I admire beautiful gardens. I love to dig in the dirt, and to spread and smell the new mulch. I routinely transplant bulbs to better places in the yard. I prune dead branches and eagerly await the regrowth. I even enjoy weeding. The process of gardening is a lot like tending the human body. It's a challenge. And I love challenges.
An early mentor in my life asked, "How old do you want to be when you die?" I didn't even have to think about it—my response was "Ninety-six!" Never mind that I didn't even know anyone over 80. It's interesting, too, that I'd end up serving older adults in my work.
No one in my family ever broke a bone when I was growing up, much less saw a physical therapist (PT). So, how did I become one? Over 40 years ago, I investigated the physical therapy department in my town's small hospital to learn more. I saw the bustle of activity as PTs worked 1-on-1 with patients. I knew within 10 minutes that this was the path for me. That was the first of many defining moments in my life. A seed had been planted.