Katharine Ford

Owner / Head Instructor


Through her commitment to excellence in teaching and training, Katharine has had the great pleasure of using Fitness Table as the vehicle for teaching people how to improve their quality of life by strengthening their body and improving their posture.

Having come from both a competitive swimming background and a performance background in the theatre, Katharine has always had a passion for both sport and the art of movement. Initially motivated to improve her performance as an athlete, and then to improve her physical capacity as a performer, Katharine was introduced to Fitness Table in 1998.

After having trained at Fitness Table for over a decade, Katharine was invited to open a centre of her own. With the guidance of Fitness Table Calgary owner, Patricia Maybury, and Fitness Table founder, Therese Cadrin Petit, Katharine obtained her Fitness Table Certification to teach the method.

In September of 2009, Katharine obtained her License to Operate and became the owner of Fitness Table Vancouver She has been the proud owner of Fitness Table in Vancouver ever since it opened its doors in 2009. Always enthusiastic, supportive, and encouraging, Katharine’s greatest asset is her ability to see what imbalances are in her clients bodies and teach them how to correct them, for good.

She is passionate about teaching, movement, and the collaborative approach between client and teacher that the Fitness Table Method provides.

Most recently Katharine was asked to join the Dancers Safety Task Force as part of ActSafe.

Katharine is a graduate from the University of Alberta BFA Conservatory Acting program, as well as from the Mount Royal Theatre and Speech Program, in Acting. She is also is certified in National Coaching Certification Program Level 1 for swimming.

My WHY

I was raised Calgary, Alberta, in a loving home with two caring parents. We were a very active family! My parents put my brother, twin sister and I into competitive swimming at a young age. Many of my earliest memories are of being at our neighborhood pool in Calgary, or at the lake at my grandparents house in Northern Ontario. I spent much of my youth playing outside with my siblings and neighborhood friends, going hiking or cross-country skiing with my family, or racing at swim meets. Being active was always an important part of our family life. It was the way we as a family connected, spent time with one another, and developed bonds within our community. In many ways, those early developmental years of being immersed in an active lifestyle, and all the benefits that go along with it, ended up being a huge inspiration for the work I do today.

My passion for nurturing an active lifestyle took a new turn as I approached being a young adult. I developed a passion for the arts and the theatre and decided to explore this passion by training in two conservatory acting programs. While in theatre school I developed and honed the act of listening; listening to body language and the subtleties that lie in the act of movement. I learned that to observe, listen to, and attune myself to another persons’ movement speaks a thousand words, and tells a hundred stories about what it means to be human. This skill set would once again become tremendously valuable to me as a movement teacher and facilitator.

In 1999 a major event rippled through my family. While attending an exercise class my mom seriously injured her back. Many years before this exercise induced injury, my mom had been in a car accident where she broke her back. After much therapy, she did recover, but her back was never the same. As kids, we were always aware of her “bad back” as it continued to cause my mom chronic pain.

On the day she reinjured her back in1999 I remember waking up and going into my mom’s bathroom. She was in the bath trying to alleviate the pain she was in. She looked at me with fear in her eyes and said, ‘Katharine, I am not sure that I can get out of the bath. I’ve started to lose sensation in my legs.’ Later that night she was admitted into the Foothills Hospital for emergency back surgery. As it turned out, my mom had completely ruptured three of her five lower back discs. The lose of sensation that she had was due to little pieces of intervertebral disc floating around in her spinal canal. The surgery she required was the removal of the broken discs and the fusion of her lumbar spine. To add to this situation, my parents had recently separated. I immediately recognized that the emotional trauma of their separation had left my mom in a vulnerable position in terms of her spinal stability.

When my mom woke up after the surgery I was allowed to visit her in the recovery unit. I walked in and approached her bed and could see she was still lying face down. I said ‘Hi Mom’, and she raised her head. Although her eyes were almost swollen shut from the surgery, when she saw me she began to cry. The realization of where she was and what had happened came flooding back. All I wanted to do was cradle her and tell her I loved her. I felt tremendously helpless.

Watching my mom, who had been such a pillar of strength and vitality, go through such a traumatic experience was heartbreaking. I didn’t realize it then, but seeing her like that would be the catalyst that would lead me to the work I do today.

I am forever grateful to my mom for her strength and perseverance. She has inspired me to be disciplined and faithful when it comes to helping people recover from injury and chronic pain, as she has led by example through her own recovery process. I am grateful to her for having introduced me to the Fitness Table Method in 2000 while she was first in recovery, and I am endlessly grateful to her for allowing me to help her heal her body. By working with her, she has taught me so much.

This is why I do what I do. I am here to help people heal their bodies. I am here to show people a path to unlimited health and wellness, and to teach people who are in pain that through the right kind of listening, training, and attuning there is a way to recover. It is my goal to bring this kind of knowledge to light, so people can live, love, and laugh to their fullest potential.

Naomi Brand

Teacher


Naomi is a contemporary dancer, choreographer, teacher and writer. Originally from Toronto, Naomi lived in Calgary for ten years where she earned both a BA and an MFA from the University of Calgary. She has since trained, performed and taught across Canada and the US, as well as in Uruguay, Poland and Finland.

In 2013, Naomi moved to Vancouver where she met Katharine and began training seriously at the Fitness Table. She brings a strong background to her teaching of the Fitness Table Method TCP, drawing on her 15 years of practice in contemporary dance, somatics, contact improvisation, dance theatre and mixed-ability dance. The method has transformed her understanding of the body and the way she moves and dances. Naomi is passionate about supporting people to live more embodied lives and to deepen their experience of movement. She believes that the Fitness Table method is an incredible way to help people become stronger, longer and more energized. Naomi continues to be excited and inspired by how the work on the table translates into to a better quality of life off the table!

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