I think I’ve been helping people on some level since I was 8 years old. Since our home was a babysitting business, I learned quickly to soothe crying babies, to break up fighting children and I became a massage therapist as well. My step-grandmother would have me rub her shoulders or her upper back when she would get muscle spasms!
So when I got into the fitness/exercise/rehab world, it only made sense. Making people feel better had been an integral part of my life already so why wouldn’t it continue into my “paid job” life?? My first job in the field was at a hospital in Madison, TN. They had an outpatient physical therapy center, a fitness center with 500+ members, a heated therapy pool and a warm lap swimming pool. I started as the back up driver for the van that picked up people who couldn’t drive to their physical therapy. Those of you who know me know I’m HORRIFIC with directions. I only stayed in that job for about a month 🙂 They moved me into the physical therapy aide position and I also got to help in the gym. I was 19 at the time and knew pretty quickly that I’d found my “calling”. I listened to everything the PTs and trainers said, I soaked up information, I read books, I watched how people moved and I learned something EVERY SINGLE DAY. Much like now! I honestly don’t remember the first time I helped someone move better or understand something fitness-related, but I do remember how I LEARNED from every client I’ve ever encountered.
I do remember how many hugs I got on a regular basis, how clients were always happy to see me, how a woman so affected by post-polio syndrome was no longer limited when I worked with her in the pool and how my first experience with an anorexic client nearly broke my heart & almost sent me into another career. THAT place. That’s where the passion comes from. From all the amazing people I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the nearly 20 years I’ve been doing this professionally.
As much as I may have given you, you’ve all given me so much…