Over the course of my blog writing, I have found that guest writers of blogs have been amongst the most popular of all my blogs. (No offence taken!) So recently I asked Vicki Lewis, a Personal Trainer, who took the time to find out all about ‘pelvic floor safe exercising’ to make her a BETTER Personal Trainer, to write about her journey to get to this point. I think this follows on nicely from one of my more recent blogs about pelvic floor safe exercising.
When Sue invited me as a guest blogger, I was beside myself with excitement and for two very good reasons. Firstly, what a remarkable honour and secondly, I saw this as the perfect opportunity to relay a vital message to a key audience! My name is Vicky Lewis. I am a former soloist of The Queensland Ballet Company, mother of two and now Fitness Professional specializing in training women with Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. Obviously my career choices have never been of the mainstream genre. Hence, the conscious decision not to become a celebrity PT prototype! And why, I hear you ask? Honestly? Life really isn’t like a well rated TV programme! Well, not mine anyway!
Albeit, lucky for me, I did experience a very blessed and glamorous life as a ballet dancer. On top of this, I was a finely tuned athlete. Then, I chose to become a mum. Romantic notions of motherhood flooded my every thought! Until, I realized I was falling apart and pardon the pun, literally ‘from the inside out’! Like many of you, I was at risk of injury due to two vaginal deliveries! My ballet bubble briskly burst! So, now I’m left with stress incontinence, a prolapse, rapidly gaining weight, immobility, constant back pain and feeling a tad depressed! Mmmm……. What now?
Upon dragging myself out of the hole I had fallen into, I began to discover a fresh approach to fitness. I needed to learn more. I went about obtaining my Personal Training Certification but this only offered me the basics and obviously I needed to be armed with more tangible knowledge. Sue was the crucial link I required to embark on creating a fresh methodology to “functional fitness”, a widely used term in the fitness industry. Under Sue’s advice, I read her book, Pelvic Floor Recovery: A Physiotherapy Guide for Gynaecological Repair Surgery (and I am presently reading Pelvic Floor Recovery Essentials) and many of her blogs. And that was the beginning. Since then I have graciously been mentored by Michelle Kenway, completed the relevent courses available to me, met with many Women’s Health Physiotherapists, attended CFA forums and read anything read-worthy on the subject while spending numerous hours in our studio testing a wide repertoire of exercises .
I now train ladies of all ages and capabilities. Some have undergone pelvic organ surgery, some are living with a prolapse, however many of my clients do not experience these concerns at all. The one thing they do have in common, while training together and achieving their personal goals, they are totally unaware of each other’s story! Everyone is “normal”!
Now, at 44, I will never look like a ballerina again or a waif model prancing through life. And despite my prolapse, I am empowered every day because I walk tall, move freely, spring up the stairs with youthful agility, keenly engage in a game of footy with the kids, swim, ride, bush walk, climb, the list of what I can do is endless! So for me and my clients, “Safely Strong is our new Skinny”!!
Thank you Vicky. I think many women would feel absolutely inspired and uplifted by your story and I know that it is good for Women’s Health physiotherapists to know where to send women who want to exercise safely. Michelle Kenway is collating a list of PTs who specialize in offering pelvic floor safe exercising.
(If you live in Brisbane and would like to train with Vicki here is the link.)