Physical therapist born in the corn, now RV livin’

Most of my friends call me Carl.

I’m not exactly sure how that started, but it caught on and I’ve grown to love it. It’s kind of like the small town in Indiana I grew up in — weird at first, but then becomes familiar and homey. My hometown is a place where everyone knows each other’s business, there are 2 stop lights with mostly back roads, and the schools are between a cornfield and a sheep farm. I enjoyed the simplicity. It was quiet, and I learned creative ways to entertain myself.

Meeting my favorite person

My first 25 years of life were…


While still investing, saving, and living life

My husband and I are both physical therapists. I’m happy with our career choices, but Doctorate degrees are expensive. During our 3 year graduate program, we each racked up six figures of debt between living and school expenses. We both had part-time jobs throughout the program and tried to live frugally, but in the end, our combined debt sat at $230,000 with 6–8% interest rates.

We graduated in May 2019 and appreciated the 6-month payment deferment. Before we began paying back our loans in November 2019, we needed a plan. These are the options we considered.

  • Choose a standard, 10-year…


Lessons I’ve learned from my young patient

“I love exercise! I wish we could do physical therapy every day,” my adorable, 6-year-old patient beamed as she bounced around the clinic.

I’m seeing her, let’s call her Gabby, for a genetic condition. She walks with her toes in because of developmental problems of her hips and the slight twisting of her shin bone. We are working on strengthening and stretching to help her walk straighter and trip less over her feet.

This little ray of sunshine has been an absolute joy to work with. Her love for physical therapy, excitement to improve, and dedication to her exercises is…


For all that I am

Hi.
How are you?
Good? That’s good.
But I mean really,
How are you doing?

I know there’s something
You’re hesitant to say.
It’s okay to have an emotion
Other than happiness.
You tend to suppress,
Instead of express.
Talk about it.

I know you didn’t ask for advice,
But I think you should spend
A little more time
Getting acquainted
With deep talks.

Tell me things
That make you afraid,
Uncomfortable,
And vulnerable.
I know you hold it within
With fear of
Infecting others.

But instead these things fester
Inside you.
You aren’t protecting anyone,
Including yourself.
Start feeling.


Words of wisdom from a tiny person

I’m a physical therapist and Gabby is my patient. She’s 6 years old, walks with her toes in, and sometimes trips over her feet when she plays. We’re working on stretching, strengthening, and balance exercises so she can move straighter and safer. I’m helping her improve her physical health.

But what Gabby does for me is bigger. She is helping me way more than I’m helping her. I never ask for advice, but her words are somehow exactly what I need each time I see her. Sometimes I feel like she’s my happiness life coach.

This little ray of sunshine…


Plus they’re all 6 ingredients or less

I love smoothies. They’re great for breakfast, a post-workout meal, or a shared dessert after dinner. My favorite part is the amount of health condensed into a flavorful and easy-to-travel with cup. I’ve tried many recipes over the years and narrowed down my tried-and-true favorites.

Today, I’m sharing creative smoothies that all require 6 ingredients or fewer. I can’t take credit for the drawings, but aren’t they great? This smoothie genius has more recipes, but above and below are my go-to blends.

Blueberry Pancake

Wait, you put cashews in a smoothie? That was my first thought when I studied the ingredient list…


Hint: It’s not just the views or physical activity

I stopped in my tracks. Shh, listen.

My husband looks concerned. “What is it?” he questions.

Just close your eyes. Listen.

“I don’t hear anything”, he says, confused.

Exactly.

I love being outside. Whether it’s a hike through the mountains, stroll on the beach, or sitting in our yard by the fire, I’m happy. The views are gorgeous and I enjoy the scent of fresh air. But my favorite part lacks sensory input. It’s the sound of nothing.

The Impact of Noise

Noise constantly surrounds us. Work is lively, traffic is busy, and gyms are loud. We are entertained by music, television, and conversation…


You help me more than you know

I don’t know where I’d be
Without poetry.

Well, technically
Still here,
But emotionally
Suppressed.

My big feelings emerged
As a child.

I loved strongly,
Feared deeply,
Laughed loudly,
And worried often.

It’s the same today,
As an adult.

But now I’m expected to be
More calm,
Clear,
And definitely collected.

I can’t just have
An emotional day.

Instead of time to share
My feelings,
“It must be her time
Of the month.”

I love others
Too strongly.

My fears in life
Are irrational.
My laugh is too loud,
It distracts.

For a while I
Believed those lies.

I tried
To…


It helps me greatly.

“You have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Most people call it PCOS for short. It’s a condition that affects your hormone levels and explains why your periods have been irregular. It’s something that could get better with time, but other women struggle to get pregnant when you get to that point in life.” — My OB/GYN

My first OB/GYN appointment was at age 16 to address irregular periods. I would have two cycles in one month, then nothing for six months. My moods fluctuated and I always felt tired, more so than a typical teenager. It turns out my estrogen and progesterone…


In this modern day work life

Eight to five.
Nine to six.
Whatever the frame,
It’s eight hours of work
In this traditional world.

Call me a rebel,
But I don’t like being told
What to do,
Where to go,
And how to work.

Like with anything else
In this life,
People are different.

Some work better
In the mornings,
Or get their energy
At night.
So why are we all
On the same schedule?

Society says,
These are our business hours.
This is when
We need you.
We can’t accommodate
Your schedule.

But the problem with
Their schedule is
I’m tired.

Of it.
My mornings are…

Carly Clevenger

Travel physical therapist eager to share stories on health, relationships, food, and anything else that pops into my head. This is going to be fun.

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