The world's most elite athletes will be squaring off at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London in a few weeks and Patch will be there. Well, Patch blogger Dr. Joel Bienenfeld will be there.
For Bienenfeld, a chiropractor on the U.S. Olympic Track and Field team, being able to participate in the international event is humbling, but something he's been striving toward for almost 25 years.
"It's been a very long process and it started almost about the time I got my license," said Bienenfeld. "I went to and I volunteered to work with the football team."
Bienenfeld started by taping injured players and then moved onto conducting more complex deep-tissue treatments on the athletes. Since then, the chiropractor has worked with athletes at Santa Monica and Agoura high schools, as well as with those at Santa Monica College, California State University Northridge and the University of Southern California.
Pacific Palisades has hosted Bienenfeld's practice for the past 24 years or so. He recently moved into an office in Brentwood, where he also grew up.
A lot of people were building their own houses in Brentwood, said Bienenfeld, and his family was no different. They built their house on Leonard Road, just off of Kenter Avenue.
"All the kids knew each other, we knew all the adults," Bienenfeld said. "I don't even know if that exists anymore in Brentwood."
Ballerinas and Elite Athletes
Ariel Derby grew up in Ohio and moved to Culver City after accepting a position as a dancer with the Los Angeles Ballet Company. She's one of Bienenfeld's more recent patients and one who puts an extraordinary amount of stress on her body.
"Ballerinas in a sense are elite athletes and in some ways they have more problems than you can ever imagine," said Bienenfeld.
Derby, who also teaches ballet to kids at Brentwood Academy of Dance, told Patch that she's required to wear point shoes and stand on her toes for eight hours a day.
"So even just the impact from a lot of that can affect our achilles and it goes from our feet all the way up to our body," said Derby.
Thomas Ganda, a Palos Verdes resident, has been seeking treatment from Bienenfeld for more than 10 years. He's a two-time Olympic runner and claims that running is the most difficult sport there is.
"I usually tell people when you play other sports and you do something wrong and they punish you, your punishment is running," said Ganda. "And we do that for a living."
The Doctor, The Blogger
Follow on Patch.