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Listen to 'Defining Moment'

When I look back on why I became a physical therapist, one day stands out. I'd gone with my dad to the gym in the small Illinois town where I grew up.

He and I did everything together. We worked out, took bike rides, camped, hiked, fished, hunted, rollerbladed, and more. Whatever fun thing we could think of to do outside with my mom and 2 brothers, we did. When they opted out, my dad and I went anyway. He always was teaching me life lessons: The need to treat others well; the importance of family; the value of integrity, hard work, and perseverance; and how all of those things shaped the kind of person I ultimately would become. That day at the gym, my dad taught me how to use all the equipment and told me how movement and exercise helped keep him young so he could keep up with his teenaged daughter. That made quite an impression on me.

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