Congrats Christin and Chuck!

 Hi Everyone! It’s Christin here, one of the Activity-Based Trainers at NextStep Orlando. 

As some of you know, I am from South Africa originally and I am actually heading back for a couple of weeks to celebrate my marriage on the 7th April 2018! So I thought it would be an opportunity to take a trip down memory lane to see how my journey here began. 

After having completed my BA Sports Science degree and then my BSc (Hons) Exercise Science degree, I finished my internship and then started working in the Sports Science Institute of South Africa. After 3 years I wanted to expand my knowledge further, in neurological rehabilitation in particular.  So I did what we all do these days, I sat down and Googled…. “international internships in neurological rehabilitation.” After a few attempts I stumbled across NextStep Orlando and their internship program. I saw this as a facility with a mission to provide those living with a spinal cord injury the opportunity to achieve their greatest recovery potential and an overall increased quality of life. I thought “why not?” and sent off an email and application to do a 3-month internship with them. 

I got a response from the Lead Trainer that they would love to host me for an Internship! I couldn’t believe it, and immediately started to weigh up all the pro’s and con’s to make the trip.

After much consideration, I resigned from my amazing job, booked my flights and rented a room from one of the NextStep Orlando client’s. After landing in Orlando, I was slightly apprehensive about what I had done, but after one day at NextStep Orlando and the new work environment I had found myself in, I knew I had made the right decision. I didn’t quite know what a big decision this would be yet…

One of the clients, Wesley, was living with 3 of his friends in Florida so he could attend exercise-based therapy at NextStep Orlando. One of the great things about the NextStep Orlando team, is the social aspect, I happened to go to a get together at Amanda’s house, and in rolled Wesley with his crew. South African Girl meets American Boy, Chuck Rowland. So our international love began, my amazing internship ended and we moved to Australia together. In June 2016, I was offered the opportunity to become a trainer at NextStep Orlando and lead the aggressive exercise-based sessions, obviously I said YES, oh and I also said YES to Chuck’s proposal. 

So here we are, back where it all began. Its funny how one facility in Longwood changed my entire life. Sometimes the adventure is about the journey, and not just the destination.