My Fitness Journey

Where it All Began

Laura on bars May 2001

When I was in preschool, my older sister did gymnastics.  Like every other younger sibling, I wanted to be just like my big sister; so I wanted to do gymnastics.  My parents didn’t want to start me in gymnastics before I was 5 years old, but I started doing things at home anyways, so they decided to put me in classes when I was 4.  I’ve been told that my determination was evident even then: I wanted my bridge kick-over before the end of the week, so I practiced at home until I got it (apparently the look on my coach’s face was priceless).

I continued to do gymnastics and began competing in elementary school.  By 6thgrade, I was level 7, but I then began having mental blocks with back tumbling (unfortunately, 10398467_1131368563940_2471281_njust like my sister).  My parents then stopped paying for gymnastics, so I had to quit for a bit against my will.  But, we made a deal that if I got my back tumbling back, they would begin paying for gymnastics again.  So at age 11, I took the money I saved from odd jobs and paid $60 per hour for private lessons once per week with my coach.  After a few months, I got it back and my parents started paying for the competitive team again.

It took me until 9thgrade to compete again, I didn’t compete the next year, but competed my junior and senior year of high school.  Due to my mental blocks, I was late in the recruiting process for collegiate gymnastics, so I was unable to obtain a scholarship to compete in college. But, I was able to walk on to a division 1 program and contributed to the team every year I was there.



Losing and Re-discovering My Identity

After graduating college in three years with a rehabilitation science major and pathokinesiology certificate, I went to graduate school for my doctorate in physical therapy.  At this point, I had to retire from gymnastics, which had been my life and my passion for as long as I could remember.  I began running and continued lifting my first year, but I was still missing something.  Sometime during my second year, @lind.slaaay came across my Instagram explore page having fun over at Bondi Beach.  I immediately realized calisthenics was what I was missing.  I missed those bodyweight workouts and flipping around.  The only reason why I hadn’t continued doing them was because I thought people would think I was weird.  Seeing others on Instagram do calisthenics made me realize there was an entire community out there.  I then began using the MoveStrong rig at the campus gym.  Plus, I kept stopping on my way home at a park with some bars.

During my first clinical rotation, I decided to start my Instagram page to keep myself accountable after I was so inspired by other pages.  I then came across various hand balancers on Instagram and realized that hand balancing existed too!  I missed doing handstands, so I started practicing more and more.  I decided to build my canes before heading off to my second clinical rotation.  Also during my second rotation, I decided to teach myself Olympic lifting to try something new.  But honestly, there’s just something about lifting weight above your head that’s super empowering! By the end of PT school, I was doing handstands and random workouts everywhere!  I had no idea I could share my passion with so many others.

Sedona, AZ
Grand Canyon, AZ
Gainesville, FL
Horseshoe Bend near Page, AZ
Bever Falls in Havasupai, AZ

While studying for the National Physical Therapy Exam, I decided to try ninja, which led me to think of building my own salmon ladder/squat rack literally inside my studio apartment.


I’m currently working as an outpatient physical therapist and wanting to share more with you.  I want to share what I have learned through exercise, life, and school, while being transparent, since I still struggle with life and adulting too!

But also, side note, never trust someone who says they know everything, because that’s impossible and you have to constantly learn to keep up.

As always, I love hearing from you all, whether it be questions, concerns, content suggestions, or just to say hi!  So feel free to reach out via Instagram (@paradigmofperfection), email (, or the contact me down below!


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