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Using Pilates to Climb Mountains - Claudette's Story


 

My name is Claudette and before I joined Club Pilates, I was not doing any form of exercise other than a lot of walking at work.  I am 50 plus years old and have never been committed to a gym program in my life. I thought about many times, even in my twenties signed up but never used it.

My friend (sister-in-law) Monica Rooney from P.E.I. Canada, asked me in July 2018, to join her on an adventure to Peru to climb Machu Picchu, for the summer of June 2019. There would be a group of approx. 21 women.  I gracefully accepted the offer. Monica really inspired me to want to climb the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

In the back of my mind, I kept thinking I have eleven months to really get in shape for this climb. Summer flew by and then before I knew it, it was now the New Year 2019. Wow, I had to really start to do something, if I was going to climb Machu Picchu, which from my research was not for the faint of heart.

I was sitting at home one day in January and a Pilates ad popped up on my Facebook feed, if I am being honest, I had never heard of Pilates before. The ad looked fun and something I thought I should try.  I spoke with a very nice lady on the phone and booked my free intro class!

 

I walked into my first Pilates class on January 24th, 2019 and have never looked back.

There was something about the comfortable atmosphere and the instructor explaining everything. By the time the class was over, I knew that it was for me. I enjoyed the instructor-led and small classes of only max twelve people.  When the class was over Danielle the receptionist, whom I later found out was the owner, asked me what I thought about it and I said "I loved it! Where do I sign up?!!!

I explained that my goal was to climb Machu Picchu and only wanted to do Pilates until June, she said no problem and with the various classes and instructors, I should reach my goal in no time.

I wanted to build strength in my legs. As time went on, I quickly started doing 3 to 4 classes a week. I soon realized about core and other muscles that I never even used. I started to become stronger, feeling taller, with better posture, and my balance improved (which I didn't think was that bad until I started different classes).

Before I knew it June was here and I was on my way to climb Machu Picchu, which was epic if I must say! There where times along the way I would remember my breathing and using my core and thinking "thank God for Pilates!". It was not an easy climb, but with the help of Pilates, I conquered it with much success.

My first class back after my climb, I was thanking all the instructors and studio owner for my success. It was amazing! I was feeling on top of the world. I soon stayed for another month and then another month and I am still there today.

Seeing and feeling the results of my workouts and becoming so much stronger, my posture improved, my muscles wore becoming tighter, and my flexibility was so surprising to me. During my work hours, I walk a fair amount. I did not realize the different muscles I was using or that those muscles could be lengthened was a shock to me. I was feeling amazing!

 

So amazing in fact that I went to Japan in late August and climbed Mount Fiji.

Another accomplishment that I did not realize I could do without the help of my instructors and Club Pilates.

The biggest surprise was one day I was walking at work and my hips started to feel so different and felt so good, could not explain it, I went to class and was telling my instructor, Shalene, about it.  I was describing it and to her and she said it was my hip flexors. They wore starting to do what they are supposed to do! You should see the difference in me compared to when I started.

If someone was to ask me what my favorite class is, I couldn't just say one. I really enjoy them all. I attend five to six classes a week. The instructors are people that I love, they all bring something different to the class - never two the same.  I take a variety of classes and different levels. All of the classes combined have helped me become a stronger person today for my body, mind, and soul.

There is no comparison from my first class till now. I started to feel changes to my body within a few weeks. Even after a ten-hour workday, I always look forward to going to class. I have more energy, it is really my happy place. For one hour a day, it is just about me. Overall Pilates has changed me in becoming a better me.

 

I feel stronger. I notice a difference in my muscles toning up.

My posture has improved. I sleep like a baby. I have learned the importance of using my core, which helps me daily be it at work or hiking a mountain.

If someone was to tell me how wonderful I would feel before I started Pilates, I would not have believed them. But take it from me! Do it for yourself, something no one else can take away from you. It is all about You...

I have set a new challenge for myself and that is to walk the Camino de Santiago with my sister Maggie in June 2020. It is about 261km (161 mile) walk that I feel confident I will accomplish all because of Pilates. I am very grateful to my Club Pilates in Royal Oak and all the instructors and owner. Pilates has given me a new me, I do it for self-gratification and it is my passion.

 

Pilates is the best lifestyle change that I have ever done.

Funny looking back thinking I was only going to do it for four months, it is now just about a year and I can not imagine my life without it.
My only regret about Pilates is not starting it sooner. I absolutely love it. And what it is doing for me. You have to try it to understand the rewards you receive, I can not put my finger on how wonderful I feel except Amazing. I could go on and on, but no one way to describe it except "do it", you are worth it.

 

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