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Point's Roger Faulkenbury, co-owner
of Therapeutic Fitness in Pt Pleasant,
volunteers his time to promote healthy
living in local community. Photo by

Point’s Roger Faulkenbury wants to keep his community fit & healthy

By Chris Sheldon
Ocean Star
August 13, 2010

After suffering a serious back injury in 2001, Roger Faulkenbury, 52, of Howe Street in Point Pleasant, recovered and made it his mission to keep people healthy and in shape.

Mr. Faulkenbury is the co-owner of Therapeutic Fitness, on Bridge Avenue in Point Pleasant, and is also heavily involved in the Bay Head Mayor’s Wellness Campaign.

The Bay Head campaign is part of a statewide program designed to increase awareness of healthy living in local communities.

Mr. Faulkenbury’s wife, Patti Durkin, 52, co-owns Therapeutic Touch, a massage therapy and holistic health care center in Bay Head with her husband, and shares in his love of helping people become healthy and fit. The happy couple was married in 1993 in Bay Head, at the gazebo near Bridge Avenue.

“We kept it in a local place, and that meant something to us,” Mr. Faulkenbury said, of the wedding.

Mr. Faulkenbury was born and raised in Fort Mill, S.C., and graduated from Fort Mill High School in 1976. He lived in his hometown until he was 18, when he began working in the amusement park industry in places such as Tampa, Fl., Orlando, Fl., Richmond, Va. and St. Louis, Mo. Mr. Faulkenbury began his career as a fire extinguisher inspector at an amusement park outside Charlotte, N.C.

He also worked as a safety representative for King’s Dominion, an amusement park near Richmond. Mr. Faulkenbury eventually took a job as a safety manager for Busch Gardens, an amusement park located in Tampa, Fla. He said he was in charge of ride, employee and environmental safety. He explained that he became interested in safety after becoming an EMT for the Doswell Fire and Rescue squad.

Mr. Faulkenbury moved to Point Pleasant 20 years ago and settled down with Ms. Durkin. Mr. Faulkenbury got into health and fitness after he suffered a back injury in 2001. Mr. Faulkenbury said he had a reoccurring back issue which he injured more severely while twisting his body to throw something away.

“I ended up being carted off to the hospital,” Mr. Faulkenbury said. “After I recovered, I told myself, ‘I gotta make some changes,’ and I wanted to help myself and others,” he added.

So, he decided to attend Somerset School of Massage in Wall about nine years ago, and became a CMT [certified massage therapist]. He later received his national massage certification.

In 2009, he started Therapeutic Fitness with his business partner, Bob Valdez, a Bay Head resident.

“We were fortunate, because we were able to start the business in a down economy,” Mr. Faulkenbury said. He is now in charge of the day-to-day operations of Therapeutic Fitness.

“Everything from toilets to recycling,” Mr. Faulkenbury said, with a laugh.

Another program helped inspire Mr. Faulkenbury to start his business. For the last seven years, he has run a fit club on the beach in Bay Head.

“We exercise on the beach year-round, three days a week,” he said.

When Mr. Faulkenbury took over the program, he expanded it into a full-year club for anybody who wished to join.

As a part of his 50th birthday celebration,
Mr. Faulkenbury and members of his family
went on a trip to San Francisco, where he and
his brother-in-law, Glenn Grossman, ran across
the Golden Gate Bridge.

Mr. Faulkenbury said one of the contributions he, and his business, has helped make to the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign has been conducting the Kids Fit component of the Bay Head summer recreation program. Kids Fit activities refer to a regular routine of callisthenic exercises, challenges from the Presidential Fitness Test and cardiovascular fitness exercises, which are new to the camp. The summer recreation program started earlier this summer and will run for a few more days, according to Mr. Faulkenbury.

Mr. Faulkenbury said he assists fellow fitness instructor Melissa Savage in running the program.

