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Member Stories: Jon Ruhnke

Andrea Savard
February 9, 2023
5 min read
Finding Life After Physio

("How PhysioMed saved my life")

After learning that his driver’s license had been suspended for medical reasons and that all of his retirement plans were now on hold, Jon (62 years old) joined FirePower in February 2019.  He decided to take advantage of the fact that he was “stranded in Milton”, got his mountain bike tuned up and peddled over to FirePower.  His new project was himself!

Here’s his story.


As the third son in a family of five boys, Jon was the only one who lacked confidence in his physical abilities.   His four brothers were all athletic and one older brother, Kent Ruhnke, even became a pro hockey player in the NHL.  Jon’s reaction to thinking he was uncoordinated led to a life-long disinterest in physical activity.  


In Jon’s words…


“We moved to Milton over 20 years ago from Toronto. House prices were very reasonable, and we wanted a large backyard for gardening. We didn’t have children and both had big jobs (I was a high school teacher). I ran an international aid program in Paraguay and a student exchange program for ten years that took up much of my valuable time.  The commuting alone meant that I got home tired without much energy left for exercise. My dusty treadmill and my body were both starting to show signs of neglect!”


How Physiomed saved Jon’s life:


It wasn’t until middle age that Jon realized that he needed to start working at fitness. He began jogging, then eventually he got himself a personal trainer in his late 40’s.  Over the years, Jon had developed a bad back, a bad shoulder, weak abs due to a surgery, weak glutes, a faulty left knee, asthma and frequent neck pain.  He found himself needing physiotherapy and that eventually led him to find Physiomed Milton.

“For 10 years now, Physiomed has not just treated my muscles…they have oriented me through aging, taking care or myself, to fitness and more.  What a gift! People took the time to really get to know me, and to help me feel like I belong. How can I ever thank them enough for all of this?!   No one ever made me feel rushed when I had questions…and very gradually I became open to the idea of joining FirePower.”


Finding a new love of fitness at 60:


I am so grateful to FirePower for the time I have experienced so far.  I am learning to see pain as something to overcome through exercise, not as a deterrent.  All of the coaches have taken the time to offer modifications when I need them and to help me see the occasional discomfort as a sign of growth or a sign that my form needs correcting.  What a great fit with the culture at Physiomed!  

 “I wanted to express my gratitude to you for running such an excellent club.  I never dreamt that I could belong to such a thriving challenging place, nor that I would make so many friends and feel so much healthier.”

I feel like I have graduated from a thorough education about my body to new possibilities for personal growth.  The upbeat community and caring coaches at FirePower are making me feel like a new person! It took 62 years to get to this point including almost 20 years of physio, but I feel that it is never too late to improve yourself.  I used to say that to my students…now it’s time to practice what I preach!”


Jon Ruhnke

Milton, Ontario


Update: Jon has been working hard lately and his health issues are all cleared.He just got his license back last week and getting used to having his wheels back again!  

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