“The shortest interval of humanly perceptible time is the distance between vertical and horizontal when you slip on the ice…”

“And that’s how I came in initially!” John Severinghaus exclaims. He and his wife, Rita, have been coming in to Cioffredi & Associates for physical therapy since the late 80s to help recover from various injuries and surgeries as well as to identify and resolve the source of their pains. Rita adds, “I knew after my first experience that I would have reliable, consistent, professional attention to my concerns that was really attending to my perspective of what was going on coupled with the expertise that he offered – it’s the place to go!”

“[The whale sharks] are just beautiful… I was going to have to swim fast in bursts in order to get into position to watch” -John Severinghaus
More recently, after recovering from a fall in her flower garden, she decided she wanted to do more to protect her hurt shoulder and wrist. She signed up with the Cioffredi Personal Training Program and roped John into joining her in paired training sessions. John remembers, “Rita asked me to join her. She keeps wanting me to be healthy for some reason. And after a while I realized, ‘Hey this is definitely worth doing,’ and we seem to keep doing it!” John had another reason to be conditioned though: he’s been an avid scuba diver for decades and had a prime opportunity to swim with whale sharks. “They are just beautiful…I was going to have to swim fast in bursts in order to get into position to watch them go by.” He wanted to be in optimal shape so he didn’t miss anything.

Even with different goals and different approaches to training, or perhaps even because of it, they were able to motivate each other forward with the help of Personal Trainer, Meghan Yandow. “John’s style of training and mine is very different. We’re different individuals and yet [Meghan] has been able to accommodate us both at the same time. That takes very special skills,” Rita explains. “For about 4 years, I went to a gym that was all about lifting weights, but I found that type of training led me to more injuries than I wanted to experience. Meghan is very measured, very consistent, so I can see the goal is to gain the strength, but not rush into it. She really listens and attends to what is important to me. She meets you where you are each step of the way and then you go a little further.”

For John, the training had the immediate result he was hoping for. “It was a real benefit to have been in more limber shape than I might have been in otherwise. A couple times I got fairly close and one time I got so close I thought it was going to run into me. It was incredible.”

For Rita, personal training had more unexpected benefits than just her initial goal of protecting her side. “This past winter I found myself doing things that I haven’t done in the past 20 years: biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. I used to need help to get my ebike onto the car, but now I’m at the point where I lifted the whole darn [55 pound] bike up onto the rack! I lifted it! And that totally surprised me… It’s given me a lot more freedom to enjoy the outdoors in a way that I had really closed my mind to. There’s so much to enjoy here; hikes, walks, these are things I’m doing pretty regularly now. I feel the strength and confidence to try them!”

As for what’s next? Rita muses, “The last couple days I’ve been looking at the weather and saying, I gotta get out there! It’s new behavior, looking at the weather and engaging. Is it raining, can I go out biking? That’s not a drive that was there even before my fall… And slowly but surely I can rope John in. Biking together is our next plan!” Keep an eye out for them as they mutually take on our beautiful outdoors with heightened spirit, energy, and ability to do it all!

“The combination of the professional demeanor while attending to the person and regarding the person’s perspective and experience as valuable in their day to day function establishes a collaborative endeavor in ultimately achieving functional health. That is why whenever I have a concern with a functional issue or a joint issue, my first stop is PT. And this practice has been confirmed by my results: I recover and I don’t require as expensive an intervention.” –Rita Severinghaus

Read The Summer Newsletter

Orthopedic Physical Therapy