Integrative Fitness was born out of work that I did on myself.  Here’s my story.

jeremiah deesAs a kid, I felt strangely out of place and awkward. I badly wanted to fit in, especially playing sports, and it didn’t happen. People who know me today wouldn’t guess that I’d be dead last getting picked for, say, a game of pick-up basketball.

Something unusual was happening. With each spurt of growth I’d lose coordination — I’d drop things and trip over my own feet. And that was only the visible tip of the figurative iceberg.

While playing basketball I’d take the ball in the face rather than in my hands, hoping the boys would include me in their ball games. But they didn’t because I kept dropping the ball.

What was most disconcerting: at mealtime, instead of lifting a spoon full of soup to my mouth it would land under my jaw. I laugh at it now, but it happened frequently enough that I was embarrassed at the effort it took to accomplish such a routine seemingly mundane task.

Dropping balls and unreliably getting food to my mouth — I thought there must be something really wrong with me.

Turns out nothing was wrong. I recovered from dropping balls, tripping over myself and misplaced spoons when I finally stopped growing at 6’5”. Along the way, I regained coordination and built new confidence and self-esteem. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my early and difficult experiences served as life lessons for navigating the unforgiving realities of being a physical and feeling human being. I emerged from those formative years with a deep appreciation for how capable each one of us is to change our individual outcome.

Some rich experiences and personal achievements followed those early years. I earned a degree in Human Biodynamics and Integrative Biology at the University of California at Berkeley. I learned to row at Cal and was a member of two undefeated national championship crew teams who set numerous course records. I’ve performed rescues and saved the lives of a number of people while serving as a paramedic, firefighter, search and rescue team member and ski patroller. And I’ve built a handful of standout professional and volunteer teams in a number of organizations and in a variety of settings.

IRA Win 2000, jeremiah dees

Winning Collegiate National Rowing Championship

One of the early and purposeful outcomes of this journey has been discovering my ability to connect with and guide others who are working to solve their own physical challenges and personal dilemmas. My experiences taught me how critical it is to meet a person where they are at, especially in their ability, confidence and comfort. By learning to be patient with myself, I understood how to be patient with others.

Learning new core abilities., jeremiah deesjeremiah deesDiscovering new strategies for better physical independence., jeremiah dees

I developed a deep understanding about how our bodies respond to everything we do, and became passionate to see how that developmental response could be guided. I eventually learned how to positively affect the body’s unconscious perception of movement and where it is in a spatial sense. Because of my own early spatial challenges and the unique issues clients present, I’m able to create one-of-a-kind solutions that transform each client’s situation into progress.

The Integrative Fitness Method I developed is about recognizing that in addition to fixing what’s wrong, we must simultaneously aim towards the outcomes we want, because outcomes don’t happen on their own. What matters most to me is that I make a difference in every person I engage with, and that I transfer to them the ability to shape their personal outcomes.

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