Rachel’s Journey from Hip-Replacement Client to Professional Pilates Instructor at Studio Pilates.
We sat down and spoke to Rachel to find out about her Studio Pilates success story. Her journey from recovering from hip-replacement surgery with limited motion and activity to rebuilding her strength as a client at Studio Pilates Claremont, to now being an integral part of the team as an instructor. A very inspiring woman, to say the least, Rachel’s outlook on life and her recovery story is worth the read.
How did you find SP and why did you choose us?
I have always been very active, unfortunately, I was unable to continue doing the things I loved due to my hips deteriorating so rapidly.
I was driving everyone crazy, including my Physio, so was encouraged to try Pilates. It was not something that had ever interested me, so took a bit of persuading. I had a lot of preconceived ideas of pilates and didn’t think I would get the same satisfaction that a gym workout or run provides. After I received a voucher for SP, I decided to give it a go.
I loved it from the Orientation, my muscles were so tired and sore.
The choreography on the TV allowed me to work at my pace and the instructor was always there to support me and perfect my technique. The addiction is real, I am here to stay!
What has been SP’s impact on your life? (As a Client)
As a client, SP made a huge impact and completely turned things around for me.
I was very limited as to how active I could be, especially with my children. Just walking a few hundred meters was very hard and I was on crutches. I also suffered from Post Natal Depression and really struggled not having my family here.
Going to the studio a few times a week, not only became a part of my pre- and post-surgery routine, it also became a little sanctuary where I could switch off from the outside world and have some ‘me time.’
When I started coming to classes, I could barely hold my legs in tabletop position and struggled to perform basic exercises. But with the support and encouragement of the instructors at SP, I got stronger, built up my self-confidence and realised that I could get my physical fitness back. After each class I was in a much better head space and felt ready to conquer anything, even with sore muscles.
What has been SP’s impact on your life? (As an Instructor)
I would never have imagined when I started out as a client that I would be working at SP in Claremont today as an instructor.
It has been an amazing journey and I am so glad that I took the opportunity to study and train for what has become my dream job.
Physically and mentally, I am fitter and stronger than I have been in a long time and with all the training I have learnt how to enhance my own techniques and push myself.
How did SP help you recover from Hip Surgery?
The Reformer has low to no impact on the joints, therefore I was able to push myself as much as possible and really work hard to build the muscles back up pre and post-surgery.
No matter how fatigued I became, I always felt better after a class at SP. The team at SP really encouraged me to push through and keep working hard to build the muscles that I needed to support my recovery.
If I struggled or was unable to perform certain exercises, the instructor would always modify my technique or find alternate exercises to work the same muscles, keeping me motivated and moving.
How long was the recovery?
Very quick! I was signed off by the surgeon and back in the studio 6 weeks after surgery.
I was told I’d remain on crutches for 3 months post-surgery, but I managed to ditch the crutches after only 4 weeks of pilates.
How different would your recovery have been without SP?
I believe that I would have had a much slower recovery. I was very weak and would not have been able to build up strength in the muscles I needed as quickly if I had continued the path I was on without pilates in my life.
Why did you need your hip replaced?
I was born with Hip dysplasia; it was undiagnosed until last year. My hips would dislocate and lock when doing anything physical and this became more frequent and extremely painful following my second child.
What did you do for work before SP?
Since moving to Perth, I previously worked in Administration focusing on Logistics and Operations.
I have set up my own company as a Surface Pattern Designer, this is ongoing and has hit some big bumps in the road due to the Pandemic.
How did SP inspire you to become an instructor?
I felt stronger mentally and physically than I had for a long time by doing something that I loved and I was ready for a new challenge.
The lovely team at SP recommended I joined the Platinum Course. Honestly I didn’t think I could do it, but they were very persistent with their encouragement.
The SP team at Claremont inspired me to keep going when I needed it and were always there to motivate me and I really wanted to learn how I could do the same for others.
What did you love most about being a SP client?
The feeling you get when you finish a class is amazing and the muscle burn afterwards is rewarding and addictive.
The classes have a great atmosphere and good mix of clients at different levels, so it’s not intimidating.
What do you love most about being a SP instructor?
It’s a dream, I love it. I really look forward heading into the studio for my classes.
I really enjoy pushing and enhancing those who need it and encouraging those who have just started.
What inspires you to teach Pilates?
Getting to know the clients and watching them achieve their goals is awesome. When a client finishes a class and smiles, it makes it all worth it.
I try to make my classes as fun and encouraging as possible. I want everyone to feel as motivated and encouraged as I was as a client, no matter their level of fitness. Everyone should be inspired and encouraged to push themselves beyond what they thought was possible.
Pilates is great for the mind and body; it really motivates and builds strength mentally and physically. It’s a great way to take some time out for yourself and work on your own health and well-being.
Anything else you would like to share about yourself?
I plan to continue studying the injury rehabilitation and sports performance side of pilates and further advance my knowledge of pilates’ impact on the body.
I have two small children that also aided in the speed of my recovery and continue to motivate me in taking on new challenges.
I am from the UK, spent many years living in Hong Kong and now our family has settled here in Perth. I taught English and Art in Hong Kong and developed my love for water sports there.