Our MyFit Blog aims to engage and inform so that we can collectively empower everyday athletes to better their best with every run.
#MyFitStory – with SARAH WALL
While most of us may not have the drive or talent to pursue sport at an elite level, there are far more parallels between the weekend warrior or morning jogger and the elite athlete than you’d first think.
For Sarah Wall, fitness has been a part of life for as long as she can remember. A keen athlete growing up, it was playing netball where Sarah really shone. Early on, her resilience was tested when Sarah experienced her first serious knee injury at age 14. Forcing her to have time away from the game fuelled her desire to play even harder. It was this desire, combined with talent and hard work that saw Sarah named captain of her State underage team then later recruited to play at the elite level.
Throughout her career, Sarah played for the Melbourne Phoenix, Queensland Firebirds, The Melbourne Vixens, the NSW Swifts and Giants. In 2010, as her career was at a peak, injury would again see Sarah side-lined with her second ACL injury. Shortly after, in 2012, Sarah received the news that she no longer had a position at The Melbourne Vixens.
This news compelled Sarah to train even harder, with the goal of proving her critics wrong. Sarah threw herself into training with renewed focus. In fact, she pushed so hard, that she fell ill, contracting Bell’s Palsy which required six weeks of bed rest to recover. At this point, Sarah knew it was time to shift focus – not easy when you’ve trained virtually your whole life for a career that’s suddenly hit a wall.
This is Sarahs #MyFitStory…
“This was a chance to teach me about other opportunities in life”
In the ensuing months, Sarah began building NETFIT. A qualified teacher, Sarah saw the opportunity to build a netball-based approach to fitness, developing drills and programs combining high intensity interval training with netball-specific movements and plenty of fun. Sarah explains, “I thought this was something I wish I’d had access to, growing up.”
“My passion is netball. I love it. I live and breathe fitness and health and I love people.”
Watching Sarah in action with a class of young players, it’s difficult not to be swept up in the energy and excitement she brings from start to finish. Sarah calls NETFIT her ‘bubble of happiness’ and it’s hard to argue as she skips across the court, leading a series of high intensity drills on a chilly Melbourne afternoon.
When Sarah fell ill, it occurred to her that perhaps, in trying to prove herself to the world, she was aiming at the wrong audience. This has helped her focus the message she now delivers to young players; encouraging them to not only work hard but also to listen to their bodies and rest when they need to. She also extols the benefits of setting goals in order to prove something to yourself rather than others.
“Life sometimes doesn’t go your way but never give up and find the fun in everything you do.”