A few days ago I announced on facebook that I am excited about my new affiliation as the Sydney arm for Future Footprints Conductive Education, and that I look forward to working with Eszter Agocs and Future Footprints to provide viable options and alternative opportunities for individuals and families seeking CE in the greater Sydney area. And as per my plan, this announcement attracted a fair bit of cyber attention (a plethora of likes and comments, some emails, and even some text messages), most congratulatory, but several expressing worry about their current service. I would like to take this opportunity to explain more about what I am working on with Future Footprints and where I see things going in the future.
First and foremost -- it is business as usual for my current clients (so no, you aren't getting out of your 5:45am training DF, and yes FG and MD, I'll still be working with you oldies but goodies and CE for adults will always be the focus of my conductive education practice).
At present Conductive Education is offered as a specialty under my personal training business -- Transformations: Personal Training for Every Body. It is one of the many services I offer, along side of the usual personal training offerings such as fitness, body re-shaping, weight loss nutrition, rehabilitation, and training for women during pregnancy as well as post-natally. I also offer personal training to people with disabilities as a specialty within my personal training business. And, to be honest, I blend CE into everything I offer -- for those of you who have spent time with CE, you know it is a lifestyle and a way of thinking, being, and doing -- so I can't really turn it off and don't really try to because I feel that the CE approach allows me to be a better personal trainer.
Mainstream personal training is and will continue to be an important part of Transformations; I love the diversity of my present business and am keen to maintain this. There are certainly a lot of exciting things happening in disability and CE in Australia at the moment but please let me assure you that I have not lost focus on other aspects of the health and fitness industry. I have just completed an awesome course in nutrition and nutrition coaching from Precision Nutrition and will be certifying as a 'Heart Moves' trainer (with the Australian Heart Foundation) to improve the quality and specificity of the services I am offering through Transformations, and am training under an extremely educated and experienced trainer so that I can continue to grow professionally (and fit into a wedding dress in a few month -- details!).
Over the past few years Transformations has been literally blessed with opportunities to offer CE and specialized personal training to people with disabilities through 'third party funding arrangements' -- Fighting Chance Australia funded CE for nearly two years and recently I have had a subcontractor agreement with Community Care Northern Beaches to provide personal training for their clients. I am so grateful for these opportunities and have made efforts to give back continuously via pro bono work and above and beyond expected service -- this is made possible by these contracts keeping business going well. Transformations will continue to seek creative and ethical ways to provide services to people who need them and to find ways to give back to the community twofold.
My subcontractor agreement with Future Footprints is another such opportunity -- it is not a merge with Future Footprints, and Transformations will continue to exist as its own separate entity. Eszter is a passionate and forward thinking conductor. She has been courageous in ways that I have not been and has succeeded in opening up her own CE centre -- the first private CE centre in Australia and dare I say one of the most thriving private CE centres in the world. I have lots to learn from her in addition to a skill set that compliments what her business already offers. There is a government funding opportunity that is available for children under the age of 7 with disabilities here in Australia called Better Start -- and somehow Conductive Education has been included as a service that families can use this funding for. Eszter has figured how to work the system and her business is listed as a service provider for Better Start -- brilliant, especially for children living in Adelaide who are able to access her centre. My subcontractor agreement with Eszter will allow me to offer CE funded by Better Start through Future Footprints Conductive Education here in Sydney. Another conductor, Gabi Monus, will be doing the same in Canberra. Good for families looking for CE, good for CE, good for Transformations.
And yes, the demand may well be bigger than what I can currently meet -- even better -- I'll gladly hire another conductor. There were months when the Enable Me program was bigger than I could handle on my own and I gladly subcontracted another trainer to help me. When one is excited and passionate about what they are doing there are ways to find extra hours in the day and make things happen. We -- Eszter and I -- are of course growing our businesses -- but we are also working on what we see as the bigger picture. We are working for Conductive Education and for the adults and children who want to access it. And yes, of course if Better Start funding is good for business, it will make it easier for me to get adult CE groups running again.
And while we are on the topic of adult CE, yes -- Better Start is only for children under the age of 7. But those of us following changes to disability services in Australia and getting excited about the pending NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) see Better Start as indicative to how the NDIS might run -- and more importantly, indicative as to what services might be funded. Wouldn't it be amazing it Conductive Education was one of those services? Showing demand for CE, having various CE programs and styles of service provision in the private and the non-profit sector happening around the country, and demonstrating that families choose to spend their precious funding on CE as funded through Better Start is an important political move with NDIS around the corner for everybody with an interest in CE, not just for children under 7.
Please keep your questions and comments coming -- and thank you for your support and excitement as Transformations takes on this new challenge. I have big plans for Transformations, and it is exciting times for Conductive Education -- watch this space!
Waxing physically and philosically...
After literally years of deliberation, and as a result of some delicate and some less delicate prodding, this blog is my effort to organize - to bring together - my thoughts about my work as a conductor and as a personal trainer, to rant and rave as necessary, to celebrate the little things and the larger moments of brilliance, and to share some conductive magic and life lessons gained through 'waxing physically and philosophically'.