I believe that everyone has the ability to feel strong and healthy, but sometimes needs a little bit of guidance to find the correct path.
I grew up in Oklahoma with my 10 brothers and sisters. I became certified to teach group exercise in 1990 in an attempt to stay in shape when I went off to college. And while I was always a bit nervous about getting up in front of a group people who were relying on me to motivate and inspire them to work their tails off, I soon found myself loving the experience of leading that group of people through a fun workout.
I quickly discovered that I couldn’t pay the rent by solely teaching group exercise classes, no matter how many I taught. So I decided to explore other ways of helping people. I volunteered at the local hospital where I was placed in the physical therapy department. From the very first day, I knew this was what I wanted to do.
So I started down the long, painful path of getting into physical therapy school at the University of Oklahoma. In 1991, there was only one accredited physical therapy school in the state of Oklahoma. There were 78 slots with over 500 people applying for those slots. My odds were not good, but I was determined that no matter how long it took, this was the path I was supposed to take. Fortunately, I was accepted that first year.
I graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1994 with a BS in Physical Therapy and moved to Cincinnati to experience what it was like to live “in the big city”. While working in a sports and orthopedic setting, I continued to teach group exercise simply because it had become a part of me and I wasn’t willing to give it up.
I met my husband and we eventually moved to North Carolina. I continued to work as an orthopedic physical therapist and teach group exercise classes. Then in 2000, someone suggested I try this thing called Pilates. I was a bit hesitant because my thinking was if I wasn’t jumping around and sweating profusely, it wasn’t a workout.
From the very first class, my muscles were trembling like they never had before. I was forced to focus on every single aspect of my mind and body. I found that while I was humbled every step of the way, I felt empowered by the end of the class. Within 3 classes I was hooked. I decided I had to become certified in Pilates.
I became certified in Mat Pilates by the PhysicalMind Institute in 2000. I taught Mat Pilates at one of the local health clubs and to a group of seniors at a local church. It was the best decision I had made thus far as I had never felt stronger or more focused.
I began to see the strong connection between Pilates and physical therapy, so began using the Pilates in treating patients with a variety of diagnoses: Total knee replacements, ACL reconstruction, lower back injuries, neck injuries, shoulder injuries, MS, osteoporosis, just to name a few.
I went on to further my physical therapy skills by becoming certified in the McKenzie Method. This is an international certification for physical therapists to advance his/her ability to assess and treat back and neck injuries.
My husband, daughters and I eventually moved to Columbus, Ohio to be closer to family.
While working at a sports and orthopedic physical therapy clinic in Columbus, my supervisor asked me to help start a Pilates program. This prompted me to become certified in the Pilates equipment in 2010 through Balanced Body University.
I then eventually added the Health Coaching certification, to enable me to be a well-rounded source of information for my clients.
I started ABS Pilates in 2011 because over the years, I have witnessed a large gap between injury or illness and returning or beginning a safe and healthy exercise program. And I wanted to do what I could to bridge that gap.
Amanda B. Smith is a:
- Licensed Physical Therapist in the state of Ohio,
- Certified Pilates Instructor through both Balanced Body and the PhysicalMind Institute.
- Certified in the McKenzie Method.
- ACE certified Group Exercise Instructor.
- ACE certified Health Coach.
- Certified cycling instructor.
- With more than 24 years of experience.
My philosophy is…. You have to get uncomfortable to see you body change, but you have to do so in a fun, safe manner.
Exercise, good nutrition and developing strong relationships are the three most important components of living a happy, healthy, long-lasting life. So what are you waiting for?