Updated: Sep 17, 2020
"When the pull is greater than the push, we can do GREAT things." Hannah Blank
I'm a big believer in health and wellness, but it wasn't until my late 20's that I was finally able to create a consistent lifestyle around my fitness. No more boom, no more BUST, no fad diets, no injuries. What changed? I created a life that it no longer is difficult, it's not extreme in any way, I eat what I want, I train how my body feels and that is that.
“When your WHY is big enough, you will find your HOW.”
We are bombarded constantly with images and expectations of how life is meant to be, social media, TV, family, friends, schools, advertising, you name it they tell us what we think we need to be. We loose ourselves very early on in life if we don't become aware of this and have the ability to call it out. I certainly lost my way and that was the beginning of my downward spiral in mental and physical health from my early teen years. Unfortunately the health and fitness industry goes hand in hand with the messages we are sold and we begin to have extrinsic motivations about looking a certain way and we go to work to get there. Often without any idea of what were doing and often with such gusto we end up with some sort of injury and being set back further than where we started in the first place. Or worst yet going on some stupid diet that is there to reduce calories and nutrients into the body and then we wonder why we A; feel like crap, B; we crave and binge eat and C; we haven't lost any bloody weight since we began. WHAT IS THE POINT oh and then we do it over and over and over again. Hilarious aren't we!
The downward spiral
Being an active kid since I can remember, my happiest memories are of playing one hand one bounce down the hallway, sumo wrestling in the lounge with my big brother, running cross countries and playing hockey. This is where I found my flow, my peace, my space, my happy. This was something I was gifted with, physicality. I didn't realise you could be gifted with something for pure joy, it always felt like I had to beat someone at something and if I didn't my worth was less. Instead of competing, I retreated. Maybe I already knew deep inside my that my self worth wouldn't be dictated to by others, I just couldn't understand that at that time. But I refused to compete, I would show up always, but never in a way to be prepared to win or even do well in some cases. Even now, i'll sign up for a half marathon the week before with no training, run it, blitz it and realise that maybe if I trained for something in life I could actually be competitive, but I'm just not built that way. I have accepted this and find joy in all that I do because of it.
Somewhere between the end of primary school and the start of college, puberty hit and hormones were rife. No one holds your hand and tells you how powerful a women's hormones are, how magical they are and that being a women is a beautiful thing because if we're lucky enough, one day, we get to create life. I wish I had someone telling me, its going to be ok, this is what is happening physically to your body, let the body do what it needs to do, be patient, you are becoming a women, embrace it, let the hormones flow and learn to love your body so these hormones don't wreck havoc on you for the rest of your life. But I didn't, instead like most other young girls I went on the pill, gained weight, lost all my confidence and then began a battle with food and exercise that I couldn't get rid of until I was in my late 20s,(when I also coincidentally stopped using the pill) that was well over a decade of hating my body and fighting who I was. What a waste of life, lets not do that to our girls, or our boys for that matter.
Finding my why, the one that was so deep I didn't have to push anymore, my why was so deep that I was pulled to be the person I wanted to be. There was no fighting with myself to show up, I wanted to, I needed to, I just do.
Moving to Aussie when I was 25 was the beginning of me finding my way back to me, getting rid of the outside noise and having an ability to reinvent myself into who I always was, but had long forgotten.
In 2011 I got a job in a brand new school as the head of PE department and I realised the buck stopped with me with these kids, I couldn't rely on my super fit coworker to be the kids role model, that role model had to be me. I stepped up to this and this is where I used my view on health and wellness and was able to be create this culture in a school. This brought me great joy. I taught the kids why they needed to look after their bodies, I allowed them to work in a way that suited them as much as I could in a school environment, but I also maintained high standards and expectations of them in a way that there is no such thing as can't and there is no reason not to show up, even on hard days. We all have hard days and we have to show up, we might not put our best foot forward but we do what needs to be done no matter what. kids didn't forget their PE gear, they participated, they learnt to play to be healthy and fit and for enjoyment but there was also space for those kids that loved competition to compete. Best of all I got to create a gym and this is where I loved to take the kids the most, teach them life skills and give them the confidence to lift weights properly, safely and with intention so they could show up anywhere out of school and participate in life. By the end of my time there, I was in the gym more lunchtimes than not and the kids were lined up waiting for me. They loved being able to get in there and they loved that I could teach them all the things they wanted to know about lifting weights and movement. It brought me as much joy. It was in that time I knew that training, teaching, motivating, inspiring others to live a healthy whole life was the job I wanted.
Being in the fitness industry, I wanted to be a role model again, to my clients, to my community but mostly to my kids. I want to live life, I don't want to train so hard that I have to sit on the couch for the rest of the day because I'm so exhausted, I want to create a lifestyle, a job, an exercise lifestyle that creates and gives energy. I don't care for big muscles, small muscles or anything in between, I care for health and wellness in whatever shape or form that comes in for your body. I don't believe in extreme in anything, that is not health, that is not vitality that is not consistent. That is why I personally don't need goals and that is why I personally don't sell my girls goals around these things, which is an easy thing to do as a trainer and as a business owner, especially in the climate of extreme fitness and diet we live in today. It's easy money and it's money and advertising that markets their businesses. But I know extreme fitness and diet are not consistent, I know they are injuries waiting to happen, I know they are hormonal imbalances and mood swings in the making and I know they don't create vitality and that special energy we need to spark in what we do. I also know they come from a place of not feeling like enough, being enough and wanting to be more. To me those kind of goals come from a negative mindset and a place where we don't talk to ourselves like we are absobloodylutely magic! (P.S, we are unicorns)
I know there is the other flip of the coin of wanting to be better and grow and evolve but my argument is that if you love your body, you love what you do, you are balanced, you have energy, you are strong in just the right way, YOU WILL CONTINUE TO GROW AND EVOLVE NATURALLY JUST AS NATURE INTENDED. We don't need to push, we need to love what we do so much that we are pulled to be that person we aspire to be. We do work hard, but we also rest, breath, recuperate, we fill our buckets and we are happy.
That is what the culture at BASE BODY is about, that is why we show up, that is why we work hard where we are with what we have, this is why we love what we do, it is about being present and enjoying the movement, the environment, the people.
Creating a culture, I learnt through my evolution that movement is something we cannot take for granted, over my time I have had debilitating injuries and back pain that has had me crippled in pain, in bed and giving up sports and activities that brings the human body pure joy.
I have learnt that the human body is created to move and we are all created differently, there is not a massive wrong or right, although as I said above I don't believe in extremes.
I have learnt through different times of your life, according to age, lifestyle, hormones, stress we can and may need to change how we train and what we consume.
I have learnt that the human body does not like to be under stress constantly and that exercise can be a form of stress for the body that can cause havoc on our hormones.
I have learnt that movement is vital for our mental well being
I have learnt that most people don't know what safe, functional movement and health is because there is a constant battle of the next fad being thrown in their face and honestly most people are tired enough, desperate enough to believe it.
So I decided once I had sorted my own shit out, from a very long journey that I wanted to create a space for women and men to be able to come to move in a way that was intrinsic for them. You will be pushed, you will be challenged but also we appreciate that sometimes in this world that we live in, just showing up is sometimes enough. We see that and we let that be. For me variety in training is important, movement that is carried into your day to day life is important, ageing well enough to live life on your terms, out of pain is essential.
Physical training not only trains the body but it also trains the mind, when we do hard things we train the brain to know we are capable and strong and we really can do anything we put our minds to, lifting weights, running hard, learning new skills allows us to evolve with confidence.
I have learnt not to judge myself or others, we are human we are not meant to be prefect, we are forever evolving, growing and changing. Who you were yesterday is not who you are today. We eb and flow through life, doing the best we can where we are with what we have.
What is my why right now? My why is to be the best version of myself as a whole person. I want to be mentally and emotionally able, learning and growing, being better, being kind, being helpful being a good community member. Being a loving and supportive wife, mother and friend. I want to be healthy and well physically, I want to be strong and capable enough to do whatever I want in life, to lift my kids, to run and to play, to help my clients to be able to demonstrate movements properly. I want to grow old without pain, I want to be living life on my own terms. Most of all I want these best for everyone around me, I want them to live a life on their terms, being who they want to be. This is my WHY for me and this is my WHY for driving BASE.