Brett grew up practicing jazz and ballet, and has always been fairly active - her parents both work out every day- but started focusing on her health after being diagnosed with severe food allergies in her early 20s, and then Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a genetic collagen disorder, at age 27. She is currently a recruiting consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton and has recently launched her own career coaching business, BGC Coaching, but her dream is to find a job that will utilize her language skills and keep her active! Fun fact: Brett was a guest at the 2006 NATO Summit in Riga, Latvia. When she's not coaching, working, or working out, you can find Brett either cooking a delicious allergen-free meal or curled up with a good book, good wine, and her adorable cat, Franny.
We talked to Brett about how The Studio (MDR) has encouraged her feel more empowered in her life, and how the megaformer was an essential part of her fitness routine leading up to her big day!
What brought you to The Studio (MDR)?
I moved to Marina Del Rey about a year ago and had been practicing reformer Pilates for around 3 years, following surgery on my abdomen. I knew that Pilates was helping me develop strength and balance, but wanted to challenge myself to something more. The Studio was across the street from my husband's first apartment, and I would see these amazingly fit women leaving each class and think, "Wow, what are they doing in there?!" I will be honest, I took one class thinking I could keep up, and I was completely intimidated- I felt like an impostor! A few months later, I emailed Lisa and explained that I was looking to step up my workout game. I also explained to her that I have a genetic connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), and complications involve loose/subluxed joints, low blood pressure, and chronic pain and fatigue, as well as difficulty building and retaining muscle. Lisa invited me to the introduction class with Lindsay, and the entire staff could not have been more supportive or empathetic! And I saw results after one class. I felt like the instructors really listened to me and respected my boundaries - all while pushing me to do my best!
What do you love most about the Megaformer workout and how has it helped your EDS?
I love the sweat- just look at the Megaformer after a workout and it's immediate gratification! Because you are pushing yourself to the limit, there is an enormous sense of accomplishment after completing each sequence, and especially after each class! It is very low impact on my joints and there are always modifications, which are encouraged if you have injuries or other physical limitations. In fact, I often drop to my knees in certain moves as that allows me to isolate my lower abs without over straining or hyper-extending other parts of my body. I have seen a huge increase in muscle tone and balance, and am able to target muscles that tend to "under-fire," like my hamstrings, which helps protect my hips and low back and balance my quads.
What was your fitness routine leading up to your wedding?
I tried my best to do the Megaformer 3 times per week, and supplement a light bike ride or walk on the other days. (It would not be healthy for me to perform intense workouts on consecutive days.) I would usually do a 2.0 at least once per week and stick to the All Levels class for the others.
Has training at The Studio (MDR) positively affected other aspects of your life?
Besides boosting my body image, it has definitely given me more confidence. Believe me, there are times when I've felt defeated if I couldn't hold a move in class, but more often I am proud of what I am able to accomplish. We all need to be kinder to ourselves, and it helps that I have such a fantastic support system in all of the trainers and Lisa. I have never felt like a failure because I had to modify a move. In fact, I feel empowered- this is a TOUGH workout, and while I may not be able to do a megaformer workout every day or even every other day, I know I've left all I can on the machine. It's cathartic!