When I finally decided to take a break from my sports career, my body broke down. Before then, I had never realised how much pain and injuries my body had suffered. I believed that by training hard, and applying extreme discipline, I could be fit and healthy. Counter-intuitively, though, this pursuit of ‘excellence’ came at a massive cost: one that my body would have to pay. Sure, I could perform at a high standard, but my body was not healthy or ‘well’ by any means.
I had burnt out – and I wasn’t even 30 yet!
This turning point led me on a path to try and understand why. I followed the guidelines and principles of the fitness industry. I did what everyone said you needed to do for optimal performance and fitness. So why did my body break down?
Through the following years, I have discovered many misconceptions and conflicting advice in the wellness industry. I now have a passion to bring my own learning - both from personal experience and the wisdom of other health experts - to the world.
“If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” - Hippocrates
My first insight, in amongst all the noise of the wellness industry, was how we miss the important signals from the body. The fitness industry treats the body like an object, not seeing the body as a place where learning and wisdom can be found. Previously, during my years of training, I was taught that ‘pain is necessary for progress’. The classic “no pain, no gain” mantra. But what if pain is actually a message that tells you to stop, to slow down, to adjust, or take a break before you hurt yourself? There were no teachers guiding me to listen, to understand or interpret these signals from my body. If anything, most teachers tell you to ignore the signals and ‘push through’!
I had to stop and ask myself: “What is all this for? And to what end?"
My hope is that there will be more teachers out there to help us understand what we need for our bodies - and more importantly - what our bodies need from us. Teachers who will remind us that it is ok to go slow, before it’s too late.
This why I decided to join the Cymbrogi team, a group of people with a grand vision, not just for the short-term, but for the future. We can all live in a more sustainable way, and I believe we can arrive at the end of a long and fulfilled life in one piece – with minimal cost to ourselves and the planet.
“Everything in excess is opposed to nature.” - Hippocrates