Get to know the Barefoot Team – Physio Sal’s Barefooter Story

1 – What’s something you love to do outside of work and how does it help you live your Barefoot Lifestyle?

I start every day with a walk with Pip. This could be a wandering lap of the block in Highgate Hill that includes a coffee, a Pip big run at the cricket fields in Fairfield throwing the ball or on the beach at Toogoom out on the sand flats. For me it ticks a lot of Barefoot Lifestyle boxes; outside, movement, sunshine (hopefully!), Pip love and often saying hi to neighbours and friends.

2 – We know that bodies love to move, what do you enjoy to do movement-wise?

I love to kayak. I bought my first surf ski when I was 10. It was $70 from the Weekend Shopper… back when we bought things from strangers in the newspaper. I still have that surf ski but I now have another couple of kayaks and surf skis and so many different paddles. One of the kayaks even has a little electric motor for when I want to go further than I can physically manage. I love love love kayaking up tiny creeks deep in the mangroves to the point that my friends tease me for my obsession. Happily will show you kayaking/mangrove photos for as long as anyone will listen.

3 – Tell us about a happy memory or memories and how it shaped the person you are today

I don’t know why but the memory that comes to mind is performing at QPAC with a Percussion Ensemble years ago and looking up to see my family and friends in one of the box stall things on the side smiling and cheering. I often do things that are a bit out there and I think knowing that I have unwavering support from very important people means I feel secure deep down in myself. I remember someone saying to me ‘when I see you walk into a room it’s like you feel you’re walking in with an army even though nobody else is there’. That sums it up to me.

4 – If you could choose your dream holiday would you prefer an international or local destination? And what has been your favourite holiday so far?

Ok so dream holiday for some reason I have this picture of sitting in a street in Italy eating delicious food. While also dream holidays are the ones where a few close friends are all there and there is no time line, the beach, café, are all walking distance and we laze around. In fact I’m off on one of those next weekend.

And favourite holiday hands down was in Western Australia. Staying on a cattle property and heading out on the reef each day. So days spent swimming with Whale Sharks, Manta Rays and Turtles and nights spent talking rubbish round the camp fire with the workers on the station. Red dirt and aqua seas.

I also love a good road trip. Northern NSW down to Sawtell is a cracker.

5 – What made you want to become a Physiotherapist and what has been a standout moment for you as a physio?

I wanted to be a physio from when I was a kid. So that same 10-year-old that bought a surf ski out of the Weekend Shopper also bought an $80 massage table. I convinced mum to photocopy anatomy

textbooks from her university and rent massage VHS tapes from the library so I could study and practice. For some reason I just always knew. Because I wanted it for so long, I chose to study Science for a year and try out things like Engineering, Chemistry, Maths, Psychology and even a Film and TV subject to be sure. I stopped that Film and TV subject as soon as I found out that we were going to learn how to dissect the opening credits of a movie so that you’d know what was going to happen. In that year I had a lot of fun meeting all different types of people but ultimately enjoyed that Anatomical and Health subjects more than the others so started Physio the next year.

And a standout moment… the one that comes to mind is the moment I got the name for the clinic. I was at PA hospital seeing a client on a Friday afternoon. In the hospital no outpatients want to come on a Friday afternoon so I was working with a young lady with a spinal cord injury that wanted to do extra sessions. Usually this wouldn’t be allowed but because I fought for it and nobody else would want to come we’d do these Friday afternoon gait retraining/Pilates/Physio sessions. I was down on the floor (shoes off as always) and the physios were coming through from the wards and one of them yelled out “are you running that bloody Barefoot clinic down here again” and I though “that’s it, that’s the name”. It sums up what we do; we turn up fully present, our clients turn up fully present and guess what? Friday afternoons are the most popular time at Barefoot Physiotherapy for 10 years running now.

Bonus question: Barefoot is now officially 10 years old so I believe a congratulations is in order. What has been one of your proudest Barefoot moments from the past decade?

Super tough question. There are really quite a lot of stand out moments with the team, events and clients. There is so much laughter in our Red Brick Home. But let me tell you about a moment I had the other day driving to the clinic, I was coming up Fairfield Rd where the road starts to rise and I just had this moment of clear happiness picturing the clinic being around for another 10 years.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *