Member success story
I’ve been wanting to highlight the progress of our gorgeous member Danae (left) for awhile now.
Danae has an Interesting, heartbreaking and Inspiring story.
I remember when I first read Danaes customer form when she joined.. She had so many things going on, her body had been through the wringer..
Honestly, I was unsure we would have the skills to help her. After chatting to other instructors and Danae, we decided we would it a go and see how she went at the studio. I am so glad that we did!
What really broke my heart is that Danae mentioned other studios had not welcomed her in, she really wanted to find something she could do to feel good and improve her health and well-being.
Everybody can take different modifications to suit their bodies , which is what I personally love about Pilates!
Danae shares her story ..
Tell us about your story?
I have always been a fit and active person, I ran 7km a day, trained at the gym 6 days a week doing kickboxing, boxing, yoga, muay thai, group training and weights and spent my rest days hiking, swimming or paddle boarding. Then in 2019 I had just left a Saturday morning gym session, as I made a right turn at the traffic lights a P plater ran a red light and slammed into my drivers side and sent my car spinning. The accident left me with a range of injuries including head, face, jaw, neck, chest, shoulder, hip, a mild brain injury, multi directional whiplash injuries and nerve damage. I went from training twice a day to barely being able to stand. I have spent 3.5 years in intensive multi disciplined therapies and under the care of a range of specialists, I have had multiple surgeries to try and repair the damage and give me back functionality and whilst I have had some progress, due to the large number this is still a process as I have to recover from each surgery before the specialists will attempt the next. As a result I have gained considerable weight since my accident and am currently in a state on constant chronic pain.
What made you first want to try Pilates? I had been working with several Exercise Physiologists throughout my rehabilitation, I was struggling with the normal gym work as it was causing pain. I tried some basic clinical Pilates which I found beneficial. When I was confident with that my Physiotherapist and Orthopaedic Surgeon suggested increasing this as a conservative approach to managing my injuries to see how much functionality I could get back without surgery and try to build some strength back.
What changes have you noticed since joining Pilates Haus? When I first approached another Pilates studio I was told “we would prefer if you didn’t come here”, my confidence was shattered and it really took a toll on my mental health and overall wellbeing. I have always been a person that could learn anything especially when it came to sport, to be told I wasn’t welcome somewhere because of something that was done to me and out of my control really rocked me. It took me another 8 months to actually approach Pilates Haus, I was anxious about rejection and it was due to the encouragement of 2 friends that were members of Pilates Haus explaining how amazing everyone was there that I just decided I was ask and not expect too much in return. My mental health and overall wellbeing has been the biggest improvement, it has had such an amazing effect on my sense of self worth and feeling welcome even if I can't always participate at the same level as everyone else. I am definitely stronger in body and mind since joining Pilates Haus.
I know you like to modify exercises, how do you find doing that in a group setting? Yes, being able to modify exercises is very important to being able to be included in the class. Due to the neck injury there is certain movements I can’t do and my shoulder and collarbone injuries and regular subluxations prevent me from doing overhead work. Honestly, I am surprised at how easily the instructors are able to modify lessons for me, and they always do it without singling me out, without making me feel like I’m less for not being able to work at the same level as everyone else and at times they pull me up when I try and push myself to do movements they know cause me pain. I attend classes with consistent trainers as they get to know the injuries and they know what I can and can’t do, they also take the time to teach me how to modify certain movements so if ever they aren’t there then I have the knowledge to be able to manage this myself. If there is a new trainer on, I turn up early so I can have a brief discussion beforehand and they are always just give me a nod and say ok we can make it work or advise me in advance what exercises I will need to change.
What’s your favourite class? I’d have to say anything where we get to lay down is always good, Stretch and Strengthen is perfect for injuries and I always make sure I do one of these each week, I was doing Yoga as well but unfortunately as my shoulder has not improved and I’m waiting on surgery I had had to give this up for now. Any advice for anyone in a similar situation and wanting to try Pilates but still unsure? I think one of the most important things I have noticed is that everyone is compassionate but without making me feel pathetic, it doesn’t matter if I have a bad day they always celebrate the fact that I turned up and did something and that empowers me to want to continue. Take the time to do a few private sessions first if you are worried about class work, but you have to start somewhere, I recommend Pilates Haus to everyone I know. I have even taken brochures to put in the waiting rooms of my specialists offices because I just cannot recommend or thank the Pilates Haus and the amazing team there enough for taking a chance with me but also supporting me.
Thank you Danae for sharing your story, we love that you are gaining strength and there is light at the end of this tunnel for you. You are strong, resilient and give hope to others. We are so grateful to have you in our community :)