“Research has shown that doing something kind for someone else can make us happier” With Author Dr. Kate Mihevc Edwards and Marco Derhy

I know this is so simple but I think if everyone of us stopped and took a moment to do something kind for someone else, every day we could really impact the world

Thrive invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

I know this is so simple but I think if everyone of us stopped and took a moment to do something kind for someone else, every day we could really impact the world. Research has shown that doing something kind for someone else can make us happier. If doing something kind can affect you and the person you direct the kindness towards, we may have a chance to slowly diffuse all this negativity and hate. We can start having conversations and hearing the other side. We can appreciate others for who they really are not what we believe them to be.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Kate Mihevc Edwards, a physical therapist, board certified orthopedic specialist, entrepreneur, speaker, former endurance athlete, adjunct faculty at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, and author of Racing Heart: A Runner’s Journey of Love, Loss and Perseverance! Dr. Edwards is running and endurance medicine specialist she regularly writes blogs and articles for popular media outlets and has recently begun contributing to medical journals. After being diagnosed with a rare, genetic heart disease, Arrthmagenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopaty (ARVC) Dr. Edwards was forced to give up endurance sports and redefine who she was and what she wanted to do with her life.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?

I didn’t start out knowing I was going to be a physical therapist or entrepreneur. I thought I was going to be an artist. I spent most of my time writing poetry and in college taking photography classes. I even spent a semester at the Queensland College of Art in Australia! Then later in college I fell in love with running. I had always run a little during high school but my school was so small that we didn’t have a track or cross-country team so it wasn’t until college that I truly had the opportunity to fall head over heels for it.

Eventually I signed up for Team in Training and my coach was a physical therapist. I saw how much she loved what she did and starting taking an interest in physical therapy. I didn’t love what I did and knew I couldn’t do something I didn’t love. I quit my job in marketing and went back to school at night to take prerequisites, work as a PT aide during the day and wait tables when I had time. I worked very hard and got into Emory University’s physical therapy program. Even then I knew I wanted to work with runners.

Once I graduated, I did an orthopedic residency in Chicago. I never knew I would open my own clinic, but after I got sick, I realized I needed to create something different. I wanted to build a different kind of practice. A practice about the people not the money, about collaboration rather than competition and taking care of ourselves so we can truly take care of our clients.

Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?

In my career as a physical therapist I have one story that sticks out. I was treating a runner and triathlete that came into the office with calf pain. He was a long-time patient of mine and we had a very good working relationship. The calf pain didn’t make sense to me clinically and I sent him to have a test to make sure he didn’t have a blood clot.

The test was negative so we continued to work on the calf pain. It eventually went away.

Then a couple months later I was seeing him again for something else and he happened to bring up that he was having difficulty training. He has extremely fatigued, it was more difficult to train like he used to, his pace had decreased for no apparent reason and he was out of breath frequently. I again sent him to another doctor and they cleared him to continue training. When he came back to me, they told him he had exercise-induced asthma. My gut was telling me something else. He had a race coming up that weekend and I begged him not to go to the race. I called another physician friend of mine, one that I knew and trusted. He was seen immediately and my message not to race was re-enforced. The next week we got some results back and found out he had a pulmonary embolism and his heart was incredibly strained. If he had raced, he may have died. Luckily everything worked out and it took him more than a year to recover but now he is fine.

This story is important and I tell it a lot because two very important points.

1. Listen to your gut (as a patient and a healthcare provider) and don’t give up. If I hadn’t been so persistent who knows what would have happened.

2. Get more than one opinion. In this day and age there are so many physicians that are so specialized and they are forced to see so many patients in a day things are missed.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I have made so many mistakes and am grateful to have learned so much so far. When I started my company, I was not in the best state of physical or mental health and was truly trying to survive. I started my company so that I had time to take care of myself, recover and figure out my next step. Initially I didn’t plan on hiring anyone or creating something bigger. But when I started to feel better and let go, I realized I was meant to take what I have learned and build something.

One of the biggest mistakes I made and continued to make during my first year of business was not trusting my gut and letting fear of failure make decisions for me. I listened too closely to what those around me thought I should do even though my gut didn’t agree. This led me to hire and keep people that did not align with my vision or goals and my business suffered. Now I still listen to my collogues but I am slower to make decisions and only make decisions that align with my vision, goals and don’t keep me up at night.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I am just about to finish an e-book I am co-authoring with a colleague of mine, Dr. Blair Green PT, DPT about running during pregnancy and postpartum. There is a huge knowledge gap for women who want to continue to be active during and after pregnancy in the United States. We are hoping to dispel common myths about running and give women guidance on how to return to running in a healthy way so that they don’t become injured later on.

