Dr. Sean Robinson
I frequently run in Forest Park for the proximity and miles of beautiful trail. However, I dream of running on and around Mt. Hood, specifically to Paradise Park. A destination favorite trail would have to be Mid Mountain in Park City, Utah.
I run for the mindfulness and feeling of being out in the forest that trail running provides. I am an introvert by nature and my work as a Sports & Family Medicine doctor forces me to flex my extrovert muscle, so there is nothing better to recharge than a long run in the forest. The meditative effect of running provides the needed stress relief after a long day or busy week. Rather than road running, trail running provides perspective on where we as humans fit into nature. Nothing compares to the feeling that accompanies coming up on a ridge line and looking out at the expanse. Mother nature rules the roost and realizing I am at her mercy is centering and recharging.
My own personal “yellow gate” is the Leif Erickson gate at the Germantown road location in Forest Park. This seems odd, as the Leif gate has no actual attributes for a similar comparison to the hallowed Barkley gate. However, after dealing with a knee injury that crept into my Black Canyon 100K training in 2018, the Leif gate became a symbol of progress despite set back after set back. This turned out to be the worst setback I have had to deal with since I started running, hell, even through all the years I skateboarded during high school and college. It turned out that I had injured my left quadriceps tendon. This injury left me frustrated and unable to run. Given my background I thought I knew how this injury would resolve. Rest 2 weeks, gradually load the tendon and get back to activities for a total of 4-5 weeks. As you can imagine, this is not how the story went. It resulted in about twice that time, pulling out of the race, spending a small fortune on different recovery modalities before I was able to make some progress and learned to respect muscle and tendon tissues. This brings me back to a yellow gate in Forest Park that symbolized hope, despair, progress and ultimately success.
The now hallowed gate in Forest Park symbolized my incremental progress of short, flat runs that became my new normal as I explored a healthy way of eating and respect that an aging body deserves. After every short run, I’d pass the gate and see signs of progress. There were days of pain and the long walk of shame back to the car felt like it would never end. There were days of complete down pour of rain but I was committed to get back to at least a short run in the forest. I was able to learn to slow down and to be thankful every time I approached that gate, whether starting or finishing. Slowly, I was able to touch the gate at the end of a run pain free, providing a sense of relief that I was able to finish and progress. Throughout this process I was able to accept that I needed a team of trusted practitioners to get me back on my feet. I found Ian Wilkinson, a motor point acupuncture specialist in town. This has now become my new favorite form of “torture” and shows interesting and actual results in tissue recovery and resetting muscles. I am thankful for the rehab team at P.A.C.E., my strength training coach, and my new found patience with my body. Now, I know that I would not be crazy or worthy enough to touch the storied yellow gate in TN, but through this recent injury I feel that I may have gotten just a little bit closer.
Dr. Robinson was born and raised in Salt Lake City, UT. Before enrolling at the University of Utah, he took a two-week high school senior trip to the village of Sepamac in Guatemala where he taught basic first aid to the Mayan descendants of the village. While in college, he volunteered for a variety of projects, notably teaching science to a 5th grade class, and serving as a mentor and a teacher at the Salt Lake City jail and at the Shriners Hospital.
During the 2002 Winter Olympics hosted by Salt Lake City, Dr. Robinson worked as an emergency medical technician. While attending medical school, he volunteered to be a manager at the Saturday Clinic for the Uninsured in downtown Milwaukee, WI. During his tenure as a manager at the clinic, he was able to help implement a new sub-clinic designed to target patients with chronic disease to improve their health and access to care. He continued improving the triad of access to care, effective care through preventative medicine, and the cost effectiveness of care during his residency at OHSU. After residency his love for sports was a driving force to begin a fellowship in sports medicine at OHSU. His main clinical passion is keeping patients functional throughout their lifespan using lifestyle mediated preventive care.
Dr. Robinson is an avid trail runner and loves spending time working out with his wife. Living at the foot of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains gave him his thirst for outdoor living. Moving to the Pacific Northwest has furthered this passion. He was able to complete his first 100-mile race just outside of Moab, Utah in 2018 called: The Ute 100.