“CHEFS DON’T GET SICK!” They were the first words that I heard in one of Melbourne’s elite kitchens as an apprentice. The enormity of the effect of that phrase was permanently tattooed on my brain for the next 9 -10 years. You wouldn’t dare call in sick if you were unwell or injured; you were expected to “Push on” for up
to 16 hours a day.
In the end developing chronic lower back pain to the point of wearing a back brace and not being able to touch my knees without pain. Also nursing a compressed C5 nerve that would refer all the way down my right arm due to bad posture, repeated movements and poor recruitment patterns. I think though the straw that broke the camel’s back was that getting out of bed each morning was becoming an absolute task due to the amount of aching in the body. Being a 27 year old male this was quite alarming considering I have an 80 year old father that was pretty much running rings around me physically! So after an overdue awareness check, my wife, who is a Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates instructor, suggested that I do Pilates, to start to rehab my injuries and get some exercise and balance back into my life. In my head I was thinking “Pilates….. But that’s for Women!” Immediately I associated it with a gender and that it was probably just another excuse to meet up after with their girlfriends for coffee at some hip cafe on Chapel Street, decked out in Lululemon and designer sunglasses. BOY WAS I WRONG! After reluctantly agreeing to an initial session (With my wife mind you and I didn’t have to part with any money) I was blown away with what could be achieved and the difference felt in just an hour! Quivering, sweating and heart racing… the whole way through all the while, my wife was addressing my weaknesses and releasing my overly tight body. Looking back I would have gladly paid whatever the price that would have been charged and to think about it was absolutely priceless because that hour changed my life forever.
A few months and numerous sessions of successful rehab later… one morning I woke up and sat at the end of my bed, staring into space and made a decision that I was going to walk away from the stoves and become a Pilate’s Instructor. So I called around and enquired about a few places that delivered qualifications and none really stuck out or were not nationally recognised. Then a friend of my wives had just started her studies for her Diploma of Professional Pilates Instruction at National Pilates Training (Aligned for life), so I enquired and Katrina recommended that I come down and do a mat class and also observe their style of teaching. I was absolutely inspired by the professionalism, knowledge and approachability that the place and its entire staff oozed. Then and there I was sold and signed up almost immediately for the May weekend delivery of the next year. In the mean time I spent the next 5 or so months doing 3-4 sessions a week whether it being the student led mat classes or Studio sessions with Anastasia so by the time I got to starting the Diploma I felt really at home at Aligned for life.
The Diploma for me was absolutely flawless! Katrina, Kath and Sara were fantastic faculty educators with their wealth of knowledge, approachability and their constant passion for the Pilates Method. When I was almost half way through the delivery schedule, my mind started to turn to where would I work after this is all over. I was a bit stuck you seem, as my last career, I had worked in multi award winning Restaurants around the globe where you would immerse yourself with others that wanted to further themselves and quench their lust for knowledge. So I needed to work in a place that had the same sort of situation. To be honest I didn’t really look far, Aligned for life already had all of that so my mind was made up the only thing else to do was to convince every else that I would be an asset to the Studio.