The path to finding a calling isn’t always a four-lane highway; sometimes it’s meandering and boulder-strewn. At least that’s how Spencer Curtis describes his journey.
“My first year of college I was directionless,” he confessed, “I liked a lot of different things, but I felt like music was calling and everything else was a means to that end, so college was difficult because I didn’t want to study music theory. I wanted something practical.”
In his educational pursuit, he rambled through Montana, California, and Washington before settling in the middle of the country—Nebraska. At Union College, he finally found an environment where he could thrive. And, after sampling a few majors, he graduated in 2015 with a degree in fitness and wellness.
But graduation doesn’t guarantee fulfillment.
His first job out of college was as a personal trainer. But that wasn’t Spencer’s calling.
“As a personal trainer, I didn’t feel fulfilled,” he admitted. “I didn’t feel I was doing what I was supposed to do. I wanted something in the medical field to help people in greater need.”
So in the summer of 2018, he completed an internship in clinical exercise physiology where he learned cardiac and pulmonary rehab.
Spencer’s search for his God-given calling led him to his current position at Quality Living Inc. Based in Omaha, QLI is the largest rehabilitation facility of its kind in the United States, specializing in helping individuals with brain injury, spinal cord injury or other severe neurological disability. A member of the physical therapy/occupational therapy team, Spencer now puts his fitness expertise to work helping clients rebuild their lives and increase their independence.
Along the way Spencer refined his definition of calling.
“Calling,” he said, “ends up being fulfilled when you find something that allows you to provide value to something bigger than yourself.”
In working to improve the quality of life for those whose lives have been shattered, Spencer found his calling.
“I’m working with people, some who have lost hope, and over the course of their rehab I track their progress and share the results with them. It’s an amazing thing. I never thought I’d get to work in an environment where I would see people go from completely shattered and paralyzed to getting out of their wheelchair and walking and returning to their family. Not every case is like that, but with every individual I work with, I find a unique person who’s going through a lot. When I see they can be positive about what they’re going through, it gives me so much perspective on my own life. For me, that’s where I find fulfillment, purpose, and calling. I’m constantly surrounded by something that’s towering above me and I get to work toward it.”
But Spencer didn’t turn his back on his other passion. He and some friends formed a band and they are working on producing original music. He believes following your calling can take you down many paths, and as long as you are providing value, that is exactly where you should be.
By Trena Reed