Mora McGovern is Scotland’s first Certified Foundation Training Instructor and teaches private and group classes at her thriving business near Aberdeen. She coaches people in Foundation Training body weight exercises – helping them to improve their posture and flexibility, providing a long-term cure for the back pain and muscular tension caused by sedentary lifestyles, and ultimately enabling her clients to discover their strength.
Mora says: I can’t say I’m an early riser. I’ve always struggled to get out of bed and it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier with age! Most of the time I’m up around 8am and either head straight to work to teach a client or, if I’m not working until later, I generally do something active. I might do a Foundation Training session or go for a swim, run, or cycle, depending on how much time I have. I drive to my studio where I teach my private clients, and the time I start varies hugely day to day; it just depends who I have booked in. I don’t have a work lunch ritual, but my favourite snacks are carrot sticks with hummus, nuts and cheese – I love cheese! I’m not one for routine, but prefer to mix things up from day to day.
I’ve always been fascinated by anatomy and the human body, but something never really added up for me through university and afterwards during my work as a Personal Trainer. When I discovered Foundation Training it really was a light bulb moment: the knowledge I had built up suddenly seemed to make sense and, particularly following the Instructor Certification in New York in October 2015, I knew straight away that this was what I was supposed to do with my life. That sounds a bit cheesy, but it’s true! I came from a Sport Science degree and Personal Training, but people become Foundation Training Instructors from all walks of life. My two fellow Scottish instructors, Isla and Kat, have both come along very different paths to me – Isla from a dance background and Kat from nursing. If you want to get into this work you need to learn the exercises, practice them, experience what it does to your body and see if it becomes your passion. If it does, go for it, you won’t regret it!
The best part of my job is when a client I saw the previous week comes in with a big smile on their face, saying they feel great. You can’t beat that! My least favourite part is the coooonstant admin – emails, emails, emails!
The most useful advice I’ve ever received was from one of our Master Instructors, Gail DeSart from California. During the Certification we were having a chat and she said something like, “It’s all about planting the seed. Say to people casually that you think you could help them, let them think about it and do the research, and more often than not they will contact you. Don’t force it on people.” I have never forgotten that advice and it’s very true. My role model has to be Eric Goodman, the creator of Foundation Training. His inspiration and passion is infectious.
The time I finish work varies a lot, but I do work quite a few evenings until 7.30 or 8pm. Whether it’s after work or through the day between clients, I love getting outside for a trail run, a cycle, or an open-water swim or kayak in the summer. I’ve also got quite into slacklining since doing Foundation Training – I find some trees, put the slackline up and work on my balance. Apart from some swimming, I do all my cardiovascular exercise outside. Strength and flexibility work I get from Foundation Training – I try to do at least one short session every day, with a few longer ones throughout the week. I really enjoy cooking when I have the time; I often eat quite late after work, but sometimes manage to make something through the day between clients too. I’m not one of those really prepared people who organises their weekly meals – I tend to look in the fridge and cupboards and create something from what I have!
I never really knew what I wanted to do as a child, which is why I was so delighted when I discovered Foundation Training. It’s pretty much the only thing I’ve ever had true passion for – enough to warrant spending my life doing it anyway!
My top 3 sources of inspiration are:
Dr. Chatterjee – he is doing great things with prescribing lifestyle medicine and his book, The Four Pillar Plan, is excellent.
The Foot Collective – this is quite new to me but I’m loving it. It’s all about why we need to be barefoot more often and move toward barefoot shoes. It’s so important and feels so good!
Dr. Eric Goodman – the creator of Foundation Training (I had to put him in!). He is an incredibly inspirational person, with an amazing brain and an unrelenting desire to find and spread the truth about movement and health.