Navy veteran from California opens wellness coaching business in eastern Idaho
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IDAHO FALLS – Like many American families, the standard diet in Rocky Rozey’s childhood California home was mac ‘n cheese, peanut butter sandwiches and spaghetti.
For a busy, working-class family, quick, easy meals are just part of the daily routine and she never gave it a second thought.
Rozey is now a single mother of two living in Idaho Falls and tomorrow, she’s celebrating the grand opening of her new business. It’s a nutrition and yoga coaching startup called D’rock Wellness.
When she thinks about her upbringing, Rozey admits her story is a bit ironic and no one is more surprised than her about the path her life has taken.
“I grew up in a working-class family. Gym memberships, yoga studios, nutrition coaches — those were unheard of (at my house),” Rozey tells EastIdahoNews.com.
Broken dreams and a life-altering diagnosis
Rozey’s health and fitness journey begins in 2010 when she joined the U.S. Navy. After basic training, she was deployed to Naval Air Station Lemoore in Kings County, California where she worked as an electrician on F-18 Super Hornets. From there, she went on to serve two combat missions in the Persian Gulf. One of her combat missions was Operation New Dawn, which was heavily focused on training and advising Iraqi Security Forces during the Iraq War.
Rozey says she initially joined the Navy because she wanted to get in shape.
“The idea was, ‘I’m going to get really fit and healthy by having someone just kick my butt,’ and boy did they! But most of my unhealthy eating habits followed me into the military,” says Rozey.
In 2016, Rozey’s dreams were crushed when she heard the news that would cut her military career short. Rozey was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease, an illness that affects the inner ear and causes vertigo, hearing loss, ear ringing, or tinnitus. A medical board declared her unfit for duty and she was discharged with severance pay and VA benefits.
Doctors told her the disease was incurable and she would have to be on medications for the rest of her life or have what she describes as an “invasive surgery.”
“They go and cut the nerve to the ear and I would lose that inner ear functionality,” Rozey explains.
Unhappy with those options, Rozey took matters into her own hands and began looking for another solution. Through research, she discovered a way to significantly reduce the symptoms and manage her condition through proper diet and nutrition.
Emotional and physical trauma connected to her military service left her with a lot of pain and she started using yoga as a form of physical therapy prior to her diagnosis.
“I had sustained injuries in my hip, neck and shoulders (while on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier in the military). I was a physical wreck and I was like, if I’m physically out, how can I train others? So I moved into the yoga sphere and I felt so much healing from that,” says Rozey.
The impact of implementing a daily yoga routine continued to affect Rozey after the Navy and friends and family took notice. It was then that Rozey decided she wanted to teach others about it.
Developing her own method
After being discharged, she lived in Japan for three years. During this time, she took a trip to India and learned about an alternative form of medicine related to yoga called Ayurveda. She became licensed as a nutrition and yoga instructor. Family ties to eastern Idaho later brought her to Idaho Falls.
Rozey formed D’rock Wellness LLC in October and has been working to adapt the principles of Ayurveda for a Western culture. She combined the two disciplines together and developed her own 12-week plan called the D’rock method, which you can learn more about in the video player above.
“The true purpose of yoga is to learn how to control the mind. The purpose of Ayurveda is to learn how to heal the body,” Rozey says. “They both come from Ayurvedic principles.”
“The feedback I’ve gotten is amazing,” Rozey adds. “The commonality between every single client I’ve had is ‘I want to feel better’ … and 99% of the time they do. They lose weight in the process, which is the happy byproduct.”
Rozey will be launching an app soon. Once the business is established and profitable, she’d like to provide her program to female military veterans for free.
D’rock Wellness is at 545 Shoup Avenue on the second floor of the Rogers building in downtown Idaho Falls. It’s one of at least 30 businesses inside the 84-year-old structure.
Rozey is now accepting clients and she’s inviting you to learn more during the ribbon-cutting and grand opening celebration at 419 Park Avenue Wednesday. It’s happening from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Great Harvest is providing sandwiches and salads. Drinks will be provided by Unstoppable Nutrition, a new smoothie and juice bar. There will be goodie bags and prize giveaways as well.