Real Talk: Midlife By Design

Ep | 32 It's Never Too Late To Discover Your Body's Amazing Abilities with Petra Fisher

March 22, 2022 Ericka, Curator of Zest / Petra Fisher, Movement Specialist Season 1 Episode 32
Real Talk: Midlife By Design
Ep | 32 It's Never Too Late To Discover Your Body's Amazing Abilities with Petra Fisher
Show Notes Transcript

Midlife is a time when everything changes and oftentimes it feels like all at once. One of the biggest changes is your physical body. 

There's new and unfamiliar aches and pains that comes along with a consistent sense of discomfort. Oftentimes, it can be chalked up as part of the aging process, but what if it doesn't have to be that way? 

In fact, what if nothing has to be the way it seems to be in a traditional midlife? What if you could feel good in your body while living out your sense of adventure in the process? 

Our guest today is a brilliant example of both being possible.

______________________________

Petra is a movement coach, that means she helps people move better all day long in ways that nourishes health and builds physical sustainability. 

She focuses on helping people improve function especially of joints and feet, so they can be better at movements our bodies need, such as walking, squatting and hanging. 

She also helps people build lifestyles with more movement all day long, instead of traditional exercise. 

Working on movement this way improves function, decreases risk of chronic issues like osteoarthritis and pelvic floor problem, and often helps decrease pain. 

Specifically, Petra is certified with Katy Bowman, a nutritious movement, functional range conditioning, and Kin Stretch.

Stay connected with Petra  and find out more about her work with the quick, access links below:

Website


Instagram


SPECIAL Bonus:

Build Better Feet Link

We're inspired to become the #1 Resource for Midlife Women. Go get access to articles, expert insights and more at  The Zestful Movement

Ericka (00:07):

Midlife, what does it mean to you? I believe that midlife is a place to recognize, reprioritize and redefine your purpose. It's a place of new beginnings, new personal growth and new adventures. Midlife is a chance to release your outdated labels and begin designing your second life journey. How? With heart centered experts, tangible tools and a supportive community. Why? Because if not now, then when? Now that's real talk. Hi, America, your host and curator of zest. Let's begin building your Midlife By Design together. If you're enjoying this content, leave a review on Apple Podcast and share this podcast with someone you care about too, as it truly helps to keep the zesty energy flowing. Visit thezestfulmovement.com, where you'll find more resources cultivated for your midlife journey.

Ericka (01:09):

Petra is a movement coach, that means she helps people move better all day long in ways that nourishes health and builds physical sustainability. She focuses on helping people improve function especially of joints and feet, so they can be better at movements our bodies need, such as walking, squatting and hanging. She also helps people build lifestyles with more movement all day long, instead of traditional exercise. Working on movement this way improves function, decreases risk of chronic issues like osteoarthritis and pelvic floor problem, and often helps decrease pain. Specifically, Petra is certified with Katy Bowman, a nutritious movement, functional range conditioning, and can stretch.

Ericka (01:58):

Midlife is a time when everything changes and oftentimes it feels like all at once. One of the biggest changes is your physical body. There's new and unfamiliar aches and pains that comes along with a consistent sense of discomfort. Oftentimes, it can be chalked up as part of the aging process, but what if it doesn't have to be that way? In fact, what if nothing has to be the way it seems to be in a traditional midlife? What if you could feel good in your body while living out your sense of adventure in the process? Our guest today is a brilliant example of both being possible. Petra, welcome to Midlife By Design.

Petra (02:38):

Thank you so much for having me. I'm super pumped to be here.

Ericka (02:40):

Yeah. And I have to say I'm really a fan of yours. I love watching you on Instagram because I think you show people what's really possible if we're really to have a gumption to go for it. So could you tell us, how did you go? Listen to this question, how did you go from being a lawyer to a movement coach as it seems that those two roles are extremely different?

