In 2011 I developed a bulging disc in my lumbar spine after attending a fitness class at my local gym. The pain was horrible but what was worse was my quality of life. I couldn’t wash dishes for more than three minutes without going numb and having to take a break. I could hardly walk for long periods of time and I remember multiple trips to Disneyland where I needed to take a break from simply standing in line. In my mind I believed this was my new normal, and the only thing doctors wanted to do was operate or give me additional pain medication.
Then I found Pilates. I approached a friend/fellow parent from my son’s school who I knew taught Pilates locally and asked her if Pilates could help my back pain. She replied very matter-of-factly, “Of Course!” I started the orientation program and soon after started group classes. Slowly the pain subsided and I also gained strength, balance, and control within my own body. Every now and then the pain would comeback if I tried something more difficult or advanced but eventually even those exercises I could perform without pain or injury once I learned the correct form.
During this time I also made huge dietary changes and lost 50 lbs over the course of two years. The benefit of less weight on my frame along with the gradual strength I had acquired truly gave me a high quality of life again. I could walk for long periods of time, I started doing other forms of cardio/exercise, and unfortunately could wash dishes in one session! After almost three years of practicing Pilates, I decided to start a teacher training program and was told by numerous instructors to go through BASI.
I have learned so much in my teacher training program and already can see and feel a difference in my practice and body. I currently work as a Special Education teacher here in Long Beach in the Adult Transition Program. The program is community-based and prepares students with disabilities for future independence by teaching them how to ride the bus, order a meal, and other life skills. We stress fitness and health in our program so naturally, when I started my teacher training I also started teaching a weekly mat-class for students on our campus. They have enjoyed our time in the park working on core strength and already know the essential components of a good Roll Down!
I am excited about this journey I am on, and would like to help others who have experienced pain and injury because I know firsthand how consuming it can be.