Client Of The Year – Eve Donohue

Many of you know Eve, or have done many a Pilates class with her not even knowing her history. Even on Eve’s worst day she was still a delight to have in the studio with her cheeky Irish whit.  She hobbled in the PP door on crutches and left a year later with a spring in her step and literally dancing out the door! Many would not believe what Eve has endured and her commitment and dedication to training and rehabilitation over a year enabled her to get some incredible results and life quality back physically but mentally.  An empowering and inspiring PP client winner we had to share her story and exciting updates!

Good luck with the next chapter back home in Ireland Eve, we Miss you at PP.

Eve, you have a fairly unique survivor story! If you feel comfortable can you share with us a little about your accident?

I work in TV and approximately two and a half years ago I had a really early start on set.  While crossing the road near work I was knocked down by a speeding drunk driver who ran a red light.  The actual incident is a bit of a blur now but I remember being hit on my right side, being thrown up in the air and being flat on my back when I opened my eyes.  I had landed right underneath a bus which had been stopped at the lights on the opposite side of the road.  I could smell the fumes and knew I was near a tyre so I screamed as loud as I could.  Luckily the driver had seen the incident and knew I was under there!  I was rushed to hospital by ambulance where they told me I had broken my right hip and leg.  The force of the impact completely shattered my acetabulum which is the ball and socket mechanism that holds the hip together. At the time I had no idea how long my recovery would take.  I remember telling my husband not to worry, I’d be back to work in a couple of weeks!  I was so naive.  In reality I lay flat in bed for six months, I couldn’t walk unaided for the first year, I was in constant pain, had five operations on my leg and hip, I still walk with a splint to this day and am still in pain.  I went from being a super active person who would always take the stairs and loved to walk for miles, to having the stamina and bones of a ninety-year-old.

How did Pilates contribute to your recovery mentally and physically?

Physically Pilates got me off my crutches and walking unaided.  It took time and I battled a few niggles here and there but I never felt so strong or so in touch with my body and what it is capable of.  I attended PP every second day for a year and it literally saved me mentally.  It was like a sanctuary I could escape to and it gave me a purpose every morning.  During class I felt normal and it allowed me to forget about my injuries because I felt really strong again.  I owe a huge part of my recovery to Steph and the support I received at PP.  I honestly wouldn’t be where I am today without it.

What would be your advice to anyone struggling with injury big or small be? 

I had never done Pilates until I met Steph.  I lived next door to PP and used to hobble past on my crutches and I’d noticed the sign and people going in and out.  It took me a few months to pluck up the courage to go in.  When you’ve got lots of complicated injuries it is easy to get bogged down in them and just do nothing.  Everybody you see for physio or rehab tells you something different and it can be so overwhelming.  I was so afraid of being the only one in class with issues, afraid of holding things up or being a general pain for the instructors.  I wish now I hadn’t wasted time worrying about those things and just gone for it!  Turning up is often half the battle. Everything else will sort itself out.  I think I often overthought things in the early days, I was so worried about everything. So I’d tell others to just trust your gut, find a welcoming environment and just show up.

What does premium performance mean / feel / look like to you?

Premium performance for me is being the healthiest I can be inside and out. It doesn’t mean pounding the pavement for hours every week or restricting certain foods.  It’s finding what works for you to allow you to be your best self.  I feel a million times better mentally and physically when I’ve gone for a brisk walk in fresh air, eaten some really good wholesome food and had a strong coffee. One thing I’ve realised since the accident is how I really don’t need to run for miles every week to be happy.

Congratulations is order as you just gave birth (a few weeks ago) to your first baby Harry! How does it feel to be a mum and what are your health tips for healthy happy pregnancy?

Firstly if you’d told me in my darkest days after the accident that I’d be giving birth I’d never have believed you!  The accident and my pregnancy have taught me that my body is truly amazing and it can do incredible things.  I lay in that hospital bed thinking I might never walk again, never-mind have a baby!  I’ve only been a mum for 14 days but I am loving every minute. I think for me balance was key.  I am usually a pretty healthy eater but I just craved white carbs and sweet stuff during pregnancy.  I felt terribly guilty in the beginning for eating so much rubbish but I’ve had a healthy baby so I can’t complain.  I exercised right up to two weeks before the birth and I think that really helped me stay strong throughout the nine months. Birth is such a massive event.  Nothing could’ve prepared me for it really but because of my injuries I was pretty determined to get as strong as possible. Because I moved home to Ireland this year I wasn’t able to practice reformer Pilates during my pregnancy, but I found an awesome personal trainer who I worked with to maintain the foundations I’d laid with PP.  I really wanted a natural birth and I don’t think I’d have been able to achieve it without all the Pilates and strength training I’ve done over the last year and a half.  Thank you PP!

Steph Prem

Director & Founder

Steph is the founder and director of Premium Performance training method and owner and head trainer at Studio PP. Steph is a former Winter Olympian and spent 10 years of her life as a professional athlete. Steph’s passion for Pilates stems from a 4 year rehab stint (consisting solidly of corrective exercise and Pilates) following her career ending back injury in 2010. Steph has trained and worked alongside some of Australia’s industry leaders, has 15 years dance experience and is clinically trained. She lives and breathes health, wellness and an active lifestyle and is an embodiment of her brand.

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