Why I'm Going Strong Today
Randy Weimer felt the pop in his right knee.
Pain, swelling and uncertainty were close behind.
Weimer, 66, still working and so full of vim and vigor, was about to have his patience tested, learn to trust those in the know and appreciate the hard work and dedication of a top-notch physical therapist.
A wonderfully upbeat and kind man, Weimer had just injured his right knee that October day in 2020, done while on duty for a California-based real estate management company.
“I felt a pop and a give while lifting,’’ Weimer said, describing the moment. “I sought medical attention and it was determined by the orthopaedic specialist that I had a slight meniscus tear, but that the best option for treatment was physical therapy. Wow, was I lucky that was my option.’’
With assistance from a nurse practitioner, Weimer was directed to the Movement for Life Physical Therapy clinic at Santa Maria, California, one of 26 clinics under the Movement umbrella. He was placed in the care of clinic director Britney Simonton, PT, DPT.
Weimer, who recently returned to full-time work, says he never would have made it back if not for Simonton’s attentive and compassionate nature, her patience and her ability to relate to him one-on-one.
Before October of 2020, Weimer — who has spent a lifetime in the construction (plumbing) business — was never in need of physical therapy. He was — at the least — apprehensive. That, though, changed quickly thanks to Simonton’s efforts and the Movement For Life way.
“Britney’s work, her direction, the tools she gave me to get better, were amazing,’’ Weimer said of Simonton, who did her undergraduate work at Cal Poly and her graduate work at the University of New England at Portland, Maine.
“I understand it's my effort in getting better, but if it wasn't for her sharing — her making sure I just didn't’ sit on a couch for several months — I never would have made it back,’’ added Weimer. “I had a supportive nurse advocate through worker’s compensation named Karen. Karen is a huge fan of physical therapy and said I was in a great place to get better.’’
And he was. And he did.
Weimer paired with the ever-dedicated Simonton over two dozen times at Movement’s Santa Maria clinic. He was grateful for every visit and the progress to wellness it brought. The two made a great working team.
“The tools — I know I go back to that — but Britney showing me stretches and exercises I can do at home — and I do do them everyday — are just as important to my well-being,’’ Weimer said, noting his strength and prevention routine is 15-to-20 minutes when he wakes and 15-to-20 minutes each night before bed.
“I do my stretches and my exercises everyday. I have the bands Britney gave me and I have the knowledge she shared. I’m motivated to stay healthy thanks to her. I remember the doctor—after my first 12 visits with Britney — telling me he was going to OK 12 more, because he knew I was going in the right direction and would get the help I needed. The visits and Britney’s hard work are why I’m up going strong today.’’
In addition to addressing his meniscus issue, Simonton knew she had to establish a foundation of trust with Weimer, who was new to physical therapy.
“Randy presented with knee pain with a confirmed diagnosis of meniscus repair,’’ Simonton said. “He came into therapy concerned if he was ever going to regain function in his knee in order to return to work and doing things he loved like long walks with his wife or hiking on the central coast.
“He left therapy always thankful and stating he learned a lot during his session,’’ Simonton added. “Randy was kind, positive, and enjoyable to work with throughout his rehab. He's the type of patient that helped remind me why I became a physical therapist; to help guide others to manage their symptoms independently at the same time create a new friendship.’’
For Simonton, a life of bettering the lives of others has been a career goal for as long as she can recall. The added benefit is doing it in a place — and with a company — a family — near and dear to her heart.
“I've always known I wanted to be a physical therapist,’’ said Simonton, who has been on staff with Movement For Life for three years, but has been tied to the Movement family for a decade. “I enjoyed exercising, and I was very curious how the human body moved. I was introduced to Movement For Life Physical Therapy in 2011. One of my teachers at Cal Poly was a director for one of its clinics. I later did an internship at her clinic, and when that ended I became a physical therapy aide before heading to graduate school.’’ Simonton added. “I did my second clinical in the Santa Maria office during graduate school, and when I graduated, I returned to Santa Maria to begin my career as a PT. Now I've become the director of the Santa Maria clinic and plan to help grow this company for a long time.’’
For Weimer, returning to work is a blessing. His rehab and Simonton’s dedication has also allowed him to return to something he and his wife, Vicki, love to share.
“My wife will hike trails not too far from our home three times a week,’’ Weimer said. “Now, with me getting back to 100 percent, I’m hiking with her two times a week. It’s something we both love to do and I’m sure grateful and blessed to share it with her.’’
For someone who had his share of doubts, Weimer learned first-hand the benefits of physical therapy, but more importantly the benefit of a great PT representing an amazing company.
“PT is great and Britney is great,’’he said. “I have my life back because of it and because of Britney.’’