Petra (03:04):

They couldn't really be more different, could they? The thing probably that's important to know about me is that I didn't really plan to become a lawyer. I didn't know what to do with myself at all in my twenties. And I decided I had to do something that was more responsible than waitressing. So I thought I would go to law school and do something that would make me some money, and get me some gravitas and just be a career. So I got into law and very shortly I realized I hated it, but I still didn't know what I wanted to do. So while that was going on, I did start to find a lot of stress relief in physical activity. And I'd never been a particularly active person, but I fell in love with running and the weight room at the gym and that was awesome, except that I immediately started getting injured and I started spending a lot of time in physiotherapy offices, and massage therapy and chiropractor and osteopathy, all of it because I had all of the injuries.

Petra (03:59):

So as soon as I started doing that, I was like, "Wow, bodies are really, really cool and interesting." And I suddenly started to see a bit of a path forward, but I still didn't really know what I wanted to do about it because I just been to law school and I was pretty invested in the corporate world.

Ericka (04:18):

Yes, absolutely that's a grueling path, right? So to go through that path, do all the work and then arrive at it and say, "Well, maybe not so much."

Petra (04:28):

Yeah. It was definitely a place where I think it wasn't terribly hard for me to leave though, because I was really lucky. I switched law firms. My first law firm I really liked, but it was very transactional and it was doing a type of law that I really didn't plan on doing. I wanted to become an energy lawyer, and the type of law that I was practicing there, their only energy lawyer was also a mining lawyer, so I ended up doing mining corporate law which really made me uncomfortable.

Petra (04:58):

So I transferred law firms to go and do climate change law, but the climate change law world, especially back then was super technical and really involved a lot of very intense contract drafting, and I was a baby lawyer and I've mostly done transactional work that is much more like project management. So I got to this new law firm, he was expecting me to draft these incredibly complicated agreements that I had no idea how to do. And the long and the short of it was that I got laid off and it was such a gift, Erica. It was awesome. It gave me time to think. I got a package. I got to go and explore. I tried a lot of volunteering, I volunteered on organic farms which was amazing. And I finally set myself a career goal of finding the lowest possible... what's the right word?

Petra (05:43):

I don't want to say lowest common denominator, but I wanted to find something that met my lowest criterion and I wanted to make a certain amount of money, but have enough free time to think about what I really wanted to do, and I wanted to find a place where I could stay and step back and think about my life. And I ended up finding that doing policy work in the government. So I moved into renewable energy, which was a place I wanted to work anyway. And I was there for about five or six years doing policy work and working in the energy field while I also continued to explore movement and my body, and ended up realizing that it wasn't just about manual therapy that was out there, there's also movement therapy. And as soon as I discovered the world of movement therapy, I was 100% all in. So I was working and learning at the same time. And then my transition happened as I got certified to teach movement.

Ericka (06:33):

That sounds like a beautiful synergy there. So do you find that because you had that really amazing opportunity to get laid off, if you will, that it [crosstalk 00:06:42] gave you space to explore, to really delve in and not feel the pressure, to move forward in something that really resonated with you.

Petra (06:51):

Yeah. Yeah. It was so helpful. It was really, really a gift in a lot of ways. It wasn't easy initially, but once I was able to reframe it and use it as the opportunity that it was, it was incredibly helpful.

Ericka (07:03):

I love that reframing. Reframing, that's so powerful and I'm trying... listening to you it's like I feel like if we can allow ourself the space to have the pause, we can have awareness and really feel what's resonating within us, then it's easier to reframe versus having to bite our tongue and move forward and just make it happen.

Ericka (07:19):

So what a lovely place for you to arrive in. And I think that's really apparent in watching you, that there's a lot of joy that comes forward in your learning and your sharing. So tell us a little bit, how was studying the mechanics and the anatomy of the physical body different from studying law and was it nicer because you could apply the knowledge as you were learning it?

