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I am the youngest of four and grew up in a very active, sport orientated family. We all played two or more sports, even Mum and Dad, and I did ballet until I was 18. This is obviously where my fascination with the body and its movement originated.

Phys. Ed. was my favourite subject at school, and I went on to study sports science at university. I completed an honours year in exercise physiology, with my research being published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. My supervisor suggested a PhD, but I couldn’t see myself doing further research where there would be minimal ‘people’ contact. I knew working with people was where my strength lay.

Instead, I worked in numerous roles in the fitness industry – gym instructor, aerobics instructor, personal trainer, swim teacher, lifeguard, and centre manager, both here and in the UK. Although I loved what I was doing, after several years I began to get itchy feet and it was time for more study – but what?

Luckily fate took over and I discovered the Pilates Method. I knew very little of Pilates, but had heard it was good for back issues, so dragged my husband (who had a dodgy back) to the Pilates studio up the road in Moonee Ponds. I remember thinking ‘wow, look at all this equipment.’ With luck on my side it just happened to be Katrina’s original studio and she was teaching at the time. I became inquisitive, could feel her passion and good vibe, so within two weeks I had signed up to the instructor training course and entered Pilates boot camp to get myself prepared.

This was a great decision for two main reasons:

  • the quality of the course; and
  • Katrina became my teacher and ongoing mentor.

After completing the course, I became a casual matwork instructor at the Moonee Ponds (MP) studio and over time I worked up to be the proud owner of this studio. During this time, I also gained my Advanced Diploma of the Pilates Method and co-founded National Pilates Training, where I am an educator for the courses offered, as well as facilitate professional development workshops.

Rehabilitation plays a major role in most of my work, with many of my clients having some sort of injury &/or condition needing specialist care, as well as this being the main subject area for the course work I teach. To further my knowledge in this area I completed a Masters of Exercise Science & Rehabilitation, I am an Accredited Exercise Physiologist with ESSA and I also work at Maribyrnong Sports Academy as Rehabilitation Coordinator.

Information is great, but in order to transfer this to clients, it’s vital to practise the work on your own body. You really need to be able to feel the work in order to teach it. Throughout my Pilates life, I have been very fortunate to be able to continue weekly workouts with Katrina on top of the workouts I do myself. My own personal experiences have also shaped me as an instructor. I have my two gorgeous children to thank for increasing my understanding of pregnancy, post-natal recovery and SIJ dysfunction, and I have myself to thank for increasing my understanding of knee rehabilitation, after rupturing my ACL doing a cartwheel.

I would also not be the Pilates instructor I am today if it wasn’t for all my wonderful clients. They are all so fabulously different in terms of posture and presentation of aches and pains. This keeps the work challenging and forever evolving, which is what I love about my job and the Pilates method. We have much to thank you for Joe!

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