Fitness Career Spotlight: James Girard, CMT
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA, RD on MAY 7, 2013
James Girard helps clients with acute or chronic issues & imbalances through his successful bodywork practice. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of fitness and exercise?
I’ve been drawn to health and wellness since adolescence, with an appreciation for the miraculous body/mind we’ve been given, its amazing ability to heal and to adapt, and the impact that exercise and health can make in overall and day-to-day feelings of well-being.
Your Job Title?
Certified Massage Therapist (prefer Bodyworker)
Company you are with now?
Ascend Body as well as BodyWorks with James Girard
A typical (or not so typical) day in the work-life for you?
A typical day will see me scheduled with 3-4 clients with varying needs, from relaxation and undoing the week’s stress and strain, to clients who are dealing with either acute or chronic issues and imbalances (physical, mental, and/or emotional). Sessions will typically last 90-120 minutes, with short break times in between as well as a longer, mid-day break for my own exercise time. My ideal is that day repeated 5 times a week.
How did you get your current job in fitness and exercise?
I was originally trained in massage at National Holistic Institute, which gave me an incredibly solid background. I’ve since also trained in Transformational Bodywork with Fred Mitouer. Shane Young and I have worked together previously and have continuously crossed paths on our respective journeys in care and service.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I was definitely born with an intuitive sense of touch, which informs my ability to fairly quickly find sources of pain within the body. That innate ability has been utilized my whole life, allowing me to share that gift well before I was formally trained. School was amazing, as were my subsequent experiences. I think the skill that’s been my most recent one to hone has been a greater patience with the body and a willingness to slow down, not necessarily do everything all at once. The body will heal if you give it space, and that sometimes takes awhile.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Do what you love. Don’t listen to the voices telling you what you truly want to do won’t work for you, won’t lead to success, won’t earn respect. It will. I listened to those voices for way too long, and I’m grateful daily that I finally stopped!
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what
would it be?
The satisfaction I feel seeing my clients released from pain is frequently more satisfying than the money. Free travel would be good. Or chocolate.