Katelyn Livingston – 40 under 40 2021

Name: Katelyn Livingston

Age: 28

Occupation: Occupational Therapist 

Business/workplace:Strive! Health & Rehabilitation/Ocala Regional Medical Center.

Grand goal in life: Stay healthy, grow old with my husband, raise a family, and build my career. 

When not working, I . . . enjoy spending time with my husband, working out at my awesome gym (Burn Boot Camp), and doing any activities that include water.

What I like about Ocala: I like living in Ocala because it is a good combination of rural and city life. If my husband and I want to take our Ranger out to the forest and ride around we can or if we want to spend a day out on the lake we can take a short trip to my mother-in-law’s on Little Lake Weir. On the other hand if we want to have a nice night out we can go to downtown Ocala. Although Ocala is growing rapidly, I also like that it is still a smaller community where a lot of people know one another. 

Pet peeve: Negativity. I always try to find the positive in every situation no matter how difficult it may be. I cannot stand when people complain and display a negative attitude because what they don’t realize is that even though their situation may not be a good one, it could always be worse and there is always someone out there going through something more difficult than you. 

Philosophy of life word:  Gratefulness. Despite the challenges I have faced thus far in life, I am grateful every day for the life I have been given. I am grateful for the people who have been a part of my life and have already passed on, for the people who are currently in my life, and for all of the things that I have.  I think we so often take people and things for granted when we should just be grateful for what we have. 

Personal superpower: Having strength. My 20s have been particularly difficult and I have had to face several situations in which I never imagined having to face and especially at such a young age, but I feel like I have become even stronger for it. I know there may be other situations in life that arise that may be equally or even more difficult, but I know I have the strength to get through it. 

Superhuman power I’d like: Flying. If I were able to fly I could easily get to places I would like to visit and I could visit family and friends who live far away. 

Favorite cause: Hospice of Marion County. Hospice of Marion County holds a special place in my heart as I have had several very close personal experiences with them in caring for my family members and they are amazing. When a family member is sick it adds so much stress to your life including financial stress. The employees of Hospice are truly caring and compassionate people and they make it show in their work and the financial burden and stress is taken away as you are not charged a dime for any of their services. 

Guilty pleasure: Sweets. I have a major sweet tooth and I definitely have to control myself when it comes to dessert. If it has sugar in it, it is for me.

Historical dinner date: Lou Gehrig. Lou was one of the first people to be diagnosed with ALS. Unfortunately, this disease has been a difficult part of my life as both of my parents suffered with this terrible disease. It would be interesting to talk to him about his experience with the disease and see just how different things were for him back in the 1930s-40s versus today. Maybe his account of the disease would provide information in diagnosing and finding a cure for the disease. 

People who know me say I am… ICaring, loyal, honest, compassionate, and maybe even a little humorous.

Biggest professional achievement: I am the first person in my family to graduate college. I am very proud to say that I am a former Florida Gator and went on to pursue my Master’s in Occupational Therapy at the University of St. Augustine. Many times I wanted to give up and just quit, but looking back I am so proud that I persevered and got through it all and ended up in a profession that I love. 

Favorite part of my profession: I truly enjoy caring for and helping people. Working in the hospital setting as an OT can be very challenging both mentally and physically while often working with people at one of the worst times in their life. It makes me feel very good when I can help someone going through a hard time to help them with something so simple as sitting up on the side of the bed or brushing their teeth. As an OT, it is my job to help people move around but also perform their daily activities such as oral care, getting dressed, or getting up to the bathroom and these are things that we so often take for granted and it is amazing how helping someone do something so simple can make their day when they are sick or injured.

I indulge too much in:  Clothes. I enjoy buying new clothes and having new things to wear whenever I go out, although I end up buying things and then never wearing them or only wearing them once. 

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