Today we’d like to introduce you to Carrie Harper.
Hi Carrie, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I was an anti-exerciser. I thought athletics were not for me and that fitness was for health freaks. The fall of my freshman year at The Florida State University that all changed when my friend almost literally dragged me to my very first group fitness class. Good ole Step Aerobics. That is a pivotal moment. Standing in that classroom, with people bounding around, and the instructor shouting over her Janet Jackson mic from the front was when my entire spirit shouted “These are my people.”
And six months later, I was teaching that class.
I got an education degree from FSU and never stopped teaching fitness. Over the years, it evolved from group exercise to all kinds of personal and group trainings. I added specialties and certifications on top of interests and deep-level courses.
Then my life pivoted again with the birth of my first child.
The year was 2004, and the term “diastasis recti” simply wasn’t used anywhere. I felt lost. My body felt hurt and disengaged and I couldn’t explain it or get help from the medical industry or my own.
The back page of a Fit Pregnancy magazine mentioned a term “diastasis recti,” that women who have this challenge have a weak core pre-pregnancy. Well, I was a Pilates and bootcamp teacher, so that obviously didn’t apply to me….
Except that it did.
I learned through my own experience and through working with hundreds of other women that diastasis recti wasn’t for the weak… and it wasn’t rare. I found Diastasis Recti in almost all of the women I was serving, including women who had their babies 20 years ago.
What I found was that there are simple practices one can take to recover the strength and stability of the core muscles, recover a diastasis, strengthen the pelvic floor, and greatly improve the quality of fitness and life for this population.
I learned that not only is Diastasis Recti a natural adaptation in almost every pregnancy, but it also occurs because of a lot of life situations. Because it is completely unnoticed and undiagnosed, this huge population is ignored or given poor advice.
My method started as my own therapy and then became the therapy I used in personal training. Not only were my clients thriving and feeling strong again, but their diastasis was recovering!
The system then became a little PDF called “the flat belly system,” which I sent out to a few thousand people. The response from that little system was overwhelming! I got responses from Indonesia, The Philippines, Bulgaria, and Australia, all not believing how their waists were returning to normal and they were strong again.
But they had questions.
So, over the years, those questions and answers have become my proprietary method, The ABC Method, which combines practical life lessons and basic fitness lessons to help people recover core strength and stability. It is now a method that I teach to other fitness professionals so that they can also help people. The issue had always been that I didn’t want to be the only one with solutions; that every fitness professional should be part of the solution because every one of us touches someone who is affected by core instability.
I live and practice in Austin, Texas, with teacher trainings, courses, live online classes, and my book, “Flatten my Postpartum Belly,” available on amazon.com.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Nothing about any of this has been easy. Not only did I have Diastasis Recti myself, but I had a very harsh and painful core surgery, which took me years to recover from. I still have spinal mobility struggles from that surgery in 2010. I have had several physical struggles, like frozen shoulder in 2020. Teaching about Issues that appear to be female-centric can be difficult, too, because many people in power feel it’s a problem that doesn’t affect them or is fluffy or aesthetic. I promise that the people I serve are not being vain; they just want to feel whole.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I carry the gift of exhortation, which means that I teach well. I was drawn to education as a degree because I always knew that I wanted to lead, to share whatever I could, and to be a bridge of understanding for others. I often teach at workshops, events, and conferences, and I am glad to do so. This is my connection between important work and willing audiences. I also write books and courses to teach in that way. Teaching is a way of flow for me; it’s not work. It simply moves through me.
Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
If I were to take a snapshot of happiness for you, I would slice a piece of Austin with my family on top. We made living in Austin a mission nine years ago because of its beauty and for its artistic people. Nothing gives me joy like my family, who are fun and creative people all their own. My husband and daughters are all percussionists. We are a loud bunch and we have a lot of fun, usually singing, dancing, playing, and laughing. We embrace creativity at our house. We also love our dog Prince (yes, named after the musician), whose loving and sweet personality is fun and endearing.
- The ABC Method for Teachers and Instructors: $199
- The Diastasis Recti Recovery System for Students and Clients: $50
- 85+ full fitness classes on the moxie platform: $19/month
- The book “Flatten my Postpartum Belly:” $10
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: CarrieFit.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/carriefit
- Facebook: facebook.com/carriefit
- Youtube: youtube.com/user/carriefit
- Other: theabcmethod.com
Headshot and body shot by Suzanne Covert Photography