Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Tracy Fober is the Iron Maven! Have you seen her videos on Youtube? Or checked out her website? If your saying no to both your really missing out. Tracy's videos are are not only helpful for Oly lifting form they are truly inspirational! For a while I watcher her videos without knowing what she was all about. Then I found her website and blog and said to myself, well shit how come all these people live so far away? This lady is into Olympic lifting and cycling....now that's cool! Anyway thank you Tracy for coming to Jen's Gym.

I’m not your typical physical therapist. My goal is to teach people to know their bodies, move well and be strong—to really educate them about their physical health and keep them out of the clinic. I am not afraid to ask the human body to move and adapt to the real world. And trust me; I practice what I preach on a daily basis. How can I ask others to move if I cannot and do not move myself?

I have always been athletic, so the thought of using exercise to promote health appealed to me, versus using surgery or pharmacology as a physician. The value of movement in health became very apparent after my father was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (chronic progressive type) in his early 40’s. There wasn’t much medicine could do for him; but movement was therapeutic. I liked the idea of the top-down approach versus the reductionist, Western medical approach, and chose a career that would let me affect physiology and anatomy through purposefully applied movement.

During my professional journey, I have been privileged to learn from and be mentored by many bright people in the worlds of applied exercise science (Robert C. Hickson), physical therapy (Shirley Sahrmann), weightlifting (Harvey Newton) and athletic development (Vern Gambetta). Yep, I’m a geek who has put in my time in the Ivory Tower. But I come to this physical health gig honestly, honing my experience and skills (and calluses) over the last 10 years through hard work in the clinic, the gym, and in the athletic arena. And I view every day as another opportunity to evolve, learn and grow. I feel one of my greatest strengths is the ability draw from, interact with, and move among any of these subject areas, integrating concepts and communicating them to a wider audience. Thus, I started my blog and my private practice.

I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Derrick Crass, physical therapist and ‘84/88 Olympian in weightlifting. Derrick gave me my first outpatient physical therapy job in 1998. He taught me the basics of barbell movements and weightlifting, and provided a work place where new ideas in patient care and athletic development could be explored. He didn’t flinch when I returned from Vern Gambetta’s “Building and Rebuilding the Complete Athlete” seminar with a new sense of purpose and suitcase of ideas. Every day at MECCAH was R&D for my current ideas about physical health.

And the best thing about it, was that this accomplished strength & power athlete left his ego out of the mix. Yes, he had been an elite athlete, but he backed up his training methods with sound principles and a mind open to lifelong learning. The barbell was one tool in his arsenal, not the only tool or the magic tool. He educated, mentored, and motivated everyone, of any ability, with kindness and humility. And he respected me for my knowledge and ability. I believe it is more challenging for a woman to earn respect and build credibility in the fitness or athletic development arena.

Thank you to Derrick, Harvey, Vern, and Mike Burgener and others who have supported me and given me, and other women, the opportunity to participate and prove our worth in this field.

That said, I hope to be a role model or mentor for any woman, and help her develop physical health and self-confidence. I have played and participated in everything from competitive roller skating and flag football (one of two girls in the league) in grade school, to high school and collegiate basketball, volleyball, track & field, to the 1989 Olympic Festival, as a member of the silver-medal winning North team handball squad. But I never really new how to properly prepare for those activities—didn’t know how to do my first proper squat, lunge or press until I was 28, and didn’t do my first pull up until I was 30. I didn’t know how I moved or that I could move better. And it is these foundations—and the appropriate application of their respective modalities—that are missing for so many women, whether in sport or life. It is time to change that. We can do better. We must smash the myths and stereotypes.

So that’s a bit about the Iron Maven. I want to thank Jen for giving me this opportunity. Thanks to those of you who subscribe to my videos and chime in on my blog. I look forward to more constructive interaction, fun and new ventures in 2008. If you ever have any questions or suggestions for topics, feel free to drop me an email (tfober AT gmail DOT com). Now, I gotta email Catherine Imes and schedule that kettlebell lesson!


Catherine Imes said...

Great Blog Entry Tracy. Jen, thanks for coordinating these things and getting them posted. Great idea.. I've enjoyed reading all of them..


Jen said...

Sure thing CI! I'm loving it!

Anonymous said...

I agree, haven't commented until now but I've been really enjoying these guest entries. And this one just makes me want to go out and train in olympic lifts more! Really, why do all these people live so far away??? lol

Another great entry and another blog to check out! Thanks Tracy and Jen (and everyone else who's done an entry so far)!!!

Brad Nelson said...


Thanks for stopping by my blog! I just saw your comment.