“I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought it would be easy for a programme like this to be largely lip service. But from my first assessment, it was excellent. I just wish I’d had this kind of attention ten years ago! A very heartfelt thank you.”
Katharine – a writer, theatre maker and performer – was nominated by her best friend of 17 years, Laura.
Laura wanted to help Katharine recover from old injuries and offset the impact of all the time she spends hunched over a desk, writing to support her highly physical stagework (including her volunteer work with Clowns without Borders – a charity that helps traumatised children heal through play and laughter).
Katharine initially met with Team Ten Physiotherapist Ant Brightwell, who continued to work with Katharine on her shoulder and hip issues, moving onto a bespoke Physio-led Pilates programme for further strengthening, before progressing into Ten’s Dynamic Reformer Pilates classes.
Here’s what she had to say about her experience:
What were you hoping to get out of Ten’s MoveBetter programme?
Well I had some pretty long term issues – stemming from an injury to my knee about ten years ago – which had been getting steadily worse over the years. And it had got to the point where every time I went running, it felt like my hips had been beaten up for days afterwards. So I was hoping to address that.
I also have a lot less movement in my right shoulder which, again, I was hoping to address.
I was also hoping to learn a bit more about my body and the way it works, so I know how to keep working in the future. I was also keen to try reformer Pilates – which I’ve never done before.
How did you feel going into it?
I wasn’t sure what to expect – in truth, it sounded a bit too good to be true! I’ve had tiny bits of Physio in the past but never for any sustained length of time and to be honest, never thorough or consultative. I also thought it would be easy for a programme like this to be largely lip service.
Then I had my initial assessment with Ant – he was great, did a super-thorough knee / hip / shoulder check, a lot of listening, a lot of explaining and gave me every confidence that it was going to be what it said on the tin. Which it was.
I had regular Physio consultations while also attending Ten’s Physio-led Pilates classes with Maddie (which were equally excellent – small groups and a very high level of tailored expert attention).
Towards the end of the programme I was also able to start going to Reformer Pilates classes – and they were also great.
I guess I also thought it might be a bit austere and exclusive but everyone I met was friendly, welcoming and supportive as well as highly professional.
How do you feel following the programme?
Pretty great. I’m no longer in pain after a run, and I’ve got considerably more movement in my right hip. I’ve also got a repertoire of exercises I can do on my own to keep building strength and movement. I just wish I’d had this kind of attention ten years ago!
What impact has it had on your life?
All positive. Aside from the actual physical progress I’ve made with issues I just thought were going to be with me for good, I have a better understanding of how the injured bits of my body work and what I need to do to keep them strong.
What advice would you give to somebody facing similar injuries, limitations or discomfort to the ones you had?
Do something now! Go and see Ant. If he’s not available, go and see someone who explains things to you so that you understand them. Listen. Ask questions. Be prepared to put in some time and effort from your end. It takes time to see improvements but they come.
Also, glutes and core, glutes and core! I’d assumed – because I run and because I do a lot of yoga – that my glutes at least were in top shape (I was keenly aware of my dodgy core). How wrong I was. Turns out that I was pretty much never using my glutes and that this was what was causing the majority of the trouble.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your experience at Ten?
I think that covers it – just a very heartfelt thank you.