Olympic snowboarder’s rehabilitation creates a new Pilates teacher
We all know that Pilates is great for rehabilitation from many different injuries and conditions.
I love a happy ending. Some people have accused me of being negative in some of my articles (it’s impossible to please everyone and of course when reaching such conclusions, people are often reflecting their own negativity). Life is not always fluffy and sunny, there are sometimes difficult issues that I feel need to be discussed and not avoided: not because I like negativity, but because I am not afraid to speak my mind and debate issues that others may rather avoid.
In fact I am a very positive person. I practise mindfulness meditation and I am Buddhist. So back to my blog today, which is about two of my very favourite things in the world: Pilates and snowboarding. One of the reasons that I moved to Barcelona was because it is very close to the Spanish Pyrenees.
Today I want you to know about the Olympian who broke her back attempting a snowboard jump, spent four years in rehabilitation, found Pilates, and now she’s a Pilates instructor.
Steph Prem had one bad jump in the World Cup finals in Italy in 2010 changed the Olympian snowboarder’s life forever. The 24-year-old from Melbourne fractured vertebrae, compressed discs, dislocated her hip, broke five ribs and tore her pelvis and hamstring. She is now 29, and having had to give up her snowboarding career she discovered Pilates and teaches others from her own studio.
During her rehabilitation she finally accepted that she would never snowboard competitively again but by then she had gained a love of Pilates throughout her long and arduous road to recovery. She tried everything for her constant pain including Valium, spinal cortisone injections and nerve ending operations but nothing worked.
After much trial and error, it was a combination of both traditional methods along with alternative measures that has worked for her. She says ‘I had to try a lot of different things and be open-minded to a lot of different treatments because I was finding I was in a lot of pain for a long time and not a lot was helping.’
But it wasn’t until she tried Pilates three years ago that she discovered exercises she could do without experiencing any pain. After that she says that her quality of life improved out of sight. ‘It completely changed my whole way of being because before the accident I was addicted to daily exercise as a professional athlete but I lost that with my injury,’ she said. ‘I had been so limited and restricted in what I could do that it was so awesome to discover Pilates because a lot of the work was protected using the machinery. But also the lower deeper intrinsic work that I was doing gave me back that daily outlet and there was so much I could achieve,’ she said. ‘It gives you strength from the inside out – it helped me massively mentally and physically because I could do something again.’
Whilst my own story is nothing as extreme as Prem’s, my journey of acute back pain due to a spinal condition I was born with to marathon runner, amateur snowboarder, surfer and most importantly professional Pilates presenter, does have some similarities as Pilates was the rehabilitation technique that also changed my life. This is why I will always be so passionate about it (read more about Pilates EVO from the heart).
I created Pilates Rehab Limited in the UK to give easy access to a range of people who want and need professional Pilates services they can trust and rely on. Still to this day nothing gives me more satisfaction that knowing that I am helping too provide people with the means for them to take responsibility for their rehabilitation and improve their quality of life. I also love to work with sportsmen and women in the UK and in Barcelona.
I am very interested to hear your personal stories of your own rehabilitation thanks to Pilates or those of your clients. The more we can share experiences and raise awareness, the more people we can help to help themselves to a better quality of life.
That was a happy ending and a positively sunny blog for a Monday.
Chris is an international Pilates and functional training presenter and educator based in London and Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength. He also created Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. He organises fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona, as well as retreats. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.
Chris pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.