(First Class Honours) Bachelors of Science: Sport and Exercise Science, University of Bath
Level 3 Personal Trainer
Level 3 Sports Massage Therapist
UKCC Level 1 Olympic Weightlifting Coaching
Joint hypermobility and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome runs in my family. Because of that family history, I was fortunate enough to be diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Hypermobility type (hEDS) quite early on as a child. Not many other people with this condition have the good fortune to be able to receive this information so soon in their lives, and as a result, live for many years with constant joint issues without knowing whether this is just simply ‘the norm’ or not.
I grew up following a narrative that my body was very fragile on account of my EDS and so I always had to be very careful and avoid anything that could hurt my joints. This led to me being a very sedentary child that never really did anything. As is characteristic of any individual on the clinical joint hypermobility spectrum, years of absolute sedentarism provided considerable problems for my body. Without going into too much detail (And believe me what follows is an extremely condensed summary), I was suffering with whole body joint pain, an inability to stand for more than a couple of minutes, and a whole arsenal of postural issues and joint dysfunction. I could not bend over to touch my knees much less my toes, I could barely raise my arms higher than the top of my head, and had totally ‘flat’ feet that splayed out like a duck. On top of that, I was essentially a poster child for all the most common postural issues you can learn about online (specifically: hyperkyphosis, rounded shoulders and severe scapular winging, forward head/’nerd neck’ and hyperlordosis/anterior pelvic tilt).
The process of correcting all of this and regaining control of my body has been an unbelievable uphill battle ever since I started exercising at age 15 in 2013. At the time I started exercise, I was motivated less by function and more by getting as muscular and strong as I could. I was very bull-headed and made a lot of decisions that were not smart for my body, considering my syndrome. In fact, I spent a number of years essentially trying to pretend I didn’t even have hEDS, to somewhat disastrous consequence. From that period I injured myself in a number of ways that would cause shockwaves of other injuries throughout my body, and come back to bite me countless times in many other ways. Among the worst was a nasty fall I took from a few feet up swinging from a pullup bar where I fell directly pelvis-first onto solid hard ground. That left me on crutches for weeks, and put both knees and hips in a position where I could barely stand out of a chair much less do a squat without considerable pain for almost 2 years.
That was the wake-up call I needed and from there my priorities in training shifted significantly. Instead of constantly racking up injuries, ignoring my weaknesses/dysfunctions and doubling down on my strengths, I decided to put my ego aside and do the hard job of making my body as functional, stable and mobile as I needed to in order to stop being constantly in pain, one joint at a time. It has been many years since then and I’ve made huge progress on many major, longstanding issues with my hips, shoulders, knees, wrists, ankles, and so much more. Living with hypermobility/ehlers danlos means the work of keeping my body functioning is never done, but now I’m more capable than I’ve ever been.
Nowadays, I am trying to focus all of the expertise I’ve gained from my own unfortunate experiences and joint issues over the years alongside my formal education to help others with similar issues. At the moment the two ways I’m focusing my time to do that is with online coaching and my mobility/prehab library which you can learn more about using the buttons below!