As clinic director at Therapeutic Associates Physical Therapy – Wilsonville, Sarah Macomber believes it’s critical for physical therapists to be able to relate to their patients, figure out what is important to them, and work with what they learn about them to help them achieve their goals. She treasures the relationships she builds with her patients and wants each of them to consider her their PT for life. She rarely slows down, but when she does it’s to spend time with her fiancé, Kevin, and their dogs.
Q&A with Sarah Macomber
Q: What inspired you to become a physical therapist?
I was inspired to be a physical therapist because I was a very klutzy athlete, so the first time that I did physical therapy I was 13 and had grown fast and had knee pain. I proceeded to injure myself over and over again through most of my softball career, and so I always kind of knew, starting from about 13 that I wanted to be a physical therapist. And so, I had the ability to go do my undergrad degree in athletic training, working with the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers. So, I worked sidelines and training room with them – with the football team, baseball, men’s basketball, women’s tennis and women’s soccer. That was a really awesome experience to work with some amazing athletes and some amazing athletic trainers.
Q: It sounds like sports have been an integral part of your life. What’s your favorite?
So obviously growing up in Nebraska, the University of Nebraska Cornhusker football team is one of my favorite things to watch. Go Big Red! But a lot of people don’t know, that with my family I grew up with season volleyball tickets; volleyball is a huge part of my family and my life. We try our best to go to the final four if we can; I’ve been to five volleyball national championships so far, seeing Nebraska win at least two of them – just saying. I love going in and traveling to see them if I can. And then on top of that, Kevin and I play on a volleyball team with Nicole, my lead, whenever we can.
Q: Aside from practicing your bump, set, spike, how do you like to spend a day off?
My favorite way to spend a day off is to sleep in (I am not a morning person … it takes a lot of coffee) walk the dogs with my fiancé Kevin down to the coffee shop and just grab a coffee and go on a nice long walk if we can, and then really just kind of work on whatever house projects we have going on.
Or maybe go wine tasting – that’s always good.
I like to enjoy some of the Pacific Northwest weather and really just relax … leave my laptop closed!
Q: House projects? Do home improvements make your list of passion projects?
Kevin and I bought a house about two years ago right at the beginning of the pandemic, and so we are working on trying to renovate and bring it up to what we kind of envision it to be, so I’m not sure how much of a passion project it is as much as it’s just necessary, but I’m learning a lot and it’s pretty amazing. Kevin is great at woodworking and things like that, and so it’s been cool to see the things that he’s been able to do to help decorate and build. I’m currently working on a massive macrame tapestry to hang above our stairs. When I was in college, I used to make macrame necklaces, guitar straps, hammocks and things like that for people. So, I’m pulling out the old skills here.
Q: Being able to make thing seems like a good skill for something like Survivor. If you were chosen to be a contestant, what would you want to be able to take with you?
Probably my Kindle so I’d have something to read because I feel like the main way people get themselves into major trouble is they have too much time with everyone else and they don’t take their little bit of alone time. So that would probably be my go-to. It’s just something where I could be like, oh, I’m just going to sit over here and read. Otherwise, I’d be getting myself kicked off really quick.
Q: Your Kindle! Okay, what’s your favorite book?
I read Harry Potter. I love the stories. I’m a big nerd and so those are ones that I could pick up any book at any time, start reading, and know where I am. So that’s my go-to.
Q: So, you’ve seen a few episodes of Survivor! What’s your favorite show you have binge-watched?
My favorite show that I’ve binge-watched is Schitt’s Creek. I absolutely love it. I think Eugene and Daniel Levy are like geniuses. It’s so fun. It’s so refreshing to watch people kind of grow. Plus, like, how do you go wrong with Catherine O’Hara?
Q: What’s your most-used mobile app?
This is going to sound really nerdy … I play Phase 10 & Pokémon Go. Phase 10 is a card game I always played with my grandma when I was younger, and now it’s on my phone so it’s just like a mindless app. I got really into Pokémon Go while walking my dog. We would go get coffee and just walk around until the coffee was done and it kind of gave us a place to go. I started playing and I’ve never watched any of the Pokémon cartoons, I’ve never played Pokémon with the cards or anything like that, but it’s just something fun and it’s actually kind of brilliant — you don’t really have a destination, but you want to keep walking so you can go hunting for Pokémon.
Q: What do you wish everyone knew about physical therapy?
I think one of the biggest things is that it’s not just for surgery. People have the tendency to think that you have to have big injuries in order to come for physical therapy. And in all reality, if you’re hurting, you can come in and see us. The most common phrase I hear during an evaluation is, ‘I thought it would get better on its own,’ and sometimes the injury was six months ago or two years ago and they’ve just been living in pain and dealing with it. You really don’t have to! Even if it’s something little, instead of letting it build into something that’s really impacting your life … there’s no injury too small. It’s big enough, come in, see us, we can make it work. We’ll figure it out.
Your PT for life.
At Therapeutic Associates in Wilsonville, we are here to help you achieve your goals so you can get back to living the life you love. As clinic director, Sarah Macomber strives to ensure every patient has an exceptional experience and optimal outcome. Here, the clinic team takes pride in providing personalized treatment, so patients feel better faster.