Meet Our Model
Throughout the year, we’ll be capturing the unique aspects of life, including health and wellness, for local ladies crossing decades ranging from 20s to 70s. At 27 years old, Liz has already learned a thing or two about navigating life and prioritizing her health!
Photography by Lanewood Studio
“Your 20s are so weird,” laughs Liz Kelley, a lifelong Chattanoogan and physical therapist at Erlanger Health System. “But this decade is also so rewarding and sweet. I love this stage of life and how crazy it is!” At 27 years old, Kelley is taking her current decade by storm: She’s graduated from college and graduate school, traveled to Europe with friends, adopted a dog, and landed her dream job helping patients recover from injury and illness. Kelley is also our first cover model of 2021, and here, she’s reflecting on this weird, rewarding, crazy time in her life.
HS: What do health and wellness mean to you in this decade?
LK: In my early 20s, when I was in grad school, I was just trying to survive off little sleep and the occasional “fad” health trend. Now that I’m in the real world and have a little more time to focus on myself, I’ve been intentional about creating a healthy lifestyle that’s sustainable. Physical activity is a priority for me, as is my mental health. I’m more in tune with my body and know that what I eat directly affects how I feel. These past few years have been about finding balance and actually practicing what I preach to my patients.
HS: What are your favorite ways to practice self-care?
LK: I live near the Riverwalk, and it’s such a blessing to be able to get out of my apartment and move (especially with my dog). I also believe that my time is my currency, and I want to invest in people and in activities that help me recharge. My friendships and my faith fill me up.
HS: If you could give one piece of advice to someone about to enter their 20s, what would it be?
LK: What has helped me the most is being open to opportunities that I didn’t expect or didn’t think I would want. Learn to say yes – to game nights with people you don’t know very well, to that after-work event with your co-workers. When you’re out of school, friends don’t just appear at your front door, so you have to find them wherever you can.
HS: What are your goals for your next decade?
LK: Professionally, I’d like to be constantly learning. After seven years of schooling, it now falls on me to keep my education up and stay relevant as a therapist; I always want to do my very best for my patients. As a personal goal, I want to continue learning about myself – how I can be a better friend, sister, daughter. Relationships can change so much throughout your 20s, but I’m hoping to become more deeply rooted in my relationships in the next decade. HS