Marcia Kirby BSc(PT)
Physiotherapist & Founder of UpLevel Physiotherapy
What inspired you to choose physiotherapy as your mission?
At age 14 I was training for a triathlon and I had developed a stress fracture in my leg from running. I went to the Sports Medicine Clinic at UBC and saw a physiotherapist who helped me heal and run again. I knew from that moment I was going to be a physiotherapist.
Where did you get your training?
I graduated in 1995 with a degree in Physical Education from the University of Western Ontario. Knowing I had more to learn, I went on to complete Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy at UBC in 2001. I love to keep my skills fresh, and have completed the following additional trainings and certifications:
- FCAMPT Fellow of Canadian Academy of Manual Physical Therapists 2005
- GunnIMS Practitioner Intramuscular Stimulation 2008
- CAFCI Certified through the Acupuncture Foundation of Canada
- CSCS Certified Sport and Conditioning Specialist through NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association)
Read more of our physiotherapy resources, links and certifications here »
What do you do to stay active?
Athletics have always been a huge part of my identity. In university I was a member of the Women’s Varsity Swim Teams at UWO and UBC, as well as Women’s Varsity Rowing Team at UBC. I love spending time outdoors, trail running and mountain biking with my family. I compete in short-distance triathlons and swim with a masters’ team at Saanich Commonwealth Place.
What injuries or conditions have you overcome? How did you resolve the challenge?
Over the years, I have had to overcome many injuries that go hand in hand with being active – a stress fracture from running, a chronic shoulder injury from swimming, a bulging disc, and most recently, tendonitis in my Achilles. Each time I was faced with a debilitating injury, it has always been physiotherapy that has helped me to heal.
By far my most challenging injury was a lumbar disc injury. Being unable to do any form of exercise for months and experiencing nerve pain was mentally and physically exhausting. The best thing I did for myself during that time was to seek treatment for the injury and learn to meditate. The meditation allowed to me cope with the injury and not catastrophize the pain and frustration. It was a very long recovery process, but through it, I learned empathy for my patients and patience with my body and its ability to heal.
Which of your life’s accomplishments are you most proud of?
My proudest accomplishments are my two babies: my son Owen, born in 2006, and my physiotherapy clinic at Saanich Commonwealth place that I founded in 2009. I love being a mom, watching how Owen grows and learns everyday in the things he loves to do. And I feel so lucky that I am paid to do something I am so passionate about. I guess I love to be able to encourage people, whether my child or my patients, achieve the potential I know they are capable of.
What top three goals do you have yet to accomplish?
- Instigate the iRide program at my son’s elementary school, a program that encourages physical activity through cycling.
- Travel to France with my son and husband, so that we can be truly immersed in the French language and culture.
- Reach the podium at an Age Group World Triathlon Event. It may be far fetched, but it is a goal none the less!
What is your best advice to stay healthy for life?
Find a balance that is sustainable for you that includes work, play, physical activity, social connections, and healthy nutrition. Carve out time each and every day to look after yourself physically and mentally. Move more and sit less!
What are your words to live by?
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.” –Thomas H. Palmer