I am mommy to Liam, 7 years, and Ava, 3 years old. Pieter Boerssen is my husband, business partner and nr 1 cheerleader over the years. We are a small, family business. We all love movement in our own ways and opening CoreConnect Health and Fitness Studio was the natural next step for our family and my career.
Although I was not on the sports field every day or even played ANY traitional school team sport, I did ballet, loved going to the small town gym in Wellington (where I grew up) and loved the funky, aerobic supersizes with sweatbands Jane Fonda and Body Beat 80’s and 90’s. I remember going to early morning callanetics classes in the winter school holidays and joining in grapevines in the afternoon classes. What fun, I thought.
My formal studies include Psychology Honours and various courses involving Kids education. 10 years ago added movement to my studies. Everyone questioned me, moving from years of studies in Psychology to possibly working in a gym? It sounded like a fad or a new interest. I knew there was a connection between all my studies (I am the ultimate nerd with a never ending thirst for knowledge and I think Pieter secretly waits for announcement of my next course😉 ).
I literally threw myself into it. I worked and practiced in ALL different fitness styles…for me there is no place for just the next cool, hip and happening fitness style or sticking to one practice. We are all different human beings, different likes and dislikes and I wanted to understand what the Pilates person likes and what the group fitness/Body conditioning/aerobics person dislikes.
I had my preferences and was naturally drawn to working with pre and postpartum women. It fascinated me that there was this huge need for women to be fit and healthy before and during pregnancy, but there is a huge gap when women need to accept body changes postpartum. This same need is there for women later in life as we go into menopause. Bodies and needs change and we need to change the way we train.
I came across pelvic floor dysfunction exercises after my second pregnancy. During and after my first pregnancy I practiced mainly Pilates and traditional core exercises like ab curls, planks, roll ups and the like. After my daughter was born I couldn’t manage to maintain the correct form during these exercises, I could feel my belly bulging and I had diastasis (separation of the 6 pack muscle group). What bothered me the most is that I have picked up on all of this in the majority of my new mom clients over the years of working with postpartum women. This separation was still prevalent after 2 years post-natal and added to other symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction, eg hypertonic/over active pelvic floor, nocturia/waking up at night to pee, even 2 years post-natal. Within a few weeks of exercising my core, posture and breath with the Low Pressure Fitness/Hypopressive programme I felt a huge shift and doing impact exercise or even just lifting my 2-year-old was much easier, my posture changed, and I could actually run further when jogging due to breath improvement, though we have to remember that everyone heals at different rates.
I received training in the method in 2016 with Low Pressure Fitness in Barcelona, Spain and have been using the method when working with my clients ever since.
I have always dreamed of opening my own studio and decided to focus on core and pelvic floor health to help empower women and raise awareness of the dysfunction. Together with my sister, Janet Kimmel founder of The Align Method who lives in Canada, we launched the first women’s health event, Kegels & Karma, on 13 January 2018. The goal was to educate and inform women of all ages and stages in life, to open the conversation around women’s health and pelvic floor dysfunction and how this relates to fitness. The event incorporated themes to cover the mind, body and soul of women hood.
I love educating and empowering women and men on the functioning of their bodies and how breath, posture and the core in inter-connected into one holistic system. I believe this education needs to start earlier in life, with children, to prevent injury and maintain function.
One of my passions and main focuses is educating pregnant or new moms on the function of the pelvic floor and how to safely get back to fitness and exercise. Too many new moms try to get back to their pre-pregnancy lifestyle and fitness way too early and end up with pelvic floor dysfunction like prolapse or incontinence. This is preventable if only they had the correct knowledge. All women (and this includes my thought just a few years ago after my pregnancies) think that after the 6-weeks clearance from their doctor they can pick up where they left off over 9 months ago. Moms are always educated on the birthing process and caring for the baby, but nowhere is there any thought on how the mom should take care of herself, physically, after the pregnancy.