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01 September, 2015

Chasing equality

Can a female be a doctor, well yes we can. Can a female be an engineer, well yes we can. Can a female drive a dump truck in a mine, well yes we can. Can a female be a lawyer, well yes we can. Can a female be a CEO of large company, we most certainly can. Can a female be the Prime Minister, yes most definitely. So it seems within the workplace women are chasing equality, we do want to receive the same amount of pay as our male counterparts, we want to be honoured for merits on par with our male colleagues - we want to be equals.

So does this quest for equality translate into our exercise programs, do we feel like we need to train in the same way as our male counterparts even though fundamentally they have completely different anatomy? I'd say in many ways it has and sometimes I wonder whether the mentality of harder, faster and MORE has diminished our connection with femininity and grace.

Women are not small men

Do we really need to train to lift like an Olympian to be a strong, lean, empowered women? No we don't.

Do I believe in equality, yes I do. But fundamentally we are different to men in our physicality and no amount of drugs or surgery will truly change that, well not yet anyways.

As women, we have the capacity to nurture our unborn children in our belly, our body creates the very organ of the placenta to sustain life – as a gender we foster new life.

So can we embrace our femininity and empower the male in our life to be our knight in shiny armour when we need a heavy box down from the shelf, move that monster rock in the garden or carry our suitcase up the stairs. Can we do that or are we too determined to have equality in all aspects of life??


13 January, 2015

Time Really Does Stop

Often the day begins with a cuddle - soft, gentle and WRESTLE.... with little arms, pointy elbows and knees landing into the stomach, back and legs. Oh, I'm up...

What time is it?
Has the music gone off yet?
Is Tassie awake yet?
What day is it?
Do I have to be somewhere?
What should I wear today?
Is it hot out?

Still finding my senses, we are bombarded with questions. "Mum, are there any DC9's at Brisbane Airport? Can I see the forecast? What are we going to do today? What are we going to do tomorrow?"

Slightly tune out of the entourage of questions – quick list - get the washing on... don't forget to turn it onto COLD, lunches, hats, drink bottles... don't forget it's the GREEN one for Quinn, "Mum, mum, mum?" "Yes darling." "Are there there any tear-nados in USA?" kindy bag... remember the sheet bag this time... "Mum, mum is there tear-nados in the United States of America?" Oh, we need to remember Quinn's show and share today, we forgot it last time... "Oh, yes darling there are tornados in America. Darling get dressed please, oh, and open your curtains."

Time to get Tas out of bed, upon opening the door to his bedroom, he is peering out between the cot rails with his mouth behind the rails, but you know from his sparkling eyes – one green, one blue that he has a grin from ear to ear. Then rolls over, hurling himself onto his sea of teddies with a giggle. Silence. Then appears again, peering with a giggle. And the game continues.

But now it is really time to get him out of bed and on closer look and smell (how did I miss that, extreme cuteness must have switched off the nose receptors), the little tacker has whipped his nappy off already, pity their was a poo in there... yeay for poo, now he needs his sleeping bag, jim jams, sheets, baby blankie, blankie and all his teddies – and I mean all of his teddies... washed before nap time... Dash everything down the machine, bang it on.

The questions halt for a moment and time seems to hold still while I absorb the pure innocence of Quinn with his shirt inside out and backwards with the little red dot boutique (aka Target) tag flapping under his chin and his eyes looking up at me.

He looks away, its on again, its fast and furious – make breakfast, eat breakfast, shove next load of washing in the laundry (down the stairs, nearly trip over the doona relocated by number one, dodge the baby gate and down the stairs) bags packed, get dressed, brush teeth and SPLAT there is porridge on the floor, the table and the WALLS.... oh far out... wipe, wipe, done. Dishes away, dishwasher on. Oh I haven't brushed my teeth... brush, brush, brush. Fresh clothes for Tas, no smeared porridge on the car seat please!

TO THE CAR BOYS! Complete with bags, hats, drink bottles, food and spare undies (for Tas that is!) . Ahhhhh, we are in the car and it's 8:20am – high five, we will be early for kindy and beat the flurry of kids, siblings, mums/dads, bags, hats, lunchboxes and sunscreen – thanks to the time stopping moments of course.


11 December, 2014

The juggle

I can't juggle, can you?

I so could have run away with the circus when I was younger,
I had the agility to tumble and walk on my hands,
I had the power to throw and catch people,
I had limited ability to remember my routine before my top and dance in time with the music,
I had the strength to climb to the top of the rope without using my legs,
I had the flexibility to slide into splits with my partner draped over one hand,
I had the stability to hold the weight of two people precariously balanced on top of me in precarious positions,
I had the adrenaline seeking OK lets be thrown sky high into the pit by three strong men whereby I
literally felt the dust dangling down from the crusty gym ceiling with my fingertips...

