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Honoured as Educator of the Year: My Commitment to Transforming Fitness Learning

by | Nov 30, 2023 | EVEolution™, Interviews, Women's Health

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Celebrating a Significant Recognition

I’m excited to announce a recent highlight in my career: receiving the prestigious Educator of the Year award from Exercise NZ. This recognition comes hot on the heels of my AusActive Educator of the Year award in 2021. These awards are more than just accolades; they represent the essence of my journey in women’s health and fitness education.

Unravelling the Intricacies: My Teaching Methodology

My teaching journey has always centred around demystifying complex subjects. With my extensive fitness background and formal education training, I have focused on translating intricate women’s health topics into accessible and clear lessons. Through diligent research, attending various conferences, and engaging in purposeful dialogues, I’ve refined my ability to simplify sophisticated concepts. This ensures they’re approachable to fitness professionals of all levels. As Rachel Maddow (my favourite journalist and storyteller) eloquently says, “You can get to a graduate level of complexity with anyone, as long as you are willing to start together in kindergarten.”

The Art of Empathy: A Cultivated Strength

Contrary to common belief, empathy is a skill that can be developed, not merely an innate ability. Discovering empathy as a lower-ranked skill in my Gallop Strength test was a turning point. While kindness is one of my core values, I’ve learned that kindness and empathy, though often conflated, are distinct. My journey towards developing empathy was greatly influenced by Brené Brown’s works and her ‘Dare to Lead’ course, which provided a new perspective on authentic listening and communication.

In my educational endeavours, I’ve implemented practical guidelines and crafted questions to aid fitness professionals. When crafting educational content for fitness professionals, I return to my learning avatar, Jack. Jack is a young man, a fresh graduate of fitness. Many of his clients are women – and he does not have any lived experience of menstruation, pregnancy / postnatal or menopause. It is not enough for Jack to know the theory about these sensitive topics. Jack needs the right language and empathetic skills to ask the right questions and then guidance on what to do with the answers.

Connecting Worlds: My Impact on Women’s Health and Fitness

The past decade has seen a transformative shift in incorporating women’s health into the fitness industry, a movement I’ve been deeply involved in. Initiating the Women’s Health and Fitness Summit was a step towards promoting women’s health and mending the fragmented relationship between physiotherapists and fitness professionals.

In my current role at Women’s Fitness Education, I influence the curriculum for Cert III and IV in Fitness, ensuring a comprehensive integration of women’s health into fitness education.

Supporting Collective Progress: The Power of Collaboration

An essential aspect of my journey has been supporting and uplifting others and making strides in women’s health and fitness. The African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together,” resonates deeply with my approach. In a field as dynamic and impactful as women’s health, progress is magnified when we collaborate and share knowledge. Whether it’s through mentoring upcoming professionals, engaging in joint projects, or simply celebrating the achievements of others in this space, I believe in the power of collective effort. By fostering an environment of support and cooperation, we not only advance our individual goals but also contribute to the broader evolution of our industry.

That is why you will often see me commenting and promoting other people in the industry who could be seen as my competition. This is a no-brainer for me when my goal is to promote women’s health. In fact, I will know when this goal is reached when we no longer even call it women’s health.

I try not to let it get to me (and I fail most of the time) when other people view what I do as competing with what they do. Thinking negatively about others succeeding in an area you are trying so hard to be a part of can be a natural default. But I always remind myself that there are plenty of vaginas to go around! My way of keeping my own imposter syndrome in check was creating EVEolution™ for Personal Trainers to be partners.

Broadening My Horizon: Future Goals and Directions

My future goals are ambitious yet clear: I plan to assist larger organisations in integrating women’s health into their educational programs. Recognising consumers’ evolving knowledge and expectations, this integration is essential for the progression and relevance of fitness education. Additionally, I’m looking forward to applying my educational expertise in other industries, proving that effective education is not limited to subject matter expertise but depends on how well one understands the learning process.

Looking Forward with Determination and Hope

As I forge ahead in my career, my passion for influencing and educating remains my driving force. These awards testify to my dedication and commitment to enhancing women’s health and fitness education. I eagerly anticipate the new opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, aiming to broaden my impact within the fitness industry and other sectors.

Ready to Transform Your Educational Offerings? Let’s Begin the Journey Together.

Are you at the helm of an organization seeking to enrich and revitalize your educational content, especially in the realm of health and fitness? If you recognize the urgent need to weave women’s health into the fabric of your educational programs but need help figuring out where to start, I’m here to navigate this pivotal transition with you.

Reach out to me, and together, we will craft a learning experience that is inclusive, comprehensive, and ahead of the curve. Let’s set a new standard in fitness education — one that empowers and resonates with every individual it touches.

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