Therapydia Kona physical therapist Kate LaPak takes some time to talk adaptability, Frank Sinatra, and her dog, Dino.
“It’s all about balance and moderation. Balance between muscles, between work and play, between everything.”
When did you first know that you wanted to be a physical therapist?
I was a bit of a late bloomer. I have always had an interest in health and fitness but wasn’t sure where I would fit in. I did an internship through NYU shadowing physical therapists in Bellevue Medical Center for one summer during my junior year of undergrad and fell in love with physical therapy.
What is the biggest challenge involved in being a PT?
Keeping up with the paperwork. It takes more time than I’d like to admit. I’d much rather spend my time reading into the newest and latest physical therapy research for my patients.
How do you like to stay active?
I love doing just about anything with my dog. Walking, running, hiking… I also like to lift weights and practice yoga.
What’s your favorite song to get you motivated?
“1985 (Intro to “The Fall Off”)” by J. Cole. It’s all about not getting ahead of yourself or being overconfident when you are new to the game.
What surprised you the most about the physical therapy profession?
The wide variety of conditions that we are able to treat or specialize in. Before physical therapy school, I always thought of physical therapists as people you go to after a major surgery. PTs are qualified to treat not only musculoskeletal conditions but neurologic, pediatric and women’s health conditions as well.
Are you currently pursuing any further education/certifications?
I am getting my level 1 SFMA certification at the end of the month with my coworker Stephanie. I am also aiming to get my OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist Certification).
What do you wish everyone knew about physical therapy?
You don’t need to be in pain to come see us! We offer wellness screens to help you move better and feel better in your everyday life.
What’s your go-to breakfast?
Grain-free granola and vanilla greek yogurt. Although every now and then I opt for a cinnamon roll 🙂
What is the most important personality trait that a PT must have?
Adaptability. You should be able to adapt to each of your patient’s needs and treat accordingly.
What do you do to de-stress/unwind?
I enjoy cooking, yoga and meditation. There’s nothing better than cooking dinner with a glass of wine and Frank Sinatra playing in the background.
Finish this sentence: On Saturday mornings, you can usually find me…
At the dog part with my dog Dino!
What is your favorite piece of wellness advice to offer?
It’s all about balance and moderation. Balance between muscles, between work and play, between everything.
Click here to learn more about Kate and the other physical therapists at Therapydia Kona.