1. I was born in Zimbabwe into a very privileged minority, and so can feel the otherness in you, and the reluctance to settle into your innate brilliance, because you’re acutely aware of how much more you have than the average person on the street.
2. I was an elite athlete and competed at a national level (and won!) as a 3m Springboard Diver. But don’t ask to see my medals as they got lost in my many moves.
3. And on that point, I’m not nostalgic, and prefer to look forwards not hark back to the past, so I tend not to have many keepsakes, or scrap books or momentos. And my house is ultra minimalist! (I’m also crap at taking and remembering to take photos, my kids will kill me for all the undocumented holes in their timelines later – oops!)
4. But back to the diving, thanks to the precision needed to do a dive really well, I had to learn to feel my own body in space, and creatively imagine each part of every dive, so I can feel your body through my own. Weird, but a nifty skill to have in my business!
5. And, also on the diving, having hit the board, the side of the pool, the edge of the trampoline (where we practised during the short Zimbabwean winter), I know what pain feels like, and I refuse to tolerate it anymore, so I’ll be driving towards a life free from pain and restriction each and every session.
6. I survived the death of our 2nd child who was found to have died in my womb just three weeks before we were preparing to welcome her into the world. My pregnancy was happy, healthy and my second time around. So I know what a totally, unexpected, tragic event does to a person’s trust in their body and their mind.
7. I have also felt the bone-crushing grief that comes when the natural cycle of things is interrupted and a mother must bury her child. Your hurt won't scare me.
8. I’ve walked the long, hard, lonely road back into the glaring light of the world on the back of burnout. So I know how loud living can be, and how strong the pull of the quiet shadows is.
9. I have suffered from depression and anxiety and so can relate when you don’t want to talk, or socialise or leave the house. Don’t worry, we’ll let your body do the talking on those days.
10. I have a chronic case of Imposter Syndrome, which I’m working on, but which means that I’m also researching, studying and learning to improve my skill set. That’s a bonus for you, as you can goddam count on me to go the extra mile, and looking for answers if I don’t have them to hand.
11. I have X-Ray vision, thanks to my extensive studies and years of looking at how people’s bodies move, I have a witch-like ability to see the frictions and restrictions under your skin that are causing your problems on the surface.
12. I’m medically-menopaused after a full hysterectomy in 2016 that put and end to my years of struggling with stage 3 Endometriosis. So I know what it’s like to suffer through an invisible-to-others chronic illness that is often misdiagnosed, misunderstood and for which there is no cure, probably because it’s seen as a Woman’s Disease.
13. I can forget giving my body to science as I have no Tonsils, no Appendix and no Wisdom Teeth either. I’ve had more surgery that Michael Jackson, and so I have developed an exceptionally effective way to treat and release your scar tissue too.
14. I’ve lived in 6 countries so far, and Switzerland, where I live, maybe my last move. The sky is very small compared to the one I grew up on the African Savannah, but I’m coming to love the peace and security that I feel here. And I can help you feel safe too.
15. I live in Switzerland because my husband is half Swiss (his Mum’s a Londoner with a South Indian father, yes, our kids are quite a mix). We’ve been together since 2000, and are the only couple from the university where we met that is still together. So I know about marital bliss, and unbliss and the compromises and contradictions that are comfortable, but grate sometimes, but all come down to the things we do for love.
16. And, on the topic of love, my favourite book is The English Patient, and my favourite film is Pretty Woman, so I’m clearly a romantic at heart. But don’t buy me flowers because I’ll worry that they were sourced from far away, or from a normally water-less place, and that will make me worry about the planet that I’m leaving to my children.
17. And on the topic of children, I have 3. When our second daughter died, I knew deeply that only another baby would help me down off the suicidal edge where I was perched. And then, when we got married in 2014, we thought, well, you get married and have kids, and so added a cherry on the top of our family trifle! And so I know what it is to just want something, and not have to justify it to anybody.
18. Having that third baby for me, was also a moment to really send a big fat Fuck You to the Mother Nature that I still had beef with though. That hatchet is safely buried, but I won’t judge your anger; it’s one of my default emotions and can be truly galvanising when you need it to be.
19. My Mum’s dying of Alzheimer’s so I know the weight of the long goodbye. She’s also in a country where she’s not allowed to be helped to die, and so I hear your fury and frustration at so-called ethics, conventions. I’m campaigning for the Universal Right to Die, so if you feel the same, stick around, we can megaphone it together!
20. My oldest child has Crohn’s disease, so I feel the powerlessness as you watch your kid being prodded and poked every month as they undergo intravenous, or other invasive treatments, and I’m there beside you when you take a bathroom break to have a little cry under the pressure of being so brave-faced to the kid, because you don’t want them to see their fear reflected back in your own eyes – hell no!
21. I have an older brother who’s intellectually way above average and so am used to standing in the shadow of a sibling that strikes awe into the hearts of everyone. It probably explains why I’m so demanding of myself, and why I hold myself to such high standards. But, hey, I think that’s probably a good thing for you – exquisite customer service is my thang!
22. I speak English, French, good Spanish and very mediocre Mandarin. I love all things verbal, so I will invite you to tell me aaaaaall the things. Please know, that if you are feeling it, and you are open to discussing it together, I’m willing to go there with you, even if others haven’t gone there in the past. You are not mad, yes it’s all valuable information for me, and no you are not crazy. Yes, it’s possible that your back pain is related to your unprocessed grief that you’ve been carrying around since 1994, and I will help you untangle it all!
23. I’ve helped hundreds of people build their bodies and minds back better (Thanks Joe Biden, I like your campaign slogan!?) since I started out as a Pilates instructor in 2011. Since then I’ve added on all sorts of wonders like Neurokinetic Therapy which re-programmes your faulty movement patterns to eliminate your chronic muscular pain. Immaculate Dissection, which gives that amazing X-ray vision I mentioned, as it teaches me how to dissect you, without having to cut your open. And I have the ability to treat you by analysing, reverse-engineering and then correcting the way you walk, because all humans do it, and so there are universal patterns that should be present when you put one foot in front of the other. So know that you’re in experienced, knowledgeable hands.
24. I love variety and I can do most sports, have played most sports, and enjoy just about any movement. So you’ll enjoy working with me if you like to play, tinker, learn and experiment with how your body reacts to various and varied planes of motion. My methods will include tit bits from Yoga, Pilates, Martial Arts, Ballet, Swimming, you can pretty much name the sport and find it somewhere in one of your hand-picked homework videos, or in an analogy I’ll draw for you.
25. I’m on a mission to work myself out of a job in that, when we’ve finished working together, I want you to be able to carry on building on your gains WITHOUT me. I’m building a practice where women come to be educated to treat and heal themselves, and where they are given the exact information that they need to be able to get better and then get back on with life. So, not for you, or me, are the endless, aimless sessions of chasing pain around your body, or dredging up all your old, painful failures, memories bla bla, no, you can expect a stimulating and highly-effective healing protocol that delivers on its promises.