Petra (07:41):

Well, it's so different from studying law. There's almost nothing to compare between the two of them because law is all reading and analysis, and studying movement is a combination. Every certification program's a bit different but for the most part it involves a lot more actual movement rather than theoretical analysis. I'd say that there's a lot of logic to both of them. And especially... So when you learn to teach movement, you mostly learn to do the movements that are involved in any protocol.

Petra (08:13):

You learn the exercises or you learn the reasoning behind the exercises and that's quite different from actually teaching the exercises. So I think you learn to teach movement after you're certified, once you're in a classroom in front of people actually trying to help people understand what you're trying to get at, you need to be able to embody that but you need to be able to talk about it too. And I think that's the place where you only learn that in person and maybe that's similar to law, because of course you only learn how to talk in front of a judge, in front of a judge. But yeah, they're just worlds apart really in terms of the education.

Ericka (08:48):

Yeah. I think that's fabulous though. It's really interesting. And it says that to people, it's just because you're in one place and even if you're there for a long time, but you don't have to be stuck. And especially if you're tuning in and realizing that it's not giving you what you really need, and it's okay to lean into something that adds more interest, adds more value in your life, so you can show up fully as the complete person.

Ericka (09:08):

So I love the story and I love the journey and I have to ask you, so as you delve into this whole movement world and you're using it on yourself, and learning more about the mechanics of the body, what's one thing that you discovered that was really amazing to you about the body in relation to acceptable daily pain? Because I really feel like we live in a society, it's like, "You're old, so you're in pain and that's just how it goes." So what is it that we need to know about acceptable daily pain?

Petra (09:36):

Oh gosh. Well, okay. I don't... Pain is a really, really interesting phenomenon, and when we were talking before this or when you sent me the questions, pain is very multifactorial. And so I think that's just a big aha moment right there that if your listeners aren't aware of it, pain and physical damage are not necessarily correlated. You can be in a lot of pain with zero physical damage, or no pain with a lot of physical damage and that's even more so with chronic pain than with acute pain. But even with acute pain, you could break your leg but if you're being chased by a bear, you probably can still run on that leg, your body won't even register the pain. So pain's really an interesting marker.

Petra (10:16):

We live in a culture that's very unmoving, by human physiological standards we barely move and we also miss out on a lot of other things that human, animals need. We don't have great community. We don't have great connection with the outdoors. We don't have an appropriate level of stress. And all of those are big pain contributors. So I work on pain from the movement point of view, which in my mind really means I work on function. What I want for my people is that we have hips that work like hips. And along the way, we typically find that pain decreases because movement input is a large part, but by no means the only part of the pain picture. So, when I-

Ericka (10:58):

Can I jump in just really quick?

Petra (11:00):

Yeah. Yeah, for sure.

Ericka (11:00):

That's right. I just want to ask you. So, I believe you said acceptable stress, right? So can we delve into that a little bit more because I think stress while we speak on it on a regular basis, I don't think we really recognize what's acceptable stress. And I think so many people are just living in it and assuming that's normal to feel that way, especially when we get into certain phases of life. So what is that? What do we need to know? What's a red flag?

Petra (11:27):

Oh gosh. Well, when you can't sleep because of stress, that's definitely an obvious giant red flag. And looking at acceptable level of stress is definitely not my area of [crosstalk 00:11:37]. But I'd say that right now we all have unacceptable stress. One of the best things I ever did in my life was stop watching TV and stop watching the news, and that right there is huge because it's so, so not helpful. But I think we all have too much stress, and the wrong types of stress because it's super interesting, there are great types of stress.

Petra (11:55):

Movement is a stressor for your body and you need to have stressors in order to grow, and in order to stay strong. And so there's definitely acceptable stress, but where the boundaries are, I think it varies and it's going to be tough to blanket statement that one.

Ericka (12:09):

Okay. Nope, I appreciate that. But some of the things looking for is just not being able to sleep and maybe being distracted, and not really being in yourself. Okay. That's good. Okay. I just had to ask, go ahead.

