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Member Success Story

Superwoman: Patty Ketchmark

So many amazing women and men walk through the front door of a Club Pilates each and every day. Among these avid Pilates lovers is this incredible superwoman: Patty Ketchmark. She’s a beast when it comes to adventuring, exercising and loving life.

So much so, that a major accident and amputation couldn’t slow her down, but instead led her to find a positive light in Club Pilates New Braunfels. Read her amazing story:

“I have been an avid exerciser all my life. In my early twenties, exercise was a means to prepare myself for marathons, triathlons, or the numerous cycling, camping and hiking trips that challenged me and fulfilled my endless need for adventure. However, as those early years passed, exercise became much more than an endorphin high. It became a necessity for my health, both mental and physical.

At the age of 27, I was diagnosed with late-onset Type 1 Diabetes. A short 3 years later, I was hit by a bus while cycling and suffered an instantaneous amputation of my left leg below the knee. Despite it all, in the 29 years since that challenging period of my life, my love for exercise has not just endured but has been key to my continued strength, health and positive outlook on life!

As I have gotten older, the many years of altered body mechanics from wearing a prosthesis along with a family history of the spine and joint issues have resulted in unavoidable back surgeries. Nine months ago, after lumbar fusion, persistent low back spasms, muscle weakness and significant limitation in my spinal and hip flexibility, I was searching for other modalities to help me regain my strength and function. As luck would have it, the recent opening of Club Pilates in my home town of New Braunfels, Texas would be my answer.

It has been 9 months since my first Intro Class. My hip flexibility improved dramatically in just 2 months and is the best it has been in the last 10 years. My leg strength and tone have shown appreciable gains and most importantly my back spasms and weakness has diminished. Overall, I feel more balanced and carry myself with greater strength and confidence. I attribute this not only to the many different classes offered but to the variety of great instructors who are unquestionably competent, enthusiastic and encouraging. Teaching the entire class as a whole, they remain attuned to the individual, offering modifications, suggestions, and help as needed.

Now, I am generally in the studio 5-6 days a week and probably average 8 classes a week. I feel more sound, flexible and stronger than I have in the last few years and as a result, being able to continue pursuing my passion for adventure and living life to the fullest. In May, I will be joining the Austin Sierra Club once again, this time for a week-long service project in Yosemite for trail maintenance and park upkeep!

Pilates has proven to be a wonderful balance of strength and flexibility, both key components to healthy and successful aging. I am fortunate to have started my practice with Club Pilates and look forward to continuing the journey!"

- Patty Ketchmark, RN & Pilates Fan

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