When did you start Pilates and what inspired you to start? I started Pilates in spring of 2019, not long after finishing treatment for breast cancer. I was still feeling a bit rundown and I needed to restore range of motion in my left arm and shoulder. I also know that, now in my mid 50’s, I need to do something to stay in shape so that I can continue to enjoy the physical activities I once did without thinking about it. One of my sisters has been after me for years to try Pilates, but I’ve never liked going to exercise classes. Rivercity Pilates kept coming up on my Facebook page so I studied the website, signed up for private sessions with Carey, and eventually decided that group classes weren’t nearly as scary as I thought…in fact, they’re fun!
2. How often do you practice Pilates and what type of sessions or classes have you been doing? I started with a once per week private session, then added a group equipment class to that routine after a couple of months. I transitioned to one group mat and one group equipment class per week for a couple of months, then added a third class (mat, equipment, yoga…depending on what I can fit in my schedule). That third weekly class made a HUGE difference in my strength, and my ability to fine tune my movements. I work 8-5 M-F so it’s great to be able to mix it up with early morning, evening, and weekend classes. With the recent move to virtual classes I’m hoping to fit in four per week.
3. What benefits or improvements have you noticed in your body and life from doing Pilates? Before beginning Pilates I had trouble with my rotator cuffs–they were easily injured from normal life activity. A year after beginning Pilates, that issue is gone. Similarly, the chronic lower back pain I’d had for decades is gone. Most importantly, Pilates has me in the overall better shape that allows me to engage in the physical activities I enjoy–walking, gardening, skiing, biking, and more are all easier and more enjoyable because I’m stronger and more nimble.
4. Do you have a favorite exercise or piece of equipment (or both)? I like (and miss) the reformer!
5. What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing Pilates?Give it a try! You will feel better and you will discover a fun and supportive community.
6. A special shout out to virtual classes! I like to stay active, but find I won’t maintain a regular fitness routine on my own (sad, but true!). Thankfully Rivercity Pilates, and the instructors, chose to offer some virtual classes while so many of us are staying at home. At a time when every routine in our lives is upended, the opportunity to continue Pilates classes with familiar instructors and classmates is comforting and provides a bit of normalcy in an otherwise wacky time. If you haven’t tried it yet–give it a go!