Katie Henry built a successful career in physical therapy, worked at the Rehab Institute of Chicago and was on track to open her own practice. Also an athlete all her life, she maintained a healthy lifestyle by teaching bootcamp, spinning and yoga classes on top of her already jam-packed schedule. And it wasn’t until she was literally running one busy day that it hit her: she had been running her whole life. It was only at that point that she made the mental shift to slow down, to listen to her body and spirit and practice the message she spreads to all her clients: you can’t take care of anyone else until you take care of yourself.
“I had to slow down, had to say “no,” Katie shared with me. “I had to give up some of the classes I was teaching, stop working so much. I had to be present in relationships and with people. If you don’t learn how to make that shift in your head, it’s never going to stick. I was eating well, exercising, doing all this stuff, but that other piece was missing. And it wasn’t until that clicked for me that I was actually healthy. I might have looked physically better at a different time in my life, but I feel so much healthier now because I have more holistic approach to my life and my health. I still do Physical Therapy two days a week, and my other stuff is wanting to teach people this message.”
What 2016 goals are you proud of accomplishing?
I always knew my underlying mission of what I wanted to do, that wasn’t a question, but [in 2016], it was more like, “I don’t care what other people think.” I’m coaching and teaching and [in the] wellness field, and maybe it doesn’t bring in as much money as my private practice that I had, but this is what lights me up and this is what I know I’m meant to do. I love teaching, speaking and connecting people, and I’m doing that now. The first thing for 2016 was standing firm with what I believe in and what I’m about.
And creating events and opportunities to help people do that. I‘ve been doing monthly workshops. They’re small but they’re growing and it lights me up. I just did a virtual one with people all over the world that was an out of body experience for me. It was also reaffirming to me that people are craving more of these opportunities to dig deeper into who you are, what you’re about, why you do what you do, but not do it alone. I think we all have the tools, but sometimes you just need someone to give you permission to do it or to create a space where it’s okay to do some of this stuff.
And when you make that a priority, it really does create space for you to do everything else from a clearer spot. Then it makes work or whatever you’re doing more in flow. You get so much more done. You enjoy your workout, going to work, your time with your family because you’re actually present and you know why you’re there.
What goals do you want to accomplish in 2017?
My big goal is community. I am for sure doing a retreat, hopefully multiple, to bring people together that are craving this, to give them permission to take care of themselves. The retreat that I’m creating is for people who are in a profession where they give to everyone else all the time. Whether your’e a fitness professional, you’re a coach, a teacher, a mom, you’re an entrepreneur… this is a time for you to do something for you and learn what healthy means for you. And whatever that is, that’s okay.
And connecting like this, is for me, something I’m making happen on a consistent basis. I want to connect with people who have the same beliefs that I have and letting people know that it’s okay to do this type of stuff.
When we first came to a #Sweatworking event and saw the energy and community it was like, “Why would I not want to do this?” I want to create that more in my life, in my business, in my relationships, in my friendships.
Everything is reaffirming how I want to be in 2017. Magic is my word for 2017. Whatever it is, I want to create these magical moments throughout my life. Then you don’t get so stuck on doing these tasks, it’s like focusing on that [the feeling instead of the action] and the more you focus on that the more it shifts in your mind. That’s what your body craves – do more things that make your body feel good and you’re going to feel better about your life in general.