New Beginnings - My Story
Updated: Sep 15
I’ve been a physical therapist for a REALLY long time. In fact, when I was on the high school track team, there was no team trainer or PT. The janitor, Mr. Andrade, taped up my shin splints for me. He must have done a great job because I was able to become the Santa Barbara Girl’s Athletic League champion in the half mile in my junior year. That same year, I discovered I wanted to become a physical therapist. That year, a close family friend was involved in a motorcycle accident and became a paraplegic. My mom and I would visit Bruce, who was about 21 at the time of his accident, at the small rehabilitation hospital in Santa Barbara. My mom would hang out with Bruce’s mom Deloris while I was mesmerized with watching the PTs work with Bruce.
I think I’ve always been enthralled with the human body and making people feel better. I remember as a young child, becoming engrossed in my mom’s anatomy book from college. While other kids were reading The Cat In The Hat, I was more interested in seeing what the body looked like on the inside. On top of that, I became proficient at giving out neck massages and was reportedly very good at it according to my second grade teacher Mrs. Kohler. When my parents had dinner parties, I would go around the table and rub everyone’s neck and they of course, told me how good I was at it! Whether I was really good at it or not was sort of irrelevant. What it did was teach me that I enjoyed making people feel better.
Between my own injuries, my neck massage prowess and then watching Bruce’s therapy, I became sure that becoming a physical therapist was the career path I wanted to follow. After graduating from PT school in California, I moved to the Atlanta area to follow my sister and brother in law. I had a full physical therapy career – working in orthopedics, partnering with a big corporation and finally starting my very own practice in Canton in 2006. That clinic grew to be a five-therapist clinic specializing in orthopedics.
About four years ago, I developed bladder pain. After many doctor’s visits and medications without much improvement, I referred myself to a pelvic floor physical therapist, thinking to myself, “Well I’ve tried everything else, I doubt this will help but what do I have to lose?” Long story short, I proved myself wrong; my pelvic floor was the main driver of my pain. I felt just like I was when I was a little kid with the anatomy book. I knew I needed to learn more about the pelvic floor. I could have taken one or two courses but instead decided to spend the next two and a half years immersing myself in the world of pelvic health. I completed both a Pelvic Health Certification and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. After nearly 30 years of clinical practice, I was ready to start a new chapter of my career. Coincidentally, around that same time, I received an offer to buy my business. It was a sign! I was ready to step away from owning and running a business and focus solely on sharing what I now know to be true – there is help for pelvic pain!
Catalyst Physical Therapy is a vehicle for me to learn more (never stop learning) and take time to slow down and focus on my patients. I also have more time to spend with my family. I have 3 grown sons from my first marriage, and my husband, Matt, has 3 sons as well. We are a real-life Brady bunch, complete with grandkids and one on the way. I've enjoyed every part of my PT career and I know the next part will be even better!