By Virginia Eaton
A friend once said to me that men tend to have a linear career path while women, for various reasons, have a more winding, tumbling, curvaceous career path.
I have held on to that observation over the years as I have woven together an eclectic knowledge and skill set in the fitness and wellness industry that got me back to California, accepted to Fresno State’s Master of Kinesiology program, and most importantly, the owner of my own fitness and wellness center.
I began my adult working life as a nurse, which I set aside when I married and moved with my husband to Salt Lake City. We raised two boys who are now grown and living enviable lives full of love, heartbreak and adventure. As my role as domestic engineer lightened, I became certified as a mediator working with the juvenile court system helping juvenile offenders create restitution agreements with those whom they had wronged. As an outgrowth of that, I developed and ran a program to keep truant children and their families out of the court system—a daunting job but extremely rewarding.
I reached a point when “extremely rewarding” wasn’t enough to deposit in the bank and moved on to work for the University of Utah as an Academic Advisor helping graduate and undergraduate students negotiate their way through higher education. But when my children left Utah, I wanted to come home, to California. I also wanted to focus on what had been my hobby for all my adult years: fitness and wellness.
My reverence for exercise came after a nasty ruptured vertebral disc that left me bent, limping and unable to rock climb, cycle, hike, or even vacuum my living room floor!
Several days after the rupture, an MRI technician, while insisting he couldn’t discuss the results of my MRI, was certain that surgery was forthcoming. My doctor was fabulous, and while he believed surgery was likely, supported the option of therapy to remedy the damage done and prevent further pain.
My therapist gave me the most ridiculously easy exercises that caused my breath to labor and my pulse to race. When I had tackled her list of rehabilitation recommendations, I began Pilates and then weight lifting and then running. I discovered that as long as I was moving, I had very little pain but when I took a few days off, the nerve pain (a very special kind of pain that makes muscle soreness seem like kindergarten) returned with a vengeance. This is what sparked my journey into understanding the ways that exercise protects the body and the brain. This is why when you walk through my front door I have a big smile on my face—I know that you are also on your journey to live well.
I am passionate about supporting you in finding the joy and healing potential in exercise and nourishing your body with real food. This is what inspires my writing and is the foundation of my professional aspirations. I know that fitness and health are not one-size-fits-all; everyone can find ways to add movement to their day and eat in a way that makes your body and soul happy.
The topics that I write about are based on the current research and insights around fitness, wellness, health, and holistic living. My writing is meant to spark conversations between friends, among family, and make you think about possibilities. I look forward to writing regularly for Sierra News Online and value your feedback, comments and opinions about what you read, think and have discovered yourself on your health journey.
Virginia Eaton is the co-owner of Class: The Body Pastiche