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Jessie Carper Davis

May. 27th, 2021

Gary was my teacher at AIM and I assistant taught with him. He was my career mentor. This is my tribute to him. Gary was a dynamic teacher, therapist, and author. He taught me how to learn for the first time by showing me how to retain information by working with my brain and through behavior. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have become a teacher, a massage therapist, or a coach. He taught me that humans learn by doing and that repitition and learning in small chunks is the key. You don’t have to be brilliant, you just have to know the way to learn.

One of the best things about Gary was his sense of humor. I especially saw it when I assistant taught with him. When teaching about the Longus colli muscle, he would show the students how to strengthen it by doing an exercise called the “vomiting dog” (the position is self explanatory). Just as the students got into position with their eyes on the floor he pulled a camera out of his pocket and snapped a photo of everyone in this ridiculous position, then quickly put it back in his pocket before they realized. I asked him if he did this with every class and he quickly told me he had a small collection of students doing the vomiting dog exercise. Makes me laugh every time. Gary always had me laughing with his sharp wit and sarcasm.

He was an avid science lover and he showed me that the human body is a miracle in itself. He believed in the power of science helping people and always strove to learn more from research just to help more. Sometimes I would want to make physiological processes more complicated, or more far out and woo woo. I would get pissed sometimes by his matter of factness. Years would pass and I would learn more and research more only to realize he was usually right. This showed me the power of in depth learning and continuing to question and be curious. Never stop learning and don’t spread information if you yourself don’t understand it. He was so ethical and cared very much about not doing something if you didn’t know why you were doing it.

He would often try to trick me and my class with tough questions. At first we would be so mad and think he was so cruel only to realize when taking the national exam that that very “tricky” question was on there. We would be so glad we messed up so royally because it was stuck in our memory so strongly. Failure sticks in your memory longer- smart right?

Gary took me to see my first cadaver, compassionately realized how it made me feel, and showed such respect for the donated bodies. He taught me how neurotransmitters and hormones impact behavior such as love, bonding, and addiction. He explained to me the intricacies of the immune system and how the fascia is brilliantly intelligent in its own right which research is now showing to be true. I can figure out an exercise and stretch for every muscle because of his incredible kinese lessons and could probably remember my O, I, and As with ease even though I’ve been out of the teaching field for awhile. He even taught me valuable lessons about potty training which made it so easy with Iyla. I was hoping to get to share that one with him!

I could tell a million more stories about Gary that left impression on me and how he impacted my whole life trajectory, but for now know that if you were a student of mine, or a client, that Gary is living through my hands and my teachings. If I ever sit or stand on the massage table or stretch your rib fascia, if I ever ask you if you played basketball because you have fantastic peroneal muscles, or show you on my skeleton how babies fit through the pelvic outlet in amazement and why you may subsequently have pelvic floor dysfunction, or if I ever rant on about the suboccipitals and the multifidus- it was because of Gary. Did you know you have two anal sphincters- one that warns you and one that keeps it in (the body cares about you lol)? Now you do so thank Gary.

You will be so missed Gary. I was really hoping to geek on on how cool the vaccine is with you and fill you in on my daughter and childhood development, but maybe in our next life. My condolences to all of his loved ones.