I know it seems cliche to write a blog about being thankful so close to “the day”… But I woke up this morning thinking I really needed to get these things put down on paper and out into the world.

Of course I’m thankful for all of my “apparents”: health, wife, loving pets, wonderful friends, a great job, family, food, our home.        And please don’t think I’m giving any of these things any less importance than what I’m writing about below.

But, I’m also very thankful for the “not so apparents” like my sometimes-rough childhood. Yes, my 1st stepmother gave me & my father a house to live in but she also gave me a few breaks and bruises over the 10 years I lived with her. But growing up in this environment also gave me a killer work ethic, made me excel & LOVE school (acceptance, happy time), taught me self-restraint in some areas, taught me self-defense in other areas, taught me how to protect others to the best of my ability and taught me exactly how I DIDN’T want to be as an adult.

Another “not so apparent” I’m grateful for is my 2nd stepmother. What a strong and amazing woman who took on a broken man when she connected with my father. They have since gotten divorced (I told you, he was broken) but she remains a strong part of my life.  This woman also proved to be an unexpected beautiful friend to my mother during her fight and loss to cancer (I love you Linda A. and I miss you Mom …)


My military experience is another chapter of my life that could be looked at as a “not so apparent”.  When I joined the US Army, I was SO EXCITED to join this elite group of men and women who were in to make a difference.  I was excited about bootcamp, I was excited to join the ranks and move up and I was excited to find a place where I felt part of an exceptional group of humans. I was the oldest female in my platoon (at 23!) and was immediately put in charge of our living space and was given 2nd platoon leader by the end of week 1 of bootcamp. I was proud. I was getting my ass kicked 23 hours a day but I was happy and I was excelling.  We were all the same in the eyes of our superiors until we did something to stand out – good or bad. I. LOVED. IT.  Until I got to my duty station in New York. Let’s go with long story made short here, ok? The US Army I interacted with there wasn’t what it was supposed to be. I’ll spare you the details (let’s have a drink sometime) but within a year I was cycling out with an honorable discharge… As bad as that part of the experience was, the rest made up for it. And that part of my life, yes, I’d do it all over again because it made me SO much stronger than I was previously.

So the moral today?  Remember where & what you came from. Remind yourself that the cruddy times likely made a good difference in your life after the fact.  Be aware that the rough patches will give way to sunnier days.  Be somewhat grateful for the hard times.  And if you’re in a bad spot right now, trust that it will give way to better opportunities…

Gratitude from me to you for reading this and remember, we’re all in this together!!  ~Coach Kimmie


The key to happiness is finding something… every day… to be thankful for. No matter the circumstance, no matter any feelings to the contrary, there is always always always something to be thankful for. Exercise your gratitude muscle as often as you like but at least once daily. If you find yourself immersed in a quagmire of troubles, my Rx is to take a 1 minute gratitude break every 20-30 minutes of worry.prayer

And I am very thankful for every moment in my life that has led me to here. Every second of good, bad, beautiful, and ugly have all played their part in assisting my arrival to this moment of gratitude.

I am so very rich with love, friendship, and rewarding work. My only prayer is that I can give back as much as I get from these rich experiences.


Love and prayers of gratefulness… ~ Dr Dawn


I’m LOVIN’ it…my job, that is!! ~Coach Kimmie

Why I love my job…


Oh! Let me count the ways…

Some days I feel like I’m in the 1%…not THAT 1%!!

The 1% of people who truly, honestly, LOVE their job.

I’m pretty sure I’m part of a very small group of people.

Think about it.  How many people do you know who really dig their daily grind? (don’t count me, silly)

Maybe a lot of people ‘like’ their jobs or think their job is ‘ok’.  Of course there’s always going to be a caveat; “If I were only paid more”, “If my boss got off my back”, “If I got more vacation time”, “If the commute weren’t so long”… And yes, I have days where I feel frustration, lack of confidence, or I’m just darn tired – but 99.99% of the time, I’m loving my time spent teaching, planning, preparing, following up, researching and creating.

Oh – and now, I’m blogging!!

 “Coach Kimmie, don’t you get tired of telling people what to do all day long?”  (Is that a trick question??)

NO!  If I know you’re fully engaged, learning and soaking up the message both mentally and physically, I don’t get tired of it.  People learn in so many different ways – verbal, visual, tactile – this keeps me on my toes.

“But CK, what about listening to people tell you how their bodies feel?”

I ask EVERY SINGLE client how they are doing on that day because I need to know and so do they.  Most people don’t take the time to think about their bodies until they’ve been asked. So I’m doing them a favor and getting them connected before movement occurs.

“Is it hard finding time & motivation to exercise yourself since you’re in and around exercise all day?”

Absolutely!! I HAVE to make time and literally schedule my workouts…or I’ll never get to them.  Just. Like. You. But I know how important movement is to my “happy” place. If I don’t sweat regularly, YOU will feel the repercussions!!

Every day, invariably, clients will make me laugh, share with me a beautiful nugget of “life”, sometimes make me cry, test my teaching capabilities, actually teach me something and always, always make me proud….


