When did you start Pilates and what inspired you to start?
I started Pilates in early February of 2019. My friend Rachel Piper invited me to be one of her students as she was training to become a Pilates instructor. I was so thrilled! Rachel was sold on the physical, emotional and mental changes that Pilates brought to her life, so I had to accept her offer. I felt that if I had developed even half of her enthusiasm and drive I would come out a winner! I knew it would be challenging because of past injuries, but this was the opportunity to try and move ahead in a comfortable and non intimidating environment. I am a stay at home mom (kids are grown now), but always took care of everyone. It was time to take care of me now.
How often do you practice Pilates and what type of sessions or classes have you been doing?
While working with Rachel, we worked twice a week, starting with Pilates Mat, then moved on to Reformer, Rower and Chair . That instruction ended in October and since then I have been enjoying Zumba, Ballet for Fitness and Tower classes 3 times a week. I am slowly introducing another class with the hopes of 5 classes per week.
What benefits or improvements have you noticed in your body and life from doing Pilates?
My goal when accepting Rachel’s offer was to find something that I enjoyed that didn’t cause pain to my troubled back, neck and feet. I have a history of herinated discs in my neck and back issues dating back from my nursing days. I had just finished physical therapy in November of 2018 for Achilles Tendinosis and I knew I needed to build core strength, stretching and toning. I have noticed much less back and neck discomfort since starting Pilates. I was advised against hard impact to my heels, so the Zumba and Ballet for Fitness classes have been wonderful to help stretch me out and satisfy my love for dance. Another plus I have noticed is an emotional/mental benefit. I have always been a glass half full type of gal. I have a lot of mental energy and am pretty happy and joyful. But my body hurt. Pilates has helped with the hurt and for that I am very grateful.
Do you have a favorite exercise or piece of equipment (or both)?
That is a tough question. I really have enjoyed all the classes. The Pilates Mat classes are the most challenging for me because of my neck/back issues. So, I’m slowly working to incorporate more of those classes into my routine. I love the Zumba, Ballet for Fitness and Tower, along with the purple ball and foam roller props used in class.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing Pilates?
I really feel like this is the hardest step. Its time to take care of yourself. Realize that we all have different challenges and bodies and Pilates can work for your body and its challenges. Go and give it a try, keep a positive attitude and let the instructors know your weaknesses. They will modify and work with you. Don’t be intimidated by what you think you need to be to do Pilates. Enjoy the journey!