Having grown up on a farm in the Tri-Cities, Chris Taylor always loved the area and community she knew as home. She began her career as a PT aide in 1997 at Therapeutic Associates Richland, which opened five years earlier. The job inspired her to pursue a degree in physical therapy. After PT school, she came back home and back to the clinic where she’d gotten her start, excited to begin the next chapter as a staff therapist. After 13 years, in 2013, Chris became the director, a role she continues to thrive in today as a compassionate, caring and charismatic practitioner and leader.
Q&A with Chris Taylor
Q: What inspired you to become a physical therapist?
I always knew I wanted to be in health care, and I really like sports, so I was kind of drawn to the athletic part of it. I did not want to be 24/7 coverage in a career that requires insane hours, but physical therapy was a fun mix of medicine and sports and the body. I think I made a really good choice. I don’t know if I could have done a different career, so that’s good.
Q: Sports? What are your favorite sports to watch and to play?
My favorite sport to watch is probably football. I’m a 49er, so I’m an outcast here in Washington. My favorite sport to play has changed over the years. I was big into volleyball when I was young. And now that’s changed — I enjoy hiking and horseback riding, bicycling. But yeah, my body’s aged, so I adapted.
Q: Did you grow up riding horses?
We moved to the Tri-Cities when I was in second grade, where we grew up on a farm, and I started horseback riding in 5th grade.
Q: So, the Tri-Cities has essentially always been your home, therefore you must have some favorite things about the area. What does your perfect day off look like?
I would go hike up Badger Mountain in the morning, come home and do a little gardening, a little yard work – I like that – and then some days I’d be out horseback riding and then come home to relax on the patio with a glass of wine and hang out with friends.
Q: That’s a lot of adventure! What about tech – what’s the most used mobile app on your phone?
I probably open the weather app every day if not a couple times a day, which is really strange, but I just like knowing what the weather’s supposed to be so I can plan my day. I like knowing when and how long the sun’s going to be up, too. It’s a little weird, but I like the sunrise and the sunset timing … until the winter, and then you don’t want to know, then it’s just depressing.
Q: There seems to be a theme here! What about your bucket list?
My bucket list? Most of those things, if I think about them, are places I want to travel to see different things as opposed to doing different things. I want to see New Zealand. I want to go to Ireland, that would be awesome. I would love to see Greece. You know it would be just, yeah, a lot of European travel – that would be my big, exciting bucket list. But, I would love to hike the Grand Canyon.
Q: Do you have a go-to stress buster?
I know I should go for a walk, but I usually will just turn on some mindless show, pour a glass of wine and just play with my chocolate lab, Leila.
Q: Are there any shows you’ve binge watched?
Oh it’s been a while since I’ve binged a lot lately. I did binge Game of Thrones. The newer one I like is Yellowstone, of course – it has horses!
Q: What is your best attribute as a PT?
I think my chatty curiosity and just wanting to ask questions and get to know the person. Which, yeah, it’s weird because I was such an introvert as a kid. This is a weird career for me, but one of my favorite things about being a PT is the day-in and day-out conversations with people. Everybody’s got such unique histories and experiences so it’s fun to get to know people through conversations unrelated to physical therapy, people I would never have gotten to know otherwise.
Q: What advice would you offer to someone who thinks maybe they need physical therapy but they're really unsure?
I think everyone needs physical therapy, and if you’re finding yourself limiting your activities, or if your quality of life is starting to change, I think you need to evaluate physical therapy as a treatment option and look into how it could benefit you. You don’t have to be completely disabled to start working on stuff. Every level of activity can benefit from physical therapy, and everyone can benefit from tune-ups and just education and exercise to keep moving like you want to move.
Here to help you get back to what you love.
At Therapeutic Associates Richland Physical Therapy, we take pride in helping you achieve your goals. As clinic director, Chris Taylor, is dedicated to making sure every patient walks away after their course of care empowered with knowledge about their condition and tools to address it on their own if they have trouble in the future. Additionally, the clinic team wants every patient to know they have a partner in their healthcare they can call on anytime.