What led you to opening Pure Balance Studio?
I had been working as a personal trainer and managing a gym for about a year, when I felt there was definitely something missing from the system of training at the gym. I began to explore other methods of movement and this is when I was introduced to Pilates by Joel, now a trainer at Pure Balance Studio. From that point, I began to explore the combination of different training systems being used around the world. What I found was that few systems accommodated people of varying abilities.
There seemed to be little on offer that took injuries and improved impaired function through to a sound level of performance. Pilates became a platform on which to build correct movement patterns, and introduce these into everyday movement and higher level activity. I wanted to create a space that welcomed everyone, and promoted new balance and confidence in movement. Exercise is medicine for the mind and body.
Is training a way of life for you, or just a part of the bigger picture?
Movement is my passion, I love the feeling of connecting mind with body to create flow and rhythm. Health and fitness has meant different things for me at points in my life. I trained for hours each day in the Special Forces IDF and trained my solders to survive. I deepened my knowledge of the body though studies in Australia and pushed beyond just knowing how to get strong and be strong. Stress injuries and post-traumatic stress disorders were common place and fueled my interest in understanding more about human movement and physiology.
On coming to Australia for the first time, keeping fit was for fun, a pleasure I had not previously afforded myself. I was introduced to Pilates by my close friend Joel while working as a personal trainer and it transformed the way I approached exercise. I began integrate my strength and conditioning work with Pilates. I found my strength and endurance was greatly enhanced. Now I needed to spend much less time in the gym but achieved better results. I felt balanced, the stress of the life in the army and constant need for adrenaline fell away, leaving flow.
I train for pleasure, socially, for work and with my wife and kids. I love being active and take my understanding and connection with the body into all aspects of my life: from sweating it out in the gym, right through to being mindful during tasks as mundane as driving the car, or carrying the shopping. To answer the question, yes, it is my way of life.
What led you to become a fitness specialist?
Leaving the Army, I had doubts about the systems of training put in place there. I questioned the reason for injuries and imbalance with my own body, as a result of military service. I began to question the reasons for the much-used statement “I can’t.” What were they really saying to me, as their leader? Was it, “I am afraid? I don’t understand how? I don’t have the energy? I am not motivated? I am not sure how to connect with my body to achieve the result?”
I wanted to deepen my understanding of sports psychology and motivation as well as how to train correctly. When I met my wife, she inspired me to study fitness further. Stephanie had an auto immune disorder that caused her to be in chronic pain and resulted in many surgeries. She never said I can’t; she just got on with life and did as much as she could, constantly searching for new ways to achieve a balance within herself.
She travelled the world solo, hit the gym and did her yoga and movement classes at physio, she ate clean and never complained.
I wanted to help her find the best way of aligning her body and keeping the pain at bay. If she could, we could, and this is how the tiny seed began to grow. Now we have Pure Balance Studio and both do what we are passionate about, together.
Why do you love to teach?
Teaching allows me to help others feel better and achieve their goals. I really get a kick out of seeing clients progress with their programs. They feel good, and I do, too, when they progress. Sometimes they come into the space with the weight of the day on their shoulders. I make sure they leave feeling ten feet tall and ready to face the challenges outside our studio. I love seeing them walk out with a post-workout glow and a smile on their faces. Our clients walk in strangers and walk out friends. I never feel like it’s work.