Petra (12:22):

That is okay. So I've lost my train of thought now, so maybe you can circle us back to-

Ericka (12:28):

Okay. So you were talking about you want your people to have functional movement, and you were speaking to the hips and I think, well, a lot of people can be like, "Oh yep, a lot of achy in that area." So, yeah. Who's do you continue?

Petra (12:39):

Yeah, totally. So yeah, if I was problem solving somebody with a pain issue, what I would be looking at is not only where does it hurt, but I'd be looking at where does everything in the chain that's associated with that part... how's it moving? Where is it working and where is it not working? Is it moving too much? Is it not moving enough? And I would work on that movement aspect and there again, along the way as our parts start to move better, we typically have fewer pain issues.

Petra (13:08):

So there's a real detective process to figuring out one's own pain issues. But it's pretty cool, because as much as there are other factors that lead into pain, it's certainly been amazing in my body how many both functional and pain issues have changed or gone away as I've gotten more into movement. It's been really cool.

Ericka (13:24):

That is cool. So would you say that someone's dealing with... they think they're dealing with a pain issue in a specific area but listening to you, it sounds like oftentimes it's a chain type situation. So maybe you're felling the pain in one area, but it's probably because something else has not good mobility or it's over mobile, would that be an accurate short summary of it?

Petra (13:46):

Yeah, I think that's pretty correct and just as an easy example, I gave myself tennis elbow when we were redoing our house a few years ago and that's stuck around, the pain isn't really there anymore, but it's really interesting because what's helped my elbow the most has actually been working on my shoulder blade and my shoulder. So that's an example of how the whole chain is connected and what you need to work on may or may not be the part that's hurting.

Ericka (14:13):

That makes a lot of sense. And so that's why I think it's important for people to be aware of you specifically, because they can delve into their bodies a little bit more. And in healing one part of the pain, they may discover they're actually improving other parts of their body and how it functions and moves. So with our sedentary lifestyle, what do you feel are some reoccurring things that are common specifically in midlife people, are there's some like, "Oh yep. That's what's happening there because of our lack of movement?"

Petra (14:41):

Oh my gosh. Yes. It's huge. And it's crazy. It's totally crazy. I think a really obvious one for women in particular is foot pain. Something... The statistics are really alarming and because women wear worse shoes than men, I'm going to blame most foot pain squarely on our shoe choices because women in particular wear shoes with heels, with very pointed toes a lot of the time. And when you wear shoes like that what happens is your feet tend to form into the shapes of those shoes, and can no longer or do what feet are supposed to do. So when you have feet that don't do what feet are supposed to do, your feet can hurt but the implications of that will go right up to your hips and your pelvic floor. So that's where you're getting your hip replacements and you're getting your prolapses, and you're getting pelvic floor issues. Incontinence is a huge issue in middle age women and all women, and it's not normal and it's completely treatable with better movement.

Petra (15:37):

And going up from there, you've got low back pain, absolutely often linked to shoe choices and even shoulder and neck issues because when we wear shoes with heels our walking stride changes into more of a falling forward type walk, and that effectively gives us a little bit of whiplash every time we take a step. So, that's another example of how it's all connected. It's crazy because you would never think that your calf length is going to be what's giving you migraines or neck pain, but it 100% could be related.

Ericka (16:10):

That's amazing. That's real amazing. So for... I have to go back to where you said our feet are not doing what they're supposed to do. So for our listeners you think, "Well, feet go into cute shoes," because that's [crosstalk 00:16:20] they do. Can you tell us what it...

Ericka (16:24):

And that's amazing too, I'm thinking, "Wow, feet. Pelvic floor issues." I thought when you're talking about knees and hips that makes sense to me. But when you go pelvic floor up, I'm like, "Wow, that is amazing." So could you tell us a little bit more about... So what exactly is it that our feet are supposed to be doing that we are no longer connected to in our modern society?

