Scott Winter is what you call “intense,” a good quality for a man who commutes 100 miles every day to various local gyms and spends 12 hours out of every 24 helping people repair their damaged and neglected bodies.
He teaches a stretching and balancing fitness method that has helped scores of folks find relief from MS, Cerebral Palsy, shaken baby syndrome, hip disorders, Alzheimer’s and a grab bag of other maladies.
A former PE coach from the “no-pain, no-gain” school, Scott had his philosophy radically changed a decade or so ago when two ruptured discs put him in what could have been a permanent fetal position. It took him six months, but he fought back from that injury using techniques involving a large inflated ball, some pulleys, and swimming. Now he uses the same methods to teach about 650 clients who quite obviously find him seriously inspirational and — maybe even more important — a lot of fun.
A pre-session warm up at Laurel Park’s Healthworks Wellness Centre finds Scott moving quickly through the assembled class members, joking with a recovering stroke victim or teasing the young woman whose surgery scars have left her with “more zippers than anybody I know.” It’s clear that Coach Winter loves his work, and his clients love him. But there’s more to it than jokes and good will. Winter employs some serious science, which he is more than willing to explain to anyone who will listen. “I want to rejuvenate every cell you own one cell at a time. Most people have about 60 trillion cells that do not get used.”
The process of balancing on a giant ball involves a whole new set of nerves and muscles, and brings several trillion more cells into play.
“Our past experience with exercise,” he says, “is defined as movement. I ask people to come in and not move on stuff (like the giant inflatable ball) that does move. The result of each one of these exposures is laughter.”