Megan Williamson BA, CPT
Megan’s love and interest in human movement began young. She grew up on Vancouver Island as a classically trained competitive dancer, which eventually led to her teaching her own classes by the age of 14. Aiming to pursue a career as a choreographer, she enrolled at the University of California at Irvine and completed her BA in Dance.
Pursuing a Career in Fitness
After graduating from UC Irvine, she leveraged her professional dance training to transition into the extremely competitive fitness industry in Los Angeles, where she quickly became a personal trainer at Equinox, one of the most prestigious health clubs in the nation. During her time there, she continued her education, focusing on Kinesiology, Anatomy, Physiology, and certifications for Functional Movement Screening (FMS), becoming a Post Rehab Fitness Specialist, Special Population Training, and Precision Nutrition. It was during this time that she started to recognize her passion for rehab and adaptive exercise coaching.
Discovering Her Passion for Rehabilitation & Adaptive Fitness
Megan left Equinox as a Tier 3+ trainer with seven years of experience, having worked with clients from 13 to 82 years old, although she was primarily focused on those who were middle aged or post-surgery/injury. Arthritis, osteoarthritis and Cerebral Palsy were some common challenges for the clients she was working with on a weekly basis. In addition to this, she also left Los Angeles with over 150 hours of hands-on work as a physical therapist’s aid at their clinic.
Why Do I Do What I Do?I am grateful that every day I get be a part of people’s success stories: helping educate and show them that disabilities have no boundaries when it comes to fitness.
When she moved to Vancouver in 2014 to study Kinesiology at UBC, she ended up connecting with ICORD’s Physical Activity Research Center (PARC) through one of her professors. This was one of the most pivotal moments in her career because it led her to where she is now! Through volunteering at PARC, she was able to assist participants with their fitness programs and educate herself further on adaptive exercise.
She has since completed a number of courses, including Spinal Cord Injury and Training, hosted by Spinalis from Sweden and held at ICORD, and attended many specialized conferences, such as FAMI, a 5 day hands on intensive in the gross anatomy lab at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
Building an Adaptive Fitness Community
It has also been over these past few years during which she has been grateful for the opportunity to create Ocean Rehab and Fitness. Its mission statement, “Bridging the gap between rehab and fitness”, is what she strives to achieve on a daily basis, connecting and working with people living with neurological disabilities through their post-rehab or fitness journey. Now she primarily coaches and facilitates sessions for those that are living with a variety of neuromuscular dysfunctions, including MS and spinal cord injuries.
She’s very proud to be an active member of the adaptive fitness community, and can be found running adapted boot camps, training events for Spinal Cord Injury BC, and creating one-on-one customized sport programs for adaptive athletes who are training in sports like wheelchair rugby, floorball, and wheelchair basketball. She also loves putting her energy towards creating more fitness accessibility, such as teaming up with the cities of Greater Vancouver to help teach Inclusive Fitness Training to their parks and recreation staff.
Certifications & Experience
- 10 years of experience with:
- Multiple sclerosis
- spina bifida
- post surgery rehabilitation
- Cerebral palsy
- Certified Functional Movement Screening (FMS)
- Post Rehab Specialist
- Rehab specialist
- Special populations training
- Exercising with SCI (Spinalis)
- Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coach
Working with Megan over the past three years has reminded me and my body that there are ways to move that make me feel better and that I need to keep moving.
I was active before a diagnosis of Primary Progressive MS thirteen years ago. As the progression limited my mobility I have avoided certain activities. Megan has introduced ways of continuing to do things I enjoy such as boxing. She has such a thorough knowledge of the body that she challenges me to do more, to remember a sequence of instructions to do a task differently or for longer- things I might not challenge myself to do. I always walk better and do more after a workout with Megan.