Petra (16:42):

Oh gosh. Okay. So a really big one is that they simply are supposed to participate in our walk and when you wear a shoe that is very rigid, our feet don't really move very much in our walk. And so I'm sure you've heard that we all should wear supportive shoes. We switched from high heels in our twenties to supportive shoes in our thirties and that weakens our feet. So our feet are completely taken out of the movement picture, they actually should be very supple and very responsive and very involved in every single step we take in walking. The big toe would be an obvious place to think about here. Your big toe should have some spread in it.

Petra (17:23):

And when your big toe spreads that actually helps support the arch muscles, and the arch muscles are essential in terms of the whole line that's going up from your big toe through your connected tissue right up to your pelvic floor. So when your big toe is pushed in with a shoe or with a bunion, you're losing the arch, you're losing the pelvic floor connection. So you definitely want to make sure that your big toe's doing what it should be doing if you are dealing with a pelvic floor issue.

Ericka (17:54):

That's amazing. Literally that's amazing. I can't believe I'm the only one that's like, "Wow, that is amazing."

Petra (18:00):

It's crazy. It's crazy. No one realizes it. That's what blew my mind when I first started studying movement, right? In gym class and this is another thing that I think is very common to women. What we learn in gym classes is how to play volleyball. And if you're not good at volleyball, you self select out of the physical world, right? You're like, "I'm not an exerciser." And so it means that a huge number of women, I think in particular lose a physical connection to our bodies, which is very important to our long term health because we were told in gym class, we learned the wrong things in gym class. We didn't learn how to nurture our body stream movement. We learned how to play volleyball or not play volleyball.

Ericka (18:39):

Isn't that amazing? We're on the beautiful part of the story. And I think the amazing part of our body is that once we do have that awareness that we're able to begin working, and I'm going to use the word and tell me if I'm incorrect, by restructuring, how we've structured our body through our choices and through our garments and our footwear. And we can begin to with new awareness restructure that so it's more supportive of our physical bodies. Is that correct?

Petra (19:03):

Yeah. I think that's a good way of putting it. We're incredibly adaptable. And one of the things that I don't think people realize is that if you look at hunter-gatherer society evidence, people who are grandparents in those cultures are often more physically active than the people who are parents of young children in those cultures, because what happens is the parents of young children look after the children and the grandparents are the ones who go out and get dinner. So there's zero... So, that's not quite true. There is a decline in physical ability that occurs through aging in all humans, but a much larger part of that decline is due to practicing being sedentary than we realize, and you can stay active and you can become active at every age.

Ericka (19:56):

Totally makes sense. And I think that's really inspiring because I do feel like the message in our culture is like, "No, you get old, you get old. You don't have to do anything because you are in pain," or, "Oh my God," the panic button hits, "I'm getting old." And then you try to go back and do all the things you did in your twenties and your thirties. And those things aren't necessarily serving of our physical body at this stage. So I love that you have the message of keep moving as you are in the body you have, and in doing so you're going to enhance how you feel, therefore enhance your life. And it's never too late to begin. Yeah. I love that. Oh, I love this conversation because I love the human body and I feel like we just don't give it enough attention because it's almost like our phones, right? They just do their things and we're like, "Oh, Okay, that was done." But we don't truly have an understanding.

Ericka (20:47):

And when we have a little bit more understanding, we can be so empowered in our physical body the way it is. And I think have more appreciation for it, therefore taking better care of it. So what a beautiful message, thank you, Petra. And I have to add on, I really think the beauty of your story is that you... in helping yourself and having the courage to pause and go a little deeper into what was going on with you, learning about that, becoming passionate about that. You've also been able to help so many other people with your tools. So, but what have you discovered? Living without the pain that you were having, it gave you a little more space, I believe to be more adventurous.

