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Meet Colleen Flaherty of Prokreate in South Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Colleen Flaherty.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Colleen. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I grew up playing travel soccer. I also worked as a babysitter, nanny, soccer coach, sports birthday coach, summer counselor. Lots of kids and families! My weight lifting journey began at 14 without much guidance from an expert. This combination of poorly educated coaches on female anatomy and athletics led to the tearing of my ACLs at 15 and 16. 100,000’s of girls tear their ACL annually due to the improper training of female athletes in rigorous sports like soccer, basketball, and lacrosse. And both times after I ‘graduated’ physical therapy, it was a simple, “good luck!” No guidance on how to get back my athleticism, my skills, my speed and strength. That was for me and my parents to figure out. And we didn’t really, because we weren’t educated by a professional to do anything else.

This is the same cycle women experience in their journey to pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. There’s very little in terms of preparing the body and mind for pregnancy, how to reduce risk of aches during, how to have a natural, uncomplicated birth, heal properly and appropriately postpartum, then get back to the athleticism needed to be a fully functioning, healthy mother!

After becoming a NSCA Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist in 2012, I found a book in the library on Pregnancy Exercise by Dr. James Clapp and was instantly hooked. I thought there was no greater time to be fit and healthy then when growing a fetus and becoming a mom! Even back then though, lifting weights during pregnancy was seen as taboo.

So I jumped into the minimal amount of research that exists to piece together my own style of training. I opened my own studio in 2013 and trained women trying to get pregnant, pregnant women, and moms of all ages for 3 years before moving to California in late 2016. In 2015, my boyfriend Adam, a certified athletic trainer and CrossFit coach created a 70+ page guide on Pregnancy and Postpartum Strength training and a 7 hour seminar for coaches and personal trainers. We’re teaching coaches all over the world how to keep their female clients safe, empowered, and healthy! Currently, I’m launching Prokreate Radio a podcast and training at Station Co-Lab in Carlsbad.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Gosh no!! I don’t think owning a business is ever “smooth”. Being an entrepreneur means you’re signing up for highs and lows, ebbs and flows. You deep passion to be of service to the world in the way you feel best is the fire that keeps us burning day in and day out. There’s so much learning that happens as an entrepreneur that no one can every really prepare you for. It’s not just book smarts either. Much of how I’ve evolved is in the deep personal work that must be done to thrive. I honestly don’t know who I would be if I worked for someone else, at a desk job, 9-5. This path that I’ve chosen lights me up, fills my cup, excites me! I love the adventure of it, the risk, the choices, the impact. The struggles are different for everyone. It’s how you overcome them that is the real gift. My advice is to not stop, there is ALWAYS a way to forge ahead.

Prokreate – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Prokreate is about empowering and supporting women fully, not just physically through exercise. Even though those are the types of classes and workshops women experience with me, we always go deeper with their emotional, mental, spiritual needs too. We allow women to fully be themselves and grow more confident, present, funny, kind, feminine, vulnerable…. whatever they need.

I pride myself on helping women also grow their birth and parenthood teams by connecting them with other local experts and resources. Being able to listen and offer direction is one of my greatest gifts. I believe every woman and couple should have a multi-faceted approach to their health and lifestyle.

Our company is growing to be one that doesn’t hold back from telling the truth or sharing the nitty gritty even if it’s hard to hear. Pregnancy, birth, and postpartum have been so sheltered in the last few decades that it’s time to come together over shared stories and experiences. It’s time for women to stop feeling alone. We stand for collaboration through love and openness for all and want every woman and professional to have a platform to share. That’s the main reason I’ve begun Prokreate Radio. We’ve taught internationally but I want more people to come together in the revolution for women’s health, rights, and advocacy.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success to me feels giddy, light and energized. I don’t believe success is ever a hard-stop destination we reach, it’s a series of accomplishments that continually lead to the greatness of your project. It’s also in our abilities to learn how to overcome obstacles. When we come out of the darkness, out from under the boulder and we find the road again, we’ve succeeded in that we’ve learned we can.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Kelly Elizabeth Portrait Studio
Amanda Kinton Photography
The Leo Loves Photography

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