In September of 2016, Labor Day weekend in the states, I spent the long weekend traveling to Barcelona Spain to teach upper cervical chiropractic.
I embarked on a trip that would open new doors, opportunities, and change my chiropractic direction forever. This was the first time I had traveled to Europe since my senior year of high school and I was just as excited then as I was when I was 18. I was a bit more seasoned, older, balder, grayer, and some might even say wiser.
Anyway, I was ready. I always had a strong affinity for the culture, diversity, food, and people of Europe, though I had never been to Spain. I have no idea exactly why I’ve felt pulled to Europe, but something seems to be in my DNA. Maybe it was a premonition of things to come?
I traveled by myself from Philly to Paris through the night, connected in Paris, then off to Barcelona. 2016 was the first year I really “learned” how to travel. Of course, I had been on a plane before, but I knew almost nothing about what it means to be a real ‘traveler.’
Where do I park my car?
Boarding passes on my phone?
Frequent Flyer Numbers?
Isn’t that currency?…. In fact, prior to 2016, I didn’t even own a good piece of luggage.
I really should say “sufficient” piece of luggage, I had a bag we called carpet bag, I’ll miss her. I was ridiculed by everyone who saw her because she looked like she was made of carpet from the 1970’s that was stapled to the walls, if you know what I mean. But in 2016 with new luggage in hand, it seemed as though I was cursed. Every international trip I took, there was one consistency. I would arrive, but part of my luggage didn’t. It even became a game on Facebook, “will Bill get his bag?”
I’m not joking….And Barcelona’s trip was the worst of all.
I packed up a portable chiropractic table, practice scanners, speeder boards, and of course clothes all because I was prepared to teach students and chiropractors from all over Europe over the course of the next 3 days. Come to find out that when I arrived in Spain, this trip…I would be without my trusty luggage, not for a day…..oh no, the ENTIRE 5 days!
I’ve dealt with 1 day, 2 days, even 3, but this time the luggage never came. Now, as an upper cervical chiropractor, It’s vitally important that I help ensure people that their body and nerve systems are adapting efficiently. But I’ve got to tell you, this time, I was getting sick of adapting to this new trend.
Wait, there is a good part of not getting your luggage….
I got to go shopping! Thanks, American Airlines! and I can tell you, I embraced the style and culture. Europe is great, medium clothes are actually medium, you can get shoes that fit exactly the way you like because they have more sizes, and salmon colored pants are appropriate, yea I bought a pair.
So my wardrobe got upgraded, and so did my nickname “Spanish Bill” or “Euro Bill” whichever you prefer. After having a day to tour the most incredible cathedral I have ever experienced, the Sagrada Familia (a must see), it was time to do what I came for, and what I love to do, teach chiropractic.
If you didn’t know, Upper Cervical Chiropractic, the type of chiropractic practiced in both Keystone Specific offices, is a rare breed of chiropractic. In fact, it is barely taught in any schools, and few chiropractic schools even mention it during their 4-year curriculum. Kinda sad in my opinion, because it’s one of the most scientifically sound, detailed approaches in chiropractic.
The weekend kicked off Friday morning and we trained. The weekend consisted of mainly new students, our level one class included over 10 students and doctors, that had little to no experience in upper cervical chiropractic. An interesting thing always happens to new students, and this was true of Dr. Sophie Anderson. The weekend starts with curiosity, which quickly turns in to questioning, and if you make it to the other side of questioning… it’s hard to go back to practicing any other way.
After being exposed to upper cervical chiropractic it’s really hard not to question everything you do in chiropractic. Sounds intense right? The biggest question I get from my patients is, “Why don’t more chiropractors practice this way?” The reason is simple, it’s tough, it isn’t for the faint-hearted, and Dr. Sophie now knew that….and she wanted in.
3 months prior to that weekend, Sophie moved to Barcelona form the United Kingdom to pursue her own practice. Prior to the move, Sophie served as a cover doc to other chiropractors throughout Europe. She loved chiropractic but wanted more. She wanted her own practice, one that made sense with the philosophy she loved, the science she knew, and an art where she could grow.
In Upper Cervical Chiropractic she found that, and couldn’t not turn back. When a truth is revealed it’s hard to unlearn. As the weekend wound down, and after a brief beach conversation with many of the students and instructors, she discussed what she would need to make this dream a reality. I thought about what she said, the support she needed, I mulled it over. Shortly thereafter one of the other instructors said, “Bill, why don’t you take this chance, why don’t you help her out, you’ve always had an interest in Europe, here is your opportunity.”
I’ve never shied away from dreaming big or taking a chance so I leaped, way out of my comfort zone, and decided to bridge the gap from thought into reality. My final morning in Barcelona was spent over some of the best coffee I have ever had, of course, all great projects start with fine espresso, where Sophie and I began the discussion about starting the first Upper Cervical Chiropractic office in Barcelona Spain.
And so it began…
In one weekend, I went from having not been to Europe in 16 years, to an international businessman. Over the next 2 months Sophie, myself, our Spanish team of accountants and lawyers, made the dream a reality, And on November 17th of 2016 the papers were signed and we were ready to fly! Coincidentally, November 17th is the same date Keystone Specific Chiropractic Center Wyomissing was established just 2 years prior, a special day in company history. Keystone Specific Chiropractic Center Barcelona has now been open since April of this year.
As 2017 wines down, I reflect on all the travel, planning, and hard work that has been done by my team and doctors, and I cannot help but look forward to the future with hope, excitement, and reverie for all the people whose lives will be changed by the work Dr. Sophie does. We are truly blessed to expand to one of the most amazing cities in the world.
Cheers! We’ve only just begun.