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Racing toward opportunity: Jake Stout

Jake Stout with his child on a track

After completing his bachelor’s program with a degree in exercise science/health sciences from Willamette University in Salem, Ore., Jake Stout, a dedicated runner and athlete, followed the lead of a coach to Boise. He wanted to continue his education, and received a master’s from Boise State in 2008. Along the way, he was able to study the history and psychology of sport, take part in research studies, support strength training in older adults and be involved with the Boise State University Center for Orthopaedic and Biomechanics Research, a partnership between the Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Kinesiology. He continued to compete as a long-distance runner, and worked as a rehab tech at St. Luke’s in Meridian.

“It was great. It was all the things that I love,” he said. “It was great just to be able to work in all the different areas.”

Stout had envisioned a career for himself in the high-end sports apparel industry concentrated in the Portland area (Adidas, Nike) but the timing was bad; jobs dried up and the economy contracted during the Great Recession. He pivoted — toward Seattle and physical therapy school at the University of Washington, receiving a doctorate in physical therapy in 2014.

He also worked at Microsoft’s PRO Sports Club, a legendary institution in the Pacific Northwest for the fitness and tech crowd. Within that environment, he conducted strength trading and coaching among clients with metabolic disorders and a range of other needs and conditions. He might not have known it at the time, but it was a critical piece in the equation that has become his career.

“It was my first direct patient care,” he said.

Since 2017, he has owned his own coaching and consulting business, Jake Stout PT and Performance. Founding a practice that combines all of his passions, while at times isolating, has allowed him to shape his own career, not always possible in a traditional physical therapy environment. Working out of a collaborative health facility as an independent practitioner, he works with about 30 clients online individually at any given point as they return to running and coaches others once they’ve resumed their routine activities. He has clients around the world.

As a business owner responsible for his own accounting and marketing, as the father of young children, as a coach and as a runner — the Big Sur International Marathon was on his calendar for April — “I stay plenty busy,” he said, and continues, “I’m really happy. I think that I’ve found the perfect blend of all the things I’m interested in.”

His advice for potential and current kinesiology students?

“I would say, being curious and not shutting the door on opportunities that come your way, just having an open mind,” Stout said. “I kind of connected the dots later in life … I’m glad I was able to lean into things that I was interested in.”