I’ve had a fortunate life. A life which sees me able to pursue my wildest dreams. I’m supported by my own smarts, passion and commitment to realising the best me I can be, a creative, clever and loving partner and ditto family, and not too much standing in my way other than the usual 24/7 slog of building a business. I cannot imagine having my dreams ripped away from me in seconds by a catastrophic accident. An accident that would see me having to reshape my everything – my vision for a future, my daily motivation, the very things which helped define me as a person.
Our newest TDL Goddess, Stephanie Prem, was dealt that cruel hand. Her life’s plan was changed irrevocably when a disastrous landing at her first appearance representing Australia as a snowboarder at the Vancouver Winter Olympics left her unable to pursue a career as a professional sportswoman. How she’s come to terms with developing a new life plan and committed herself to turning it into a reality, provides inspiration for us all. Studio PP, and the PP stands for Premium Performance btw, was born out of her accepting that she had to walk away from sport and rather rehab her body for ‘life’.
These words from a poster in her fab luxe fitness and wellness space in Melbourne’s South Yarra, sum up an attitude we should all embrace:
Fitness isn’t a punishment; it’s a blessing. Nutrition isn’t restrictive; it’s healing. Health isn’t a one-size-fits-all and may not look the same for everyone but it’s worth fighting for.
When you’ve read Steph’s story, tap into her pearls of wisdom on her blog site, and for mine, my life’s mantra is also Steph’s:
WAKE UP, KICK ASS, BE KIND, REPEAT.
2010 had to have been the best and the worst year of your life. It was the year that saw you make your Winter Olympic debut in Vancouver as a snow boarder, and that very event which robbed you of your professional career after a disastrous landing resulted in 5 broken ribs, 2 compressed discs, an L5 fracture, a dislocated hip, severe spinal whiplash, bone bruising and more. How did you find the mental strength to overcome such a devastating injury?
sp: Without the mental strength the physical recovery is not possible and it took me a really long time to work this out! I was in denial about how bad my injury was for a really long time it wasn’t until I made the decision to walk away from sport and rehab my body for ‘life’ and my future as opposed to just for returning to sport, did I actually start to recover. I had all this motivation, vision and enthusiasm and nowhere to channel all my energy as my body was not physically capable so I decided to channel it all into my business and that also helped me get through the tough time of my energy. I also surrounded myself with friends and family who were really supportive.
My sister was in a car accident nearly four years ago and still suffers chronic head pain and I admire her strength in pursuing a solution to its debilitating effects. How do you deal with the chronic pain that still plagues you on a daily basis?
sp: Your poor sister! I can relate – this year has been my best yet and off pain killers (after 4 years). Now I’ve had to put really strict management and non negotiable into my weeks to make sure the chronic pain does not take over my world (as it can sometimes working a very physically demanding job)
I swear by acupuncture and myotherapy, heats packs, gravity float epsom salt pods, Pilates and functional exercise and a good amount of sleep! These are all weekly rituals of mine and without them my body hates me! So it’s just finding the right balance each week, each month and listening to my body – I’m the first to admit its easier said than done!
Is it traditional or alternative medicine, or a combo of the two, which delivered the best result?
sp: Combo originally, but these days it’s a holistic approach. But I’ve tried everything from valium, codeine and sleeping pills to interpretive dance, meditation, Pilates and Chinese herbs to get my body back. An open mind was the key to recovery for me and trying lots of different techniques to find what worked.
Instead of Olympic Gold as your end game, you’ve now got women’s health in your sights with the launch of Studio PP, a fab luxe fitness space in Melbourne’s South Yarra, which embodies your commitment to a holistic approach to fitness and good health. What’s the magic formula?
sp: My formula or ‘mantra’ if you will is FUNCTION, LIFESTYLE & BALANCE.
We all want to function better and live a healthier and happier lifestyle and find the right work-life balance. I believe a combo of all these things is the secret formula to finding the most premium version of yourself and performing at your best. My studio offers an open minded approach to a modern but holistic healthy love affair – reformer Pilates, mat Pilates, yoga, bootcamp,boxing, nutrition and massage. At Studio PP you are not a number, the programs and classes are designed to help you on your health and wellness journey and effortlessly become part of your life.
We know that knowledge is key to making healthy choices. Are there common misconceptions about health and fitness you would like to blow out of the water?
sp: You have to put in the work – there is no QUICK FIX. Are you willing to change habits and get uncomfortable? If not your health, weight and fitness will never improve.
Melbournites can enjoy Studio PP now but can we expect online access to your Premium Performance training methods down the track?
sp: Absolutely. Small workouts are available on my blog premium-performance.com and I’m currently the fitness expert for Priceline pharmacy where you can download free workout planners and videos on youtube….
PP methods online will be the next step.
What does a day on a plate look like for you?
sp: BREAKFAST: chia pudding or poached eggs, veg and avo
LUNCH: salad and poached eggs or anything with avo
SNACKS: green juice and bliss balls (recipes from Steph’s blog available here)
DINNER: salmon/fish and veg and/or quinoa
What’s your favourite workout gear? Is designing your own on the agenda?
sp: No I think I will leave this one to the experts for now – I’ve got enough on the cards for now The Upside, Cotton On Body, Lululemon and Nike are my everyday go-to’s.
What’s your go-to look when you’re out of gym-gear?
sp: Boyfriend jeans, a white tee, Converse and a leather biker jacket.
Do you have a muse in the fitness and health world?
sp: I really just admire powerful hardworking women who swear by health and fitness to keep them at the top of their game and are not afraid to admit that. I admire Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Anniston, Kate hudson, Iza Goulart to name a few, they are all walking talking embodiments of a healthy balanced lifestyle!
We get such a kick out of the girl power movement, what is it for you about women helping other women that is so enticing?
sp: Women understand women!!! We can lift each other up and we can pull each other down – I prefer to be on the uplifting side! I want to inspire and encourage other women to be involved, have a voice, have a crack and not be afraid to prioritise themselves and be the best version of themselves in health, fitness and in life.
And TDL would like to know:
Your daily mantra
WAKE UP, KICK ASS, BE KIND, REPEAT.
Your go to Instagram accounts
Your favourite bloggers
Zoe Foster Blake (writer)
Eat in or eat out?
If my husband is cooking – IN
If I’m cooking – OUT
Top 3 fitness tips
1. Function, 2. Lifestyle, 3.Balance
Functioning well needs to be part of your lifestyle – health, fitness and wellness and finding the right balance of all three is key.
Top 3 healthy eating tips
1. Follow the 80/20 rule (Put simply, the rule goes that you choose to eat healthy foods 80 per cent of the time, which then allows you to indulge in your favourite treats 20 per cent of the time)
2. Routine and food prep are key
3. Enjoy healthy eating and reward yourself accordingly and don’t feel guilty about it.
A cheeky white or a mellow red?
Pinot Noir. I’ve converted.
Your signature perfume
Gucci – Envy Me.
What music are you playing today?
Obsessing over La belle mix-tapes (on YouTube and Sound Cloud) – they are the best to workout to, but you will always find Britney and Beyonce on my playlists too.
Your favourite TDL piece
images via Steph Prem, Billabong, Dan Himbrichts, Premium Performance