CBW – What is your background in terms of practising or teaching fitness or mind-body exercise?
CH -I have always been involved in exercise and sport of some kind and have tried many things. Tae Kwon Do, aqua-aerobics, touch football and yoga are but a few. Team sports were never really my thing. In 2001 I started working out in a gym doing quite a bit of weight training and loved it. So much so that in 2004 at age 43 I competed in a Natural Bodybuilding competition. I came third in my category which for me was a great feat. I was happy just to be able to get on stage.
I have become more interested in mind-body exercise in recent years and have participated in Body Balance classes and yoga. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2009 I became much more interested in the wellness side of exercise not only for the body but the mind as well. Then I discovered ChiBall.
CBW- How did you get involved with ChiBall?
CH – During and following treatment for breast cancer I found it very difficult to exercise. Surgery had left me with quite a few limitations and I had severe fatigue from Chemotherapy. But I missed my exercise and knew I had to get back to it. I had been searching for an exercise program that would be suitable for someone like me.
On a visit to the Point Cook Community Centre I saw a flyer for ChiBall. I had never heard of it but was intrigued. So with flyer in hand I Googled ChiBall to see what it was all about. Harmony, balance and well-being, the philosophy behind the ChiBall Method was exactly what I was looking for. I found Krystal Lutze’s ChiBall website and registered for a class and have not looked back since. It is the best thing I’ve ever done.
CBW – What benefits have you seen or felt in your life since becoming a participant and/or instructor of The ChiBall Method?
CH – Benefits, where do I begin? I started classes with Krystal in February this year (2010). At the time I was still struggling quite a bit with my health and undergoing treatment. I was quite depressed. ChiBall has helped me to regain a sense of well-being. It is mindful, the exercise is of great benefit and most of all it’s fun. I love the coloured balls. The pink one is my favourite.
When I started classes I had limited movement in my upper body but as the months have gone by the movement in my shoulders and chest have improved markedly. So has my sense of well-being. The mediation and relaxation has helped me to focus on the good things and let the bad stuff go. The fatigue has also subsided and I put it all down to ChiBall. Krystal’s class was and still is the best hour of my week.
Breast cancer is a journey. I’ve found another journey, the ChiBall journey and it has helped me to overcome the stress of breast cancer. I am so passionate about the benefits of the ChiBall Method I’ve decided to become an instructor so I can share my experience with others. I began my training in October.
CBW – What is your favourite part of the programme?
CH – I love it all but my favourites are Tai Chi and ChiBall dance. I find the Tai Chi very relaxing and the ChiBall dance is fun. The fact that the program is based on the philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine makes it unique and gives it more meaning.
CBW – What kind of people do you want to work with and teach?
CH – I want to work with and teach other women who have had breast cancer. Exercise and well-being are essential to staying well after breast cancer. The ChiBall Method combines both of these things. The beauty of the progam is that it’s suitable for all ages and levels of fitness and can be modified to suit most needs.
I want to be able to provide support in a caring environment for people trying to get their health back on track. This is what ChiBall has given me. Everyone I have met who is involved in the program is caring, kind and supportive. It seems the philosophy of the program engenders this in those who become involved.
CBW – Do you have a favourite pose or sequence?
CH – The Swallow is one of my favourite moves, it gives me such a sense of freedom. I also love the Storm for the energy (chi) it creates.
CBW – How are you looking to deepen and take your practise forward in the future?
CH – First of all I’m going to complete my Practical Intensive Training. Once that is done I intend to complete the Seasonal Courses and Modality Courses. I have become very interested in Traditional Chinese Medicine since becoming involved in ChiBall and would like to study more in this area. Where all this will take me, I’m not sure. It’s all part of my ChiBall journey.
CBW – What would you say to people who are starting a ChiBall class, or are considering becoming an Instructor?
CH – Do it, Do it, Do it! ChiBall improves your health, mental attitude and well-being. It’s a way of life. You will meet wonderful people and it could change your life for the better. It did mine.
CBW – Thanks for sharing your remarkable story with us.