The Path to Health & Wellness

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The first half of my life I didn’t take very good care of myself. I abused, neglected and disrespected my body and mind. By the time I’d reached my early 30’s, I’d endured a series of bad relationships, had low self esteem and struggled with anxiety and depression, which plagued me since childhood. I was self medicating with drugs and drinking a bottle of wine a night. I lacked any ambition or purposeful feelings. I was numbly floating through life, wanting so much more, but not really sure what to do about it. 

My personal turning point was in 2013, at an Ashram in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies. Having reached my breaking point, I knew that what I currently was doing, was not making me a better person, and if I continued down that path, I would no-doubt kill myself, or harm someone else. I closed my eyes, and prayed for a sign to help me get out of my funk and unhealthy routines.  My heart spoke and that day I enrolled in a yoga teacher training program. I had nothing else to lose.

During my 21 day training, through mindful meditation, yoga, healthful eating and the support of my wonderful teachers and fellow students, I began chipping away at the walls I had created around my heart and my life. I sat with my fears and anxieties, my insecurities and flaws, and learned to love and nurture myself, and to forgive and let go what was not contributing to a healthy lifestyle (mentally and physically). While there, we were provided only with “real food” – delicious and nutritious meals that were easy to digest and filled with the nutrients and vitamins our bodies crave. My mood lifted and my mind cleared. I left lighter and less anxious. More importantly, I wasn’t sluggish and irritable or depressed and numb.

At the completion of my training, it was like I was seeing the world through new eyes. Of all the lessons that journey taught me, the most powerful is that happiness is a verb. With every mindful thought, every nutritious bite, and through every positive action we take, we can secure that state of being for life.

Committing to this new way of life has brought me clarity and energy. Inspired by my experience at Shoshoni Yoga Retreat, I ramped up my fitness goals and became a certified Spinning instructor. Inspired by the way wholesome and nutritious foods made me feel mentally and physically, I became a chef for professional sailing teams; feeding athletes while strengthening my craft by incorporating cuisine from all over the world. I dove head first into all things health and wellness, ultimately enrolling in the Institute of Integrated Nutrition. Once I started to see and feel the amazing positive changes happening to me and around me, becoming a certified Health Coach came naturally. I want to share and bestow these healthy concepts and help those who struggle realize that a better way is within their reach. I want to help you empower you, all the ways to heal yourself, mind and body, and leave behind the fatigue and stress that tries to hold us down. I have been there and understand how stressful and overwhelming it can be and how bad habits feel impossible to break. But if I can do it, you can too, and I am here to show you the way.

Winter Inspiration

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It’s been a single hobby that wakes me up and forces me outside. A discovery that makes winter a bit more tolerable, dare I even say, beautiful. Even in this brutal cold.  

For some, they wake to workout. For others, self-care rituals like a warm tub, a hot cup of coffee, or to get their fill on the current world news. For me, I wake for nature, the sunrise and to capture the first moments of the morning light.

I take my time bundling up and with camera in hand, I head out to one of my favorite ‘Island’ spots, including; Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge, Brenton Point, Castle Hill Lighthouse, Paradise Valley Park, or one of the many other little gems this special Island has to offer.  

 

For me, photography has always been a moving meditation. There’s no other option but to focus on what’s right in front of you. It’s embracing the frosted ground, the sea smoke, icicles, and white winter snow. To see those things not as a burden, or road block to getting outside – But adding dimension, depth and beauty to the world around us.  

Before finding photography, I would have told you it was really hard trudging through the cold winter months in New England. I’d let a full season go by with feelings of cabin fever, while dreaming about warmer places to live. Now, I find myself waiting for winter, its harshness and wicked edge so I can photograph the beauty that it has to offer.  

Photography has opened up hours in my busy day. Where I was once hiding from the cold, bundled in bed, burrowed away, you can now find me outside trying to catch the light while snapping the right angle. Adding this time allows me the opportunity to slow-down, focus on the present moment, have time for reflection, creativity and so much more. On days where I am able to practice these self-love rituals, I have found I am a more attentive health-care provider. I am able to give more to others, to be a better active listener and happier individual. With this newer outlook, I would encourage anyone to get outside their box, their comfort zone and home during these long-winter months. To feel the sunshine and see the world for its beauty. But more than anything, I encourage everyone to find something, anything, that fosters physical, emotional and mental self-care.

– Maddie

Note – Be sure to follow Maddie on Instagram (@madeline_bassinder) to see more of her beautiful photography.

Meet Dr. Nate

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Well here it is, welcome to my first blog. Throughout all my schooling, I never once imagined that I would be sharing my ideas, personal goals, and hobbies through a blog. I mean, come on, I must know a few things after seven years of schooling! All the late nights fueled by coffee and snacks have lead me to my dream profession as a physical therapist with the urge to share ideas with all of you. But first, you should know a little bit about me.

physical therapy active living

I was born in Massachusetts, but Portsmouth, Rhode Island has been home to me as far as I can remember. I’m pretty sure as soon as I could walk, my father laced skates on my feet to head out on the ice where the cones were taller than I was (not kidding). On that day I fell in love with hockey and I continue to glide around the ice today, still after losing my front teeth (kidding). In fact, I managed to avoid injuries throughout most of my athletic career. My friends and family were not as fortunate, and it sparked my interest in pursuing a career that can assist people to get back to their favorite activities or emotional driving factors as soon as possible.

As an Aquidneck Island native, I fell in love with the area and returned after receiving a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Kinesiology at URI and Doctorate of Physical Therapy at MCPHS University. I’m a sports fanatic, outdoors admirer, and wellness enthusiast. If I’m not in the NPT HealthWorks office or at the gym, you’ll find me out on a sail boat or at the local golf course with friends and family.

Golf Physical Active

What I’m hoping you will get out of this blog is to have a better understanding of how to get the most out of what you love by identifying a healthy balance between training and recovery, promoting correct body mechanics, and utilizing your time in the gym efficiently. In addition, I’ll dive into my favorite passions including ways to become a better golfer and hockey player while avoiding common injuries. Like I always say, the best form of treatment is prevention.

Stay tuned for more info from me,
Dr. Nate Cole PT, DPT!