About: Bridges for Parkinson's

MEET THE AUTHOR

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Colleen Bridges: M.Ed, NSCA-CPT

Colleen Bridges- NSCA-CPT, and the 2020,” MedFit Professional of the Year” has worked for nearly 19 years as a personal trainer, group exercise instructor and fitness coach.  Her passion for understanding the body-in sickness and in health-and how it moves, has led to her special interest and talent in working with senior adults, especially those living with serious neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Myositis.

 

Her skill at designing and implementing tailored strength, balance and endurance programs has resulted in an extremely loyal and long tenured client base.

Raised in Daytona Beach, Florida, Colleen was the youngest of three children who loved working on the family farm, performing in musical theatre, singing and swimming.  Colleen remains very close to her mom, who she describes as her biggest supporter.  “She taught me to live by faith, work with the highest integrity and treat everyone with the utmost respect.” 

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Colleen graduated from Ouachita Baptist University with a B.A. in Vocal Performance and went on to get a Master’s degree in Education at Louisiana Tech University.  While working on her advanced degree, she developed and directed the fitness program at her church, taught fitness classes at the local gym and worked full-time as a high school music teacher. 

When Colleen and her husband, Shane, moved to Nashville in 2004, she joined the STEPS internship program under the mentorship and coaching of Dr. Irv Rubenstein, a nationally renowned exercise physiologist.  He remains an important mentor. “Irv is the epitome of a personal trainer/exercise physiologist. He’s focused on learning as much as he can and then applying that knowledge to his clients. He’s taught me to do the same. You will often find us exercising together and discussing the biomechanics of an exercise. We share a passion for learning and exploring what’s best for each of our clients.”

In addition to training and working with clients at STEPS for 15 years, Colleen became a NSCA certified personal trainer while also acquiring additional specialty certifications and continuing educational credits in areas related to helping those with neurological diseases.  These include certifications like Parkinson’s disease Cycling Instruction, Let’s FACE It Together Rehabilitation Certification for Parkinson’s Disease and Brains and Balance Specialist as well as continuing educational credits in Shoulder Stabilization, Rotator Cuff Syndrome and Treatment, and Back and Neck Pain and Rock Steady Boxing Certification.  

 

Colleen introduced the Nashville Parkinson’s community to Rock Steady Boxing in April 2016.  Classes began with three “fighters” and have now grown to two locations offering 16 in-person classes and 14 online classes each week, 14 coaches including 2 Physical Therapists, an Occupational Therapist, Nutritionist,  a Massage Therapist  and 160+ members! Spring 2020, Colleen unveiled an online version of Rock Steady Boxing that allows those living with Parkinson’s disease to have access to essential exercise therapies anytime, anywhere without leaving their home. 

Vanderbilt University Movement Disorder Physicians were so encouraged by their patient’s improvements that Rock Steady Boxing Music City and Vanderbilt University are currently collaborating on two research projects.

Furthermore, fueled by her love for people living with Parkinson’s disease and teaching, Colleen created www.BridgesforParkinsons.com as an educational platform for personal trainers and coaches working with people living with Parkinson’s disease.  Fitness Professionals can also earn CEU’s from her curriculum; “The What, Why and How to Writing an Effective Exercise Program for Parkinson’s disease via www.fitfixnow.com.

 Colleen has also been a featured educator at the Rock Steady Boxing Annual Coaches Conferences (2018 & 2019).  In addition, Colleen, has presented webinars for  www.Medfit.org and in December 2020, released Parkinson’s Disease Fitness Specialist Certification for Medfit Education. www.FitFixNow.com looks forward to publishing her next continuing education course, “Planes of Motion and Practical Application” . This course integrates personal training with Occupational Therapy to help coaches understand how to help their client’s achieve more success with Activities of Daily Living.

February 1, 2021, Colleen was named the 2020 MedFit Professional of the Year by MedFit Network for her community impact and dedication to delivering outstanding continuing education for Fitness Professionals around the world.

Colleen and her husband, Shane, live in Franklin, TN and have two boys, Jackson and Jacob.