A beautiful, sunny morning in October 2002 marked the beginning of my lifelong struggle with chronic back pain. I was driving to work as a public school teacher when, ironically, a school bus crossed my path. I quickly swerved to avoid going directly under the vehicle and ended up struck by the bus on the driver’s side of my small car. After several orthopedic consultations, multiple physical therapists and a chiropractor, every type of therapy served as a temporary answer. However, the pain always returned. One orthopedist actually suggested I begin taking Oxycodone as my permanent pain solution. This was completely unacceptable to me, and I decided that personal life changes would be my only sustainable solution.
In 2005, I joined Shoreline Fitness (then Shoreline Health and Fitness) and began a consistent exercise regimen, which helped more than any therapy I had tried. Strengthening my core and back muscles and improving overall posture greatly alleviated much of the pain. As a stay-at-home mom with two young children, the gym became my daily routine and social outlet. I babysat in the daycare and attended group classes. In 2008, I decided to make fitness a career and became a personal trainer with a certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) as well as a certified Spinning instructor. I found the most satisfaction working with clients seeking to alleviate pain and improve general fitness and quality of life through exercise.
In 2010, I began my Pilates journey as one of the founding members of Shoreline Pilates at Shoreline Fitness. Through classical Pilates training with Peak Pilates, I found the most effective way of managing my struggle with pain. The very foundation of Pilates is in therapy, with the main focus on strengthening the Powerhouse, or core of the body. My posture and mind-body awareness greatly improved, and through lengthening my spine, I even got taller! I had to share this wealth of information with my personal training clients, and subsequently switched them all to Pilates. All have experienced similar results to mine. Back pain and general body aches have been alleviated and posture and balance are improved, resulting in better quality of life.
By incorporating a regular practice of classical Pilates exercise, I am now mostly pain-free. Adding Barre and trampoline workouts have helped maintain a well-balanced routine, leading to a healthier and slimmer body in my forties than I had in my twenties. I can truly say it has been life-changing, and nothing makes me happier than helping others through the Pilates method.