The Move On The Daley Blog

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Jul 20, 2022

So I saw this trend on social media awhile back and I legit love it. It was listing things that made you human - and NOT limiting it to the “pretty” or “nice” things. Like you know how if you get that interview question asking about your weaknesses, you always try to say something that can be spun to be a good thing? Yea, none of that here. Just raw vulnerability and honesty. Now, don’t get me wrong, some of these are gonna be lighthearted. But I just feel like we see too much of the highlight reel and not enough realness nowadays. Also, I wanna throw this out at the beginning: I would LOVE to hear even just a couple of yours! One of the things I realized while reading others’ lists (and something that I realize every time I travel) is that we are all WAY more alike than we think once we really show ourselves.

My humanness

For starters, you get a bonus one right off the bat…because I wrote the vast majority of this in JANUARY and intended to publish it for my 35th bday (You may have noticed I do a vulnerable post about myself for my bday every year)…which was Feb 23rd. But I don’t do well with being told I HAVE to do something without a solid reason behind it…including when it’s me telling me. I will rebel even against myself if there isn’t a good WHY or purpose. And I had some damn good “whys” to not get this out in a timely manner (things like I needed to study for a specialty board exam, needed to focus on teaching engagements, this isn’t “important” like something that’s educational, yada yada yada). And then life got in the way and I completely forgot about this until I opened up my blog drafts to see what titles I had saved to write about #facepalm

Ok, here’s the actual list. It’ll be kinda all over the board, but here goes nothing….

1. It took me a long time to realize and admit that I was an Enneagram 7. For so long I thought I was a 5... Turns out that’s just what my upbringing conditioned me to be. And then the reason I “fought” being a 7 is they aren’t often seen as ones to take seriously. They are stereotypically the class clown vs the smart one. Note, I said stereotype. But honestly, that’s often not true and after meeting some badass 7s, and an assessment with Tracy O’Malley (aka the Enneagram Queen), I finally got out of that thinking. I truly am a 7 (“the enthusiast”), even though I am more academic, introverted, and introspective than the stereotypes may suggest

2. I love singing and you’ll know I’m comfortable around you when I’ll actually sing around you

3. I love socializing and working with patients, but there are days where I really wish I didn’t have to deal with any humans. #introvert #puppysareokthough

4. My upbringing led me to believe that words of affirmation didn’t mean much to me (rarely heard I love you and only heard “I’m proud of you” twice that I can think of) When in fact I realized relatively recently that it’s actually towards the top of my Love Languages list. The lack of hearing it growing up is also why I will say it.

5. A friend once aptly described me as “10 feet tall and bulletproof” - I had such walls up for most of my life and I only started learning how to truly let people in around age 30. And took me until 34 to let that include true connection and friendship with females (I had them before, but I had created such a story in my head that I unintentionally hindered the connection possible) I’m still very proud of how strong I am and I’m grateful for the protection my mind gave me all those years, but I’m also so grateful that I don’t need it as much anymore.

6. I truly believe that vulnerability and communication are key to really anything in life. Emotions are not a weakness, nor does showing them always mean that the person is triggered. I am definitely a “heart on sleeve” person.

7. First time I ever felt self-love was Oct 2020, and since then I can truly say I love myself (Though I still don’t like myself when I make mistakes- no one will ever be as hard on me as I am on myself). Oh, and I was so subconsciously resistant to this apparently that it took a guided therapeutic psychedelic trip to break through and finally feel self-love. Feel free to ask me any questions about that…

8. Quickest way to see a scary side of me is to come at someone I care about. I’m super loyal and protective.

9. I’m a bit of a control freak about some things and utterly messy about others.

10. I don’t seem to be able to eat my morning protein bar and greens drink without getting chocolate and greens powder all over myself and the kitchen.

11. I will very often say say “huh?” or “what?” immediately when someone says something to me…when if I just waited a damn second for my brain to catch up and process, I heard them the first time #facepalm


12. Dance is one of my favorite ways to express myself. And I do this weird shimmy bounce thing whenever I’m genuinely happy. You’ve probably seen me do it if we’ve ever gotten good food together

13. I care more about what others think than I’d like to admit. (though I’m getting better at letting go) #workinprogress

14. I don’t trust people-pleasers because I never know if their “yes” is legit. And if I don’t trust someone, I will actively distance myself from them, whether it be conscious or subconscious.

15. I have no idea if I wanna be a mom or not, but I know I don’t want kids right now. I used to think being a mom was a major life goal, but I’m currently in the process of trying to figure out if that’s truly what I want or just a goal I created because of societal expectations (please refer back to caring what other people think. I deeply just wanted to be seen and appreciated as a kid)

16. (Disclaimer for this next one: I have zero true thoughts of self harm) Sometimes while driving, I catch myself wondering “what if I just drove off this cliff?” (this is something that I used to take as a sign of me being crazy…but it was surprising how many things similar to this I saw in others’ lists! I’m def not alone here and wanted to add this to mine in case any of you also feel crazy)

17. I get SO much joy seeing other people shine and go for what they want. You emit a different energy then and it’s contagious. Seriously.

