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Columbia Missourian

Coach brings alternative outlook to Stephens

By Colleen Lefholz
February 18, 2009 | 3:52 p.m. CST
Laura Wacker, of the Columbia School of Metaphysics, consults with a student before class. Wacker has been studying at the school for the past three years and took over as director after the former director, Judy Weber, left the position. "We've been in a rebuilding phase recently," Wacker said. "(Metaphysics) requires a real commitment to yourself and some people just aren't ready to make that commitment."

COLUMBIA — Abraham Lincoln, two weeks before his assassination, dreamed that he was going to be killed.

Laura Wacker, Stephens College swimming coach, studied the interpretation of dreams during her time at the School of Metaphysics.


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Wacker, 47, was a student at the School of Metaphysics in Columbia and became the director at the school last month.

Wacker is from the St. Louis area but moved to Columbia in August of 1990. Wacker was already familiar with Columbia when she moved here because she attended MU 11 years earlier.  

Wacker swam freestyle distance for Missouri for two and a half years. She graduated from the university with degrees in business administration management and computer science.

Before she attended the School of Metaphysics, she was the owner of a gym called Body Basics, which recently closed. She managed the gym for 14 years and owned it for three and a half.

Wacker has been interested in metaphysics for as long as she can remember. Wacker collected literature on metaphysics for 20 years before she decided to attend the School of Metaphysics. 

“I was always interested," she said, "but never had the urge to pursue it.”

Metaphysics is described as the study of the mind. According to the School of Metaphysics’ Web site, the prefix meta means beyond while physics means the physical world.  

According to the School of Metaphysics Web site,  students learn skills that will help them in all areas of life. At the School, studies include the workings of the mind, ways to live healthier, interpret dreams, as well as other things that relate to mind, body, and spirit.

 “Throughout my swim career, coaches used some of the metaphysic principles,” Wacker said.

Wacker says metaphysics and swimming share a common bond.  She uses those metaphysic principles in her coaching methods with the Stephens College swim team, much like her coaches used them when she was swimming. 

She has the swim team do visualization exercises which involve visualizing your success, the feelings you will have when you reach your goal, and what you want to be as a person, not just in your swim career, but also in life.  

She also had the team do a vision board over Christmas Break.

“A vision board is creating a collage of what you want to create in your life,” Wacker said. The team used pictures and clippings from magazines to help them create their vision board.

As director of the School of Metaphysics, Wacker teaches classes and helps organize community events for people to get informed on metaphysics.  

“People don’t know much about it, but I think there is something for everyone in metaphysics that people can use whether it be improving your memory, your intuition, or getting to know yourself better.”

Last year, Stephens College hosted an event called “Powers of Ten” that was geared towards the ability to relate to other people.

“There are a lot of key things you can learn in one day that can change your life,” Wacker said.

“I feel like I have a purpose in my life," Wacker said, "and part of that is helping people realize their potential in all aspects of their life.”