As a cancer survivor who lost a leg to the disease, Mary Witt is passionate about helping people heal and overcome physical challenges.
She recently started Competitive Edge Physical Therapy and Fitness from her home in Eagle. The business is new but Witt isn't. She's been doing physical therapy since 1987.
"I worked from Home Health in Vail until it closed about three years ago," she said.
She still works for Bristlecone Home Health in addition to her new business.
"With my level of experience, I want to do more," Witt said. "I want to help people get better faster with less cost to them."
She said some insurance plans limit the number of PT visits a person can have in a year.
"You don't want to use up all your visits on one injury," she said.
Witt currently accepts Medicare, Rocky Mountain Health Plans, Optum/United Health Care, Cover Colorado and Cigna. A contract with BlueCross/BlueShield is pending.
She works from the basement of her home at 247 Ring Neck in Eagle and also travels to a patient's home when appropriate.
"Sometimes people don't want to come to a clinic and I can come to them if they have the equipment they need," Witt said. "There is a travel charge, though."
Witt never intended to base her services out of her basement and then she and her patients discovered they liked it well enough.
"It was going to be temporary while I looked for a commercial space," she said. "Rent prices are high, though, and I have everything I need here. So far, everyone seems to be really happy with it."
The clinic room reflects Witt's love of the Packers football team. Even if you're not a Packers fan, the life-size cutouts on the orange walls add vibrance and intensity to the large room.
Witt works with just about any person or injury. She handles pediatrics, treats all orthopedic injuries, lymphedema, scars - you name it. She said cancer patients often have trouble with lymphedema and scars cause more trouble than most people realize.
"I treated a man who could barely talk because of his neck scars and he was able to eat after I worked with him," she said. "I would love to do more of that."
Witt said half her job is physical and half is mental.
"I have to convince them to cause themselves pain," she said.
At least one patient expressed how Witt - who was pregnant and navigating on crutches at the time - inspired toughness.
"Patients tend not to complain to me as much, but if they do that's OK," Witt said. "My pain was before, not now, and I do understand how it feels."
"Between me being me," she said, lifting her artificial leg, "and knowing how to motivate, my results are good."
For more information about Competitive Edge Physical Therapy and Fitness, including specialized programs and services, visit http://competitiveedge-pt.com or call (970) 328-5549.
Witt said the website is still undergoing some construction.
"Doing the website and the insurance paperwork - that's the job part of this business for me," she said. "Otherwise this isn't a job - I'm just doing what I love to do."