Hi, I'm Shaun, founder of Koa Recovery - Australia's first purpose built recovery and wellness lounge.
Koa Recovery was built out of a very personal experience with injury and recovery after my own struggles with over training and feeling the effects of not considering my wellbeing as a whole. I was abusing my body! I have always been a very active person – playing first grade league as well as dabbing in a few other things like wakeboarding, Crossfit and running. 4 years ago I suffered a back injury which put me on the sideline from sport and life in general. I had no outlet and fell into a state of depression. Up until that point I knew recovery was important, but had no idea it was about more than the occasional rest day.
After struggling to find answers I decided to make it my mission to learn everything I could about recovery. When travelling in America I found these awesome recovery facilities and started using the services we now have at Koa Recovery. My pain improved. I felt more relaxed, flexible, energised and had less pain – I started to feel like my normal self again. I know now the importance and benefits of recovery and am passionate about educating others to prevent them being in the same position I was in and providing a holistic perspective of nutrition, sleep, exercise and recovery.
I have worked in the health and fitness industry for many years including a rehabilitation role at a major trauma hospital in NSW working with stroke, spinal cord injury, orthopaedics and arthritis and strength and fitness coach for the NSW Wheelchair Rugby Team. I decided that bringing these concepts to Australia is where I wanted to go. I knew how much they helped me and I wanted to help others. I started a family and my passion to open Koa Recovery grew. I wanted to be a role model to my son and set an example of following your passion and dreams. Our philosophy is to provide biohacking solutions to upgrade our body in this crazy busy world. We want to help people be the healthiest, happiest and most efficient version of themselves by giving them access to the best products in the world.
So here I am in my habitat and loving every minute of helping people recover prevent them being in the situation I was in.
I have worked with chronic pain sufferers, Olympic and elite athletes, high profile sporting teams, busy mums, corporate men and women, weekend warriors, the elderly and people suffering chronic pain and arthritis. I have learnt that everyone has their different reason for visiting us and I love being able to make a difference in peoples lives whether its to manage their pain, prevent or rehabilitate an injury, prepare for a competition or game day, enjoy some relaxation and de stress or jump into the pod to rest the mind and seek creativity. I love it all and working with our clients and their health professionals, coaches and families makes all the hard work worthwhile.
Video: Koa Recovery
Website: Koa Recovery
I would like to share my story with you, as it helps to explain my commitment to having a healthy, balanced life.
Originally from Poland, I grew up in Germany, and always loved physical exercise as a child. I was very fortunate that my dad encouraged me to play sport, and fostered my love of tennis and swimming. However, as a teenager, my love of physical exercise became an obsession. I suffered through both eating disorders and exercise addiction. I had many difficult years before I could find my road to recovery.
Stepping outside of my comfort zone, I travelled around Australia at the age of 19. I settled down in Perth and started teaching group fitness classes. I discovered that I loved seeing clients gain positive changes through exercise. My own mindset became more positive and focused on leading a healthy lifestyle. I completed a Bachelor in Exercise and Sports Science and now work with a wide range of clients on their health and fitness goals.
I am constantly continuing my education about factors affecting our health – nutrition, lifestyle, sleep, stress levels and mindset. These all play important roles in maintaining a healthy body. My approach is holistic and balanced. I have empathy for those who are overcoming significant challenges in their lives, as I have done. I also encourage others to step outside of their comfort zone. I have been challenging myself recently by competing in powerlifting, strongmen competitions and doing photoshoots – definitely out of my comfort zone!
I have been fortunate enough to meet the founder Daisy of Sneaky Wholefoods a few years ago and became obsessed with her creations the moment I tasted them! Since that day I haven't come across any product that comes even close to the taste she manages to create, as well as her product quality is way above any other prepacked - and fresh raw treats!
So, however my aim, and hope, is to inspire and help you live a healthy, balanced life – whether it is body transformation, strength, fitness or nutrition. I am super proud and excited to be a part of the Sneaky Team and cant wait to share my journey, ideas and recipes with you guys!
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Sneaky Wholefoods products are an excellent source of nutrition and energy.
My lifestyle of BMX and managing events can be taxing on my body and energy levels at times. When I’m out traveling around whether it is for managing an event, performing in a stunt show or competing in BMX competitions I always take some Sneaky Wholefoods snacks with me. When traveling the availability of food can be quite hard especially being gluten intolerant and vegan, so on a recent trip to Japan where I competed, I made sure to take a box of Snick Snack bars to last me the whole trip! One a day defiantly boosted my energy levels and knowing I had Sneaky Wholefoods with me was a massive win!
I have been into BMX riding since 1981. After I raced BMX for 5 years I moved into BMX freestyle riding (trick riding) and have never stopped or slowed down. My progression is what drives me forward, always wanting to learn new tricks. BMX is me and after over 35 years I really don’t know anything else. Being progressive is one of my personal drives. Riding BMX is a highly energized and dangerous sport / lifestyle / passion. It can be a dangerous to your body. I’ve only got the one body and I need to take care of it.
In 2009 after much thought and talking to friend I went vegetarian. I also found out that I had developed a intolerance to lactose and gluten. Going vegetarian was easy, I just cut out meat. I did a lot or research into how to balance out my diet and learnt a lot about eating for nutrition rather then taste. That’s not to say flavour isn't important - IT IS! It just meant I made sure that my meals contained the right ingredients to be sure I was receiving the necessary nutrition my body needed. Once I stopped eating eggs it wasn't long until i decided to become a vegan and wholly relied on a plant based diet to reach all my nutritional needs.
It’s been a long time since then and all I can remember from giving up animal meat was the lightness I felt with in my own body. Not lighter in weight but lighter in my body feel. I live a plant base life style not just for health reasons but also to do what is right by our animal friends. Animals have a conscience and therefore feel and can express emotions.
For me, food serves a very important purpose. I’m passionate about health and invest a lot into being healthy. I am really conscious of what I put in my body. I treat myself every single day - but I don't do so by loading up on artificial chemicals and sweeteners, refined sugars, fake protein or ingredients that just aren’t serving me and my health in any way. Switching to wholesome foods with real, nutritiously-dense ingredients like those in the Sneaky Wholefoods balls and bars has been an absolute life saver for me. I have more energy, I feel mentally stronger and healthier, my performance in the gym has maximised and I can still indulge in decadent and delicious treats to satisfy my soul. I don’t feel deprived in any way, I don’t feel bloated or lethargic - I eat well, and feel so good for it.
Over the past 4 years I’ve come a long with my relationship with food and more importantly, myself. I’ve invested a great deal of time into healing my mind and working on my mental weaknesses - and the strides I've made forward in my self-perception, love and confidence have now began to be reflected in how I treat myself and what I choose to put into my body. I’ve felt the effects of a poor diet and poor food choices at both sides of the extreme and I sure know now that both calorie-dense junk foods and empty calorie convenience foods do anything BUT serve my body and mind well."
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