I have been working in wellness for 28 years. I attended the University of Oregon where I received my B.S. in Exercise Science and my M.S. in Sports Medicine with minors in Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics.
When I began working in the wellness field, I was an athletic trainer working in local high schools. I developed programs to help young athletes prevent injuries. I was the first one by their side when they went down on the field. The kids used say, “you have kind of a morbid job because you sit on the sidelines and wait for one of us to get hurt!” I really couldn’t argue that point. When they did get hurt, I developed rehab programs to help get them back in the game.
When not at the high school I worked at a local hospital in their physical therapy department helping the therapist develop exercise routines for our patients. I enjoyed helping people recover from their injuries and progressing them to normal exercise routines. I realized then that personal training might be something I could pursue. But I wanted to work with people who had obstacles that needed addressing as they learned to work out and reach their health goals. So I decided to focus on special populations. Since then I have worked with doctors and therapists helping their patients to recover and progress beyond various obstacles that life has thrown at them. I have had the privilege of helping people work with bad knees, backs, shoulders, work through cancer, recover from heart issues and control their diabetes.
Athleticism is unique to each person. I help others find their inner athlete. A local shoe company has a motto I like, “if you have a body, you are an athlete.” I think that like an athlete you should try to make your body as healthy as you possibly can. I do want to be as healthy as I can be, and yes sometimes that is a challenge. I would love to live a long life. I want to live a life where I am physically capable of doing whatever I desire to do. Some athletes may want to dunk a basketball. Or be the fastest sprinter on the track. I’m a little older and have different goals in mind. I want to get up in the morning and not ache. I want to have good cholesterol, normal blood sugars! I know these are not the typical goals of some athletes, but they are the goals of this athlete.
I want the workouts that I design for my clients to be fun and productive. The body needs to move to be healthy, so that’s what we do. We move, stretch, lift, cardio, sweat, laugh, and hopefully not cry. We find exercises that are adjusted to the client’s needs so they can advance their health without getting hurt. We may use high-intensity exercises. We may use the low-intensity exercise. Maybe we try yoga poses. No matter what we are doing, I expect lots of feedback from each of my clients. If an exercise is not comfortable, I want to know. It might just take a correction in technique. It may be an exercise that just isn’t right for the person, so we throw it out. That’s okay there are much more we can try. If they hate an exercise, I want to know. Not that I’m going to let them get out of it, but I do enjoy hearing the complaints! Most of all we have fun. That is always the result I hope for, that they had fun and feel better going out the door than they did coming in.
It is very rewarding to be able to help someone to find their inner athlete. To help them handle some of the curves that life is so great at throwing at us. I have had clients who had never run a mile in their life by choice, become marathoners. I have had the opportunity to help athletes who struggled to stand on their own regain the strength just to get up. Regaining that freedom again means just as much to them as a gold medal may mean to one of the Olympic athletes this summer. Helping people reach those moments is why I do what I do.