Physical Therapist, Certified Health Coach
Sharon began serving people with disabilities as a teenager when she volunteered at an Easter Seals camp for two summers. Following that, she began working at a residential facility for adults with developmental disabilities. These experiences awakened in her a passion which led her to the University of Health Sciences at Chicago Medical School where she earned her degree in physical therapy. Sharon has been practicing physical therapy for the past 25 years in a variety of settings from critical care to home care. This included extensive time working with children in the hospital and outpatient settings. In 2015, after transforming her health by losing 100 pounds, Sharon wanted to share what her newfound health and fitness meant to her by becoming certified as a health coach through the Villanova University College of Nursing. During this time, she began to help her son with autism learn how to incorporate regular exercise into his days at the advice of Brittany Schmidt, Autism Behavior Consultant. It was this experience that brought all of Sharon’s passions for health and fitness and education in exercise and developmental disabilities together.
Sharon spends her free time with her husband, 2 grown daughters and son, exercising, sewing, and exploring new healthy recipes and exercises. She is known for her positive outlook and detailed organization.
Dan, or as he is known by his family, The Marco Whisperer, has long had a desire to work with children with disabilities. In fact, shortly after adopting their son, Marco, Dan and Sharon discovered that they had both written their high school senior English paper on the subject of autism. He has an innate ability to connect with people with developmental disabilities and has been a Special Olympics coach for 3 years. Dan has been running a successful remodeling company for 11 years and is ready to put that knowledge and experience to use in a way that impacts people’s lives in a meaningful way. He is pursuing certification as a personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine.
Dan enjoys finding new ways to make his family laugh and making custom woodworking projects. His friends and family appreciate his quick wit and know that they can count on him to help with any size need, big or small.
Chad’s interest in exercise and health began in his high school years when he began strength training to improve his performance in athletics, particularly football. While his athletic performance did improve with exercise, he soon realized that many other areas of his life also began improving. One particular area that seemed to improve greatly was his ability to stay focused during school hours. This love of exercise continued throughout his years at the University of South Dakota where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Education. He continued at USD earning a Master’s degree in Exercise Science. Chad’s interest in helping children was sparked by his mother, a special education teacher. During his college years, he worked in environments for at-risk youth, both in Iowa and South Dakota. After college, he became employed as a therapist for children with autism. During this time he became interested in the techniques of applied behavior analysis and was amazed at the results this method of teaching produced. Even though this type of occupation was meant to be temporary, Chad has continued providing this method of therapy to children with autism and other disabilities since 2007. Special Strengths Fitness allows him to combine his passions for exercise, teaching and improving the lives of children.
In his free time Chad can usually be found on the bike trail running and/or biking, strength training, fishing or critiquing the athletic ability of the Minnesota Twins.