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On and off the green, Sandy Woley 'reps' the strength of empowered female athletes

athlete of the month blog dr allison dr clayton female athletes golf low back pain testimonial wichita athletes May 24, 2023

Strength training wasn’t part of Sandy Woley’s plan for a long time.


An accomplished pianist from a young age, she wasn’t inclined to participate much in sports.


Then, in the early 90s, she met her husband of 34 years, Brad, and kicked off her career in the aerospace industry— she’d end up working for decades at Spirit AeroSystems, then retiring from The Boeing Company.


Right around that time, Sandy discovered her favorite way to keep moving and stay fit: 


Swinging irons down the fairway. 


She’s not alone — golf has been a popular sport since the 1800s, when folks started hitting the greens for fitness, business, AND pleasure.


It’s a great way to get in some daily steps and an upper-body workout.


But it also has the potential to be seriously taxing to your body.


Walk, swing, walk, swing, walk, swing… Repetitive motions like this are often a recipe for strain and injury.


More than 131,000 people seek medical attention for golf-related injuries each year. 


30.8% of those come in with repetitive strain injury in the lower back. Sandy was one of them. 


“For about 7 years, after golfing, standing/walking for long periods of times, etc; my lower back would be so tight,” she said.


“I couldn’t stretch it out to feel better; but with heat, it would eventually relax, until the next time." 


“After many hours/days/weeks of Googling and attempting to self-diagnose myself, I finally said to myself, ‘Just find a good physical therapist and go find out what is wrong.’”


When Sandy came in to see us for the first time, it was something of a reckoning.


“I used to walk a fair amount, and honestly thought I was stronger than I was,” she said. 


“After meeting with Dr. Clayton, and realizing that I basically had little to no muscle in my legs and glutes, I decided then and there I would not end up like my parents.”


In the weeks that followed, Sandy would adopt a whole new attitude towards fitness and weightlifting. 


Her personalized treatment plan included strength exercises, mobility and stability exercises, instruction on proper form, and occasional dry needling & scraping.


“Until coming to Natural Wellness, I can’t say I had a fitness background,” she said. “But after getting into the weight lifting, I feel very empowered and want to maintain and gain muscle.”



Sandy’s fitness journey has been an inspiration to all of us. 


She’s knocking back the way-too-common mindset that tough workouts are a young person’s game—


And empowering the strong women around her while she’s at it.


“Ladies, listen to what you read.  It’s true when you hit 40, you start losing muscle mass. And it doesn’t stop unless you stop it by building muscle.”


Our humble opinion? Sandy is absolutely killing it. 


Walking giant golf courses several times a month? Check.


Training hard with the ladies of the SASS class every Monday? She’s there.


Hopping on her bike for a quick ride (when it’s not too cold and windy)? Yup, Sandy does that too.


Just don’t ask her to jump rope for very long… “It seems to require more determination and stamina than I have.”


She recently deadlifted 135 pounds in a single rep for the first time, with her sights set on a new goal of 15 reps (3 sets of 5) at 130 pounds. 


“I am so much stronger than I ever thought I would/could be,” Sandy said. 


“It is NEVER too late to get started in fitness.  I am in my 60’s and just getting started!”



Feel like you might want your own fresh start? Schedule your free consultation today— we'll help you reach your goals or direct you to someone who can.