Ericka (21:26):

And one of the things you do is explore the world in your Toyota 4Runners, and what has that been like? Because I watch that from my home in suburbia and I'm like, "That's amazing." So could you tell people a little bit more about that aspect of your life and how that came about?

Petra (21:42):

Yeah, for sure. And I think you're right. I think that my journey definitely was one from, I want to my pain and now I'm at the stage where what I'm really interested in doing is building, or I even moved through building sustainability. I feel like I'm pretty sustainable now. Now I'm like, "I want to build robusticity so I can do crazy things." So I actually started surfing this year, which is about as crazy, an activity as you can do when you're 47, I think. So-

Ericka (22:04):

I second doubt.

Petra (22:07):

It's ridiculous. It's been super empowering because I don't think I would've even thought I could do that 10 years ago, so it's cool. So yeah, our travels have been really interesting. We don't have children, which I think gives you some different options in midlife. Although I've met many travelers who have children, so I don't think it's necessarily a reason not to travel if that's what you want to do. But about five years ago, we started looking at our lives and talking about what we really wanted. And we decided that what we really wanted to do was to travel the world. And I wanted to live outside in order to move more, in order to experience a more natural type of movement. And every time we went about camping, I was like, "I just want to live at camping. That's what I want to do." So we realized that we could make that happen. And we rented out our house in Toronto and we outfitted a 4Runners and we drove to Mexico and that was awesome.

Petra (23:03):

And then we drove back from Mexico because we hadn't seen the west of the States, so we drove back through the States, and then we drove back down to Mexico. And we were planning to go to Patagonia via all of the surf beaches in Central America, but then the pandemic hit. So we left our truck in Mexico. We flew back home. We sheltered here last year. And then we were like, "Well, we've got our truck in Mexico, we should probably get it." So we flew back down last year, picked up the truck and spent the winter there in Mexico again. And we drove back up this summer. So it was not the trip that we anticipated, but we did do a lot of camping and we've done a lot of surfing, and we've done a lot of outdoor living. So, that's-

Ericka (23:44):

That's fantastic.

Petra (23:45):

Yeah. It's been awesome.

Ericka (23:47):

Well, and your document it's so lovely on your IG. And I think it's just very inspirational. And for those who maybe aren't as adventurous and maybe don't want to give up some creature comforts, it's nice to be able to see the world and see it through your eyes, and how it is that you show up in it and the little dogie you meet along the way-

Petra (24:05):

Dear dogs.

Ericka (24:05):

... and the amazing rich pastries you find in Mexico, I'm like, "This is amazing." So... And of course the scenery. We live in a beautiful world and the scenery. So I appreciate you just sharing that and it's very inspirational. And for me, it lets me know that even in challenges, the world is still a great place. So thank you for highlighting that. And with that being said, can you think of your top three grace experiences in those travels of back and forth and up and down? Are there three things that stand out that you're like, "Yeah, I'm glad I'm doing this. This has been good for me."

Petra (24:39):

Oh, wow. Three special moments, it's all been a really incredible credible experience. It really truly... Okay. I think one of them, we were on a beach in Baja near Todos Santos. And we were having a margarita, which we don't do very often. And we realized that you can't travel in Mexico full time and behave as though you're on a two week trip in Mexico. So it was a special night for us. We were watching the sunset and Baja is home to many, many whales or at least their migration pathways. So as we were sitting there watching the ocean, whale started jumping just to maybe, I don't know, 700 meters out from the beach, and then dolphins started swimming by as well. So it was amazing. It was just amazing, Erica. It was so beautiful.

Petra (25:32):

Yeah, there's been so much. It's just been so special to have these opportunities to go and experience the world and to see how people live differently. I think Mexico is a country that has lots of challenges, but it has beautiful community and beautiful family and there's just incredibly warm culture that is so inspiring to me. People help one another in really meaningful ways that I don't see as much here back at home. And that was just incredibly inspiring for me and it's the spirit I want to bring into my life.