18. I overthink and overexplain everything. Yes, I know that’s generally a trauma response (and it is in my case). Yes, I’m actively working on it

19. I often feel guilty when I’m not being productive (in the traditional societal sense). Like viscerally guilty.

20. I have body dysmorphia and am still working on loving my body consistently. Some days/moments are better than others.

21. Nature is my happy place, and whenever I need a reset, you can find me there, probably by myself.

22. I’m very comfortable doing things solo and have found a lot of growth in that. (I also think everyone should solo travel at least once)

23. I love wandering the grocery store. No idea why. It’s also the only time I can’t seem to multitask.

24. I have ADHD, but I don’t like being labeled. #buckthesystem

25. If any one tells me I can’t do something, my response is “watch me”. (Downfall is this sometimes distracts me from what I ACTUALLY want to do)

26. I love creating, but unless it’s “perfect” I won’t show others. Ok, maybe. I’m working on being ok with showing imperfection.

27. Still not sure how I feel about astrology, but the Pisces stuff is often pretty damn fitting.

28. I hate the cold, but LOVE snowboarding. And cold plunges. Well, how I feel AFTER cold plunges

29. I’m obsessed with cozy blankets and cuddling. Even though I don’t sit still well.

30. I go into “practitioner mode” (ie professional speak) when I’m uncomfortable or unsure. This includes around new people.

31. I love immediately getting the day started as soon as I wake up. I also become basically useless in the afternoon unless I’m still just on the go from the morning. But if I break and slow down around then? Ha. Game over for a couple hours.

32. I love celebrating others, esp birthdays, or really any accomplishment (baby, new biz launch, house , etc) and secretly get hurt when people forget mine.

33. I’m definitely a rebel, but also just enough of a rule follower (very risk aware). Sometimes this is a strength, sometimes not…and often creates some internal conflict lol

34. I’m very much a free bird. It took me a long time to not feel guilty about the selfish connotations that come with being someone who will do what they want when they want (I have a family member that would say that to me with a sneer like it was something horrible). But at the same time I will drop absolutely everything and run to someone in need. They come first in that moment no questions asked

35. When I envision my “higher self” I see myself speaking on stages. Literally no idea (yet) what about or how I get there. I do know that I LOVE being a teacher in the continuing education and doctoral student spaces (for those that may not know, I do that already along with working in clinic), so I guess in reality, it’s not that far off base. (I’ve also done several podcasts on a wide variety of topics, all listed here). But the first time I had this vision, I wasn’t even in the teaching space and I hadn’t done any podcasts - I was just a clinician in corporate healthcare, so it completely threw me off and made me question my career path for a couple months. Esp since I actually think it’ll be less PT related and more about how to find your purpose through grief/loss. Who knows…

Bonus: I love clothes that are bright and loud. Particularly shiny and/or hot pink. And it took me until very recently, like within the last 6 months, to admit that. I’m aware how silly that seems. But I’ve always identified as more of a tomboy than a girly girl and somewhere along the line, I let society tell me I couldn’t be both. Well now I say I can be everything and anything I want to be. Even seemingly contradictory things. My 35th birthday outfit speaks for itself (photo below)

PHEW. That was a lot. Some of it vulnerable and some of it just fun. If you made it this far 1. Props. that was a lot. 2. THANK YOU. It honestly means a lot that you cared enough to read all of that. 3. I would LOVE to know what resonated with you and/or something about YOU that makes YOU human!! Drop a comment below or just shoot me a message on here or on my IG (Better yet, do an IG post with a list of your own and tag me! Let’s get this trend going again!)

Much love fam,



PS if you’re curious about the past birthday ones, here’s one.

Dressed up for my 35th birthday dinner with my girls!


"Your knees are shot and if you keep up all the activity you're doing, you won't walk at 30"- what I was told by medical professionals at age 18 after my 3rd knee surgery. Fast forward to today, and I'm 32 and not only do I Crossfit 4-5 days a week, but my off days are usually spent trail running and/or hiking. And the only time I have knee pain is when I take 4 or more days off from activity. You see, the stronger the muscles around a joint are, the more they can unload the joint - i.e. the ligaments, meniscus, and cartilage in the knee don’t have to absorb quite as much force as they would otherwise. And less pressure = less risk of damage or pain. 


