MEET theresa larson                      

     Dr. Theresa Larson (aka “Dr. T”) has become one of the healthcare and fitness world’s most sought after experts on movement health. Dr. Larson earned her doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Saint Augustine in San Diego, CA. A former Marine Corps Engineer Officer and Combat Veteran, Theresa also played professional softball in Italy as well as semi-professional softball in the United States, was an All- American Division I softball player at Villanova University, as well as a former Body-for-Life Champion.

     Theresa founded Movement Rx with her husband in 2013 in order to break free from the limitations that traditional physical therapy puts on practitioners and patients. The result was a company where skilled practitioners can authentically treat patients with the time, care, and movement education they deserve.

Tell us about a GRITTY MOMENT in your life that has forced you to learn what you are truly made of…
     Well, I feel I have gritty moments in my life everyday. Truly. A major one in my life was asking for help when I was struggling with an eating disorder while serving as a platoon commander in the Marine Corps in Fallujah Iraq.
     While that was a very important time in my life and changed the course of where I was headed, however, a more recent gritty experience happened that I believe all women need to hear. A friend, blamed me (not to my face) for something I did not know anything about. Essentially instead of confronting me she spoke to people close to me, blaming me, my character, all because of what she saw on social media. To me this hurt, as she was my friend. However, instead of REACTING to her, even though upset, I let go of the need to do anything. I disengaged my mind, my heart, and told myself that whatever this friend was upset about, was not about me. We truly only react based on how we view with the world and our past experiences.
     This may seem boring and trivial, but how often do we get caught up in non-sense, gossip, he said/she said, blaming? Or find out someone has spoken poorly of us or disagreed and we try try try to convince them otherwise. It is energy draining and not life giving. The sooner you realize that you do not need or want that kind of energy or wasted time in your life, the sooner you can move forward and focus on things that are life giving. Your true friends will face you and tell you if something is wrong and listen when nothing is even being said. Those are the ones you need to hang onto.
GUTS: How did you “grow guts” and be brave enough to get through your “gritty moment”? Were you afraid? Where did you find your courage? How did facing that moment affect your confidence? Did you feel more confident afterward?
     I was anxious for sure, as this person is someone who I have been close with for years. However, my interaction with this person always had a negative feel the past few years. I could never really put a finger on it, but kept in touch because we have mutual friends. However their actions spoke louder than their words in this case. Me not wanting to take part in the being a victim, blaming, explaining for something I did not know happened was an important decision. Choosing to walk away from this dysfunctional non-life giving relationships had to happen or else I would just get caught in someone else’s nightmare and it would in turn make me feel awful and crazy. 10 years ago I did not know that I COULD do this. It was an incredible relief to let myself know…it is ok to let go Theresa. Life is short, the people that truly do love you if they did have beef with you would tell you to your face, and it will be then you can work it out in love.
RESILIENCE: What did you learn from pushing through your “gritty moment”? What helped you “not give up” and persevere?
     What helped me not give up and work through this adversity is remembering these few things:
1) Who I am. I know I am a good person and my truth is to help as many people as possible.
2) Look up and see the world around me and smile.  There are so many wonderful people around me.
3) Strength can come from adversity especially if I chose to learn from it.  Energy is neither created nor destroyed. So trying to “fix” it will not serve me, and trying to “destroy’” it by brushing it under the rug and not facing it will also not serve me or anyone else.  It is there, I still love the person, however I can let go of the “chaos/conflict/problem” because it is not about me. So the learning here is loving, wishing the best for the other person, but letting go of the need to control it..
IMPERFECTION: How do you deal with failure and making mistakes? Did your “gritty moment” force you to learn and grow?
     I make mistakes everyday and admit to them. They are not truly mistakes unless I make it twice. I see an initial mistake as a way to learn, and if I truly do learn from it, I will grow. I will say I am sorry where it is warranted, and only if I am hurting someone and meant it. Other then that being overly sorry or apologetic is NOT in my vocabulary. My gritty moment has given me mental freedom in a sense that I do not need to invite myself into other peoples realities -whether they are good or bad. It helped reinforce that some people close to me and far away will agree and disagree with me, however those who have the courage to face me (not online or through someone else), will merit my attention. And even then, I have a choice to let go, for my own well-being and the time and energy needed to care for my family. This is helpful in many aspects of my life, as I cannot take what anyone else does personally, or assume anything. All I can do is breath, know my truth, and keep moving forward being good to myself and others..
TEAM: What role did your support system play in helping you through this challenging time? What role has this “team” had in your life?
     A HUGE role. I have friends who are like family to me. 5 sisters from other misters/misses who I can ALWAYS rely on. We have all had our ups and downs with each other but always FACE each other and voice it. I also have a beautiful husband and son (2 years old) who are my rocks. When I was going through this hard time, instead of grieving the loss of a friend, I looked up and saw these people I can count on one hand who I know will ALWAYS have my back.
And just for fun… What advice would you give to your younger “GRITTY GIRL” self?
     I would tell my younger girl self. “Never take what anyone else does to you or what they say about you personally. They are coming from their own perspective and it is NOT you that is the issue but how they perceive their life. They are looking at YOU through their lenses which may be foggy. Keep your head up and know that you can control your breath, your attention on what matters to include believing your truth, how you treat others to include yourself, and always always keep moving forward.”

Thank you Theresa for sharing your GRIT! 

Connect with theresa

Instagram: @drtheresalarson & @movementrx