“If we don’t change the direction we are headed, we will end up where we are going.” – Chinese Proverb
Some of our best life stories are those in which hardships lead to positive changes in our lives. Such a story began to unfold in 2008 when I learned that the chronic back pain I suffered with was due to degenerative disk disorder. Spinal cortisone shots were prescribed, but didn’t produce lasting relief. Spinal fusion was recommended, but I feared surgery. So I lived with chronic pain and struggled to accept that some days I would be unable to stand up straight, play Frisbee with my daughter, or lift a casserole from the oven.
Then a friend referred me to a Romana’s Pilates instructor who offered private lessons that were totally different from the group Pilates classes I had taken at the gym. I was hooked after one lesson, and through continued practice, I gradually experienced decreased back pain as well as improved strength, flexibility, body awareness, alignment, joint stability, and balance.
When my Pilates teacher moved to Asheville, I decided to practice Pilates at home, and purchased my own Pilates equipment. Then I made a life-changing decision to retire from my 15-year teaching career at ECU to become a certified Romana’s Pilates Instructor, which involved 16 months of weekly commutes for training in Charlotte.
My grandparents, who started the first residential school for children with special needs, chose for the school’s motto the phrase “Where Everybody is Somebody.” This motto has shaped my worldview and is embedded in my work, as I approach every body as unique and deserving of wellness and care. I currently teach private Pilates lessons to a wide range of clients of different ages, ability levels, and needs at Core Confidence Pilates—my home studio in Winterville NC.