My name is Ray Boucher and I am an ACSM certified Exercise Physiologist currently working as a personal trainer at YMCA locations in Pierce and Kitsap Counties. To say that I’m passionate about fitness would understate just how much I love everything that fitness entails.
When I say fitness, I mean the level of ability your whole body has to support your life from top to bottom, inside and out. This means the fitness of your heart, density of your bones, strength of your skeletal muscles, flexibility of your connective tissues, ability to respond to glucose, respiration rate and so, so much more.
If your fitness needs mean losing 100 lbs, wrangling a 2000 lb horse, or regaining the ability to get down to and up from the floor, I’m into it. If you want to jump higher to reach that Frisbee on Saturdays, run faster than your kids, or show up everyone you know in the chair challenge, I’m into it. I am committed to your fitness needs because I am passionate about improving your journey through life, whatever that may look like for you.
My journey, like others in my industry, was sparked by a personal event. Many years ago while I was enlisted in the United States Army as an infantry solider, my back went out. This was not an, “uh oh, I have a wicked muscle spasm so I’ll just take a week off” kind of scenario. The many years of rigorous training combined with a combat tour in Afghanistan took their toll and wore down the disks cushioning my vertebrae. Three of those disks decided that my spinal column wasn’t the place for them and tried to pop out. It wasn’t pretty and it sure didn’t feel that way.
In hope of avoiding surgery, I went through various recovery options. All of them failed. Worse than that they left me in pain and feeling hopeless. The only constant was my shock at the outlook of the practitioners providing my care. Statements like, “you’ll need to be on pain medicine forever” and “it would be best to accept your new limited range of motion” were appalling. It was in that moment I decided I would take my leave of the Army and return to school. I wanted to understand everything there was to know about my body and how to make it strong again. When it came to my rehab, I knew I could do it better.
I enrolled in Washington State University’s medical school and graduated several years later with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology as well as an American College of Sports Medicine Exercise Physiologist certification. I am stronger and more flexible now than I’ve been my whole life. Even though I still have three disks that are trying to ditch the back party, I am able to exercise hard and get through life with no limitations on what I can do.
I know that not everyone in my situation can do what I did. It costs a great deal of time and money to go back to school. But the amazing thing is that you don’t have to do what I did. You have me. I enjoy sharing my knowledge with others just as much as I do talking about VO2 max, or the sliding filament model. Fitness is an integral part of a full life. Give me a call, send me an e-mail, or stop by the YMCA so we can talk about how I can help improve your fitness journey through life.
Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology - Washington State University
Exercise Physiologist - American College of Sports Medicine
Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support - American Heart Association CPR & ECC