Meet a Mom: Chalon Lefebvre - Greenwich Moms

Tonight’s Meet a Mom, Chalon Lefebvre, the owner of Kinetic Response Physical Therapy, has known she wanted to be a physical therapist since she was in high school. She had planned to come to Greenwich for a year to get valuable outpatient orthopaedics experience and has stayed for over half her life. She is now a mom of two girls and has made Greenwich her home. After years of working for others, she recently opened her own amazing practice, Kinetic Response Physical Therapy based in the Avenue.  (just upstairs from Smart Kids). 

Chalon shares with us not only what makes her passionate about and excellent at physical therapy, but also the top reasons women see her, and what to expect when you go. Physical therapy is a form of self-care for busy moms, and she definitely gets it! She is able to accomplish a lot with her patients, and tries to maximize their time, often by accomplishing what they need in once a week 1:1 sessions.  

Keep reading to learn more about Chalon and why you should be running to make your next appointment with her.  

Can you please tell us a bit about yourself personally?  

I grew up in a small town in Vermont, but I moved to Greenwich after I graduated from the physical therapy program at The University of Vermont (UVM) to work for ONS in 2000. It’s hard to believe that I have spent more than half my life in Greenwich, but it has become my home!  

At that time, there were very few job opportunities for new PT graduates in outpatient orthopaedics so I was excited when I was offered the job to join ONS as I knew it would be a great opportunity to gain experience and be part of a growing practice.  I figured I would stay for a year and build my resume so I could move out west to work and ski! Little did I know that I would meet my husband the following year.  Truth be told, his mom was one of my patients and despite my best efforts to keep things professional, she was persistent.  Italian moms don’t take no for an answer! But her instincts were right and over 20 years later, we are raising our two daughters and our black lab rescue together. Both my in-laws have since passed away, but our girls are named in honor of them, Carolena (13) and Alexandra (10).  The girls swim for the YMCA and my oldest plays field hockey for EMS and a club team while my youngest plays soccer and lacrosse.  I’m now allowed to cheer for them from the sidelines again! For a while, they said I was too loud, but I think they secretly love it. I am actively involved in both PTAs and have been on the board at NMS for years.  


Where do you live in Greenwich and what do you love about your neighborhood?  

We live in Hillcrest Park in Old Greenwich which is a quiet neighborhood in the North Mianus school district.  My husband likes to jokingly refer to it as “back country” Old Greenwich since we aren’t near the village. We love our neighborhood and our school community. It is close to everything, yet we still have land and great neighbors. Growing up in Vermont, it wasn’t always convenient to have organic playdates since many houses were not close by and now, I love that my kids can just walk to their friends’ houses and ring the doorbell to play.  And because we live less than a mile from school, my younger daughter and I walk there every day.  That time is so special to me, I cried the last time that my oldest and youngest got to walk to school together, sometimes the little moments are the most important things in life. 


Please tell us about your background and how you became a PT?   

I consider myself lucky in that I decided that I wanted to become a physical therapist when I was a freshman in high school. I had sprained both ankles repeatedly playing field hockey and my knee ski racing so I spent a lot of time in PT and something just clicked. I took an athletic training course when I was a freshman and since I went to a super small high school in Vermont, I became the pseudo-athletic trainer because we didn’t have one which meant I would tape my friends’ wrists and ankles before games. I knew back then that I was meant to be a PT and love what I do. I am constantly reading, taking online and in person continuing education (active isolated stretching, cupping, Kinesiotape/Rocktape, and Graston to name a few)  courses to add to my toolbox and treatment arsenal.  My additional certifications as a strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) and massage therapist (MT) add to my skills and provide me with the ability to come up with unique solutions to my client’s needs.


Can you please share some of what you offer as a PT? 

