Bedford graduate receives Olympic experience

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LAMBERTVILLE, Mich. (WTVG) - Jessilyn Wallington is now five years into her career as a massage therapist in Michigan.

In February, the Bedford High School graduate finished a two week rotation in Colorado Springs, Colo., at the United States Olympic Training Center working with athletes as a sports massage therapist.

"I became interested in the program because I've always been focused on what goal is next," Wallington said. "What can we achieve that's next and better and best."

This was a year-long process for Wallington.

Apply to the program.

Wait for the acceptance.

Finally, fit it into your schedule.

Wallington does own a massage therapy business in Traverse City, Mich.

"I was able to experience dry needling for the first time with one of the other volunteers who is a physical therapist," Wallington said. "Dry needling very similar to acupuncture except the goal with dry needling is to get a trigger point in the muscle to relax. So not only did I get to witness that with other athletes but i was able to try it myself. Feel the difference and now I'm able to take the information back up to try to work comprehensively with physical therapists in the area with being able to refer to them."

The United States Olympic Training Center kept Wallington busy - 53 hour work weeks with a hands-on job.

A bit of a different role from where she was in 2013.

Walington was a property manager in Ann Arbor and lost her job when a new company bough the building and brought in its own people to run its new purchase. Wallington has a bachelors degree from Michigan State University and she did not want to go back to school for more education.

"I just had to dig deep and think, 'Ok, what can we do next that's going to be sustainable and long-term,'" Wallington said. "I was interested in the healthcare industry and just wanted to look at something that maybe could be impactful but have a short turnaround time so I stumbled in sports massage therapy. The end of 2013 was definitely life changing and while it was difficult at that time looking back at it there's so much growth that came from it that I'm glad I had to go through it."

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