I can’t remember a time in my life where sports or being active wasn’t an integral piece. Growing up my parents thought it was important for my brother and I to have a sport, to play on a team and to work hard at whatever it was we chose to do. In the winter, I figure skated, played both ringette and hockey and in the spring and summers, I played softball, ran cross country, and pole vaulted. When I think back on high school, it was all sports, school, and a little work here and there.
Somewhere around grade 11 or 12, I ended up with some pretty nasty shin splints - think practising-pole-vaulting-in-the-curling-rink-on-the-cement-once-the-ice-was-gone kind of shin splints... This injury led me to see a physiotherapist and I felt so much better after a few short visits, I was able to compete in an upcoming track meet. I started doing some research and thought this physiotherapy thing is a good gig! I can work with athletes and help them recover from injuries and return to the sport they love, win win! Eventually that entire experience led to my decision to pursue a career in Physical Therapy.
I received my Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alberta in 2008 and promptly started Physiotherapy school that fall. Honestly it was such an amazing experience. I learned so much during those intense years and it wasn’t all about sports. It opened my eyes up to some other areas of rehabilitation that I had never thought about.
Fast-forward to 8 years later, I now work as a Physiotherapist at Clearwater Physical Therapy in Fort McMurray, Alberta. You might think I work with athletes, and in a way I do, but it's a little different than I thought it would be; I work primarily in pediatrics and women’s pelvic health.
Pediatrics allows me to help kids learn to do all sorts of amazing things that some of us take for granted like sitting, rolling, walking, running, and jumping. We work on sports and life-long skills like kicking or catching a ball, swimming, and riding a bike. Currently, I'm also involved in a group that is working to develop an adapted bike library. This library will allow children with special needs to access bikes that are adapted to their needs so they too can keep active with their friends and family. Working with children is one of the most rewarding jobs there is, they constantly bring joy and energy to the equation. They push me outside of my comfort zone and challenge me to find a way to help them meet their goals.
The other side of my work in women’s pelvic health has been a new venture for me. After struggling with pelvic pain during and after my pregnancies, I found myself unable to go for a run or be active with my kids. Through my physiotherapy work, I can now help women over come difficulties that have kept them from being active or doing what they love.
Overall, I think my career goal is and always will be to help others achieve the goals they have set for themselves and maybe pushing them a little bit further. Sports and being active are a huge part of that and are so important. Just as my parents pushed me to pursue a sport or activity in life, I encourage my clients to find that same thing: an activity that brings you joy, releases some of your stress, and makes you stronger and happier. I hope to set an example for my daughter and for others that being active is important but sharing what you love and enjoying it is the most rewarding activity there is.