“We do everything from circuit training to soccer and wiffle ball,” Mr. Faulkenbury said. “It’s all about fitness and fun,” he added. “If it’s not fun, nobody’s going to carry through with it.” Mr. Faulkenbury said he feels that “fitness and health are weaved into everything we do.”

“I try to explain to people that exercise is not just another hour of work,” he said.

Mr. Faulkenbury said the fit club and Kids Fit program are just “small pieces” of the Bay Head Mayor’s Wellness Campaign. “It’s been booming lately, and it’s something that [Bay Head Councilwoman D’Arcy Rohan Green] and we continue to talk about it,” Mr. Faulkenbury said.

He said some of the other programs he has helped with include the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program, which is also part of the Bay Head Mayor’s Wellness Campaign. Mr. Faulkenbury said the program asks people to bring their worn-out athletic shoes to the Bay Head Recycling Center on Park Avenue in Bay Head or to Curtis’ Central Market, on Route 35 in Bay Head.

“They take the rubber, separate it from the shoe, and reintroduce it as running track or for a playground surface,” Mr. Faulkenbury said.

He said one of the more delicious aspects of the campaign is the Bay Head Cookie. The Bay Head Cookie is gluten-, sugar- and wheat-fee, and is currently being sold at Mueller’s Bakery on Bridge Avenue, in Bay Head.

Mr. Faulkenbury said he has enjoyed working with the Bay Head Mayor’s Wellness Campaign, and hopes it will grow.

“I see big things for the Bay Head Mayor’s Wellness Campaign,” Mr. Faulkenbury said. “Every year we have the opportunity to improve it and make it bigger. I want to make sure people can live pain free, and I think that passion has carried over into the campaign.”

“It’s something I wanted to do for the community,” he continued. He said he sees Bay Head as a great outdoor fitness activity center and would like to add more programs to it in the future.

“People have a vision and picture what it will look like down the road,” Mr. Faulkenbury said.

Councilwoman Rohan Green said she has enjoyed working with Mr. Faulkenbury. “Roger is a true dynamic force in the community, and we’re very fortunate that he is working on the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign,” Councilwoman Rohan Green said. “We have talked over the course of last year about programs that would benefit community and residents. Roger is a unique and dynamic force in our community.”

She said his presence on the Bay Head Mayor's Wellness Campaign has “proved to be a motivating force for us all.”

“At a time when authenticity is tossed around quite casually, Roger is the real deal, bar none and he is able to engage with individuals very naturally and inspire them to get moving,” she said.”I'm fortunate to know him and to call him a friend.”

Eileen McIntyre, Mantoloking resident and friend Mr. Faulkenbury and Mrs. Durkin, said she has known him since she started going to Therapeutic Touch for deep tissue massages in 2005 “Roger's expertise and knowledge truly helped me to recover, and I also trained with Roger over the years,” Mrs. McIntyre said. “ He is motivating, yet kind and patient, especially when I just didn't feel like working out.” Mrs. McIntyre said she has become “close friends” with Mrs. Durkin and Mr. Faulkenbury over the years.

“Roger is a true humanitarian who is always willing to lend a hand and donate to my favorite causes as well as several other charitable organizations in the Bay Head and Point Pleasant areas,” Ms. McIntyre said. “Roger is the kind of guy who will always have your back.”

Mr. Faulkenbury said he used to run marathons and half-marathons in the past, and said he would like to do another half-marathon in the future.

For now, he said he continues to keep busy by riding his bike, gardening and helping out the community in his spare time.

“Roger is a southern gentleman, and I’ve really never met a man so genuinely kind and caring to all people,” Mrs. Durkin said, of her husband.

“I think he’s a great partner, and he inspires me with how he’s so compassionate,” Mrs. Durkin said.

Roger Faulkenbury (right) and Tom Charlton, chairperson of Bay Head Mayor's
Wellness Campaign, have worked together on several local events, including
the Bay Head 5K race, held earlier this year.

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