Team Member Spotlight – Emily Georgopoulos

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Emily Georgopoulos

Emily Georgopoulos has decided 2018 is a year to branch out.

But her many POGO clients and Pilates faithful should fear not.

It won’t be a seismic change such as a new career or departure from the Gold Coast, it’s probably more likely as simple as finding a new hobby, preferably one in which the 27-year-old can switch herself off from physiotherapy for just a few hours a week.

Emily is the first to admit her focus has been trained on physiotherapy since she was a teenager and she can pinpoint Grade 9 as the year she decided to go down that path.

“Because I knew I wanted to be a physio from such a young age, my whole existence has been around achieving that goal and I’ve been very focused,” Emily says.

“This year I’m looking to find some other interests, I’m not exactly sure yet.

“I love reading but I find myself choosing self-help books and leadership books and stuff along those lines. That’s the thing, I find a way to tie everything to physio.

“I need to find something totally random, like knitting.”

Emily has set herself to do parkrun every Saturday morning this year and getting back into running, while enjoyable, hasn’t provided that escape she’d hoped for.

“As a physio you overthink everything you do,” she says.

“Every step you take when you run you’re thinking about your foot, knee, hip. Is this working? What’s that pain?

“The key is trying to get out of your physio brain and really enjoy the exercise you are doing. I find that hard.

“Even when you are running or walking you’re watching everyone else. You’re thinking ‘oh, that’s a bit weird’ or you want to give someone a tip or something but it’s not always your place.

“You’ve always got your physio hat on. That’s something I struggle with – trying to switch it off sometimes.

“And what I love the most is just seeing people having a go … in Pilates, in running, in anything.

And what I love the most is just seeing people having a go … in Pilates, in running, in anything. #performbetter @pogophysio Click To Tweet

“And just because a person is a certain shape or build … that is not a predictor at all of how they’ll perform physically. I love that about the human body.”

Emily says her path to POGO was probably pre-ordained given her dad was a client of Brad Beer’s and she manned the front desk in an administration role while she was studying at Griffith University.

“I was pretty lucky to see what physios did at a private practice because all of the uni’s placements were in the hospitals,” she said. “And that’s how I knew I wanted to work here when I finished my degree.”

It was also during this time she developed a passion for Pilates which has seen her considered by many as the unofficial guru of the Pilates room. And there wouldn’t be too many arguments from the other POGO physios on that front.

So popular are Emily’s classes you would probably have more hope getting tickets to an Adele concert than to chance upon a vacancy in one of her Pilates sessions which are relaxed, encouraging, chatty … and ultimately rewarding.

her Pilates sessions which are relaxed, encouraging, chatty … and ultimately rewarding. #performbetter @pogophysio Click To Tweet

“I love Pilates,” she says.

“While I worked in admin there was a physio here, Helen, who was really passionate about Pilates and she taught me all about it. We’d come in early and do Pilates together so I’ve been doing it for more than 10 years.

“Generally speaking I see the best outcomes for my clients from Pilates and that’s why I love it so much.

“I teach it but also do it myself two or three times a week, so I practice what I preach.

“And I like to talk a lot, I’ve always been that way.”

Emily’s final placement before completing her degree was at the Mater Mothers’ Hospital in Brisbane and it was during this time her exact direction revealed itself – women’s health, particularly pregnancy and post-natal.

“Having a baby is a miracle. It is so difficult for some people to even fall pregnant and being able to fall pregnant is an amazing thing,” she says.

“Women then have to do this thing, they get all these aches and pains and crazy things that happen so I like to try to make that process as pain free and as easy as possible.

“Keeping people exercising is a big part of that, guiding them with what exercises are safe and how to do them.

“And then there are different hands-on techniques and bracing and things like that. A lot of it is education because you only experience your own pregnancy. I’ve helped so many pregnant women you can start to recognise patterns and offer recommendations.

“Even for one woman, each pregnancy can be so different. You never know what to expect.

“And it’s a great privilege to help in that process.

“It’s about making it through those nine months.

“And then I get to meet the babies which is one of the highlights.

“Most ladies then come back afterwards to do some Pilates or a lot of them come back to get the all clear to be able to get back to exercise.

“That’s a big part of what I do, a final check.”

Emily casts her mind back to what set her along the path to physiotherapy, a decision that dictated she take all the science subjects at Emmanuel College on the Gold Coast in a grade where she was the only girl doing physics. It was swimming.

“When I was a teenager I used to swim,” she says.

“But I was never really good, well not good enough to go anywhere with it. I never quite got the times or had a real talent for it.

“I wanted to work out a way I could stay involved in swimming, without the swimming, if that makes sense.

“To be honest I was never that competitive but I loved swimming, I probably didn’t always like the racing side of it.”

Wanting to learn more about the mechanics of it and become a person who could help swimmers, or any other athletes for that matter, was the lightbulb moment.

As for further study, a Masters in Women’s Health is on the cards but finding the right time to make the commitment to either the one-year course or three-year option will be the decision.

“I’ll do it eventually. I just don’t know when,” she says.

“I’m pretty content, I’m kind of doing my dream job now.

“When I ask myself ‘what’s my dream job and what do I want to build towards?’ Is it teaching Pilates, seeing pregnant women or treating necks and stuff? Well I’m doing all of those things.

“It makes goal setting a little bit hard because I’m doing all of those things now.”

Neale Grundy

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