Ericka (26:03):

Yeah. I love that Petra, right now I have chills. You gave me chills saying that. And that's simply because I think it's so easy to become downtrodden because we're disappointed with the experience we're having, or it's so easy to only look at things through the lens that we understand and only see what's not good about a situation, but you have the courage and the understanding to go in and see what's beautiful, even in areas that are maybe different to your experience and take the good from that.

Ericka (26:30):

And I really think as a culture, as a human collective, as a global person, I think that's what we have to do to live in the world is to seek the beauty, seek what's wonderful, seek what's magical even in the things that we don't understand. So I think you personified that so well. And I think that's probably one of the reasons why I do enjoy watching your Instagram because I get that too. It's just opening up the eyes and seeing the world a little bit differently and appreciating it for what it is. So thank you for that. I think that's fantastic. But then I have one more question though.

Petra (27:05):

Go for it. Questions. I love questions.

Ericka (27:07):

Yes I do. I just think that's heartwarming, and I think we're losing that a little bit in today's society. So thank you for just shining the light on that for sure. But I have to ask you. So I have to imagine, I haven't never been in your situation, but I have to imagine if living in a home and you have all of this space and you decide, "Let's hit the road because I want to live out in the world." And you scale that all down into your 4Runner. I imagine there was probably a few little things that were like, "Huh, I didn't really expect that." So can you tell us what's one thing that took you back a little bit about living in that type of environment, and being a little more nomadic in your lifestyles. Is there one thing that you despise or have you been [crosstalk 00:27:49].

Petra (27:51):

Well, one of the challenges that I didn't fully anticipate was how temperature dependent my studio movement practices. So, what was interesting for me was I was like, "I'm going to go out and we're going to move so much and it's going to be amazing." And indeed we did lots of outdoor living and lots of hiking. And because we didn't have an enclosed band, all of our meals were outdoors and we live furniture free. So we have a very small ground table and we basically were down there squatting or on the ground to cook, and to prepare dinner as well as to eat. So, that's also where my movement practice had to happen. And it turns out that, if it's windy, if it's too sunny and hot, if it's too cold, it's actually not very fun to practice mobility or movement exercises.

Petra (28:39):

So it was really interesting because I realized quite quickly that the particular type of travel we chose was not going to help me get one of my major movement goals, which is my personal practice. So I'm switching to a van next time we do this.

Ericka (28:54):

So there you go, solution.

Petra (28:56):

Habit.

Ericka (28:56):

You go from the 4Runner to being fantastic, aren't that interesting? Yeah. Weather can definitely have an impact on how we move and whether we really want to or not. So I appreciate you bringing that up. And I have to ask you knowing what you know now, Petra, you have left your law profession sooner. Knowing what you know now, would you have left your law profession sooner and what is something that you would say to someone that's in their forties, their fifties, or even beyond about taking on their personal mid life dreams, even if it's out of the ordinary?

Petra (29:30):

Oh gosh. Well, I don't think I could have left it much sooner because I got fired pretty darn fast. And I can't say I would skip it either, because it's been incredibly useful in terms of some other things in my life. I met my partner through law and that's been a wonderful relationship for me. And I think understanding the corporate world has been useful in terms of developing my own business. So I don't know if I would've left earlier. We're really quite risk adverse.

Petra (30:02):

It doesn't look like it from the outside, but we didn't leave for our travels until we had a very solid financial plan and a really good spreadsheet that we felt we could probably rely on in terms of knowing that we weren't going to be broke in five years and I've kept working because I love my work more than anything else, but it's also really helpful to get some extra income. So, I think it's really awesome to follow your dreams, but I think it's really important to acknowledge how privileged that I've been, and how I've done a lot of back work to make sure that this can happen in a way that I feel safe and comfortable doing it.

