Updated: April 2016
My name is Susanne Reinhold. I'm originally from Germany but have pretty much all of my adult life lived abroad, first in London, England and now in Canada.
I’m a mom of three children and the wife of a wonderfully supportive, and also German, husband.
Kangaroo Fitness sprung to life when our middle child was 1 year old, in the fall of 2010. What a ride it’s been and continues to be!
5 months pregnant with our first child, I came from England to Canada in November 2007 - with a degree in Social Work and work experience in the palliative care field. I’ve always been active (I was a bicylce messenger, did roller races and played Capoeira) and liked meeting people.
So the first thing I did in Ottawa was find a prenatal fitness class so I could meet potential new friends (I did) and remain physcially challenged during pregnancy (I did).
It was the first formal, one hour long fitness class I ever attended. It might have even been the first time that I had dumbbells in my hands. Anyway, I really got into it and soon became an instructor.
I also got pregnant again and kept on teaching until the end and I was back to it with my newborn daughter. When she was getting close to being a year old I felt the need to figure out what I wanted to do with myself and decided to start my very own business specialising in pre and postnatal fitness.
I love learning and growing so I got specialized training to treat diastasis recti – a separation of the abdominal muscles - and I got quite busy. Suddenly my clients weren’t happily lunging away with dumbbells in their hands or throwing cart wheels like me. Many of them had issues. Back pain. Pelvic pain. Pelvic Floor issues. They were worried about making it all worse from needing to carry kids and car seats. They didn’t feel at home in their bodies anymore. I knew those issues were complex.
So I wanted to learn more about the body and how it all works. I started to think about our life style and movement habits – or rather non-movement habits – and how this might effect what is happening to our bodies during and after pregnancy and childbirth.
And I realized that it isn’t so much that we need to go out and find the perfect 5 exercises to fix our body issues. Instead, we need to remind ourselves of the fact that our bodies were given to us to be used. On a daily basis. Not just from bed to kitchen chair to car to the desk chair and then straight to the gym to sweat it out and back to the couch. That clearly isn't enough. My clients demonstrated that well to me.
We need to move, and to move with good form, throughout the day for healthy backs, pain free pregnancies, easier childbirth, strong baby/car seat carrying bodies and ultimately to be happier and less stressed human beings.
So in April 2012 I officially became a student at the Restorative Exercise Institute (now called Nutritious Movement Center) to learn from Katy Bowman, biomechanist and writer, to apply knowledge of anatomy, physics and biology and to consider that in the context of our Western, sedentary life style. This allows us to understand the makings of our aches and pains and what changes we can implement to have functional, painfree and healthy bodies.
After months of study I travelled to California in January 2013 for an intense certification week and after passing the exams, I became a Restorative Exercise (RE) Specialist - one of 2 in Ottawa. I'm thrilled.
My quest for knowledge hasn't stopped there. I am currently in Year One of Peter Levine's teachings in Somatic Experiencing and in September I am starting to work towards my Masters in Social Work.
What comes after that and how Kangaroo Fitness will evolve? Let's see!