Partnering With the Medical Community
Subject: Connie Aronson
Location: Ketchum, Idaho
Collaborating With Medical Professionals: For 14 years Aronson has worked with orthopedists and physical therapists. She now trains clients out of Koth Sports Physical Therapy. She pays rent at the clinic and does her own scheduling and billing. The clinic has a weight room she uses in addition to her own equipment, such as balls, bands, core boards and yoga props.
Why do the medical professionals respect her work? “I take the best of what I learn from exercise science and approach my work very seriously,” she says. “I’m committed to what I do and have lots of enthusiasm. I respect my clients and constantly educate myself. I won’t diagnose clients’ medical issues, but I usually have a strong hunch about them and can refer them to the right medical professional to get help.”
Her Clientele: The orthopedist and physical therapists at the clinic treat many patients who are outdoor athletes in need of injury rehabilitation. While in rehab, patients see the interesting training Aronson does with her clients and often want to work with her after their rehab period. She trains about 60 percent women and 40 percent men, most between the ages of 40 and 60 years. She does postrehab work with many clients, especially those with knee, hip and shoulder injuries. She also gets referrals from other clients. “A few years ago,” she says, “I trained a national level master’s golfer who placed first. The word of mouth from training her was wonderful.”
Client Successes: Aronson has trained a few clients for more than 13 years. Fourteen years ago a male client (who prefers to remain anonymous) began working with her before a knee surgery and has been with her ever since. He says, “Connie’s positive attitude that fitness is a way of life and her very creative approach to my injuries and small limitations has been resoundingly successful. I can honestly say that I’m stronger and more fit today at age 57 than when I first met her.”
She works with another client named Marilyn who began training because she felt sluggish and heavy. “When I started working with Marilyn, she had 31 percent body fat,” Aronson says. “Now she is an active woman with 18 percent body fat, and she has lost 22 pounds. We meet twice a week to weight train. Every Friday last winter we hiked up River Run to celebrate the week’s end, and we’re looking forward to more trails opening. She also just bought a new bicycle.”
Staying Motivated: How has Aronson stayed motivated as a trainer for more than 15 years? By continually seeking new knowledge. “For example,” she explains, “I went to an Iyengar yoga workshop on osteoporosis and back care. I got a new yoga strap and ideas. These ideas help me train clients who have posture problems, and that really excites me! I also love pulling from disciplines such as Pilates and ballet as well as my ski racing background.”
Biggest Challenge: Aronson loves helping her clients, but her challenge is finding time to do the things she likes. “I try to plan my work schedule based on the season,” she says. “In the summer I get in an early morning run with my dog, so I arrive at work a happier person. I take vacations too. Last fall I went rock climbing in Greece.”
Why She Loves Her Work: Aronson is excited by the fantastic learning environment she’s in—specifically, working with phenomenal physical therapists. She also enjoys being around her clients. “They have such positive attitudes,” she says. “I look forward to helping them. I train a wonderful 72-year-old client who has lupus, osteoporosis and a past hip fracture. She hadn’t been able to ski in 3 years, but after working with me last fall, she can now ski every week!”
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