When I was 18 years old I was in a horrific car accident and broke my spine in 4 places. I was taken to The Alfred Hospital and found out I may never be able to walk again. I was devastated. The specialist wanted to operate and fuse my spine which would have cost me 50% of my ability to move my back. We decided to see if the fractures would heal if I laid flat on my back for 4 months, wear supportive plastic braces for a further 6 months and then wear soft braces after that. My spine fractures did heal but not completely. After learning to walk again, I started my rehabilitation program after those long and horrible 4 months, and Pilates was included in that program. I looked forward to getting out of the house and doing something that was helping me get better. I stuck to my program and would even do it at home 3 times a day. I was determined not to let the accident beat me. After a year of my rehab I was a completely new person. I changed the way I looked at life and also how I treated my body. I kept up with the Pilates and made a healthy way of life my number one priority.
I returned to work 18 months after the accident and worked as a medical receptionist. My sister wanted to become a Pilates teacher. She and her friend both convinced me to do it as well because I love Pilates so much. I hemmed and hawed about it but eventually decided to give it a try. I commenced my studies at Aligned for Life in Melbourne CBD where I saw how much passion these instructors had for their work. It was really inspiring. I knew I was in the right hands and I completed my Diploma of Pilates Instruction through this wonderful team.
Training as a Pilates teacher has really made me realise how much I love helping others. It’s such a rewarding feeling knowing that I’m helping better someone’s life; either helping with their rehabilitation, getting them back into exercising or just making them confident in pushing their limits with their strength. Seeing clients walk out of the studio feeling stronger and more in tuned with themselves is so satisfying. I wake up every morning and go to bed every night with a smile on my face because I’m so happy that this all fell into place. The accident may have been the worst experience in my life, but it has really been a blessing in disguise. I could never imagine myself doing anything other than this!
Author: Hayley Sullivan