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My Journey to Pilates

As an active person, I have had a role in the fitness industry since 1986 when I first took my AFLCA and started teaching Group Fitness. I have always been involved in movement in one form or another. Through this journey, I taught step, floor group fitness, aerobics, weights, spin classes, and many more forms of exercise. My journey and direction in fitness took a large turn into the mind and body area when I took a serious injury in November, 2004. I was organizing a pep rally for our school volleyball team that were heading to the city finals. I had all my gymnasts and tumblers warm up nicely and of course, I didnt warm up at all! I was on my final tumbling run when I tore my plantaris and partially tore my gastrocnemius. I was 37 and had two younger ones at the time. Staying off my feet to recover was not a simple task and as a typical go hard or go home personality type - I didnt think it was really all that bad. I was sent back to the hospital within the first two weeks to re evaluate my injury and realized I had done much more damage then originally thought. I was off work for over a month in the hopes of getting my weight off the injured leg. The threat of possibly losing the my foot quickly woke me up to reality! I spent many months trying to put one foot infront of the other without huge compensations and pain. A misdiagnosis of the extent of my injury, and just a loss as to how to gain the simple ability to walk properly again was my challenge. I tried IMS, ART, accupuncture, massage, and many other forms of therapy. All these therapies helped along my journey but my walking gait and alignment was way out in left field. I had twisted up my spine, rotated my pelivs, and I had sciatica as well as issues on my strong leg due to favoring my one side. I had been casted at a high point on my injuried leg, causing me to exsist with my hip hiked up for 8 weeks. My entire body was out of alignment and I needed serious help to gain my body back and general fitness just wasnt cutting it! I was consistently uncomfortable when working out and could not find an exercise I felt I could do without pain. I realized I needed to go back to basics. This is when I discovered Pilates and the amazing rehabilitative qualities that it offers. I started training on the reformer under a strong watchful eye. Basic foot patterns and balance work while working on my core, and my entire alignment is where I started. I removed myself fully from the intense impact movements to allow myself to heal. It was a long journey and my journey still continues.

I have found that there is a huge gap in our medical word - Between rehab and fitness. There is little offered between physio therapy and the large bulk exercise classes. I needed to find a happy meduim between the two. I needed a watchful eye to keep me safe but I didnt need physio therapy any more. SO... where to go! Pilates filled that role. I was able to have a keen eye watch me in my exercises, allow me to grow and strengthen as I learned more about my body and how I needed to move to stay safe. As I slowly worked through re aligning my body, and working on my core, I realized my passion for this form of movement - PILATES. This was the beginning of my first certification on Mat with Steve Bryson at Body Works in Edmonton. With his amazing leadership and guidance, I fell in love with Pilates. I started with mat and then from there I discovered the equipment. I realized how personal this equipment could be for each person. You could be in a group setting (yet still small) and still have such an amazing personal training experience that worked specifially on your goals, and needs. As I continued this journey, I discovered amazing things about my body and what I am truly capable of. This was a light bulb moment for me as I realized that this was the area that I wanted to put all my passion and energy into. I wanted to assist people in gaining back a pain free lifestyle and increase their mobility and quality of life. When a person is in chronic pain and uncomfortable - it is hard to be positive and have great energy. I wanted to help others gain this quality back. Mobile Fitness and Pilates has been my journey into this area! Seeing my clients "lightbulb" moment is such an amazing reward. Hearing a client struggle up the stairs for the first time attending a session, to then hear them confidently walk up the stairs as they gain more mobility is such a rewarding gift. To have a client tell you that they are able to sleep or go for a walk with much less discomfort is the best feeling. I had that pain, that lack of mobility, and that discomfort. To offer the possibility of gaining more freedom in our bodies is a huge reward. Therapy is often a long journey with two steps forward and often one step back but the mini steps are successes to be embraced. It can be slow but it can happen. The body does not lie, we just tend not to listen very well to what it is telling us until it is screaming so loud that you no longer have an option but to listen. I am thankful to have discovered Pilates and mind, body movements. It has brought me a sense of peace and restfulness in my life. I love what I do! BREATHE - it is the essence of life!

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