People have grown accustomed to the idea that when they go to physical therapy that they will only spend 15 minutes with their therapist and the rest of their hour with an aide. Every visit at Kinetic Response is 1×1 for 60 minutes which allows me to provide every patient with individualized care and customized exercises that will allow them to see better and faster results.  It is because of this that I see a lot of my patients only once per week and then they work on their customized exercises until we meet again.  This is often a great set-up for a mom (or dad) who can’t sneak away from their busy lives that often!  What many may not appreciate about this approach is that it can also be cost effective as well.  Instead of paying two or three co-pays per week you are paying once and getting more time and attention from their physical therapist rather than an aide.  People are willing to pay a lot of money out of pocket for their trainers, facials, Botox, and exercise classes yet for some reason they see physical therapy differently. I want patients to see that physical therapy can and should be part of their self-care too!  Physical therapists are experts in how the body moves and can help people stay healthy and be active.  Call it Botox for your body! 


What are the most common reasons Moms come in to see you? 

Physical therapy is not only for after an injury or surgery.  It can be preventative or to help improve mobility for their sport or exercise routine.  Lately I have been seeing a lot of moms after I have been working with their kids.  Moms will bring their kids in to see me after an injury (ankle sprain, knee problems, back pain, etc) and we will end up talking about how they have some untreated injury or old ache/pain that they just have been ignoring and they realize that I can help them too.  I see a lot of Moms because they haven’t made time for themselves which I can relate to.  My goal is to alleviate their pain and then give them exercises to maintain what we do in the clinic.  I don’t want to overwhelm anyone nor do I want anyone to come see me forever. I want to help them get back to life as quickly as possible and alleviate their pain that they have likely been ignoring for way too long. That being said, I do see patients after orthopaedic and spine surgeries as well and enjoy helping them make a full recovery.  


Any advice for Moms looking for a PT? What should they be considering?  What does the first visit look like?  

Finding a PT is like finding a hairdresser that you love! Once you find the right one, you usually stick with them for life! I have a patient that I have treated since she was in middle school and now, she’s married with kids (who I also treat).  And several others that I have been treating off and on for years. They know that they can count on me to get them better.  It needs to be convenient for people or else they may not be compliant! My office is just off Greenwich Ave, so super central when running errands and close to town or walking distance for people who work nearby. My 1 on 1 model/60-minute session also makes it easier for people to schedule since they may only come in once a week. I do have many patients that come 2-3 times per week which it all depends on their reason for PT. The first visit is a full body assessment and history so we can get down to the bottom of why someone is coming in to see me. I also usually incorporate some sort of manual therapy into the first visit and give someone a few exercises to get them started at home.   


How do you find a balance with motherhood with being a PT? Any tips for the rest of the Moms out there?   

I start my day making a to do list and arranging my schedule, it helps me mentally prep for the day. I also have gotten back into working out at 5/5:30 am so that I make sure that I get it in. I often prioritize everyone else, so this helps me have some “me time”.  Some days are better than others for that!! I try to see most of my patients while my girls are in school, which helps.  Although because I treat kids and teens, I also work some evenings and weekends. Thank goodness for carpools! I truly believe that it takes a village to raise kids and my village also helps me to run my business!  My schedule is often like a Tetris game but so far it has been working!  Some days aren’t balanced and it’s ok. 


What do you like to do to relax/have fun?  

I love to spend time with my family! We enjoy skiing together in the winter and golf in the summer. My kids are better golfers than I am but I’m trying. We love to take walks and play catch with our dog, Kaia, and barbeque with friends in our back yard.  We are big on family movie night! Both girls have had sports every Friday night lately, so it has become a tradition to relax as a family and watch a movie when they get home.  

We love to support local businesses. What are your fave places when you are in Greenwich to:

Grab coffee: Something Sweet (the new bakery in Something Natural)
Workout: Training with Austin at The Ave (of course), running in our neighborhood with my dog and in my home gym at 5 a.m.
Go out for ice cream: Gopher (best dairy-free chocolate chip!!)
Go out to lunch: Sweet Pea’s
Get your hair done: Merissa at Merissa Leigh Salon
Get your nails done: Tip Top Nails (love their spa pedicures)
Have fun as a family: Golfing, grabbing takeout from Asiana and Fairfield Pizza and going to the beach

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