By: Dr Mark Hsu, DC – Model Wellness
Hi, I’m Dr. Mark Hsu, DC. Welcome to the #1 Running Panda Blog!
I am happy to announce the partnership between Run Project and Model Wellness. This blog will keep your mind racing (HAHA) with helpful tips, fun stories, and information to better your running lifestyle.
I must admit, I have a major identity crisis with all the fun I’m having at work, keeping up with my health and wellness, and my personal life milestones.
Am I a runner, panda, chiropractor, triathlete, obstacle course racer, massage therapist, husband, dad, or fur dad?
I AM ALL OF THESE!!
But on this blog we will mostly focus on running and how chiropractic care can help you.
I have always been the type of athlete that wakes up, attempts a sport with no training and if I excel, I’ll continue doing the sport.
The 2014 Halloween Half around Lake Lavon was my very first running event. That morning I woke up and slapped on a panda hat simply to distinguish myself from other racers. I completed the half in 2 hours and 1 second, which started my runner’s high.
I lost track of how many races I attended from 2014-2017 but I definitely was in it for the bling and hardware!
In 2016 (wow that seems so long ago), I ran the Dallas Full Marathon with earphones that broke within the first mile, my phone died thanks to the cold, my race support couldn’t brave the cold, and I mentally hit a wall after each mile past mile 10. I barely made the cutoff time and there was no one left at the post race festival. I felt miserable after that race.
When 2017 rolled around, I had purchased a panda head for a halloween party but didn’t use it. A thought came to me, I would probably be the only panda at the next upcoming Dallas Half Marathon. And indeed I was! With 25 seconds of fame on the news and virtually every race supporter cheering me on, I PR’d which is still crazy to think about since I had a large bobbing panda head on.
This was how Pooky the Panda started. I signed up for races almost every weekend and attended each one with the panda head. It was nice to feel welcomed in the running community and also be easily recognizable as the only 6’6 guy with the panda mask.
Five and a half years later with a brief period of retirement due to personal milestones (graduation from Parker University, first job as a Doctor of Chiropractic, finding the love of my life and marriage) + COVID19, Pooky the Panda has come back to again to turn heads, encourage inspiration, and act on his own health and wellness.
“LIVE TO RUN, RUN TO LIVE”
I wouldn’t say that I particularly love running, but I love being able to boost my personal health and wellness while also bringing smiles to fellow runners and spectators. People find it easier to approach and talk to me after they see me running with the panda mask.
As a healthcare practitioner, I see so much value in my skill sets to benefit not just runners but all athletes. I started out as a licensed massage therapist, however I was limited in how I could help my clients. I expanded my skills with chiropractic care and chiropractic acupuncture, and now I can confidently bring functionality back into my clients’ bodies.
Every patient is built differently and has different goals. I currently practice at Model Wellness, where we do not only provide chiropractic care, but also medical services as a branch of UT Southwestern Medical Center.
If you stop by the clinic, you’ll find me helping patients and maybe I can help you too. We can also talk about our running journeys.
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