The Importance of a “Plan” ~ Coach Kimmie

The Importance of a “Plan”

Do you go into your week with a plan regarding your exercise and movement?  Just like our “work” week has a fairly specified amount of time allotted for it, so should our “movement” week.  If I didn’t plan my weekly workouts just like I schedule each client or class, TRUST ME – they’d never get done!

“So Coach Kimmie, how do I plan my week?”

Write down all the types of movement you really like to do first. LOVE that TRX class on Monday? Write it down!  Prefer the Yoga Tune Up class at Kinesis on Tuesday or Wednesday? Write it down!! Commitment to what you love (or really like) will undoubtedly help create success. Once you have these in place, build the week from there.

We all know that there must be components of each of these in our general fitness scheme:




We also know that there should be at least 1 day of no exercise or very light non-impact activity per week depending on our body’s needs.  And finally, we know that our body sometimes needs a little down time.

“So Coach Kimmie, what does a sample week look like?”

Monday:  off

Tuesday:  20-30 minutes of medium intensity cardio plus stretching.

Wednesday:  30-50 minutes of *strength training followed by 10-20 minutes of cardio.

Thursday:  Lower intensity strength & self-care day. **Pilates, maybe get a bodywork session, spend more time stretching or try a Yoga Tune Up class.

Friday:  20-30 minutes of interval cardio with stretching and Yoga Tune Up® therapy ball rolling for your specific “hot spots” afterwards.

Saturday:  low intensity cardio for 60 minutes and maybe a Pilates class or core series as well.

Sunday:  30-50 minutes of combined strength and cardio. Do a 1:1 ratio of strength and cardio movements.

Daily: spend 10-15 minutes stretching major muscle groups and using your self-care tools. Foam roller, Yoga Tune Up balls, foot wakers, etc.

Your week can obviously be different from what I’ve listed, but it has to make sense in your life.  If you know there’s NO WAY you can exercise on Wednesdays, then that’s your definite day off or you can focus on your flexibility/mobility program. If Sunday is always your family/relaxing day, then keep it that way.

The main things to keep in mind are:

1) When performing full body strength sessions, spread them out so you have at least 1 day between for adequate muscle recovery.

2) Be smart and work up to aiming your sessions just slightly out of your comfort zone.

3) Listen to your body.

4) Be aware of and use all the tools available to you! Physical therapy consults with Dr. Dawn, acupuncture/alternative options with Laura, bodywork with our fabulous therapists, etc….

Injury-free is the way to be!!

Ultimately, aim for 2-3 days of strength, 4-5 days of cardio, and 1 day off.  Mix these up into your life and you’ll be set up for success.  Remember, if our bodies are learning something new, there could be some crankiness coming from some muscles. If you’re really sore from the previous day’s workout, keep moving but maybe slow yourself down a bit and be good to your body!

Need help? We’ve got you covered!  One-on-one sessions can be spent figuring out your needs and customizing a plan THAT WORKS FOR YOU. FaceTime sessions are also available.


*Strength training can be done with your bodyweight movements or with the use of free weights, TRX, dumbbells, or other weighted non-machine based equipment. If you’re newer to strength training, take a private session with our amazing trainers at Kinesis. We offer a 3/$150 Personal Training special if you’ve never had personal training at Kinesis.

**Pilates is considered strength training in my book.

You have the power to make it happen. ~Coach Kimmie 


By: Dr Dawn DPT™

Your posture follows you like a shadow wherever you go… Stand up for yourself… Stand with integrity… Sitting is the new smoking… Death by sitting… Take standing breaks…

There is lots of posturing going on lately… thank goodness!!! We are finally talking about the elephant in the room, the problem at the core of many injuries. Basically, posture is as posture does. In other words, it’s the posture you practice ALL DAY LONG that makes a real difference in your default posture… your go-to stance, sit, and exercise position when no one is looking, not even you!

Here are some examples of good and bad standing, sitting, and exercise postures. Which side of the fence does your posture fall… um…er… stand?


Side view of standing posture: Align your hips over ankles, rib cage over hip cage, shoulders overs hips, and ears over shoulders.


Front view: Stand evenly on both feet with your feet facing forward and parallel with each other approximately front hip bone (ASIS) distance apart.


Here’s a great benchmark test: Wall standing… where do you stand?

And now for your sitting (dis)pleasure: Are you more likely to find yourself looking like the left (poor) side or right side?

badgooddeskpostureEver been in this position waiting for someone or something?


And what about your posture as you go about your daily activities:

cookingposture Does this look like good posture to you?

standingatpoolpostureOr this?


Practice makes permenance. If you practice poor posture throughout your day, that is your default positioning no matter how many times you do a “posture” exercise. We MUST continually remind ourselves to remind ourselves about our posture ALL DAY LONG especially when we’re not exercising!

And don’t forget to remind your kids! They’ll thank you for it later… much much later…


Confessions of a movement specialist

By: Dr Dawn DPT

OK… I admit it… I have an injury. I am done hiding it… hiding is mentally and physically exhausting… and it hasn’t made the injury go away!

