About once each month, we at BuildPT take a moment to step away from physical therapy marketing in order to tell the story of a physical therapist who motivates or inspires us. She or he may have done this through work in their clinic, efforts in their community, or by simply achieving great things in life and movement. What loosely ties their stories together is they’re all BuildPT clients, and we’re truly fortunate to have partnered with all of them.
For this month’s feature, we’ll be highlighting Lauren Lobert, DPT, founder and owner of APEX Physical Therapy in Brighton, Michigan, and a “Rabid Dog” on the ice. Enjoy!
Lauren Lobert, DPT
When physical therapist Lauren Lobert first filed the LLC paperwork to open a new private practice in 2017, she hadn’t yet settled on a final name for her clinic.
So, she temporarily referred to it by a nickname she acquired from years of having a fierce commitment toward personal and professional achievements: Rabid Dog Physical Therapy.
“As my family says, when I want something, I will go after it,” Lauren said recently. “That’s why they jokingly call me Rabid Dog.”
While she eventually changed the name of her Brighton, Michigan clinic to APEX Physical Therapy, her “Rabid Dog” persona remains. And nowhere does this persona rear its gritty head higher than in the hockey rink, where she and her Victory Honda Women’s Senior team recently finished third at the USA Hockey Nationals in Anaheim, CA.
“Hockey is where I have made my best friends, learned my greatest lessons, and experienced some of my highest highs and lowest lows,” she said. “I believe that you always make time for the things and people you love, and I love playing hockey.”
Success on the Ice
Lauren started playing hockey at a very young age when her dad would build a rink in their family’s backyard during the winter. When she was 6, her family moved to a lake house, where she recalls playing pond hockey with her dad, uncles and neighbor kids every winter.
She started playing competitively in middle school, eventually playing club hockey for four years at the University of Michigan.
“After college, I continued to play competitively and have been on the Victory Honda Women’s Senior team since its inauguration,” Lauren said.
Since that year, the Victory Honda Women’s Senior team has won four Michigan Amateur Hockey Association state championships (2013, 2014, 2015 and 2018) and one USA Hockey National Championship (2018).
APEX Physical Therapy’s corrective exercise specialist, Heather Mannix, MS, joins her as a defenseman on the team.
“I firmly believe that sports and competition teach us great lessons that are applicable in every aspect of our lives,” Lauren said. “This drive to succeed has absolutely helped me become a physical therapist and a business owner.”
A Better Physical Therapist
According to Lauren, being an athlete with a passion to compete has also helped her become a better physical therapist as she’s able to relate to many of her clients.
Having experienced ACL reconstruction surgery following this year’s hockey season has further solidified her connection with clients who are driven to get back to the things they love most in life. She’s now a patient at her own clinic, after all.
“I think being an athlete and understanding the psychology behind the feelings you go through following an injury that prevents you from being able to do what you love – whether its an athlete or a mom not being able to pick up a child from their crib – has helped me become a better physical therapist,” she said.
“It’s helped me to understand when and how to push someone and when to back off and be more of a friend or a therapist.”
Follow Her Progress
You can follow Lauren’s progress through physical therapy and her journey toward getting back on the ice on her clinic’s Instagram page, appropriately listed as @the_hockey_physio.