For years, I avoided squatting below parallel, catching heavy weight in a squat such as full cleans and snatches, and had a crazy wide squat stance. I also avoiding running and would get nervous hiking downhill. Why? Because I let the nocebo (negative thoughts) given to me medical professionals dictate my movement. You see, I've had three knee surgeries, with the 1st one being in 5th grade and the last being a cartilage graft during college. Most of my knee injuries have been due to Osteochondritis Dissecans (Rare condition. Lack of blood flow to bone causing cracks to form in the cartilage and underlying bone. Cause unknown). Though one surgery was an ACL reconstruction where they took out part of my patellar tendon and put it where the ACL should be.


With each of these instances (a few others didn't require surgery), I was told yet again that I should stop doing any high impact activity, never run on hard ground, that I should never do heavy squats, and definitely don't go below parallel even without weight. This is devastating news to a very active and athletic fifth grader. And let's be real, still devastating to an active college student. Thankfully, I'm stubborn. I agreed to quit all hard court sports like basketball (though to be fair, as soon as everyone else hit their growth spurt, I probably wouldn't have lasted) and gymnastics. But I refused to give up soccer. And with that came weight training once I got to high school.


I still lift and do Crossfit 4 days a week and trail run or hike in the off days. I honestly LOVE heavy squats and deadlifts, and I am constantly challenge myself! And you know what I realized once I left soccer but was still in the gym doing weightlifting? My knees only bothered me when I did one of 2 things: wayyyyy overdid it or skipped the gym and hiking several days in a row.

Two main takeaways from this bit:


1. Don't let a doctor's opinion dictate your own opinion or your life.

Every profession has it's bad and good apples. And a certain degree does not make one infallible.


2. Heavy squats fix everything (read: your body wants to be loaded. Strength training has countless benefits and should definitely be a part of your life)


So I bet you’re like “Sweet, so strength is important. Got it. But what are some ways to build up strength?” Here ya go:


First, I should explain that it’s not always as simple as “get stronger.” Mobility and technique also need to be considered when figuring out the cause of knee pain. And it’s almost never directly the knee. Typically, if a mobility issue is at play, it is either from the hips or ankles, though it could be from further up as well. This will be it’s own blog (or maybe Eboko!) soon

As far as technique goes, it really kind of depends on when you’re having pain. For example, if it’s just with running, maybe you’re not keeping enough bend in your knee throughout the gait cycle, causing increased stress on the knee. If it’s just at the transition point at the bottom of a squat, maybe you’re only going to parallel, which is actually the knee angle with the highest amount of pressure on the knees. Or maybe you’re letting your knees come inward even just slightly with squats or sumo deadlifts and causing undue stress. If you are having pain with a certain lift/movement and want it assessed, or just want to dial in technique, I do offer movement assessments. Ok, gonna get nerdy and dive a bit deeper to include some research on technique for the next few paragraphs...(if you don’t care about research and just want the takeaways…skip to the next bolded line)

Research by Bloomquist et al showed that deep squats improved strength throughout the range of motion while shallow squats did improve strength a little more at shallow depth, but minimal strength increase at deeper positions. In other words, if you constantly squat above parallel, you;ll get stronger in that position, but not really improve strength  for things like getting up and down from the floor, squatting down to pick up heavy items off the ground, catching nd standing a clean or snatch at full depth. Squat jump strength also improved only with full depth squats, not quarter squats according to research by Hartmann et al.

Hartmann et al also found that the compressive forces in the knee are highest at 90 degrees and have little quad tendon support, yet when you squat deeper, there is actually a protective wrapping effect around the knees! My mom can attest to that. One of my biggest recent “wins” is finally getting my mother to listen to me (seriously, it’s like pay back for not listening as a child) about squats. She does not have ACLs in either knee and then retore an MCL about 10 years ago while waterskiing. She has at least listened to me for awhile that the best thing she can do for her knees is keep up strength to create the extra support needed in lieu of those ligaments. About a  month ago, I finally got her to start doing a few exercises I wrote including some goblet squats with increased weight. However, she’s been scared to squat below parallel. So she called me up and told me her knees were achy. I explained the above research and told her to just give going below parallel a shot for a few days and call me back. Guess what?! Her knee pain was GONE!

The other major lie that we’ve all heard is that your knees can’t past your toes. Absolute BS. In fact, I can personally say that the first time I really felt my quads fire during a squat was when I finally let my knees go past my toes. It’s also the first time I didn’t end of having soreness in my low back after a bunch of squats. Here’s why: Fry et al did some research looking at joint forces at the hips and knees when knee movement is restricted to avoid going past the toes or allowed to do so. They found that if it is restricted, there’s a 1000% increase in hip forces. One thousand y’all! It also caused your torso to come more forward since the hips had to stay back. This then places more pressure on your back. Between those factors, it’s no wonder my back was getting sore with back squats! Some of whether or not your knees need to come forward and the degree to which they do is definitely dependent on your specific anatomy.


