From teaching to massage therapy: Faith Swartzendruber shares her sense of adventure in a Q&A

Faith Swartzendruber is the owner of Simply Well Studios, a message therapy practice in Mahomet. Swartzendruber likes to help people and educate them. She used to do just that in a classroom, but these days, Swartzendruber does so through her massage therapy practice. Swartzendruber is always ready for an adventure, whether it's traveling to a new place or simply making her everyday routine an adventure. Swartzendruber tries to maintain her sense of wonder of the world, and her 5- and 3-year-old nieces help her with that. "They are fabulous," she said.

 

No. 1: If you didn't have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

I love to learn, I am always curious and I'm always ready to hit the road. Anything having to do with learning and traveling, and both at the same time, fills a deep place in my soul.

 

No. 2: What hobby would you get into if time and money weren't an issue?

I'd travel everywhere. My favorite trips all have one thing in common: I get off the main road, travel the backroads and stop to talk with the locals. Through this, I've been able to see the "real" side of many places instead of just the touristy side.

 

No. 3: What could you give a 45-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?

Probably something to do with massage therapy and/or the human body. The workings of the human body fascinate me to no end. Right now, I'm all about fascia. You have this one piece of connective tissue in your body that, while just being one piece, covers you from head to toe, like whole-body scaffolding that wraps around every bone, organ, muscle, tendon and ligament. It provides structure and allows movement and takes all those separate parts and makes one integrated whole. The work I do with my massage therapy clients typically is fascia-based, and I love telling them all about their fascia. I get googly-eyed talking about it to my clients.

 

No. 4: When you are old, what do you think children will ask you to tell a story about?

Oh goodness, they'll probably ask what it was like living in the Dark Ages before we all had computer chips implanted in us.

 

No. 5: What's the favorite piece of clothing you own or did own? And why?

I can't say that I've ever been in love with a piece of clothing, but I can definitely say that natural-fiber, woven textiles get me really excited. My favorite throw is from a lovely company based in Maine, Brahms Mount. Its local artisans use antique shuttle looms to create really luxurious blankets and throws. The Amana Colonies Woolen Mill in Iowa is another favorite place to get really quality textiles. High-thread count sheets are also a must. To me, it's about creating an atmosphere, a cozy, safe place to come home to.

 

No. 6: What are the small things that would make your day better? Why is that?

In life, it really is the small things that become the big things. An unexpected text from someone telling me they're thinking about me or a nice compliment really does help to lift my spirits. I love giving to people, so sending someone flowers, coffee or dropping off baked goods makes me feel good all day long. As I've gotten older, I've realized how important my family, and especially my grandparents as they are getting older, too, are to me. I realize I am lucky to still have three of my grandparents with me, and I make it a priority to have a meal with them each week. I want to hear all their stories and gain all their wisdom before it's too late for me to hear them.

 

No. 7: What is the luckiest thing that has happened to you and when did it occur?

"I'm guided by a force much greater than luck." That's a line from one of my favorite movies. Seriously speaking, in 2010, I won 96.1's New You in the New Year contest. The prize package included LASIK eye surgery, a gym memberships, teeth whitening, a Macy's gift card and spray tans. I had terrible eyesight, so winning a LASIK procedure was such a gift.

 

No. 8: What is one of your favorite smells?

Each spring, I'm reminded that the Earth smells so good. The winter doesn't really have any smells, except for the occasional fireplace, so the return of smells, like flowers, freshly cut grass, grilling BBQ, is so exciting. I forget each year how amazing it is, so each spring is like the first time, every time.

 

No. 9: What fictional place would you most like to go?

I'd love to stop into the Whistle Stop Cafe for some fried green tomatoes and then some pie and coffee, and have a long talk with Idgie and Ruth. Then, I think I'd hop on over to Narnia and have a long listen with Aslan.

 

No. 10: If you could give advice based on your knowledge today to yourself as a 20-year-old what would it be?

Don't be so scared and you actually do have the courage and gumption to do hard things. Also, you're more talented than you give yourself credit for. Don't hide from people for so long because there are some amazing people out there. You're good stuff.

 

And since we couldn't stop at 10, one bonus question: What gets you fired up?

The thing that gets me worked up the most is when injustices are being done to people I care about. The quote about "hell hath no fury" is more along the lines of, "Hell hath no fury like a woman when her people are being done wrong."

When the people or organization in power refuse to do the right thing just to save face over doing the right thing, it shows a lack of character and integrity. I can't stand for that.

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