Daring Greatly

My last year in Duke’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy program was rough for me. It wasn’t that the classes were hard…. I had made it through all of the “-ologies”, survived anatomy lab without passing out, and even did pretty well in neurology.  It was the reality that I was soon going to be out of school for the first time EVER.  And to be honest, after almost three years of grad school and LOTS of debt, I really wasn’t loving my career choice. That’s not a good feeling.   Duke has an amazing program- one of the best in the country- but I just never felt like I truly fit into the PT world.  I was different in how I thought about the body…how we move and heal… I saw things differently. I needed to find a way to get back to what fueled me not only so I felt better in my own body, but so I could better serve my future patients.   I needed to find people who looked at movement and healing holistically…people I wanted to learn from and who shared a more integrated approach to healing.

So I did some serious soul searching and thought back to why I wanted to become a PT in the first place.   I was a dancer with an engineer’s mind and an artist’s heart.  And that led me on this path, with the end goal being to combine Pilates and PT.  So to start, I decided that I needed to dance again, and I needed to get out of the gym and back into Pilates- something I had been doing on and off since my days as a ballet dancer.  It was that week when I stumbled across an article in a free Health and Healing magazine I had picked up at a local coffee shop. On the cover was a woman on a reformer in a perfect Teaser.  I took it as a sign… That woman happened to be Deborah Matthews, owner of Durham’s brand new Pilates studio, InsideOut Body Therapies.  In all of my time in Durham, I had never picked up that magazine, but I did that week. Coincidence? Luck? Fate?

Flash forward 11 ½ years…I am now sitting in my cozy home in Southwest Durham.  When I left Florida, I NEVER expected to stay in NC past grad school.   But here I am… a mom, a wife, and a proud Durham resident trying to figure out what to write for my first ever blog post about Healthy Living.  The gorgeous, smart, and strong businesswoman on the cover of the magazine I picked up over a decade ago, is now my business partner, and one of my dearest friends.  A lot has happened in those 11 plus years- starting with a big, scary decision to branch out on my own (with the help of Deborah) in order to bring Pilates-based PT to InsideOut.

I recently read an amazing book, Daring Greatly by Brené Brown, and it resonated with me.   (I am actually reading it again with my husband. It’s that kind of book….it needs to be read and re-read and shared with the people you care about)


I am a perfectionist- a perfectionist who likes to plan and to be in control of most of my world. And I hate being vulnerable. But looking back I realized that there were a couple of pivotal moments in my life when I let that go and as Brené would say, Dared Greatly.   And if I hadn’t, I can only imagine what would have happened. Where I would be if I hadn’t gone directly to InsideOut after seeing that article. If I hadn’t talked to Deborah for two years, gone through the Pilates Teacher Training Program in Boulder, CO, and most importantly, if I hadn’t taken a huge leap of faith and left my stable job to join Deborah at her Pilates studio.   Reading and reflecting is pushing me to step out of my comfort zone again.

So, why a blog and why THIS blog?

Actually, as in most things in my life, I am late to the game…I wasn’t even quite sure what a blog was until about a year ago. And I am not a natural writer. I actually am quite the opposite. But, I have a passion for Pilates, holistic healing, and alternative health and fitness. I have an absolute LOVE for the studio that I am lucky enough to co-own and I would love to share not only what I have learned over the years, but also what my friends and colleagues have to offer as well.

Healthy Living From the Inside Out is truly what I strive towards in my life, what I want to teach my son, and what I try to help my clients cultivate everyday.  I am not perfect. I have many goals and equally as many vices. But I feel so lucky to have the resources to even know the types of goals I want make and that I have the support I need to work on achieving them. I would love to help others, in some small way, in our shared journey of cultivating a healthy and happy life.

So here I am…Daring Greatly….as I begin my blogging journey about Healthy Living From the Inside Out. I hope you will join me!

6 thoughts on “Daring Greatly

  1. You, my dear daughter, have been daring greatly since the moment you were born and I held you in my arms and whispered, “Hello, baby.” I knew from the get-go that you were an “old soul” and that you had nothing but greatness ahead of you in your world. You are a natural writer, performer, teacher, artist with a mathematician’s/ engineer’s mind, business owner, organizer, ever-most-caring person, supportive wife, (I could go on and on..), and the most magical mother I have ever seen. Reading your account of your journey towards your dream had my heart soaring and tears of joy and pride in my eyes. You are a she-ro and inspiration to me daily. Your journey shows that there are no accidents. I love you to the outermost edges of the universe and back. ‘Cita

  2. Bravo Mischa! You are off to a fantastic start! Your blog is articulate and eloquent. I am so inspired by your taking that leap of faith and making your own path along the art and science of healing. I will need to read the book you recommend. Vulnerability is an asset we are much more comfortable denying rather than embracing. Congratulations for recognizing that at such a young age. It takes courage to let go of conventional norms, color outside the lines, think outside the box and follow where your passion leads. Many talk about about it but few are brave enough to embark on that journey. Thank you for starting this blog. No doubt others will inspired as I am by your words. Keep up the good work!

  3. Mischa, Thank you for sharing how you got “here.” Your love of IOBT and what you do shines through every day. When I first walked in the door of IOBT a little over a year ago, I felt that warmth and caring from both you and Deborah and everyone else involved with IOBT. Thank you for providing a haven for caring, thoughtful, knowledgeable fitness. I was searching for something and I have found it in Pilates at IOBT. You and Deborah and Amy have made a difference in my life and for that I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

    1. Thank you so much, Susan. It means a lot to us to hear that…Our mission is to create a welcoming space for all to move and grow with us. I am so glad you are enjoying your IOBT experience!

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