Tucked behind other buildings off Mottman Road, sits a very special place. It is a building that breathes. Not with lungs that extract oxygen and return carbon dioxide, but the walls do flex and shift with the needs of occupants. The Bodymechanics building was designed by its owner, Shari Aldrich, to adaptively meet the needs of all four of the businesses housed there. And while each one is a stand-alone entity, they synergistically feed one another in a relationship Aldrich calls “living alone, together.”
Aldrich is the mastermind behind all of them, and you can easily see why when you meet her. Sharp eyes, great energy and a handshake that…well, we’ll return to that.
The dream of creating such a place began for Aldrich back in 2004 with a simple touch. Aldrich’s own life had seen much sorrow. In a seven-year span she had lost her mother, brother, and sister. For Aldrich, this was a call to actively direct the course of her life, not to continue the day-to-day she was living. “I realized I had one shot at life. I needed to live it.” This became her rule number one. And what was step one to pursue it? Run a marathon. And she did. But the turning point wasn’t the 26.2 miles. It was the massage she received during her preparation for the run. “I remember thinking that I had been looking for this my whole life,” explained Alrich.
With her hallmark dedication and energy, the years that followed were a burst of change and growth. She began massage school in 2005, graduating the following year. She quickly built up her massage client base, left her IT job, and began teaching at the school. In 2010, she purchased it. Aldrich now owned Bodymechanics Myotherapy and Massage School with a vision to “create exceptional massage therapists” with realistic programs that include day, evening and weekend classes.
Yet her relentless drive kept her moving forward. And as she did, she developed more rules. Another one to live by? “Movement is life, stillness is death.” After traveling around the country to see and train other massage therapists, Aldrich decided to open a new business, helping therapists nationwide create the systems and strategies to build their own businesses. From student to teacher to mentor, all in seven years.
The coursework for massage students at Bodymechanics includes a focus on injury recovery. To augment that, Aldrich wanted to support client health. Thus began business number three: Fit Body Boot Camp. Yet helping people get into better shape wasn’t enough, Aldrich wanted the walls between the businesses to open. So the massage students take Boot Camp classes and the Boot Camp participants can enjoy a free student massage.
The capstone business pulls together all of the parts. The Integrative Health Clinic houses independent massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, nutrition and reflexology practitioners. In addition to all that, there are offerings of yoga and martial arts classes. Which brings us to a third Alrich rule: “abundance”.
“We are a holistic experience. We’re all the pieces together to help with all the pieces of life,” she describes passionately.
Aldrich’s life and work flow seamlessly back and forth, a classic example of how when you follow your passion who you are and what you do are one and the same.
Which brings us back to the handshake, and the life rules. Aldrich has nine life rules. And, as of October, she has nine fingers. She lost her right pinky in an accident at a Tough Mudder event. She is learning a new way to shake hands. And type. And give massages. Even when she speaks of the accident and the on-going pain, Aldrich is not still. She is restless and ready, bound by two more rules: “no fear” and “never quit.” Both at work and at life she wants to lead by example for her daughters. “I want to show them what a strong mom can do.”
Aldrich is already looking forward. With characteristic vitality, she describes how she plans changes to the walls once more, moving one this way, another that direction. Improving the spaces to enhance the experience of all who enter. She focuses on another rule, gratitude. Her face lights up as she says “this gives me joy every day.”
2330 Mottman Road #106
Tumwater, WA 98512