When you ask national author and Marine veteran, Theresa Larson, what she thinks we should all understand to make the world a better place, she’ll tell you it’s giving without expecting anything in return.
“If you give whole-heartedly knowing you will make a difference in someone’s life, do not expect anything….just hope it makes an impact,’ says Larson. “It’s a lot more refreshing and builds a resilient spirit when you do this.”
If anyone can talk the talk about giving, it’s Larson. Aside from just launching her memoir, “Warrior”, which hit book stores just recently, she’s also a combat veteran who gave her all for her troops, she teaches Adaptive Strength classes to veterans and others with adaptive needs and takes the healing process even further through Movement Rx, a physical therapy program designed to give recovering patients, particularly veterans, the type of specialized healing and empowerment they deserve.
“I started Movement Rx as a physical therapy practice in San Diego that focuses on improving human movement, through mobilization, soft-tissue care, neuro re-education, and movement coaching…we get the athletes healed and help them move or perform even better that they were before,” says Larson, about her practice.
Getting athletes and veterans back on their feet is a main theme for Larson. Through her Adaptive Strength classes, she addresses not only physical healing and adaptability, but mental healing and growth. Adaptability is needed for those who are working to move and strengthen themselves despite a serious injury such as loss of limb, but also needed as a way to re-strengthen one’s thinking processes after a traumatic event.
“Underneath all of the working out, positivity and laughter, is post-traumatic stress turning into post-traumatic growth,” says Larson about the adaptive classes she teaches on Wednesdays in San Diego. “By exposing all of these men and women, to include myself, to this environment----we sweat, our heart rate increases, we get tired, we push, we are startled—all symptoms that come up during PTSD—but they are being exposed to these physical symptoms in a positive environment. “
Larson also takes her show on the road, teaching seminars for MobilityWOD, based out of San Francisco. Very active in the CrossFit community, Larson travels to CrossFit gyms and other fitness facilities worldwide helping others improve their movement and mobility.
Looking at Larson; a tall, blonde and muscular Marine veteran with a badass career traveling the world to share her vision…you could say she’s got the perfect life. But “perfect” is a concept Larson encourages herself, and others, to abandon.
According to Larson, striving for perfection is a standard that can never be met. As a female combat engineer, Larson was used to living up to a self-imposed and very stringent standard.
“Women in the engineering field were rare,” says Larson, “I took on the mentality of ‘there is no room for mistakes’ or it would tarnish my reputation and other women by default.”
That very pressure was what led Larson to become a severe bulimic, which she chronicles in her book, “Warrior”. Larson hopes that by sharing her story of adversity and struggle, she can encourage others to share theirs. This movement to abandon perfect, accept mistakes and embrace who and what you are right now, is part of what Larson calls the Warrior Movement.
“I started the Warrior movement to SHOW people what a true Warrior looks like,” says Larson. “It is not necessarily someone who is a war hero or a famous athlete, it is someone who shows up for themselves on a daily basis and wants to grow, learn, heal.”
Although not perfect, Larson IS an inspiration. By sharing the less-than pretty side of her life, she’s shown that we all have our demons to fight, and that we definitely are not alone in the fight.
If you are interested in learning more about Larson’s story, grab a copy of her memoir at the link below: