I live, breathe and dream Pilates and have done since it changed my life 20 years ago. Pilates to me is a miracle in motion and I love working with complex conditions, curly movement patterns and out of the box puzzles so that I can help people find joy in movement.

My very first class (many years ago) was a lightbulb moment. It may have been the clam, maybe it was rolling like a ball, maybe it was in a swan – I knew from the moment Pilates took hold of my body that I was destined to be a teacher. I had truly found my future.

The years have flown since that moment and I’m a grown up now, matured by the bodies I’ve taught, by the stories I’ve been told and by the lives I’ve touched. What I know more now than ever is that the knowledge I have gained needs to be shared, and that the more I learn the more I need to understand, and that curiosity keeps me passionate and open to new possibilities.



Today, I want to share part of my story with you. This part of my story started when I was a young teenager. I was a very active teen. I played a lot of sport. High grade tennis, state volleyball, bike riding, swimming, roller blading, you name it I was into it.

Needless to say I was an outdoorsy type from a very young age, someone who loved being active every day. But, for a big part of my life as I remember it, I also lived in pain.

Specifically, I had back pain. As a young teenager, my mum would take me to the chiropractor. A very caring Canadian man who would put me in traction and take away the pain while I lay on his table. But it was momentary and never gave me total freedom so as I got older, I took myself to the masseuse, the physiotherapist, and even to the GP.

I distinctly remember during those years that there was this constant theme of being told that I did not have a strong core. I remember those words clearly like they are being spoken to me today, “You’ve got a weak core. You need to do some abdominal exercises. You’ve got a weak spine. You’re not strong enough. You’re lazy. You’re not doing the exercises that were giving you. You’re not doing it properly. It’s just bad luck. There’s nothing we can do about it. You’ll need to do more than you’re doing if you want to get better.”

Those were the words that I heard over and over again for many many years from numerous experts. And it’s not that I wasn’t doing my core exercises, believe me, I was committed to every activity I was given. I didn’t want to be in pain. It was stopping me from living and it made me sad. I had a daily routine on the lounge room floor, while the rest of my family sat watching TV, I’d tuck my feet in underneath this little coffee table that we had, and I’d lay there and do my hundred sit ups… every single night.

I love riding my bike. From an early age it has given me wings, a sense of freedom unlike anything else and we grew up in areas where it was safe and fun to ride everywhere. I’m also a water baby and remember being able to hold my breath for longer than anyone else in our neighbourhood swimming underwater laps in my grandmas pool. It was about eight meters long, and I could swim 10 laps of that pool underwater from about 10 years old.

In fact, I swam so much that not only did I join a swimming club, but I became a lifeguard. And then in my early twenties, I ended up managing a swimming pool, because I was at the swimming pool so much that it made sense just to work there. During my work, in my lunch break, I would swim five kilometres every single day.

Video Poster Image

I was doing all the things that I was told to do… and more. And even though I was taking action, committed to doing the things I was told would change my pain, the words that resonate in my mind are, “You have a weak core. Your spine isn’t strong enough. You are faulty. There is no hope.”

My life came to a head one day. I remember it like yesterday yet it was a lifetime ago. I was managing the outdoor swimming pool. I was swimming a lot. I was riding my bike to and from work, which was about a 30 minute ride each way. I was doing all the things. Yet I could hardly stand up straight. I would literally go to work hunched over, looking at the floor, in so much pain that I couldn’t even straighten my back up to stand tall and still I refused to quit.

Thats when somebody recommended a new chiropractor to me. Apparently he was amazing. He was offering some fail safe program, it was taking off, some of my friends were going to him and all my hopes were pinned on this guy to be my ticket out of pain.

I went to the chiropractor to see what he could do for me. When I arrived I joined a cue of people who were lining up to see this guy. The set up was strange. He had 3 tables in one room and he would move from one person to the next in minutes, each person getting their back cracked in front of the crowd , paying their money and then walking out the door. Honestly, I should have seen the signs of a snake charmer but I was desperate and he was obviously popular. I wasn’t the only person looking for someone to fix my pain – and I certainly mustn’t have been alone if so many people were lining up for help!

Part of the process of consulting with him was to get an x-ray of my spine. So I got that x-ray done. And waited for the results.

I thought that looking at the X-rays with this expert would give me answers. I thought that he would give me hope. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. What happened next could have destroyed me and it very nearly did. What happened next changed the course of my life forever and after many years of feeling anger, frustration and betrayal from this chiropractor, I am able to see that my experience with him was a gift.

I was invited into a private room to discuss the results of my X-ray. The chiropractor, the man I was hedging my bets on presented me with the images that proved to me just how bad my spine was. In fact those images sent alarm bells ringing and I sat there in disbelief at what he was showing me, unable to process the enormity of my situation.

He pointed out parts of my spine that was so degenerated that you couldn’t even see that there was any disc between the bones. He showed me where calcification had started and something called stenosis, apparently the greatest concern (especially at my age). I sat there, this spinal expert pointing out all these things wrong with my vertebra, things that I didn’t really understand but I knew by his expression that the news was bad, I remember feeling like there really was no hope. The evidence was right there in front of me in those images so that I could no longer deny what I was being told all along. My body was broken.

I could see why I had the pain. It was clear as day. And not only could I see why I had the pain, because the x-rays were there showing me, this expert was also telling me that in my twenties I had the spine of a 70-year-old and that there was no going back. That once the degeneration was there, there was nothing that I could do to stop the the progression.

He told me that if I continued on the path that I was on, I was going to end up in a wheelchair by the time I was 40 and that I was definitely going to require a spinal fusion at some stage. Surgery was inevitable he said and there was no way my body was capable of ever having children (not that I even had a partner at the time but the news was shocking all the same). There was no doubt about it, he told me and my best course of action was to book in to see him 3 times a week for the next 12 months and see what happened.

He told me to stop riding my bike, stop swimming, stop surfing (an activity I loved the most) and start preparing for a life of disability.

I will never forget his words and I will never forget the emotions that stirred in me as I sat there. I was already living in a dark place, in and out of pain, exhausted from doing ‘all the things’ and now I was being told with X-rays as proof that my body was failing.

I walked out of the clinic that day and I decided I was never going back. I didn’t know what I was going to do but I knew one thing for sure. There was no way some bozo, regardless of his title or his popularity was ever going to tell me that I had to give up.

All of a sudden the physical pain was insignificant and the emotional pain was so great that it forced me to make a decision to find a way. No matter what. There simply was no other alternative. It was either that or I was going to have a melt down. I was committed to my own outcome and I would spend the rest of my life (if thats what it took) to find my way because my life as I had dreamed it was on the line.

It’s an absolute blessing in disguise when you are presented with two options and you choose to take the path least expected. That chiropractor could have stripped me of my life that day but instead he gave me the courage to find my own way and in hindsight that consult was the greatest gift ever presented to me even though at the time I thought I was living a nightmare.

*I need to say this. I don’t believe that chiropractic is bad. In fact the chiro I saw as a child and chiro’s I have seen later have been amazing. But this guy was definitely a snake salesman who was more interested in his pockets than my recovery and his program was designed to keep people needing him for the long term. I can only imagine how many poor souls he has fooled.

Back to the story – The season was drawing to a close at the outdoor swimming pool I worked so I decided that I was going to go out with a bang. There was no ways that I was going to sit in a dark hole and live out the life that this spinal expert had just proposed. I made a pact with myself that I’d go traveling and do the most surfing that I’d ever done in my life. If in fact he was right, I was going to first live out my dream of being a travelling surfer girl.

I didn’t realise it at the time but I was making the decision to change his-story and to make it mine, the story that I wanted in my future, rather than the story that was pulling me in to the past, the story I was being told I should live. I was manifesting my future.

I packed a small backpack and 3 surfboards and headed off to Mexico with 2 girlfriends. We bought a cheap car in California, drove over the border (being told by many we were crazy) and started to rewrite my story.

It didn’t happen over night. I was still in pain, heck I was sleeping in a hammock so what could I expect? But I was happy and free and doing something I was passionate about. And not only that, I was on my way to meeting the man I would spend the rest of my life with.

Years have gone by since that day I was told my life was over. In that time I’ve travelled, surfed, gotten hitched, waterskiid, camped, carried and birthed a child, ridden horses and pushed my body to the limit.

I haven’t always been free of pain. Some days I’ve needed time out and some days I’ve felt strong and capable but I never stopped doing what I love and I never let someone elses version of what I should be doing get in my way again.

What do I mean by that?

Until that day when I made the decision to live my own way, I was living the way I was being told. I was living in a story that had been narrated by the people around me (sometimes well meaning people). I believed everything they said – that my body was broken and that I didn’t have any hope. I believed, despite my actions that I was lazy and had a weak core and I believed to a certain extent that my life was out of my control.

What I know now from years and years of study, self exploration, growth and commitment is that I was stuck in that story until the day I chose to leave it behind.

And although it didn’t happen overnight, over the years I have been able to chip away at the physical pain until I got to the place I am today – free of pain and taking part in life in a way that my former self never dared dream was possible.

What could have been the worst day of my life ended up being one of the greatest things that ever happened to me and I am grateful for the lessons of those painful years every single day.

All those people who were telling me the story of no hope did nothing wrong. I chose to listen to their beliefs and I chose to hand over my control to those peoples perceptions.

I know I’m not alone. I’ve been able to turn my experience into a gift to help others and I hear my own story in other peoples lives every single day. And I am committed now to helping people change their story by changing their beliefs so that they too can live with the joy, courage and freedom we all deserve.

So my invitation to you is to join me on a journey of self empowerment, of vulnerability, and of choosing to take absolute responsibility for yourself.

What I live by today: This is the body that I chose, the body I was given for my experience on Earth. My body is my temple. And whatever I do with my body, however I maneuver this World is my choice. The choices that I make today will determine the person that I am tomorrow, in five years, in 10 years. And not only will it determine who I am, it will also determine the experience that I have. Every day in every way I get better and better and better.

So I invite you to come on this journey with me, for you to become your own greatest potential. Enjoy these articles, I hope they give you insight, courage and inspiration to leap into your day.