The Quechee community may be known for what is seen: beautiful golf courses and a lovely ski hill. However, there is more than meets the eye, as Ginny Stone can attest. Ginny is the wellness coordinator of the Quechee Club Health Center, and she presents a holistic approach to exercise that incorporates spirit and mind into the body experience.

Having graduated from Springfield College in Massachusetts with a degree in exercise physiology, health, and wellness, Ginny is imbued with the school’s holistic approach of the connection of spirit, mind, and body.

When I came to interview Ginny in her little office at the club, she immediately showed me a beautifully drawn thank you card from a young staff member who was leaving to attend graphic arts school. Practically every nook of Ginny’s office space was filled with cards of gratitude. Her goal is to touch people’s lives in a helping, healing way. Evidently, those she has touched would agree that she has.

Ginny began her career in the ’80s working at the YMCA in Springfield, MA. There, too, the motto was about integration of spirit, mind, and body. Ginny feels that this motto represents her calling even as far back as high school where she was an all-state star field hockey player and all-state gymnast. Based on her scholastic achievements and athletic talents, Ginny was awarded a scholarship to Averett College in Danville, VA. While playing field hockey there, she became an athletic trainer for the women’s basketball team. An Averett professor who was an alumnus of Springfield College suggested that she transfer to his alma mater. His perspective was that while playing sports could take her only so far, having a career in health and wellness, which she was already devoted to, would be a rewarding path for her.

Never one not to have a colorful life, while at Springfield College, Ginny met and married a fellow athlete who was a bodybuilder. He became Mr. America and Mr. Universe, which led to their touring all of Europe. When they divorced, Ginny remained in Springfield and, at age 28, became the Senior Program Director at the oldest YMCA in the country. An adjunct instructor at Springfield College, she was also teaching health fitness, first aid, CPR, and lifeguarding, and bringing health education to the community. Her work included AIDS education and smoking cessation. In the 1980s, AIDS was devastating the gay community, and awareness of the negative health consequences of smoking was burgeoning.

At the start of the ‘90s, a professor at Our Lady of the Elms School of Nursing (Chicopee) stepped into Ginny’s life, suggesting that Ginny go to nursing school. So she did. Again, Ginny excelled, graduating in 1991 as valedictorian and receiving the nursing honor achievement award.

Ginny’s most memorable life transformative experiences may have been her work as a pediatric nurse, starting with the Massachusetts Migrant Association, where she provided health care and meals to migrant workers’ children. This led her to medical missionary work. On three trips to Colombia, sponsored by Save the Children, she assisted oral and facial maxillary surgeries. Children there (and elsewhere) suffer facial deformities such as cleft palate, due to malnutrition and lack of prenatal care, and such deformities prevent these children from being a part of the community.

Her fourth medical pilgrimage, sponsored by Hasbro Hospital, was to the Dominican Republic, where she worked with malnourished children on sugar plantations. She raised money for this trip, brought as many medical supplies as she could, and took a group of high school students with her to do service work.

“My medical trips changed my perspective on gratitude. People would invite you to their hut and have you sit in their only chair and offer you what little food they had,” Ginny said. She noted how much we have here in the US, wondering how we could utilize resources where there are so many places with not enough medical supplies.

Ginny’s path of helping people in the integration of spirit, mind, and body then led her to Children’s Hospital in Providence, RI and to Nepal to learn Reiki, a Japanese healing practice that aims to promote balance and healing in the body with the use of light and noninvasive touch.

To enhance her pursuit, Ginny attended Bancroft School of Massage Therapy in Worcester, MA while continuing her work as a nurse. She graduated in 2005 and has been board certified in massage ever since.

Ginny came to Vermont with her second husband, an executive with the Ibex Company, in 2011. She stayed; he left to live in New Zealand. Shortly thereafter,  Ginny began working at the Quechee Club where today she is the Wellness Coordinator. Not only does she manage and teach classes for all ages and fitness levels, she also provides healing massage. In 2016, Ginny traveled to Kaua’i to learn Lomi Lomi, a Polynesian method of kneading massages integrated with Hawaiian indigenous religious beliefs. With this trip, her training now includes shamanism and an immersion in the culture and heritage of the indigenous people of Hawaii.

Amidst all her striving to learn and to help others integrate the spirit, mind, and body aspects of their lives, she herself has had setbacks. Carl Jung coined the term, “wounded healer,” to describe people in the helping professions who themselves have experienced setbacks in their lives – emotional or otherwise. Ginny is indeed a wounded healer, having had a brain tumor twelve years ago which entailed several surgeries. Due to this, she was no longer able to do bedside nursing. That was a loss for her but perhaps, ironically, the gain was having a near-death experience in surgery where she felt held in the light she describes as “Beyond benevolent, beautiful love.”

Now at the Quechee Club, she says, “This is my home, my tribe, my community.” Still certified as a nurse, wellness coach, and personal trainer, she has accompanied people to the ER; as Wellness Coordinator, she has mentored young employees. Ginny’s calling, she says, has always been to help people be healthy and in balance of spirit, mind, and body. It is about “empowering people to take on their well-being beyond physical activity.” She notes, “We have a great staff and a great variety of programs.” However, these programs and classes are not only body pump or ski conditioning, but also meditation, reflexology, and breathwork. Ginny also offers a profound light energy healing experience, “Tibetan Bowl Sound Healing Baths” with Kirk Jones and Jed Blume, a handpan instrumentalist.

It is Ginny’s dream that more programs can be offered that provide the possibility for self-discovery – not just the body discovery of tight hamstrings and bulging biceps! She envisions a “Holistic Healing spa.”

She quips, “lots of good things are happening here because there are a lot of good people who want to be healthier [and whole]. Not only can I make them sore but also un-sore!”