How I Became a Certified Rolfer™ Part 1 (Beginning My Journey)

Different synchronistic events and life circumstances can sometimes conspire to show you your life’s path. In my case, those events and conditions combined with my anatomical structure to show me mine.

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive from new clients and friends is, “How did you get into Rolfing?”  Being born in San Francisco at the height of the Summer of Love maybe it was inevitable I should become involved with a body of work that came into public consciousness during the Human Potential Movement of the 1960s. My Vedic astrologer, who happens to live in San Francisco, certainly believes it is clearly evident in the alignment of the planets at the time of my birth.

As I look back on my life I see it all began around the age of four. I was very “pigeon-toed” as a child. I remember going to see Dr. Adams, my pediatrician, with my mother and her asking him at the end of my physical, “What about Carole’s legs?” Early on the answer was, “She’ll grow out of it.” and “Do these stretches and that should help.”

I remember running down the hill one day and falling down again. (I fell down a lot as a child, frequently enduring bruises and abrasions on my elbows and knees.) As I was picking myself up off the ground I became curious about my predicament and determined to figure out what I had tripped over. Looking around on the ground I could find nothing. And then, slowly creeping into my consciousness, came the awareness I had tripped over my own feet! That was a monumental moment for me.

I was eventually referred to a “specialist” and fitted with twister cables, braces that fastened around my waist, thighs and calves with attached shoes. I was to wear them 24 hours a day which I ultimately detested. The daytime wasn’t so bad, but nighttime was horrible. The shoes, being connected to the braces, didn’t allow me to relax my legs at night. I have memories of the sheets getting twisted around the braces leaving me feeling trapped in bed with the frequent result being torn sheets.

My father, who is quite the home filmmaker, filmed this footage of me in my braces in 1971.

Continue to Part 2 Gaining Knowledge
© Carole LaRochelle, 2009.


  1. Meryl Steinberg says

    Really like your story … especially now that you have the video. Cute kid.

  2. Wounds that become gifts. I appreciate hearing more of your story. An SF kid!

  3. Laurie Parish says

    You were quite an active little girl despite the braces. Interesting how life experiences influence the paths we take. Your father made a lovely movie and you chose nice musical background. Look forward to reading more about your practice. Laurie

    • Thanks for visiting, Laurie. Yes, many thanks to my father for all the home movies he made. I can’t take credit for the music, however. That was added when I had the Super 8 film transferred to DVD. 🙂

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