Why am I so passionate about helping you move and perform better through biomechanics and anatomy?
My own challenges, paired with my love for sport and physical freedom, have taught me how essential it is to move well.
I have a debilitating eye movement disorder and resulting disability, as well as a great number of physical imbalances.
The ONLY WAY to break through my challenging plateaus, was to learn precisely how the body moved and worked, and apply both scientific theory and evidence to my training, rehab, and prehab.
From a very young age, I've loved sports and physical achievement, and have been blessed with tremendous support from my family in this area.
But sports and physical achievement have never loved me back. Our relationship has almost always been completely one-sided!
I grew up with Strabismus (turned eye), resulting in poor hand-eye / body eye coordination, zero depth perception, and a very limited sense of my body in space.
I was also tremendously over-protected as a very young kid (of course with the greatest of love and the best of intentions).
These led to reduced motor skills, bad posture, and countless physical compensations.
All this made me a terrible athlete, no matter how much enthusiasm and hard work I poured into every sport and physical endeavour.
In 2012, things got quite a bit worse. A surgery that was supposed to correct Strabismus, triggered a neurological eye disorder called Nystagmus.
With the onset of this disorder - my eyes started shifting in a jerky fashion, causing constantly unstable and doubled vision. It became impossible to focus. I lost nearly complete control of my eye movements.
It took me 4 years of denial and struggle in work and life - to realise that I had a big problem, and it wasn't going to go away.
I was now visually disabled. I needed to adapt my brain, body, lifestyle, and priorities to this new reality.
What troubled me the most - was NOT the impact of visual disability on my professional career.
What troubled me the most - was the deterioration of my balance, coordination and existing physical/athletic capabilities, as I could no longer rely on my vision to direct movement.
With nonsensical input from vision, my postural compensations worsened, causing chronic pain from tension and misalignment.
Before I was a "pretty bad" mover, and after I was an "extremely bad" mover.
This strong sense of loss reflected how MUCH I wanted to MOVE, BE PHYSICAL and ACHIEVE PHYSICALLY, without limitations.
So In 2016, I embarked on a mission to gain physical autonomy, control, and performance - in spite of my vision. At the start of the year, I dove into strength and conditioning (barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells). and fell in love with modified strongman training.
In the middle of the year, I became elated when I got my first pull up as part of a strength and conditioning circuit.
Late in the year, I narrowed my focus on bodyweight strength and skills - to "start from scratch" and learn the motor skills I never fully developed as a kid, using calisthenics, yoga, and natural human locomotion as a primary focus.
I made quick improvement at first in strength, movement and skill, thought a lot of brute force, gritted teeth and high training volume (think "endless sets and reps of pull ups, etc.")
But just a few month down the line, I realised that there were literal bottlenecks in my body - keeping me from progressing continuously at the rate I wanted to. Performance plateaus abounded.
For example, my hip flexors were so weak that the quads would overcompensate and cramp the instant I got into a pike position in any orientation, both on the floor and on the bar.
I could consistently pop out 10-15 chin-ups - but they would be slight "cheats" because I could never comfortably hang under the bar in full extension to start the next rep, due to lack of external rotation.
The list goes on, from the seemingly "minor" to the "visibly obvious".
But most notably - my biggest problem was that my ankles were so immobile that pistol squats strained my knees and I plateaued at just one good rep with the left leg (no clean reps with my right). Dynamic jumping / vaulting movements brought on the very real risk of an ankle sprain during even casual workouts.
Furthermore - as a result of my visual disorder, I worsened the persistent aches and pains in my neck and upper back, as my posture in all my intense workouts compensated for the lack of vision - outside of conscious awareness.
At the time - as someone who "embraced discomfort" in the pursuit of results and personal development - I hardly flinched at the thought of pain or impending injury (an attitude which I've now changed...!).
Instead - what drove me BONKERS - was the idea that I was plateauing and starting to NOT GET BETTER - so early into my training.
Lucky for me, I've always been interested in the WHY of exercise and training. So - the plateau frustration drove me deeper into the science of movement.
Through studying these informally but consistently - I grew to understand my body's limitations and how to work through them, to bust my own plateaus.
I now apply this knowledge, and my ongoing education and training, to help other motivated adult recreational athletes training for performance - to move better and BUST THEIR PERFORMANCE PLATEAUS.