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Meet Kate Mihevc Edwards of Precision Performance and Physical Therapy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kate Mihevc Edwards.

Kate, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In 2015 I nearly died training for a half Ironman. Later that year I was diagnosed with a rare, genetic heart disease called ARVC. I have been an endurance athlete for most of my life. I got into physical therapy because of my love for running. Ironically it was what I loved that nearly killed me. If you have the gene for ARVC exercise, especially competitive exercise is what often causes the phenotype to reveal itself. Unfortunately I am no longer able to compete or train or my heart disease will progress faster. I have had to completely overhaul my life in order to manage my heart disease, fatigue, stress and be happy.

When all this was happening I worked at another PT clinic in town and was treating primarily runners and triathletes. I liked working in the clinic I was in but it was far too stressful for me. I needed a change. I decided to leave and see less patients a week in a less stressful environment. I didn’t think that I would be very busy, but quickly I realized I was wrong. After working on my own for a few months my waiting list was nearly six months long. I realized that if I wanted to help more people and continue to manage my stress and disease I needed help.

I teach a course at Emory for third year physical therapy students called “The endurance athlete.” It is a semester long course that holistically covers every aspect of running, biking, swimming, triathlon that I think is necessary to treat this population. One of my students decided to do a residency and asked if I would be his mentor. Because he asked and I love teaching I said yes. That was when my company moved from one person treating in a small room inside the Center for Love and Light to knocking down a wall, renovating a suite and adding two more physical therapists. I have trained both of the PT’s that work with me and we all focus on runners, triathletes and people who don’t get better anywhere else.

My company is different than the tradition PT clinic in many ways. Physical therapists tend to get burnt out too early in their careers – I don’t want that to happen here. I truly love my colleagues and my patients and want the very best for them. Our culture focuses on taking care of ourselves so that we can be better for our patients. The goal is that everyone works no more than four days a week, asks for help if they need it and are always met with empathy and compassion. Our core values are compassion, empathy and excellence and we mean it.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
No! It’s never a smooth road when you start something new. I struggle on a regular basis with fatigue and I have to be very careful that I don’t overdo it. Before I hired other people I was answering the phone, scheduling patients, treating patients and running the business! I didn’t realize how much work goes into creating and running a business. Precision is a labor of love and exists only because of all the people that have helped literally and figuratively build our walls. If it weren’t for my friend Jenn being on sabbatical when I opened, I would have crashed and burned. She has a PhD in Neuroscience and was helping me answer phone and schedule patients for several months! Then she finally helped me find Kaye, my office manager who has saved and organized my life!

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Precision Performance & Physical Therapy story. Tell us more about the business.
We are a small physical therapy clinic that specializes in runners. Triathletes and those that don’t get better anywhere else. We understand the psychosocial aspect of treating athletes and can empathize with them since we have all been there. We understand the biomechanics of running gait better than anyone else. In fact I have taught many of the physical therapists in Atlanta and around the country how to assess runners and their gait. We take the time to get to the root cause of the injury and to figure out what is the missing piece in someone’s care. Collaboration is one of our core values because we collaborate with local coaches, trainers, bike fit specialists, dietitians, massage therapists, acupuncturists, chiropractors and medical doctors to make sure our clients get exactly what they need. We believe that everyone has a right to choice what their healthcare experience is and we want to make their experience with us the best experience they have ever had.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck. Haha. I don’t think I consider getting sick lucky, but it is why I am here now. I never would have started my practice if I hadn’t gotten sick. As scary as it is and as much as I miss my former life I wouldn’t have been this happy, this authentic and this vulnerable in my previous life. I am no longer afraid of making mistakes because I know I will and it’s okay I’m human. Hopefully I will be smart enough to surround myself with people that complement my weaknesses. Now I just do what makes me joyful and I love what I do. I love running this business and helping so many people return to what they love every day. Even though I can no longer train or compete I am lucky enough to help others do just that. Now I spend my days doing Yoga and lifting weights instead of running, cycling and swimming.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
D’An Holmes
Linden Tree Photography & Form Yoga

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