Pilates Delivers More Confidence & A Better Fit: One Year Later
Oct 22 2012
Exactly one year ago, three women decided to step up to the challenge of making a difference in their lives and especially in their bodies. They were not absolutely sure of what they were getting themselves into by signing up, but each one individually knew they needed a little help in making it happen. This is the story of Alina & Vernell taking a plunge into the unknown with Pilates Mat and Katheryn diving head first into using TRX Suspension to create difference in the way they moved in and lived with their bodies.
Alina and Vernell, 50+ years of age and Katheryn, 37 years old, work in corporate environments and commute regularly to NYC, and manage very active social lives with friends and family. They sought out whole-body movement programs with distinctly different classes, yet the results and experiences they all independently report back, one year later, are virtually identical.
Along the way, all three have been transformed. Vernell has decided to do an 9.5 mile obstacle course challenge race. Alina has added a TRX class to her workout regimen, Katheryn has hiked, canoed and skydived and as a group of women, each of them represents the best that can happen with dedication to whole body movement.
Alina & Vernell, partnered in their commitment to a Beginner Mat class for ten sessions; taking advantage of a special offer as a new student. We all knew each other from the neighborhood and while they had friends, other neighbors and even relatives that were involved in Pilates, neither of them had simply found the time or right opportunity to make the method part of their own lives.
They started in October 2011 with Beginner Mat and actually repeated the series twice before gently I “pushed them out of the nest” and encouraged them to deepen their practice with an Intermediate Mat class in the Spring of 2012.
I believe in challenging students to find the most for themselves by pushing them to the edge of their personal envelope, as I believe that nothing comes without a little push, a little challenge, and a bit of supportive resistance.
Consequently, Alina & Vernell joined a few other Beginner Mat students in an Intermediate and Open Mat class twice a week to deepen their knowledge and facility with building strength and use of their powerhouse abdominals. I remind students that if one continues to repeat the same things over and over again, we will find ourselves bored with the monotony of the experience and never find growth or change.
Alina says she noticed the challenge at the outset, “after my very first class I was aware that my decision was the right one. I remember going thru The Hundreds warm up and thinking I’m not going to get thru this hour…but I did! One year later, and I have to admit, that at some point during each class, I still wonder if I’m going to make it, yet I always do. You somehow manage to push me further than I thought I was capable of going. There is no doubt that Pilates is challenging but after every class I walk away feeling that I just did something really good for me!”
One year later and my posture is better. I’m more aware of myself physically and mentally. I feel stronger and more confident that it’s only going to get better. The best part is my clothes fit better and people are noticing a difference in me.” Alina Chaban
Her experience is not uncommon. The benefits of Pilates are both measurable and perceivable. Many people experience improved coordination, increased strength, mobility, efficient flowing movements, mental and spiritual rejuvenation; self confidence increases and they enjoy an enhanced quality of life and a greater sense of well-being. Imagine getting all that from simply working out twice a week? What could you possible accomplish if you took a “double-dose” of this movement exlir?
Katheryn explained as she approached me, that October Sunday afternoon, that she simply wanted to make the commitment to herself to re-gain control of her body as her work and business travel was simply sucking the life out of her and she wasn’t happy with the results. As an engineer and world traveler, Katheryn was drawn more to the TRX sessions as it was something new and completely foreign to her. She also jumped at the opportunity to try it out with a similar “new” student special.
“I feel more confident now – not just because of my muscles, but also mentally. It’s like my new muscles also developed in my brain. I know I cannot only kick-ass physically, but also mentally. It’s just confidence.” Katheryn Dougan
Initially she joined a Saturday morning class but very quickly switched, as a regular participant, to a twice weekly 6:00am TRX Flow class and never misses a class (unless she is out of the country), never hits the snooze button and always jumps up to leave her husband at 5:30am to arrive on time for each session – twice a week.
When asked when it was she became aware that her decision to commit to the schedule and program was the right thing, Katheryn commented, “It wasn’t immediate. It takes time to see changes, not just physical, but also mental changes. A few months after working out, I would feel sore if I missed class. It’s like my body was missing the stretching, the punishment! LOL!”
In March 2012, when I traveled to Turkey, I felt more daring and jumped around without fear through ancient Roman ruins. Had I not I been doing TRX, I would not have felt like Indiana Jones (I always wanted to be like him!).
But my proudest moment was during a camping trip on Labor Day weekend, six of us travelled to upstate NY. I had so much energy and strength, people really had a hard time keeping up with me. Someone asked me what my secret was and just said, it’s Gina and TRX!
She said that what brought the change and difference to her attention was the fact that she had more energy, more stamina and enthusiasm to move and use her body as a result of the regular challenging training or “punishment” she regularly enjoyed. “On that camping trip, it became most apparent the rest of the group couldn’t keep going anymore, they all went back to the camp site and laid down on the hammocks, and I was left alone to kayak the Hudson river.”
Vernell, has chosen to take her newly gained strength, confidence and renewed sense of self to another uncharted territory by competing in the 2012 Men’s Health NYC Urbanathalon, a 9.5 mile obstacle course that is not for the faint of heart!
“I was able to see immediately your ultimate devotion to your students. It was instantly apparent the importance to YOU, for US to accomplish the moves correctly from the beginning, as only refinement and improvement will follow.” Vernell Young
She states that one year ago, after the first Pilates Mat class, she noticed, “the energy, the dedication of the students and of course the wonderful “soreness” that came the next day!!
Today, one year later, my body is stronger – arms, legs, core, and of course my BUTT!! I feel healthier, my breathing is controlled and my clothes fit better which makes me feel AMAZING! I can say honestly, I handle things differently and am less bothered by the daily little “nuances” that tend to gnaw at you. I believe our physical & mental states are connected and you need both to be completely aligned!”
Heck! What more could a teacher ask for? Call me Gina, one proud, smiling Pilates Instructor!