Okay, now for the fun stuff. Strength. Note that this is specific for the person dealing with knee pain with squatting…

As I mentioned earlier, if you have strength surrounding the joint, it will unload it and you won’t deal with pain that comes from pressure on the internal structures (for example, osteoarthritis bone changes won’t cause pain) But…how do you build strength if you’re dealing with knee pain already?? The following exercises will be a great start!! 

Even better if you mix in things to spike your heart rate like a 30” arm only bike sprint…gets your heart rate going, thereby increasing fluid circulation to the legs/knees which will drastically help “flush out” any inflammatory chemicals. Therefore, decreased swelling and pain!

There are plenty of great drills not listed here, but this is a great start:


-Knee Gapping. 

Ok this one is for you if you just feel a lot of pressure in your knee when you squat and feel like it limits you. You know that feeling when your knee is even a little swollen and it won’t quite bend all the way back into full flexion? Yea, this helps with that. A ton. You can use a small ball, like a lacrosse ball, or a tightly rolled up towel like I am here. This helps glide the tibia (the lower leg bone) forward as you go into end range motion, which is what’s needed, and increase the joint space so it doesn’t get as much of that pressure feeling. Help yourself into end range flexion by grabbing your lower leg and pull it in, as shown. Make sure to get some calf motion in by moving your ankle around as the gastroc does cross up over the knee and assist in this motion. (side note: please ignore the squeeky ball in the background from the pups)
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- Spanish squats. 

Easily my favorite exercise to not only get a quick solid quad burn, but to unload the knee and allow better movement. I’ve used this countless times with acute knee pain, chronic arthritis, post surgical, and a whole host of other people (and myself) to be able to squat sooner and build/maintain strength. The band is placed directly behind the knees. You want to make sure there is solid tension in the band throughout the movement - as you can see in this video, the band can hold my weight. Unlike a normal squat, you keep your shins perpendicular to the ground. The kettlebell is mostly to counterbalance and help me keep my chest upright. Shoutout to Zach Long, PT, DPT (aka @thebarbellphysio) for introducing me to these several years ago while we were at a course together. 
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- Copenhagen Planks.

So it may not be readily obvious how these help your squat, but the truth is the inner thigh muscles play a HUGE role in full depth squats, and if their capacity isn’t adequate, it can cause knee pain, particularly on the inside of the knee. Now, this exercise is MUCH harder than it looks, so I highly recommend starting it where you have the top knee supported on the bench (or couch or whatever you’re using). If that’s still too much, you can leave the bottom leg on the ground and allow it to help support as much as needed, but as little as possible (don’t cheat yourself!)
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- Bulgarian Split Squats.

Not just for lifters. This is a fantastic exercises for hikers and trail runners as it not only works on the muscles you use in your sport, but it also challenges single leg and trunk/core stability which are very important. Get into a lunge position with the back leg up on a box/bench/couch/whatever and then drop your trunk straight down while both knees bend. I’m using a kettlebell in a goblet hold here, but you can also do a barbell in the front/back/Zercher position
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- Hip Thrusters 

Yes, I know, this is a butt exercise. But without strong glutes, your knees will be trying to compensate for lack of stability. No bueno. Besides, lets be real, is there a downside to having a nice ass? No. 
In this video, my fiancé is demonstrating with both legs, but going single leg is a great option as well! Please note, he’s also going absurdly light with the weight here. You want to go HEAVY on this exercise. You’ll probably surprise yourself with how heavy you can go…I have multiple patients over 65 that do this one well over 100, if not 200 pounds for reps. Just make sure you can actually hit full extension at the top (meaning your hips finish in line with your knees and shoulders)

No barbell? That’s fine! Use a super heavy dumbbell or kettlebell…just know you’ll be limited by getting the weight on/off your lap and will need to up the reps to have any benefit. 

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Ok, hopefully these exercises are helpful!


One last quick note that I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention: When discussing knee pain, you have to consider lifestyle factors. All too often, knee pain is due to any increase in the body’s inflammatory response. And I’m not just taking about the injury response. If our diet, our sleep, and/or our stress is trash, it affects our entire system. So while I don’t wanna vilify the occasional cup of ice cream (that would make me a hypocrite), I do want to point out that if you’re crushing a whole pizza, McDonalds, and M&Ms every day, then it’s not entirely surprising that you feel lie you have “bad knees”…but if you take away the inflammatory-inducing foods, get 8 hrs of sleep, and move your body regularly, I bet you would find that you actually have good knees! They were just mad at you and letting you know they were mad…


Alrighty, drop any comments/questions below! 

And please share this blog with anyone you think would find it helpful! 


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