ROC Physical Therapy - February 2020




long resident like me, there’s always some part of California left to explore. I’ve been fortunate enough to do some fantastic exploring. I was born and raised in Santa Barbara, so I’m a beach bum at heart. I’ve always loved being in the ocean. My brothers and I did a lot of ocean fishing with my grandpa, and we all learned to surf in some form or another. I was partial to boogie boarding, while they took on bigger waves. My parents loved to travel, but whenever my mother would come home after a trip, she would always say that of all the places she’s been in the world, her favorite place was Santa Barbara. I always felt the same fondness, which made it extremely hard to leave the city and see what else California had to offer. One of my earliest physical therapy courses was actually what first led me to Folsom. While I was in class, my wife toured around town and explored. When we met up again, she mentioned in passing how much she liked the city. But I took that statement in stride, and we moved back down to Southern California. Who would have thought that 15 years later we’d be back in Folsom to build the life we’d always envisioned? Folsom has been an incredible place to start a business and raise a family. It’s got fantastic school systems that gave our kids the education and experience to go off and start lives of their own. The

There’s a national holiday for just about everything these days, and although I don’t usually participate in the obscure ones (National Cheddar Day? National Public Sleeping Day? See what I mean?), there’s one in February that I just can’t pass up: Feb. 22 is National California Day. As a California native who has built my entire life around all that our wonderful state has to offer, I see no better opportunity to pay tribute to all it’s provided over the years. One of the wonderful things about California is the diversity of its natural regions. People who’ve never visited before are stunned when you tell them you can be lounging on a sunny beach in the morning and standing on a snowy mountain that same afternoon. The sheer number of different bioscapes across the state makes it so that even if you’re a life-

Beach in Santa Barbara

sense of community makes everyone feel like family, no matter where you gather. And its proximity to many of the already- mentioned landscapes that California has to offer allows me to keep indulging in my love for the state. Being located just about smack in the middle of California means you’re equidistant from the coast and the mountains, so my kids grew up in the best of many worlds. We’ve had opportunities to visit places like Tahoe and Mammoth Mountain for snowy fun in the winters, and take trips to the coast and play in the ocean in the summers. My childhood family’s fondness for getting outdoors came from the limitless options we had, and I’m so thankful to have been able to share that with my own kids. Even though Santa Barbara holds a lot of my heart, Folsom has definitely become my home. But California, and everything it offers and represents, is what has given me the ability to feel at home no matter what part of it I traverse. Living here is almost surreal, and it’s hard to believe that I’ve spent an entire lifetime here already. But at the same time, it feels like I still haven’t explored enough. And that’s the beauty of California. –Matt Smith

My wife and me biking in Santa Barbara

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