Viktorija, please briefly tell me about yourself.
I grew up in Klaipeda with my mother, father, and younger sister. I still love this city - the sea and the wind are an integral part of my life. My husband and I are also now raising our daughter and son here. My passions in life are sports and big dogs. I have a dog at home, as I like activity and also do not like to be alone.
What did you dream of growing up as a child? Has this dream come true?
When I was younger and my mother was pregnant with my sister, she kept asking me, "Do you want a sister or a brother?" I always answered, "Puppy!" However, it was not possible at that time for us to raise a dog at home. It is out of that strong love for animals, my dream of becoming a veterinarian was born.
Later, in high school, I realized that the veterinary profession can also have a hard side dealing with unpleasant, but necessary things. However, science classes at school were easy for me, so I continued to consider the field of medicine, although I was deterred by the requirements for such a long period of study to complete the process. I then learned about Physiotherapy - it was a different field, and it caught my attention. Now, I have been working as a Physiotherapist at the Šeimos Gerovės Center in Klaipeda for more than 10 years.
What kind of people fascinate and inspire you? Is there a specific person who has influenced you?
At every stage of my life, I have been surrounded by inspiring people.
As a child, I had a close relationship with my dad, which led me to love sports. The most beautiful childhood memories are the smell of summer, the sea, and volleyball until sunset.
At school, I got along well with the teachers in physical education. They helped me survive the ups and downs of my teenage years. These relationships have brought me closer to sports as well.
During my university studies, I met Jovita, the founder of the Šeimos Gerovės Center. Jovita believed in me from the beginning, taught me to love myself, and inspired me to discover my inner femininity. The 10 years I have worked with the Šeimos Gerovės Center, our friendship has grown and continued.
Even though we argued a lot as kids, today, my sister and I are extremely close. She is like my “other half” and she helps me with everything in life - sports, healthy living and eating, interesting books to read, and of course, with the meaning of life.
My husband and children have likely contributed the most to who I have become. They are my most loyal support team, giving me new challenges every day, helping me develop. They have helped me discover new features of my character that even surprise me.
As mentioned, I don’t like to be alone, so there is always a hustle and bustle in our home and with friends surrounding us. Lastly, I credit my friends who have influenced me greatly. They are my second family. Each of my friends has had a different impact on who I am today.
Being a mother, you realize how challenging it can be to work with children. How did you choose this line of work?During my university studies, I had already decided I would enjoy working with athletes or children. However, I did not want to work in a hospital setting. It was in my fourth year when my supervisor suggested conducting group exercises for pregnant women and babies. I have never been afraid of challenges and was also raising my daughter, so I agreed right away. I soon realized that babies are the best “customers.” They are open, sincere, and full of good energy. Babies have an inexplicable ability to understand human emotions, so it keeps you also from being hypocritical when working with them.
How have the ways of raising children changed during this decade of your work, from your clients’ – moms’ perspective?
Ten years ago I had to convince moms of the importance of physical activity from an early age, but today that goes without saying. Now I help mothers not to get lost in the abundance of information and to choose the right tools to educate their babies.
A gratifying change is that fathers are much more active in joining physical education groups today. In the beginning, meeting with a dad was an extremely rare occurrence, However, today we have groups where the dads make up the majority.
How has the quarantine changed habits? Does it seem difficult for children to return to physical activity? How do you plan to get them interested again and restore what had been achieved?
The quarantine made it difficult, due to communication restrictions and prolonged live training. Sure, we eventually got used to communicating remotely and doing things on our own. I played sports at home also, but getting back to normal life was incredibly gratifying. I think the quarantine has taught us all not to take things for granted.
The quarantine was also not easy for the little ones, it took two months after their return to training to refresh skills we had learned. It took a lot of patience and creativity for both parents and toddlers. We even noticed that there were more and more toddlers that needed to be taught to walk, which was not the case before quarantine, as it used to be a natural sequence of skills developed.
Another serious problem caused by the quarantine was the increased level of social anxiety. Many of our customers again experienced the fear of a new environment and we had to learn to overcome it.
How would you encourage a woman who strives for perfection? How can she keep up and not lose herself along the way? Where can she get motivation, inspiration?
In my opinion, in any part of life (sports, work, family) we must first learn to enjoy both the process and the result, not to focus on just one. It is also important not to forget to thank yourself for where you are now. I often repeat (to myself and the children), “It is never enough just to try! Whatever we do in life, if we put 120% of ourselves into it, we will always succeed. And if we do it with love, everything in life will work for us.”
What is a quote or slogan that pushes you to roll out of bed in the morning and go conquer the world?
"In life, you have to try to outdo not others, but yourself."