Petra (30:43):

So, I recognize that there's a lot of caution around that. But having said all that, I think a lot of the time the reason that we don't have financial ability to follow our dreams for many, many people has less to do with how much money is coming in and much more to do with how much money is going out. And if you have a dream that you truly want and you're out there buying consumer goods that aren't necessarily getting you towards your dream, that's something to be very aware of, because I think that the dreams probably give you a lot more in the end than buying things. And so I guess my general thought on that would be if you want something you should absolutely go for it, and you should go for it in a way that... sometimes you got to make some difficult choices, but those choices can be really worthwhile in the end.

Ericka (31:34):

I think that's powerful, right? Because at the end of the day it always comes down to choices. So yeah. So if you want it, dreams are tangible. We just have to be willing to have a plan and be willing to make those choices that make it possible. So I love that. That's powerful and I don't think we hear that enough. So thank you for sharing that one for sure. So Petra, I could talk to you for two hours, but I'm not going to do that because I don't think [crosstalk 00:31:58].

Petra (31:59):

Well, I can keep talking.

Ericka (32:02):

Well, it's better to have you back and have more conversations because I love what you shared today. There's so much in there for me as like the whole pausing, the leaning into the moments to be aware and to really get into your passion, gain the knowledge that you need, work on that knowledge for yourself. And if it works, be able to share that with other people and then have that bigger vision and plan for that vision, so you can live the life that you truly want to live.

Ericka (32:26):

So I appreciate you for that so, so much. And can you tell the listeners how they can find out more about your offerings in your community. And how they can benefit from all of the creations that you have for them in their bodies?

Petra (32:39):

Yeah, for sure. I would say I'm probably most visible right now on Instagram and at Petra Fisher Movement on Instagram. And the best thing that I would recommend doing is picking up my foot boot camp or foot unboot camp as somebody once called it. It's a basic free way to start working on your feet and getting to understand movement in your body in a bit of a new way, and that's available through my Instagram links. And that's probably the best way to get to know me and my work and get introduced to maybe thinking about movement a little bit differently.

Ericka (33:10):

Fantastic. And sounds like... And what I love is, it's not too late, it's not too late getting your bodies, move your bodies and appreciate yourself for where you're at and where it is you want to go. So I have to ask you a last question. My favorite question always, because everyone shows up so differently in their answer. How is it Petra that you define zest? And I also think you work so much zest, so I'm really curious on this one. How is it that you define zest in your life?

Petra (33:39):

Such great question and such a big one. I think... Oh man, Erica, there's just so much I could say about that. I think for me it's really about engaging in your passion and being out there and being active and sometimes going through hard things, going through those learning curves and being humble and being able to learn again at any age.

Petra (34:04):

I think that beginner's mind that you've talked about elsewhere is so important. And we're at this really interesting age right now where it is an opportunity if we want to take it to reinvent and restore and redefine, and get what we want out of life. This is our opportunity and I think that's what it is, it's reaching out and seizing it and looking for it and soaking it in and being there for it, because if you don't look you're going to miss it.

Ericka (34:30):

Yes. And I think that's a beautiful way to wrap such an informative, inspiring and moving conversation. Petra, you are wonderful. I'm so grateful we finally have the opportunity to connect. Thank you for being here on the podcast and I'm just grateful for you. Thank you so much.

Petra (34:49):

Well, I'm thrilled as well, Erica, and thank you and I love your work and I'm super, super stoked to keep following you and seeing where you go to in your own exciting journey.

Ericka (34:57):

Thank you so much. I appreciate you holding space for these conversations to help you rediscover the essence of who you're capable of becoming so you can choose to live your life authentically without apology. Want transcripts for this podcast? Visit the zestfulmovement.com where you'll also find more resources cultivated to guide you in reprioritizing and redefining yourself for your design second life journey on The Zestful Movement blog. You can also become part of community by joining our weekly Essence of Zest Newsletter during your visit to this site. Until next time, please do keep it zesty.