I am also doing a lot more speaking events about my story of having heart disease even though I was a healthy, endurance athlete. I nearly died running because I thought I was invincible that there was no way something could be wrong with me. I am also talking more about the mental health aspect of athletics. I was running away from perfectionism, fear and much more but didn’t even realize it. When I lost the ability to run, I lost my coping mechanism and my identity. I had to figure out how to move forward, face

all of my demons and find happiness living a life I never imagined I would live.

I am also thinking about opening a few more PT clinics in the next few years. I want to continue building a brand around doing the right thing, always for my Precision family — my employees and clients.

Can you share the most interesting story that you shared in your book?

Before I was diagnosed with ARVC I passed out in 3 different marathons. Each time I was told I was dehydrated. I even went to a cardiologist and was told I was fine. Passing out in a race is typically not dehydration and is a sign of something more severe. I was lucky to wake up all 3 times; there are some people who never wake up.

What is the main empowering lesson you want your readers to take away after finishing your book?

There are many so this is a difficult question! Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable, to be who you truly are and ask for help. I always thought asking for help was a sign of weakness but it is really a sign of strength. There is no one is perfect. Stop trying to be something or someone else because you think you “should,” do things because you want to and they bring you joy.

Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?

Anyone who stands up for what they believe in without hate and anger, those who choose to do the right thing simply because it is right. I hate to be cliché, but I am being honest!

Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?

I read all the time and there are so many amazing authors I have learned from. Here are only a few of the many I adore.

The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown

It spoke directly to me. I am a “recovering perfectionist” and it was refreshing and empowering to read her work on shame and resilience.

Letting Go by David Hawkins

I have always been an emotional person and when I lost the ability to run/exercise I lost my ability to cope. I had to figure out how to sit with my emotions and let them go so that I could move forward and be.

Grit by Angela Duckworth

I loved how she framed the research on grit, perseverance and success.

The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan

I give this book to all my employees. Prior to reading her book I had already read much of the research about gratitude, but I love how she brought it all together and told her story about how it really changed her life.

How do you think your writing makes an impact in the world?

I think sharing your story helps other people know they are not alone. It helps them see that others may have the same struggles, fears or experiences.

I hope it opens doors for discussion about perfectionism, mental health in athletics, the impact of alcoholism and cardiac disease among athletes.

What advice would you give to someone considering becoming an author like you?

If you want to tell you story tell it. Someone will be grateful you did.

However, if you are a new author it can be challenging. I love writing and always have. I decided to self-publish my book because whenever I tried to find an agent or a publisher, I was told I wasn’t famous enough. It cost me more money than I thought it would but I am so glad I did it.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I know this is so simple but I think if everyone of us stopped and took a moment to do something kind for someone else, every day we could really impact the world. Research has shown that doing something kind for someone else can make us happier. If doing something kind can affect you and the person you direct the kindness towards, we may have a chance to slowly diffuse all this negativity and hate. We can start having conversations and hearing the other side. We can appreciate others for who they really are not what we believe them to be.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1. You aren’t supposed to know everything. This may sound obvious but it wasn’t to me. I am so grateful that I have had great mentors to help me become a better PT, writer and businessperson. I ask for help often from peers, colleagues and friends.

2. Make mistakes. I have learned more from mistakes than from my successes. Every time I make a mistake something even better comes along.

3. Work smarter not more. I have worked hard to create systems that allow me to spend time with my family and take care of myself without getting burnt out. My personality lends itself to working 24/7 so it has been difficult to learn to let go and take time out but I am so glad I do.

4. Have fun. If it is not bringing you joy it is not worth it. Everything I do brings me joy in one way or another, which means I truly love what I do.

5. Listen to your gut. The few ties I doubted what my gut said things went wrong- from when I ignored my symptoms of heart disease and nearly died to hiring the wrong person.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

It’s a tie between Sheryl Sandberg and Brene Brown. I love Sheryl’s call to action and the way she inspires so many women to reach their fullest potential. I liked her when she wrote Lean in but I loved and appreciated her ability to open up, be vulnerable and admit her mistakes when she wrote Option B. She became more real and human with that book. I even sent her one of my books last week!

However, I also think Brene Brown is the one who started the conversation about shame and vulnerability that allowed women like Sheryl, myself and so many others to open up and be truly okay with ourselves. Brene’s work is ground breaking and incredibly inspiring.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram: @precisionpt_atl

FB: @precisionperformaceATL

— Published on November 26, 2018 at medium.com

You might also like...


Dr Froswa Booker-Drew On How To Leave a Lasting Legacy With a Successful & Effective Nonprofit Organization

by Karen Mangia

Have You Ever Wondered If You Are A Normal Drinker?

by Annie Grace

Sharon Sullivan On Redefining Success

by Karen Mangia
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.