Ron and Linda Wenger are the previous owners of our practice which many remember as, Wenger Physical Therapy. For 39 years, he provided physical therapy services to our area until Todd Kruse, current owner, bought the business in 2017. We checked back in with Ron to ask some questions about his journey with physical therapy and what he’s up to now!
What motivated you to pursue a career in physical therapy?
“I was a quite active young man and thought physical therapy might be a good fit for me. As the years have gone on, I feel it was a great decision for me, having met my wife Linda in PT (physical therapy) school, enjoying a wonderful career in physical therapy, and meeting so very many wonderful patients.”
When did you and Linda open Wenger Physical Therapy and for how many years did you operate?
“Linda and I started Wenger Physical Therapy in 1978 when we secured a contract with Waseca Memorial Hospital, providing the physical therapy services there, as well as, the nursing home in Waterville. We operated Wenger Physical Therapy until Todd purchased the business in 2017.”
What was the most significant event in your career as a physical therapist?
“The most significant event in my career as a physical therapist may have been my start in a private practice in Iowa, where I was mentored by a physical therapist that was “ahead of the curve” practicing manual therapy and believing in our skills as physical therapists and that we could decide what was best for our patients.”
What is your favorite memory while operating your own practice?
“My favorite memory while operating Wenger Physical Therapy was probably when Linda and I decided to build our building and locate our practice in North Mankato. We had been an independent practice within the OFC building and we had to decide to pay a rent that was 3-4 times the normal rate or build our own building and remain independent. It was a great decision that worked out well.”
After a long career with a successful practice, how did you make the decision to sell your business?
“Selling our practice was something we thought about for many years as there were always options including “Corporate PT”. In the end, Todd had been with us for about 10 years, and we knew he was smart enough and able to work hard enough to be successful. Besides being one of the best physical therapists I have ever worked with, he cares about every patient, and could provide the leadership that is needed to keep our business going successfully.”
Was this an easy decision for you and Linda?
“With Todd, this was an easy decision.”
Where are you now?
“Linda and I now live about 25 miles north of Durango Colorado. We have 2 of our 3 children that live here in Durango and are blessed to have Silas (6) and Esme (2), two of our three grandchildren right here in our town. Linda helps with their care the most and I get to play, swim, ski, and bike with them quite often. I work as a physical therapist in a private practice in Durango and enjoy my limited responsibility and the ongoing joy of treating many interesting and fantastic patients. We both enjoy hiking the trails around Durango and in Utah. We get to snowshoe out our backdoor for several months a year and enjoy biking the mountain trails and roads.”
What is one piece of advice you would like to give to someone considering physical therapy or perhaps simply struggling with living a healthy lifestyle?
“For any individual, find a physical therapist that cares about the whole person and then stick with that therapist for all of your physical problems. Having your personal physical therapist can make life easier for you as you age. Be open to your physical therapist so you can have a long, satisfying relationship. Living a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge. Exercise is medicine and it can yield wonderful results for you as an individual. Keep as strong and as fit as you can as you age.”