My brother even bought me a unicycle for my birthday... must pull it out again!

But never juggle.

But I wonder in a way, that I really can – it's the juggle of life.

Many competing priorities are sky high and often we catch the ball just before it hits the deck. Often it's instinct of which way we need to dart to catch the falling ball – which I assume is the fifth sense you develop as a juggler. Some days it feels like all the balls are on the floor, other days it just feels light and each ball only needs a mere tap to float it back up into the stratosphere.

We crave those days that are just fluid flowing and move like a contemporary dancer with twists and turns and leaps but all with grace.

But the reality is that these easeful days couldn't possibly exist without the balls on the floor days. It's these balls on the floor days that give us perspective of the balls in the stratosphere days actually exist.

Maybe we just don't give ourselves enough credit, Actually I know we don't give ourselves ANY credit as mums, what's with that anyways...

WE ARE ALL GREAT JUGGLERS – just maybe not in a Cirque du Soleil kind of way.

And maybe by drawing more joy and gratitude for the days where the balls are all floating in the clouds will actually keep all the balls floating sky high.


19 November, 2014

ZipRfit's birth story

When I attended my first business course where ZipRfit was literally born, the icebreaker commenced a quick rip around the room – what's your star sign? Scorpio (easy), what is your favourite dessert if you could have it right now? Creme Brulee (ah easy), what is your business and who do you wish to help? I want to provide exercise options for ladies with pelvic floor dysfunction (ok said as fast as I could... looking at the floor).

I wanted to duck and hide for cover. I wanted my doona. I wanted my teddy.

But there was no where to hide, there was no where to go...

The course progressed and through the discussions there was a lot of discussions about incontinence and challenges post baby and how to find connectivity with the pelvic floor. Still there was no where to go, nowhere to hide – it was out, everyone in the room knew I had 'issues'. Is this really a good business idea, am I ready for this?... does everyone think I wet my pants? Oh what the frig, its just as taboo as your organs falling out right...

As the morning progressed, on the way to the loo, a lady whispered I could do with your training. Then another. I wasn't alone anymore... and that other ladies can benefit from my 2 year long journey of seeking without knowing. And that other ladies could benefit from an exercise program that makes them feel phenomenal. And that my legacy in life will be helping the #pelvicmafia to make pelvic floor dysfunction ancient history.

Legacy in life, that's BIG. Are you ready teddy, lets do this!


15 November, 2014

Sometimes we ask why?

‘Sometimes we ask why’ to understand our current predicament.

‘Sometimes we ask why’ to determine whom or what was at fault for the failure.

‘Sometimes we ask why’ to be in a dream land of what it could have been if...

‘Sometimes we ask why’ to process how could this possibly be.

‘Sometimes we ask why’ in natural curiosity that helps us learn.

‘Sometimes we ask why’ to motivate ourselves in the right direction.

‘Sometimes we ask why’ to have hope for the future and what it holds.

Sometimes ‘why’ is worth chasing,

sometimes its frustrating to seek without knowing,

sometimes it buries your brain in a mission,

sometimes it just hinders finding resolution that it just is what it is.

But sometimes if you are persistent enough, a world-wide search uncovering every stone, unearths your ‘why’ and lays out a stepping stone path that has always been under your nose. This time I’m so thankful to be the woman on a mission to find out ‘why’ and I’m forever grateful to those who have answered ‘why’.



The ‘whys’ all began after the birth of my first son, who was born via forceps. I wondered ‘why’ wasn’t I given the option to have a c-section rather than the GIANT TONGS? I wondered ‘why’ I wasn’t referred to see a pelvic floor physiotherapist after such a traumatic birth...

Following the birth of my second son, I became curious to ‘why’ I sustained a massive 5 fingerwidth diastasis – you could literally touch my organs it was totally wrong. ‘Why’ did it occur? How could I heal it? What is ‘healed’ anyway? To bind or not to bind? I read far and wide to unravel the mystery of the mummy tummy...

And that search lead me to an appointment with a pelvic floor physiotherapist and finding out that I had prolapse and sustained a partial levator avulsion. I cried and cried and then cried some more. I never wanted this part of my life and I just wanted it go away. The rivers of tears made more rivers of tears and my posture sank to new lows. With tear drops falling, I was on a mission to understand ‘why’ – a new knowledge gaining obsession began.

And to be brutally honest the next few months were a bit ugly- a lot of anger, blaming and bitterness in combination with loads of reading and searching for answers on my quest to find out ‘why’.

In order to avoid further complications, Sue recommended that I follow the ‘pelvic floor first’ recommendations for exercise and those who have read the recommendations know that the modifications are extensive. For an active person, this was devastating news and at the time I definitely had a thought maybe I should just give up on exercise – but where would that leave me… worse off.

