MJ has a degree in Rehabilitation Medicine, is a Registered Physiotherapist, holds a certificate in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), is a published researcher, and a self-published author. His research paper on rehabilitation of the knee joint has been referenced by several textbooks and manuals. In addition, he is a NCCP swim coach (Certified Level 1), a NCCP triathlon coach (trained Level 2/Comp-Intro), and a NCCP cycling coach (in-training Level2/Comp-Intro).
As an age group athlete MJ swam club with York, competed in triathlons with Team PB under coaches Barrie Shepley and Sheldon Persad and trained with 2x Ironman Triathlon World Champion Lori Bowden. While attending the University of Toronto, he swam with the Varsity Blues in distance freestyle events under coaches Byron McDonald and Linda Kiefer, training alongside Olympians Marianne Limpert and Turlough O’Hare.
As a masters athlete he swam under coach Dave Judd with the Burlington Masters Swim Club (BMSC), and became coach of BMSC from 2014 to 2016.
It is sport which led me to the profession of physiotherapy. As a teen training for triathlons I developed knee pain (PFPS) and was referred to the Hospital for Sick Kids Sports Medicine Clinic. Fascinated by the rehab process, I applied to Sickkids as a volunteer in the clinic, and eventually applied to the University of Toronto’s Physiotherapy program.
While at UofT, sport again led me to the process of rehabilitation. On a study break during 3rd year final exams, a car accident while on a training ride put me in the hospital with a punctured lung, spleen, internal bleeding, broken ribs, and enough soft tissue injuries to bring an end to both the varsity swimming and upcoming triathlon seasons, sending me back into rehab.
Although sport medicine was my starting point, I ended up working after graduation as a physiotherapist in long term care, and on convalescent and chronic care units. I worked with the elderly, pre and post-surgical patients, patients with dementia, with numerous diagnoses, with chronic pain, and with terminal illnesses. This contrasting caseload provided balance to the clinical and personal experiences of working with the pediatric and sport populations. It yielded a retrospective outlook on the significance of how we live and how we exercise and their long-term impact on health and performance.
Now, with two athletic teens, my focus has come full circle… back to sports, sports medicine, and training, but performed in a manner which develops athletes in a sustainable healthy manner. By training within ourselves, across all of dimensions – physical, mental, and emotional – athletes can achieve their goals, doing so in a manner which minimizes risks of injury, burn out, max out, plus their deleterious side effects.
It was the lack of balance observed in the history of medically compromised patients, and the déjà vu moments when my children struggled in athletic competition that led to the research, study, and compilation of the concept of ‘The Athlete’s Cloud’ [TAC] and the book. TAC was written with the intent of sharing ‘what not to do’ with age group and masters athletes and their coaches. The goal is to help everyone pursue dreams and goals with a healthy long term perspective, supported with the strategies needed to engage the challenges which arise with every worthy endeavour.