I know what it’s like to have your confidence shattered and want to just give up. In 2010 I gave birth to baby no 3, Elizabeth . A few months after, keen on getting back into my normal jeans, I took up walking with one of my girlfriends. Walking turned into slow jogging which turned into me signing up for a 0 -46k 20-week programme with a local club and the Dublin city marathon in Oct 2010. I was feeling confident and energised by my new found freedom. I was getting out of the house a couple of times a week and was beginning to feel bullet proof again! Family life was great, Mum was happy so too were the rest of the crew. Then training started to intensify and the mileage started to creep up. Aches and pains were now par for the course. All the runners I knew were sharing stories of the knee niggles and back pain after each training session over a cup of tea back in the club house.
On one particular training session we were required to run 18 miles, the group I was running with that evening had two 9 mile loops around the country roads in Dunleer, Co Louth. It was a beautiful August evening and I had completed the first lap unscathed, then ¾ of the way around the second loop I peed myself, a lot! At first I actually didn’t know what was happening. Realisation quickly turned to mortification and complete shock and horror. I moved slowly to the back of the line and composed myself. I hoped I could get back to the club house and my car without anyone realising what had happened to me. It was a long lonely 2 miles to the car, feeling like a failure. I sped home, ran into the house, showered and didn’t speak to anyone about what had just occurred. I felt a sense of loss, isolation and a total loss of control.
I finished the training though and completed the marathon. It’s funny really, whilst I was back wearing my skinny jeans again and looking fit on the outside, I was far from fit on the inside. After the marathon I went back to my obstetrician for check up and was told to allow the body time to heal She showed me how to do my pelvic floor exercises correctly. We are all given a leaflet in the hospital describing how to do them but when you are shown its a different ball game. So much clarity! I seriously would recommend everyone to have one check up with a women’s health physio to steer them the right way!!!
What was I thinking really? I had rushed back into a high impact sport too soon after having a baby and now realise the repetitive pounding wasn’t good for my core. Being an Engineer I’ve been taught to look for solutions to problems and I spent the next few years researching the issue, attending conferences and engaging with the medical professions in this area. To me there was a disconnect between the sports industry and the medical world and information, education was not readily available to women who need to protect their foundation. I searched online forums and found literally millions of women feeling just like I did. The need for stylish supportive sports wear was apparent, sportswear that would protect their core and prevent irreversible damage. EVB Sport was set up to do just that! A company that would support women in mind and body. Since our Dragons Den appearance in 2014 we have gone from strength to strength selling in over 29 countries worldwide.
Its not until things go wrong do you understand the importance of the pelvic floor muscles and all around it. The body is an amazing machine and I love working in this fascinating field. There is so much to learn and every woman’s body is different. I see young Mums out now pressurising themselves to get back in shape and feel like themselves again. They don’t realise that they might be causing irreversible damage to themselves. I haven’t ran another marathon since – yes a few half marathons and maybe there is one more in me but there is one thing for sure I want to continue being active and sporty just like my Mum well into her 70’s. I know I can do that with my EVB’s. Nothing will keep me younger and stronger than a fit core!
EVB Sport is an Enterprise Ireland Client and has undertaken Clinical Trials in Trinity College Dublin, Royal College of Surgeons and Dublin City University.