Esther Hesse is a ‘Bondi Beach Babe’ personified. She oozes confidence and radiates warmth, making you feel fitter and stronger just by being in her presence.
As you would expect from a fitness guru and personal trainer, Esther preaches the importance of exercise and a balanced lifestyle. However, this hasn’t always been the case as she worked in the fashion industry for ten years and admits she wasn’t always interested in health and fitness.
“I haven’t always been sporty”, she says. “It wasn’t until my late twenties that I started to experience chronic pain.”
After experimenting with a cocktail of prescribed medications from her doctors, including a drug used for epilepsy, Esther was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). This means that the message her central nervous system sends to her brain is wrong – it tells her that she is constantly in pain.
“I couldn’t leave the house. I couldn’t do anything; I was in chronic pain. I couldn’t even work – the doctor said I was only allowed to work three hours a day which meant I couldn’t hold down a job”.
“I just got to a point where I felt like my whole life was out of my control.”
However, when her doctor recommended that she incorporate more movement and physical activity into her lifestyle, Esther decided to attend a spin class with her housemate.
She says, “I had to take a lot of medication for those first few months to get through a class. But that euphoric feeling of that dose of endorphins from getting your heart rate going made that all okay. Especially if it meant that I could feel like that”.
“For me, exercising was the only control I really had in my life at the time. It was the only way I could control how I felt because I had no control over my body at that point.”
Moving forward, Esther started working out with a personal trainer and they worked on improving strength and posture, both things which were causing and/ contributing to the pain which was happening to a specific nerve in her body.
“I worked on correcting those things and I noticed a huge difference in my life. I noticed that the episodes of pain were less frequent, and I was able to reduce my medication” she says.
“That’s when I realised exercise is a form of medication”.
Deciding that she wanted to help other people see this message, Esther made the career change to become a personal trainer and studied exercise science to further her understanding of the human body.
After owning her own studio for a while, Esther has now gone back to her personal training roots with the aim of encouraging people, particularly women, to feel healthy, strong and in control of their own bodies.
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