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  • Dr. Kristen K. Schulte, PT


I can’t say I’m much of a self-promoter online. In fact, every time I post something personal on the business page, I gulp, close my eyes, click “post”, then promptly close out of the app. (I decided to plunge into the deep end by including here a picture of me drinking wine on my honeymoon; it doesn't get much more vulnerable than that. Speaking of wine, I am going to need a glass after posting this.) But the past month has included one of my biggest life events to date (marriage!) that essentially required mixing business and personal life. Why? I didn’t seek the congratulations. I needed the understanding.

While I was on my honeymoon one morning, I decided to walk down the street in town to a pottery shop. When I got to the door of the shop, I found it locked with a little hand-written note propped on the bench outside announcing that the owner/artist was “resting” until January 14. It was January 2nd. They had to be joking. This was so very “California” of them (as I had noticed that Californians had a habit of saying about themselves). Nearly a 2 week “rest”?! All at once I realized that it was as if I was reading my very own email auto-reply: “Dr. Schulte will be out of the office until January 14th...” Literally January 14. Just like the pottery shop. I guess I too was resting. The point is that I don’t remember the last time I rested. Actually, that is not true. I resigned from my fulltime job a whole five weeks before the start of physical therapy school so that I could spend two of those weeks in Japan with my siblings and another two at my family’s lakehouse. It was epic. I would like to say I rested after graduating PT school, but I didn’t. I literally began planning how I was going to start my business the very next day. And then I started that business, in which I can sum up the idea of “resting” with a conversation I had with a DPT student while lecturing at the University of Dayton this past fall. He asked what a business owner does about vacation, to which I cheekily responded, “Oh it’s unlimited vacation. You just don’t get paid.” I saw the fear in that student’s eyes. Everything he had been told said that paid time off was a worker’s right. Not on this side of things. It’s a luxury. And to be honest, I have structured this practice in a way that intentionally minimizes the burnout that plagues most healthcare providers. I love going to work and don’t necessarily feel any big pull toward needing giant periods of time off.

But this was my honeymoon, after all, and there I was: Staring at a closed pottery shop, simultaneously reeling and unwinding. It wasn’t easy to rest. It wasn’t easy knowing that some of my patients were in pain while I was gone or that I couldn’t schedule new patients until I returned. Honestly, it took me nearly half of that trip to fully disconnect, but I needed to be present with my husband at the start of our marriage, and I knew that all of my patients, both current and future, are human enough to understand that. So to my 212 Nation out there: I want to thank every last one of you for your acceptance during this time. But now... I am back. I am well-rested. And I am ready once again to help you take your health to the next degree.

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