The beauty of re:fit’s story is that it is ever-evolving, even to this day. The seed for re:fit started in 1996 when Loribeth Cohen, an experienced Physical Therapist, saw that traditional physical therapy had limitations. Its protocols allowed her to treat localized pain sites, but she realized that the pain often stemmed from an underlying issue that routine PT was unable to address. While traditional physical therapy had much to offer, Loribeth recognized that it neglected an integral part of the mind-body connection which can facilitate true healing.
Thus, Loribeth planted the seed of starting her own physical therapy studio, with the idea of incorporating western and eastern treatment modalities to better serve her patients. And the name “re:fit” was born.
Why “re:fit”? Let’s break it down:
The “re” symbolizes our ability to “re-do” things in our lives. We continue to grow each time we “re”-evaluate, “re”-balance, or “re”-think how we can improve. The “re” reminds us that it’s never too late to progress in our physical or emotional journey.
The “fit,” of course, refers to fitness. But re:fit reminds us that fitness is more than just physical. It’s emotional, spiritual, and intellectual, as well. Fitness is our best conduit to well-being, and re:fit puts tremendous resources toward ensuring that each client can restore and rehabilitate to achieve optimal performance.
The grammatical colon (:) between the “re” and “fit” serves as the perfect connector. Grammatical colons are like a gate, inviting you to go on. A colon acknowledges that even though the first idea can stand alone, there is more to come that enhances that idea. Re:fit is always evolving, enhancing and refining like an expanding garden.
And why is re:fit written with all lower case letters? The lower case letters reflect re:fit’s humility. As the studio grows, re:fit is committed to ensuring personal service to each client, maintaining a small feel with true expertise.
When the business idea started, Loribeth’s mom, Ada Cohen, loved the concept and planted the first root. Ada promised to not only support Loribeth emotionally, but also with her presence. Ada became the full-time Office Manager and Client Services Director, and she became the sunny welcoming face clients would see upon entering the studio. Ada passed away in 2014 and is missed beyond measure, but her roots help anchor the foundation of the re:fit garden, and her sunny memory continues to shine on the business.
As the business started, Loribeth drew on her theoretical training from PT mentors Harry Knight and Russ Carter. Their academic influence served as the original rich soil of the re:fit garden. These professors led by example when they taught Loribeth and fellow-classmate Mimi Abrams not only the therapeutic content, but also the value of compassionate healing.
Loribeth then met Romana Kryzanowska and learned the benefits of Pilates. The Pilates techniques became the healthy plants of re:fit, as they served as a core component of re:fit’s niche in the physical therapy domain.
The re:fit garden again expanded when Loribeth and Mimi studied with Sharon Weiselfish, who inspired the planting of Integrated Manual Therapy (IMT) at the studio. Gardens grow best when they are cleared and watered, and IMT represents the healthy flow of open channels in the body.
Flowers bloomed in the garden when Loribeth studied at the Kerala Ayurveda Academy. Ayurveda, an ancient Indian practice honoring self-healing, brings out the beauty and balance in each person.