This story begins on a somber note: my father passed away recently — and to be candid, some might say he died when he retired. He was a very passionate cook his entire life and it’s all he loved to do. Shortly after he retired he had a stroke and his health, slowly at times and quickly in others, declined, until he was no longer able to cook or taste things of which he was once a master. I learned a lot from my father; how to be passionate about the work I do, a good work ethic, and not living my life in fear of living. The last one by omission as my father never pursued what he really wanted: to own his own restaurant out of fear it would fail. From watching his trepidation growing up, I worked on building my resistance to fear and the skills for something I was passionate about.
Finding that passion took a lot of twists and turns, but eventually, I landed on the thing I knew I was meant to do. I have always (even as a child) been interested in the human body and anatomy, especially the way the body works.
As condensed as possible, my story:
While living in South Korea in the mid-1990s, I studied to become a group fitness instructor and entrepreneurially began a fitness program for the military children after school as a volunteer, while also teaching aerobics at Yongsan AIN, and conversational English at a nearby university – my education passion was sparked. After we moved (off to Germany that time) the volunteer position I’d created became a paid position, which proved there was demand in the market for what I wanted to teach. When we moved to Frankfort (Rhein-Main AFB), I added personal training to the mix and managed even more after-school programs for kids (this time a paid position, modeled on the one I created in Seoul), with, of course, a focus on physical fitness. More sparks.
The irony of that position was how excited I was to have my own office with a desk (not exactly physical fitness), which I didn’t use much as I was always playing with the kids. While in Germany a friend of mine, an occupational therapist, suggested she thought I would make a good massage therapist and the idea just stayed in the back of my head. Once I returned stateside — we were living in Utah in a small town on the south side of the Great Salt Lake – an hour away, Salt Lake City (at the time) was the capital of massage training (I don’t know if it is any longer) and after a tour of the Utah College of Massage Therapy campus, I was so excited I signed up for the program on a Friday, paid for my parking pass, quit my job and started classes that next Monday. As anyone who has been through massage school can tell you, it’s rigorous training and it changes your life, from the inside out — The very first day, I was hooked. I chose massage because it’s a vast field of change, opportunity, and many modalities to choose from so I knew I would never be bored with this job. That’s right! I’d found what I was passionate about.
I was also right that I would never be bored. My massage career in 21 years has had a lot of twists and turns, but I’m still doing bodywork and have really created my own style, which I introduced with That’s the Rub 12 years ago in our wonderful little burg of Bloomington. For the last five years, I’ve been teaching in the massage program I helped found at Ivy Tech some of my style and now I’m bringing it to our own school with the opening of Keplinger Institute of Massage and Wellness (website coming soon). Not only will be teaching massage professionals continuing education, we will be introducing wellness classes to the community while also working on our trade school curriculum to soon be able to train people for licensure.
Every day I choose to live through my passion for the anatomy of the human body that has followed me since my early childhood. Each time I strayed something brought me back to it. Anatomy, massage, fitness, nutrition, teaching, growing, and wellness, the options are endless, and I am most passionate about sharing them with YOU!
I invite you to join me for our FIST community offering: Ki for Stretch and Relax, and very soon for Guided Couples Massage, or any of the classes my passion leads us to. Sparks are flying, I’m excited about the adventure, I can’t wait to meet you!
That’s the Rub,