When she isn’t preparing for a bodybuilding competition, Betsy Lane is working as a physical therapist at ATI Physical Therapy, and even more recently, as a Health and Fitness Specialist at Isolator Fitness. However, it wasn’t long ago that Lane was a student at Holy Family University, pursing a degree in Biology and Psychology. Now with a Doctoral of Physical Therapy degree to her name, Betsy simply goes by Dr. Lane.
“My passion for physical therapy laid the groundwork for my undergraduate academic career,” Lane said. “I knew that I wanted to be a Physical Therapist before I was accepted to Holy Family University, so everything I did was meant to gear me towards physical therapy school. I had truly passionate and influential teachers who helped bring each subject to life and was fascinated by the social sciences while at Holy Family. My teachers really helped me take a personal interest in human behavior, as it laid the groundwork for the way I would understand and pursue information in the years to come. So much of what Physical Therapists do is based on the aspect of pain and requires a thorough understanding of human behavior. I found those classes extremely valuable.”
As the newly introduced Health and Fitness Specialist at Isolator Fitness, Lane’s duties are to educate individuals on living a healthy and injury free lifestyle. This goal isn’t without its challenges, as the health industry is filled with misconceptions that Lane is hoping to clear up for individuals that are looking for help.
“A quick Google search confirms that healthy living and weight management are just too complicated; everyone advocates for a different guru, so who should they turn to,” Lane questioned. “Part of my role at Isolator Fitness is to reduce this confusion by providing free information in the form of scientifically supported research and presenting expert opinions. Crash dieting is one of the things I deal with on a daily basis. Most people have the ‘go hard or go home’ mindset. They starve themselves and greatly increase their activity levels, burning themselves out before they realize it simply isn’t sustainable. I am adamant about balance, minimal necessary caloric deficits, and guidelines to follow in achieving healthy, sustainable weight maintenance.”
In addition to her work at Isolator Fitness, Lane is also a Physical Therapist for ATI Physical Therapy. Lane passion for physical therapy led her to Arcadia University, where she graduated with a Doctoral of Physical Therapy degree.
“I couldn’t imagine anything greater,” she said. “I love being able to bring the overall health of my patients full circle with my nutritional background, but I really have fallen in love with being a part of the physical healing that comes along with physical therapy. My clinical background is very diverse; some of my experience is rooted in an acute care hospital setting and acute rehab, as well as outpatient neuro. As you can imagine, this is quite a bit different from where I work now, in an outpatient PT setting that sees predominantly high school athletes. I’ve worked with a lot of incredible people who just wanted to get back to work, be able to roll over in bed, walk again, or be able to pick their grandkids up again. My true passion is working in outpatient orthopedics, where I work to treat everything from herniated disks to deconditioning. I work most frequently with a more highly-functioning population focused on returning to sport.”
Interestingly enough, Lane’s passion for physical therapy came during a time of childhood distress. At a young age, Lane suffered a stroke, leaving her with unpleasant side effects for years to come. To cope with these symptoms, she would perform push-ups and sit-ups until the physical exhaustion combated the underlying symptoms.
“The side effects of the stroke left me experiencing seizures and terrible anxiety attacks,” she said. “I didn’t like taking the medicine, so I stopped. Every time I felt those anxious feelings rising up, I did push-ups and sit-ups. That seemed to resolve the anxiety, so I gradually began to do more. I started running, then weight lifting, and then eventually started to compete in bodybuilding competitions. I needed rehabilitation after my stroke and I had a wonderful experience with Physical Therapists who cared for my autistic nephew. These Physical Therapists were so incredibly genuine and influential people. I knew I wanted to do something to help other people, and I saw this as a perfect outlet.”
Speaking of those bodybuilding competitions—Lane has competed in five events, which were inspired by winning a Bodybuilding.com contest that sent her to the Olympia expo in Las Vegas with the company that sponsored the event.
“Oh gosh, I don’t know how I got myself into this crazy life,” Lane admitted. “I fell in love with fitness, and I thought it would be really cool to set a fitness goal and get onstage and accomplish the level of athleticism of those who I admired. I really was clueless—I was way too small for my category, and frankly I was getting very bad advice. Someone should have told me to get a grip and just take some time to build more muscle! But I did it anyways, and I was kind of terrible. However, I got back up, thanks to an important turning point in my fitness journey. I was a winner in a bodybuilding.com contest with a supplement company, and as a result, they took me to the Olympia, a large expo/bodybuilding competition in Las Vegas held annually. It was there that I was so inspired by all of those who were so dedicated to bodybuilding and the pursuit of constant self-improvement. It was there that I met my first coach, Jamie Ibone, who saw potential in me and encouraged me to do another competition. Since then, he helped me get back onstage four times, each time better than the last.”
As Lane continues to help others live a healthy and pain free lifestyle, the news of Holy Family University’s new Pre-Physical Therapy track made her laud the Biology program and its continued development since her graduation in January.
“I’m glad to see Holy Family moving in this direction, as I think it will help to attract students who are interested in the medical field outside of pursuing their MD,” Lane said. “The concept of class customization in order to gear oneself towards a specific academic career sounds like a great idea, because then the program can offer an array of classes that will appeal to a variety of graduate schools. I definitely feel that having the option to take more Pre-PT classes would have better prepared me for my in-depth studies on human physiology. I know Holy Family always seeks to provide the best educational experience for its students, so I am confident that they will select experienced educators who will help to bring clinic to the classroom.”