Yes this some of my tribe at the top of this page ♥️ – and here I’ll share some of my personal and business story – ie. the events that have shaped my life, and brought me to where I am today.
Up until 2004 I was a number of different things – a young Mum of 4 children, tried at my hand at the entrepreneurial life, became a kitchen and interior designer, sales and marketing manager, got a divorce (that wasn’t fun), went through a bitter and twisted custody battle, came out the other end, met another man, got married in 2000 and got on with life. That’s the short version 🙂
Like most people, I’ve had my fair share of “Major Events”, shitty times, and plenty of challenges and set backs along the way – a super messy divorce and custody battle, the loss of a 2 of my closest friends to suicide, and a breast cancer scare to name a few.
I’ve always had an extreme dislike of traditional Gyms! I find them boring as hell, have always felt uncomfortable and intimidated by all those machines that I didn’t know how to use (and nobody ever took the time to show me how), and the group classes – well I always felt like the one with 2 left feet up the back of the class trying to follow along and keep up with zero instruction.
But my attitude towards fitness had a sudden and life-changing “make-over” in 2004!
MAJOR EVENT #1 – 2004 to 2014
In 2004 I fell over something that excited the hell out of me. My husband and kids thought I’d lost my mind totally – but there was no turning back from this one! I’d fallen head over heels in love with Pole Dancing, and my daughter and I decided to open our own ladies Dance/Fitness studio in 2005. So at 42 years of age I walked away from the world of interior design to become a full time pole dancer – and it went gang-busters! Apparently I wasn’t the only one with a dislike of traditional gyms, and wanting to have some FUN – and by 2009 we were opening dance/fitness studios around Australia and running a team of almost 50!
MAJOR EVENT #2 – 2011-12
They were CRAZY TIMES, and it did end up taking a bit of a toll on my own health, and in 2011, after going through a ridiculously busy (and sometimes stressful) few years growing the business and spending more time away than at home, I found I had put on a bit of weight (WHOOPS). I’d been so busy running the business, I had been neglecting ME – not eating right and definitely not looking after mySELF.
In the end it caught up with me and that little bit of weight – well it was over 20kg (which on my little 5 foot nothing frame was massive). I felt like shit, I looked like shit (and 20 years older), the mood swings were horrendous and it got to the point where I was sick ALL the time, tired all the time, hated myself, my body and the world in general.
So I did what most people would do and headed off to my trusty doctor looking for answers and solutions. Do you know what I got? “Go home and take a multi-vitamin.” I was like, is he for real? SO, I went to another doctor and got pretty much the same response. WTF???
By this stage I was TOTALLY dis-enchanted with the conventional medical system that I began searching for my own answers. In doing hundreds and hundreds of hours of my own research I found what I believed was the answer – and with that the SOLUTION! Long story made short – I lost all the weight (and a bit more), had more energy than I knew what to do with, looked totally different, and FELT a million bucks!
Everything I discovered on this journey fascinated me – and before anybody knew it I had signed on the dotted line to get qualified in Holistic/Functional Health & Wellbeing, Human and Sports Nutrition and Weight Management.
MAJOR EVENT #3 – September 2014
THEN… in September 2014 the unthinkable happened! On Monday afternoon 8th September my whole world crashed around me and my life changed forever, with the sudden and unexplained death of my youngest son, Alex at the age of 23. This is my L’il Dude and I a year earlier on my 50th 👇
I won’t go into the full story now (I will share more another time) BUT I will tell you, it was devastating and traumatic and losing Alex almost broke me! After about 6 months I threw in the towel, and by the end of 2015 I was TOTALLY DONE!!!!! I walked away from Pol-arise Fitness & Dance (my business baby of 10 years), and hubby & I packed up our lives in Sydney and headed north to Port Stephens (NSW) for a fresh start…and for me to do some dealing and healing.
We opened a small Health, Fitness & Wellness studio and Supplements store in Port Stephens, and I spent a shit load of time on the beach meditating, soul searching and healing. During that time I also acquired a whole new set of skills – eg. Meditation and Mindfulness Instructor, Stress Management, Life and Spiritual Life Coach to name a few.
But in 2017 I ended up picking up on my old skills as a Kitchen/Interior Designer – more out of necessity than passion and, as it turned out was to be short lived!
MAJOR EVENT #4 – June 2019
June 2019 – I had an accident. Quite a nasty one… I fell backwards down some stairs and in trying to save myself in the fall, shattered my heel bone into 5 pieces, forced it up into the joint, and destroyed every muscle, ligament and tendon in my foot and lower leg. OUCH!
They wanted to operate – but I declined their offer much to their shock! Once again, I’ll try to keep it short – but I ended up seeing a private Orthopaedic Surgeon who also thought I was slight mad not having surgery, but equally respecting my decision not to and then supporting me through my recovery and rehab whilst also reminding me all to often that at 56 I was “no spring chicken” and it may not make a full recovery. My answer? BULL SHIT!!! WATCH ME!
SO – 3 months in a wheelchair, another 3-4 months on crutches – no walking or driving, and of course no working either! 🙁 Finally rehab could begin and the long, slow process of learning to walk again. Months of Physiotherapy and Hydrotherapy and any other “therapy” I could think of. By February 2020 I was back on my feet, blew my Doctors away when I rolled up for my final appointment wearing high heels! Needless to say I was given the all clear – BUT, it is likely I will always have a subtle limp.
These days I leave the Pole Dancing and Aerial Silks classes to my daughter at what is now HER business Pol-arise Fitness & Dance, and I have created Defy Gravity Fitness as my next great adventure – one which I’m excited to share with YOU!
I also love to write, speak, teach and create thought provoking content across a broad range of topics, drawing from cutting-edge science, wisdom of the ages, lessons from modern culture, and of course my own life experiences to explore how we can make our lives healthier, happier, simpler and more balanced.