.
This is where my passion comes in. I know first hand how frustrating it is to have an injury keeping you from the activities you enjoy. I’ve dealt with the nagging aches and pains that make basic movements like sitting, walking, squatting, even standing — much less enjoyable. I want to empower people; to help cultivate an understanding of movement that will allow them to continue moving well, deep into their lives.
I will be opening the door to Move First – Performance Chiropractic (inside of Crossfit Renew) in early February. “Move First” because proper movement mechanics is our biggest tool in resolving injury and pain, yes, but also thwarting it. How and why you move the way you do will be our first step toward the road to health.
If you’ve made it this far and my impeccable writing skills have bewitched you into finally taking the first step toward a more mobile life, book your initial assessment here. We’ll do a detailed movement assessment and exam, administer treatment of current pain points, go over key exercises from which you can immediately benefit, and you’ll walk out with some take-home exercises to do in between appointments.
Stay tuned for more blogs coming soon over at movefirstchiro.com, and follow me on Instagram (@DrGingerBeard), where I’ll be sharing content about prehab/rehab techniques, lifting technique, biomechanics, and more.