I did “something” to my knee almost a year ago. I say “something” because there was no clear injury moment that can be pin pointed. However, I know I foolishly engaged in catch up training last September. I went through a grueling teacher training for Yoga Tune Up® and then suffered a nasty upper respiratory virus. These two things set my Ironman training back a few weeks. SO… as soon as I felt well enough, I came back to my training with a vengeance! I put myself through my hardest run workout for my welcome back… and fools suffer! It all felt great during the run although winded. About 1-2 hours after the run, my left knee swelled to twice its size and I have been struggling ever since.

Initially, I ignored the pain and swelling (I know… stupid… and so not the advice I would give any client) believing it would go away. How could it not?!? I did nothing. Really. Except overwork an already compromised knee joint from 2 previous surgeries that I worked really hard to heal to the point of doing half ironman triathlons without any problems. Really.

Soooooo after months of ignoring the issue, pretending I was fine, running through the pain, cycling under my performance level, gingerly pushing off the pool wall with every turn, and deflecting all questions about my knee (are you limping? is something wrong? etc) I decided to start treating THE KNEE. Bodywork, ball rolling, LASER, kinesiotaping, and directed strengthening took the place of swimming, cycling, and running. I stopped socializing with my tri friends so I wouldn’t have to deal with their requests for a training run, ride, or

Everything helped a little bit for short periods of time but the pain marched on. And the knee began to pop and stick and click with every move. I couldn’t sit on the toilet (or anywhere for that matter) without deweighting my left leg and using my arms to assist. I was frustrated and depressed over my inability to heal myself. I was “this close” to seeing my knee surgeon for another clean up of an already minimal lateral meniscus and joint surface stemming from a nasty lateral tibial plateau fracture in 1995.

And then a miracle happened! Well, not really a miracle. But it feels like one!! The pain is slowly diminishing! So why now you may ask? Well… I finally began devoting 100% of my attention to my movement patterns. And I mean every movement. I began analyzing the way I stand, sit, walk, pick up a dropped item from the floor, etc all day long. It begins with my first movement of the morning upon awakening and my hypervigilance extends until I am lying in my bed and drifting off to sleep… only to begin again upon awakening. Yes… it is mentally and physically exhausting, but so was hiding it. At least now I am reaping the benefits of my hard work. The healing is in motion now that the motion is biomechanically in line with my joint’s best interest with every movement, not just during strengthening work.

I can’t say yet if I can really avoid the surgeon’s scalpel, but I am hopeful. I ran 200 meters twice last week without pain. I ran 400 meters once this week without pain. I can bend and straighten my knee (weighted and deweighted) without clicking, popping, and sticking. The stiffness that comes from joint effusion is gone. I can do a near full air squat without pain. I can swim and push off the pool wall easily with both feet. I cycle to work without pain. But I study and analyze every footfall, pedal stroke, knee alignment during motion, muscle activation sequence, etc. Healing is a full time commitment.  But I’m worth it! Aren’t you?!?

I am excited at the prospect of training again, in due time. Until then, every move I make, every step I take, I’ll be watching me…images-1

My smile at the end of a 6 mile run!

My smile at the end of a 6 mile run!

FasciaNation with Movement

By: Dr Dawn DPT

I know I have talked about fascia previously, but really you can’t talk too much about long overlooked tissues that just happen to be uber important for body maintenance of mobility and strength. And it just so happens that two of the most common complaints as people age are loss of mobility and strength. Fear of falling is a common consequence of these critical system losses. In fact, recent literature shows that just the fear of falling predisposes one to falling.

So how do we combat loss of mobility and strength? Well… start mobilizing your tissues now! Here’s a great little sequence for fascial mobilization from Jill Miller, creator of Yoga Tune Up®.

Fascia Focused Fitness

And practice your “get ups”!

It’s never too early or too late in life to begin a body maintenance/self care program. Mobilize and strengthen those tissues!

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Yourself

By: Dr Dawn DPT

How we do anything is how we do everything.

Everything is attached to everything and anything can cause anything.

An hour in the gym x 2-3/week does not offset the hours spent dishonoring your biomechanical structure. As my dear friend and mentor Jill Miller says: Your posture follows you like a shadow wherever you go, whatever you do! Take a good look in the mirror or your reflection in a store window as you walk by. Is your postural shadow creepy or classy?

Bow to the temple of your familiar:

rowinmirrorReveal your body blind spots through frequent introversion of attention during your daily movement rituals. The next time you are working out, focus completely on form detail vs your friend’s run down of last night’s or today’s or the weekend’s festivities!

Examine your body’s posture and movement strategies. A mirror is quite helpful but seeing and feeling from the inside through proprioceptive awareness is just as important.didyouworkhard

Self-explore your tissues with regular use of myofascial release tools. My favorite tools are Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls!



Posturize yourself! Stand on your 2 feet equally, feet under lungs and parallel to each other, rib cage over hip cage, head over shoulders. Lift your cell phone to eye level vs stooping your head and neck to your lap!

Excel at being a good posture example in your world.

Cultivate conscious breath control during times of added stress whether it be physical or emotional.


Thank yourself for showing up to life and fully focusing and refining your unique movement patterns.

And no, no one else can do it for you Homer! justdoithomersimpson