Tessa Hale | Pinnacle Performance

8/14/2012 | Amy Tibbals
Marcus MacDonald

Tessa's one of our COLLECTIVE B.F.F.s. Thus, we think it appropriate to give her a plug; to ensure that everyone in SLC be made aware of her talents, kindness, professionalism, humor, and general superiority to most other humans. Then, armed with that knowledge, every person in our city can make the [easy] decision to visit Tessa for physical therapy and Pilates. On the [off] chance that more information is needed prior to said visit, however, we've asked Tessa to chime in on a professional level. Pinnacle Performance takes a holistic approach to doing stellar stuff for your body. Tell 'em, Tessa...

Is your job rewarding? Why? What's the best part? Absolutely. I got my dream job right out of school, and I feel so fortunate. I love connecting with people. I get to spend every day hearing their stories, educating them on their own bodies and how they function, physically working with them one-on-one, and then seeing the results and how it affects their lives. The best part is watching my clients learn how their body works, then beginning to make changes that will affect them for the rest of their lives. It’s a great feeling. I'm also moving my body all day long. I rarely sit at a desk. I have a ton of variety in what I do, and I get to be both scientific and creative all day. It’s heaven.


Is the Pilates/ PT combo a new concept? No, I wouldn’t say that it’s new, but it is different. Pinnacle Performance is in its 12th year in Salt Lake. The owner, Amy Broekemeier, is a pioneer in this type of approach because no one in Utah was really doing this when she started over 15 years ago. She had to do a lot of self-mentoring to find that the combination approach was best for the patients. We're certified as Pilates practitioners through Polestar Pilates, an organization created in 1992 by a physical therapist named Brent Anderson. He combined the rehabilitation, critical reasoning skills, and scientific research of physical therapy with the movement science of Joseph Pilates' mind-body work. This approach really allows us to provide holistic care and ignite passion in people for a style of exercise they can continue for the rest for their lives.

What is your clinic all about? We're primarily a physical therapy clinic...we use Pilates as just one tool for rehabilitation. Our unique approach to rehabilitation is different from most traditional physical therapy models. All of our PT's are Doctors of Physical Therapy (DPT's) who study in many areas of manual therapy and neuromuscular re-education. Patients spend an entire hour, one-on-one, with their therapist at each appointment.

Our approach to fitness and health is unique in that it blends a variety of concepts that support the science of movement, which is based in human anatomy, biomechanics, kinesiology, physiology, and neurology. We compliment PT research and methods with Pilates, yoga, CoreAlign, TRX, Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis for a really holistic approach. We truly see the body as one interactive system -- all parts should be addressed to improve its function. Our format of one-on-one care allows us the time to do that for each and every patient.

How has Salt Lake been responding? Salt Lake has been good to us. We've done very little marketing. Amy has always said that if you do your best, be present with your clients, and teach them about what is happening and what to expect, they'll come back. Then they'll tell their friends and family. I think that the truth in that, along with her fantastic reputation and mentorship, have kept us more than busy.

Salt Lake feels like a pretty healthy city. Do you have any tips for us on how to keep it healthier? I agree that SLC is pretty healthy. We can all be healthier. I’d say get up and move throughout the day. One of the ways for our body receive the nutrition and stimulation it needs is through movement.  We weren't meant to be slumped over a desk for 8-10 hours a day. Get up every hour...walk around the office. Take half of your lunch break to walk around the block or get some exercise. Rather than force yourself to 'workout', find an activity that you love...one where you just happen to move your body and burn some calories. And, although it’s not in my professional scope of practice, your diet is huge [let's get a nutritionist on this blog!].

Let's be honest...you seem quite toned [wink, creepy sideways smile] these days. What are your secrets? That’s sweet, thank you. Secrets, eh? I used to run a lot; short runs, 5-6 days a week. Then I started the Pilates certification. I started doing more Pilates and less running [only 2 days a week], assuming I’d get fat and tired. But I ran faster and with more ease because my body was more stable and efficient. I’ve found that I don’t have to kill it on cardio equipment to stay healthier than before. Pilates. Pilates is my obvious secret.

Here's what I do: I take two hour-long Pilates classes a week, then I either run, swim, or road bike twice a week for about an hour. And, like I said before, I rarely sit at work, so I get the added benefit of that. Following my own advice, I’ve started doing triathlons, which is something that is motivating and fun, plus I stay in shape. I eat fairly healthy in between eating whatever the hell I want. Food is probably my biggest hobby, so it's a great motivator to stay healthy. I work out so I can eat what I want more often.

Where do you see your career heading in the next few years? Well, I do a lot of continuing education courses, I continue to learn from my amazing colleagues, and I mentor new instructors with Polestar Pilates. All of those things create continuing opportunities for me all the time. I hope to do more educating because I really do love that. I also have a good relationship with the researchers at the University of Utah Physical Therapy School, so hopefully I'll be putting out some research on Pinnacle’s behalf. Salt Lake is my oyster. The owner, Amy, really encourages us to bring our ideas and passions to her, and she helps to facilitate them. I’ve got more options than I know of!

Where do you see Salt Lake heading in the next few years? I feel like SLC (and myself) have changed so much in the past 10 years, I’m really excited for what’s to come. Thanks in part to Cody and what you are all doing, I see more people filtering back into city life. People are living closer to downtown, improving neighborhoods, participating in the arts and community gardens, and there's a growing restaurant and bar culture. I feel like more people are putting themselves out there; when they’re out, they overlap, and that overlap is creating amazing opportunities in Salt Lake. That’s sort of what the COLLECTIVE means to me. I’m glad to overlap with you all.

Where do you see us COLLECTIVELY heading in the next few years [this is where we would like you to say something about world domination]? Well, I’ve been around you guys for while, and I feel like the COLLECTIVE is just incredible. Cody's vision, paired with the amazing people he has found to support and drive the idea, is life changing. The combination of real estate and design creates a connection between people and businesses that will make Salt Lake a stronger, more united city. We're all a part of this incredible vision, and we're getting in on the ground floor, so when this gets big, we’ll all be there to watch the amazingness happen. The COLLECTIVE will sell your home, tell you where to go for dinner, put clothes on your back, pick out paint swatches, invite you to the best party of the year, introduce you to your new best friend, wipe your tears off your cheek, and tuck you into bed. So, yeah...I think you all are pretty great!

What should people do if they'd like to come to see you at Pinnacle? If they're in need of physical therapy, or want to learn more about that process, they can call the front desk staff [Jason, Megan, or Stacey] and schedule an appointment or get information on our billing process. Utah is a direct access state for PT; this means that you don't need a referral from a medical doctor to go to physical therapy. If you have an injury, are recovering from surgery, want to improve your performance or function, or just need to work on posture, call us. If you're interested in Pilates, but don't think you need to see a physical therapist, we have movement practitioners who teach Pilates, yoga, TRX, Gyrotonic/Gyrokinesis, etc. You can set up solo appointments with them, as well. We also offer classes, including two free classes per week, if you just want to try it out. If you're curious about the various types of exercise we offer, we'll be having an open house on Saturday, August 18th, where you can get information, watch demonstrations, or take classes for free. There is schedule of events at pinnacle4performance.com. I'm also more than willing to answer questions and point you in the right direction. Email me at [email protected].  Just drop the cityhomeCOLLECTIVE name so we can bond over our COLLECTIVE love.


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