We had the good fortune of connecting with Samantha Wood and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Samantha, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
Have faith in yourself. There is a time to consult your mentors, customers/clients, peers, family and friends, but there is also a time to make decisions for yourself. Stay curious in your industry or other areas you are passionate about. I have found that when curiosity led my thinking, I have been able to ask better questions and solve problems much more effectively than if I were trying to follow a textbook answer.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a physical therapist by trade but I have had the opportunity to work in a wide range of environments, in no small part, thanks to the US Army. I actually commissioned into the Army to earn my doctorate and served on active duty, including a deployment, before going part-time in the military. One of the primary differences between a military and civilian therapist is the autonomy of practice. While active duty, I often worked as direct access, I could order MRIs and prescribe from a list of medications, I saw acute trauma such as dislocations and unstable fractures, and I helped to shape operations to the extent of keeping soldiers in the fight. I think one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in my field, though it is true for everything in life, is to always stay curious and open to learning new things. Maintaining a beginner’s mind can help you see the possibilities before you and find that next step.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
An ideal weekend would definitely involve a trip up to the summit of Pikes Peak, via hiking, cog, or driving the Pikes Peak Highway. Depending on the route, we might fuel up at the Wines of Colorado at the base of the Pikes Peak Highway or head back into town to Hell’s Kitchen Pizza and the Colorado Custard Co. owned and operated by the famous Matt Carpenter, record holder of the Pikes Peak Marathon and the Leadville 100-mile trail run. After that we could stretch our legs with a walking tour of the famous Manitou Springs and enjoy a little history, then head over to Trails End Taproom in Old Colorado City to enjoy live music or a trivia night. Since there are two days in a weekend, Sunday morning could include taking a SUP yoga class and hitting a few of the local museums, art galleries, and antique shops in the area followed by a refuel at COATI Uprise. In the afternoon we would get the bikes out for a ride through Red Rocks Canyon Open Space, Garden of the Gods, or Stratton Open Space. Ending the weekend on the patio of Monse’s Pupuseria wouldn’t be so bad. The amount of history and outdoor recreation in this area is nearly endless. After 10-yrs living here, I still haven’t done everything!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This would be a long list. I have many people to thank for their love, support, and mentorship over the years. I wouldn’t be where I am today without many of my close friends who have always stuck by me and supported my next adventure. I also have to mention the support from my leadership in the California Army National Guard as they have been integral in my ability to serve but also maintain a life outside of the Army.

Instagram: @woodultra

Facebook: @wood.ultra

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