Kitty Wicks, LCSW, NSPA has over 20 years as a mental health therapist and is a certified personal trainer. An athlete, regionally ranked distance runner, and bootcamp afficianado and instructor, Kitty founded StartingBlock Fitness in 2008, when she realized her clients were needing something more than traditional talk therapy and medication. After working with clients with issues ranging from anxiety to depression to neurodevelopmental disorders, Kitty found success with this new “hybrid” psychotherapy method. Many clients with depression and anxiety are prescribed exercise but many do not know where to begin or how to incorporate it into their daily lives.
Kitty has 20 years of experience working with children, tweens, teens and adults with mental health issues. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Interdisciplinary Council of Developmental and Learning Disorders, Developmental Delays Registry and Safe Community Coalition. She has presented at professional conferences and schools on topics ranging from helping teens cope with anxiety, sibling rivalry, balancing sports and academics, and how to motivate the reluctant exerciser, among many other topics.
She has served as an Assistant Scoutmaster and personal fitness merit badge counselor for the boy scouts. She has two college aged sons and enjoys traveling all over the world with her husband.
While working towards her undergraduate degree in Social Work, Nary worked as a Children’s Fitness Instructor and saw the countless positive benefits of using exercise and play to connect with youth of all ages. After graduating with her Bachelor of Social Work in 2007, she worked as a Resident Services Coordinator where she coordinated programs to facilitate youth asset building with students and families living in a low-income community. Nary has had eight years of experience in youth development with a skill set in group facilitation, physical activity facilitation, academic programming, and family advocacy. Nary will be completing her Masters Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Families and Children in 2015-2016.
Homer believes exercise should be fun, exploratory and challenging, kind of like a child at play. What it should not be is mundane or painful. Homer is an NSPA Certified Personal Trainer and specializes in bodyweight and core strengthening, functional range of motion and flexibility exercises. He is a Black Belt in Tien Shan Pai Kung Fu and has extensive training in Ju Jitsu, Tai Chi, Muay Thai kickboxing, Capoeira and gymnastics. He is a competitive cyclist, avid runner and also enjoys swimming, hiking, rock climbing and playing with his niece and nephew. He has had 10 years of experience as a martial arts instructor at White Birch Kung Fu as well 5+ years as a personal trainer. He has been an Instructor at StartingBlock Fitness since 2010, working with children and adults of all ages and abilities.
Charlie Phillips is a summer intern who is a student at James Madison University studying converged media in their School of Media Arts and Design. He has worked for StartingBlock Fitness since 2011 as an intern in the 5K training program and an assistant instructor in the middle school fitness class. He also works with teen clients individually, specializing in keeping them moving (cardio and strength training) while discussing all kinds of topics from Marvel Comics to Star Wars to many other self described “geeky” topics.