Women’s Health and Fitness Summit 2016
The 3rd annual Women’s Health and Fitness Summit took place on 10 & 11th Sept at the most beautiful RACV Club in Melbourne’s CBD. This is why Women’s Health is important to me.
The goal of this event is to
- provide much needed education specifically in the area of women’s health and training
- create opportunities for Fitness Professionals and Allied Health Professionals to form relationships that will ultimately benefit our female clients (we all bring something to the party!)
- And last but not least, to have a good time together. I think it would be fair to say that everyone who attends the WHFS cares for others – their family, their clients, their businesses. This event is designed to put these same women first. For the delegates to feel spoiled and looked after!
(Mish at Opening Ceremony – Like my outfit? I was Styled By Sally!)
The opening ceremony
I was able to share my vision that there is a global movement demanding changes on how we routinely assess and train women. However, in order for their to be any changes – we need 3 key ingredients:
- opportunities (those given to others and those that we need to be #BRAVE to take ourselves)
- and collaboration (as opposed to competition)
The Women’s Health and Fitness Summit provides all of these things!
The theme for this year was #BRAVE and that was certainly the flavour of the day with our Key Note speaker, Kerryn Harvey sharing her journey of having her arm and full shoulder amputated after a fairly minor accident, that lead her to contracting a horrific flesh eating disease.
Key Note Speaker:
Kerryn’s rehabilitation story was marked by a dogged sense of determination as she set goals for herself that lead her out of hospital bed to competing on the world stage in her beloved sport of triathlon. The same determination, shared with her partner Renee, saw the pair of them cycle from Perth to Melbourne to raise much needed funds for the Adelaide Hospital and create the Start Foundation – which has the motto of “Empowering amputees in Life through Sport”.
(Kerryn receiving Silver at World Triathlon – just 2.5 years after her life changing accident)
Kerryn’s story was and continues to be incredibly #BRAVE, but she was not the only person to earn that title.
Thea Baker shared her story of losing her husband, just over 18 months ago – but finding the strength to share her experience of living in an emotionally abusive relationship. Unlike other victims of domestic violence, a person living with emotional abuse, does not have bruises or visual scars to show and often left self-doubting the abuse and even their own independent existence.
It was at this point, Thea acknowledged yet another #BRAVE woman in the room. Renee Clark is the only visually impaired Pilates trainer in the world. She travelled from New Zealand (with the help of 2 volunteers) to attend this year’s WHFS. I got the pleasure of spending the afternoon with Renee and got a crash course (pardon the pun) on how to guide the visually impaired and an insight into the daily challenges that she faces.
(Renee enjoying the texture of the aboriginal art at Queen Vic Markets, Melbourne)
To seal the Opening Ceremony, we all participated in a ritual lead by Angela from Scent of Life who has been working with me for the past 18 months distilling #BRAVE into a scent.
By inhaling #BRAVE we were able to embody the strength of those around us and embed it at a cellular level as we went out to enjoy the rest of the summit.
After the summit many people have reached out to share with me stories of their experiences at the event, confirming the firm belief that I have that in a digital world, real connections are even more important!
However, it was Renee who summed it all up by writing 3 poems inspired by #BRAVE and my opening speech, that has linked everything together beautifully:
- Education – (Elka from BeActive Physio teaching how to assess female clients for diastasis)
- Opportunities – (The Platform is an opportunity that gives 4 women mentoring and support to share their messages to a greater audience and helps them on their own presenting journey)
*Click here to watch a short video of Day #1 of WHFS16
**mishfit is the very proud host of the Women’s Health and Fitness Summit and you can read here about how this event came to be!
*** She Science were the amazing sponsors to the Opening Ceremony. Kerryn Harvey is an Ambassador for She Science and they have fitted both Kerryn and myself with ah-mazing bra’s. You can read about that experience here.