We had the good fortune of connecting with Lindsay Gurney, PT and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lindsay, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I have been a physical therapist for over 16 years and never entertained the idea of opening my own practice until about 18 months ago. In fact, I was very much against the idea! It seemed like more of an undertaking than I would ever want to do. I worked full time for the first 9 years, and then part time after I had my daughter. I was happy working for someone else. Until I wasn’t. I started to realize that there was a different way to do physical therapy. One in which I could provide a higher quality of care to my patients while saving them time and money navigating through an often complicated healthcare system. Without that hurdle I have the time and freedom to really focus on the patient, their goals, their needs, what is important to their individual life situation. So I started doing some research, educating myself on how to move forward. I got involved with a group of PT entrepreneurs who were able to share their knowledge and wisdom. By this time a year ago, I was hooked on the idea of starting my own business. I had to spend some time getting my husband on board, but Dara Wellness and Physio was born in November 2019 and I started seeing patients in January of this year.
What should our readers know about your business?
Dara Wellness and Physio was born out of my passion for fitness and helping others achieve their athletic goals. When people hear the word athlete they think football, soccer, volleyball. But anyone who wants to stay active, in my mind, is an athlete. Is your physical goal to run a marathon? Pick up and play with your grandchildren? Do CrossFit? Garden and walk and get up stairs easily well into your 80’s or 90’s? Then you are an athlete. My primary mode of exercise is CrossFit, I’ve been doing and loving that for 10 years. But I also really enjoy hiking, running, and yoga. I think variety is important and finding a mode of exercise that YOU enjoy is essential to starting and maintaining an active lifestyle. I believe that MOVEMENT IS MEDICINE. Exercise is essential to combat chronic diseases, improve your sleep and your mood, and give you energy. At Dara you will receive a different kind of physical therapy. One with a holistic approach to lifestyle management and a focus on functional exercise and manual therapy to achieve your goals. I chose the name Dara Wellness and Physio for the Dara Celtic Knot, a symbol of strength in Celtic culture. Dara is derived from the Irish word “doire” which means “oak tree”. The Dara knot, as it is associated with the oak, reminds us that beneath our surface we have a deep root system that lend us strength, power, endurance, wisdom, connection, and community. My hope is that all of my patients leave Dara Wellness and Physio feeling those qualities within themselves. The last year has been a whirlwind. The biggest hurdle was just deciding to take the leap. Deciding to accept the risk and leave a steady paying job with the best colleagues a girl could ask for. But I did it and have never for a moment regretted it. Not even when everything was shut down for a world wide pandemic. I started seeing patients just 9 weeks before Covid-19 put a stop to nearly everything. Those few months were unnerving to say the least. But I am still here. I still get to get up everyday to do a job that I love and work that I’m proud of. I will never get enough of the happy faces on patients when they realize they can once again do that thing they’ve been missing.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There is so much to do on the Front Range and in Greeley. A perfect first day would be the hike to Ouzel Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park followed by lunch at Georgia Boys BBQ in Longmont. Keeping the kiddos in mind, you can walk or bike the Poudre River Trail, visit the Colorado Model Railroad Museum in Downtown Greeley, and hang out at any one of the great parks we have here. A trip to Old Town Fort Collins is a must. My favorite places to visit are Old Firehouse Books, Happy Lucky’s Teahouse, The Cupboard, and Nuance Chocolate, but there are plenty of shops and tasty restaurants to make a day of it! Greeley’s downtown scene has improved significantly since I moved here in 1998. You can’t miss shopping at Blush Boutique, tacos and cocktails at Luna’s Tacos and Tequila, or cupcakes from Jerri J’s Cakes. For the beer lover we also have WeldWerks Brewing Co. where you can sit and chill while enjoying some brews (I recommend one of the sours). Bonus – the whole family is welcome! I feel like a trip to Northern Colorado isn’t complete without a visit to Estes Park. You can stop and hike the North Fork Trail on the way up, then continue on for lunch in Estes and check out the shops. On the drive back down the Big Thompson Canyon you should definitely stop at the Colorado Cherry Company for a fresh baked fruit pie pocket to complete the day!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I owe my success in getting Dara Wellness and Physio off the ground to so many people. Thanks to Sarah Haran, PT, DPT with the Institute of Clinical Excellence and Full Draw Consulting for literally teaching me, step by step, how to start a PT practice. Your knowledge and encouragement has been invaluable. Thanks to CrossFit Helix for being one of my biggest cheerleaders and allowing me to make my clinic’s home in your space. Your gym is my second home for so many reasons. I’m lucky to have so many friends, who are also entrepreneurs, that have been so supportive and offered much needed advice and just a listening ear – you know who you are! I’m very grateful to my friends, former colleagues, and family who were supportive from day 1 when I thought they’d all think I was crazy for doing this. Finally, thank you to my husband and daughter for believing in me and helping me daily on this journey – I could not have done this without you!
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