For myself and my family I needed a new approach, one that moved into the space of ‘what can I do’ rather than ‘why me’. One that focuses on rehabilitating what I can and embracing the joy of discovery of an alternative exercise paradigm where I can return to truly enjoying exercise. So for my 10 week challenge, I set myself a challenge of finding 100 exercises that I can do. Needless to say over 200 exercises were written up complete with photos, cueing and modifications...

Meanwhile, my neck and shoulders were constantly tight and one vertebrae in my back was constantly angry. Standing up tall was impossibly hard work and could only be sustained for short periods when I really focused on it. I knew my posture wasn’t perfect but being a busy mum of two, time in front of the mirror is ahhh, limited!

Still determined to beat the mummy tummy, one evening I came across an article explaining the connection between faulty posture and diastasis – this is when the penny dropped… I’d found the missing piece of the puzzle – my posture was beyond terrible and that’s why my diastasis wasn’t closing and the vertebrae in my back was literally acting like a hinge… Ok, it was time to ditch the Beyonce butt and hunchback of Notre Dame look...

Thankfully the ‘how’ was at my feet – I just needed to listen to what I teach every day in my Pilates classes .. and apply the appropriate stretching and strengthening within a ‘pelvic floor friendly’ framework.

And then oh my gosh, I can take a DEEP BREATH!!! And my neck and shoulders aren’t tight anymore and my back doesn’t hurt. This is so AMAZING :)

My next stepping stone revealed a deeper understanding of the team effort of the breath and alignment on pelvic floor function. With application of all that I have learnt, I feel phenomenal and I’m ready for my next challenge – sharing it with you!

Sometimes why IS really worth chasing and I’m forever grateful for all those who answer why.

Thank you Sue, Lori Forner, Jamie Singleton, Mary O’Dwyer, Marietta Mehanni and Julie Wiebe for all your wonderful work and answering all my questions.

Originally published by Sue Croft, Physiotherapist at: http://suecroftphysiotherapistblog.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/sometimes-we-ask-why/


12 November, 2014

One little lie makes your nose grow a lot longer...

It is late afternoon and time to leave the nest of kindy and make the journey to the GROCERY STORE.... The eldest son climbs into his car seat – with a whine, Mum the car seat straps are too tight... Why are they too tight?? Moment of silence from Mum... will world war III commence if I tell the truth that I let the little one in big brother's seat on the way to playgroup... yes, that would comprise the operation of MUM SURVIVE THE GROCERY STORE... Hmm, darling the fairy sat there on the way to playgroup and she is rather small so I had to tighten the straps.

My son loosens the straps, I hear the familiar click-clack and we are on our way... Phew one little stretch of the truth averted one explosion from the back seat that sends you ducking for cover.

The grocery shop was uneventful - a swirl of please don't unclick your little brother he is an escapee, the little one turning his body backwards to yank things out of the depths of the trolley, a quick reflex from mum stopped the eggs from becoming omelette, some random elderly man on a zimmer frame cropping up right in front of laden trolley of two boys and $200 worth of groceries at every turn... yeah the norm these days.

Now for the checkout, even the best grocery store missions can become unstuck here. There are lollies every where you look, but even more desirable for my quirky Quinn is the batteries! Familiar words just fall out, “no sweet pea we don't need anymore batteries” – one day he is going to fall head over heels when we need a new smoke alarm battery... Wow, the groceries are on the conveyor and Tas is still captive in the trolley – lucky for me I got the trolley with the squashed buckle.

Only minutes till we are out of here... previous missions have struggled in the next step – which those who have been to Aldi, could refer to as the chuck... the checkout operator slides the items across the scanner at record speed to a bench the size of my kitchen scales. Time for the new focus Quinn, it's the Aldi challenge and we have to bet the checkout operator – never seen my son so focused on packing that trolley! We didn't quite win, guess there is always next time.

Pack the car and we are out of there.

About those fairies mum.... oops, one little stretch of the truth, set off a spiral of questions just like a room full of mouse traps with one snap...

  • How many fairies were there? 2
  • What were their names? Elsa and Katrine
  • Where do they live? Ah, I don't know darling, they just meet me at kindy
  • How big are they? Smaller than you, bigger than your brother
  • Can you see them? Yes, but only I can
  • Do they have wings? Yes
  • Can they fly? Yes, but not very high.
  • Why do they go to playgroup? Ah, they just like to.
  • How long have they been going to playgroup? A while now, but not every week
  • How big do they grow? No bigger than the next door neighbours kid
  • How old can they get before they die like great grandma? Two hundred and five
  • How close can you get to them? I'm not sure it depends how timid they are

And just for the fairy lovers of the world, Quinn informed us at dinner that they can fold their wings in and poke their tail out to swim. Needless to say I didn't mention the word mermaid that sprang to mind, that's for another mission right.

But it's our little secret, it was his little fairy brother sat in that carseat on the way playgroup... I hope my nose hasn't grown little longer.