Going The Distance

By Debbie Lagestee     •     Photos by Valerie & Ed Photography

What is a guy to do when he falls in love with a girl who lives all the way across the country? This is a question Adam Smith had to ask himself. Adam and Sarah met when he was working as a physical therapist in Los Angeles and Sarah was completing her physical therapy clinical and visiting her father who lived there. They quickly fell in love; Sarah moved back to Charleston and then they had a long-distance relationship for 2 years. For Adam, the answer was simple. He moved to Charleston to be with Sarah and to pursue opening his own physical therapy clinic.

Sarah grew up in Los Angeles before moving to Beaufort, SC when she was 11 years old. From a young age, she was athletic, loved sports, and knew she wanted to help people. When she was in 7th grade, she attended a career fair at her school, that event inspired her decision to pursue a career in physical therapy. Sarah was recruited by Anderson University in Anderson, SC to play soccer. It was there she earned her degree in Kinesiology. She then attended MUSC where she received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She is currently an outpatient orthopedic manually certified physical therapist at Roper St. Francis in West Ashley. She also helps coordinate student PT clinicals. Sarah played recreational soccer locally but has since hung up her soccer cleats due to multiple knee surgeries. She continues to stay active playing singles tennis. Sarah has a passion for gardening, anytime she needs some quiet time or “me time” she heads straight to the yard to put her green thumb to work all the while rejuvenating her mind.

Adam grew up in Long Island, NY. He is a lifelong die-hard loyal New York Mets fan. Adam played baseball throughout high school, unfortunately he suffered an injury his junior year. With the help of physical therapy, he recovered from the injury and was able to play baseball his senior year. Adam was recruited by Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC to play baseball. Adam jokes, “I took them up on their offer since the Mets didn’t draft me.”

It was his personal experience with physical therapy that led him to pursue a career in the same field. Adam went on to attend MUSC where he earned his Masters of Physical Therapy. Adam owns a physical therapy clinic called Joints in Motion Physical Therapy and Wellness. He has clinics in Goose Creek and Mount Pleasant but hopes to one day open a 3rd clinic near Carolina Bay. Adam enjoys running, lifting weights, and has taken up tennis. He continues to play baseball in a local men’s league. Adam explains, “It’s pretty rigorous, I recently took a fastpitch to the forearm resulting in a broken bone. I’m like a 12-year-old in a 41-year-old body.”

Photo by Silverfox Studios

Adam and Sarah were married in Long Island, New York. In 2013, they moved to the Rice Field subdivision of Carolina Bay. They loved the community and envisioned starting a family in a community just like this. Their vision became reality with the arrival of their 2 daughters, Aria is 6 years old and Cali is 4 years old. When it was time to think about names for their firstborn, they were not fond of each other’s list of names. The one name that Adam and Sarah both loved came from the character Arya in the TV series Game of Thrones which they were both avid fans of. Aria also means lioness in Hebrew. When the time came to name their youngest child, they came awfully close to naming her Sansa, the character who played Arya’s sister in the series. Instead, they named her Cali. Sarah might say it is short for Khaleesi (if you know, you know). Aria is currently a student at Saint Andrew’s School of Math and Science, and Cali is attending a local preschool. Aria loves being quizzed on her math and sight words. Cali loves sharing the letters and words she is learning daily. They both love sports and have been involved in dance, gymnastics, soccer, and tennis. The girls are eager to begin playing baseball in the next year or two. Adam has tried to pass his love for the Mets onto the girls, but the jury is still out if they will conform. For now, he is happy when they occasionally yell “Let’s go Mets!”. As for Sarah, it is her hope that someday the 4 of them will be playing a mixed doubles tennis match. Both girls love their sushi Friday dinner date.

The Smiths are dog people. They have 2 dogs, Mookie is a 9-year-old Great Dane, Border Collie, Pit mix. Their 2nd dog was graced with the name they could not let go, Sansa. She is a 4-year-old Pit mix. Mookie used to run 4-6 miles with Adam around the neighborhood and up and down the greenway. He has gotten a bit older, but he is still able to leap over their 6-foot privacy fence!

Adam and Sarah love this community. “This community is all our kids have ever known. They have grown up in our parks and in our pools. We go to the parks and have seen our friends’ children grow along with our own”, said Sarah. Adam has loved watching the community develop while running through the neighborhood for exercise. Sarah has enjoyed interacting with the community through mommy swaps, the community mommy page, and the gardening pages. They live on a cul-de-sac and can often be found playing some sort of sport outside or riding their bikes. One of the highlights of the year for them as a family is Halloween in the neighborhood. They take pride in their decorations and they love the way the community embraces Halloween as an event. They look forward to it each year as well as decorating for Hanukah and Santa Claus.

The Smith family recently took a family trip to Asheville, NC. While there, they stayed in an adorable red house in the mountains. Adam and Sarah introduced the girls to hiking, one of their favorite activities. They had a blast climbing and exploring. “I love that they love it”, said Sarah. It was a weekend away that created lasting memories. The girls love to reminisce about their time in the mountains and the red house. Adam and Sarah look forward to someday taking Aria and Cali to Los Angeles to hike the foothills of Santa Monica and Malibu.

In the midst of lockdowns and quarantines, Adam and Sarah were able to see the positive side of things. Like many other families, they spent a great deal of time together. Sarah said, “I’m more thankful as a whole, for my profession, my job, my family, and grateful we had more than just a small room to be in, unlike other families around the country.” Adam agreed with everything Sarah said and added, “Being together so much makes you mindful of being present, being aware of your surroundings, it gives you a chance to value what is important.” For a relationship that began with a long-distance between them, the lockdowns brought the complete opposite, plenty of time together to focus on what is important, family and wellness.

This article was featured in the January 2021 issue of Carolina Bay Neighbors magazine.


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