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Karen Litzy #StrongSmart #DavidButlerSavedMyLife
  1. Johann Windt
  1. Experimental Medicine Program, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Johann Windt, Experimental Medicine Program, University of British Columbia, 2635 Laurel Street, Vancouver, Canada V5Z 1M9; johannwindt{at}

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Letter to a high school version of yourself?

I would tell my high school self to not worry too much about failure. It’s going to happen and it will make you stronger, smarter and better prepared for the next adventure. I was, and continue to be, a bit of a perfectionist so this whole failure thing was, at times, a bitter pill to swallow. Now I know that failures are there for a reason and there is always something better waiting if you take action to go out, find it and make it happen.

Fondest career memory?

The first time I met Dr David Butler. I went to an ’Explain Pain' lecture he gave at an American Physical Therapy Association event and it not only completely changed the way I treated my patients with pain but it changed my life. I now had the knowledge and mentorship to overcome my own persistent pain issues. Learning more about the science behind pain has been such an empowering process for me and has become a huge part of my practice.

Most memorable sporting moment?

The 1996 Olympic games when Kerri Strug landed her vault to secure the gold medal for the US women’s gymnastics team. After her landing she needed to be carried off of the mat by her coach. I thought she was one of the strongest athletes I had ever seen.

Worst injury you’ve treated?

I treated a patient few years ago with a fractured tibial plateau, ACL tear, MCL tear and medial meniscus damage. Terrible skiing accident. She was non-weight bearing for 12 weeks post-surgery and had two children under the age of five to care for. Her rehabilitation took several months, lots of hard work from the patient …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Correction notice This article has been amended since it was published Online First. There have been some slight layout changes and also the author is not a Doctor.