Pilates runs in the Family
Chi, said like Chai Tea, has dived into this journey and is determined to leave no stone unturned. Her passion for Triathlons and Pilates oozes out of her. I am privileged to have her share part of her teaching day in the studio. Our family is health and wellness crazy…! The only one of my children who still needs to earn her own pocket money is not yet 12, just a bit young to attend the course! I am not sure how many families’ out there can say that the entire family is BASI trained and certified. We live BASI. We love BASI and are proudly part of the BASI family! -Ashley Ritchie, BASI Pilates Faculty
I was almost 7 when my mom, Ashley Ritchie, embarked on her Pilates journey. Throughout my school career, both my brother and I would pop in and out of Pilates classes at our own leisure. We used to love “rolling-like-a-ball” while getting a head start on our BASI practical hours! My Mom has the ability to fill the room with passion, love and often much laughter. I’ve always admired her way to get the best out of her clients, students (and perhaps her children too!).
Our entire family has always loved being active - especially if that means being out-doors. Having a triathlete as my second/other Dad we all lived in our running shoes, cycling gear and swimming costumes. If he could have got us to live in all three and once, he would have!
It wasn’t long after I left home to attend Rhodes University that I realized I could live in all three outfits as I took on the challenge of Triathlons. As all students, I needed a vast amount of party money - known to most as “pocket money”. Mom believed in giving us the tools to earn our own pocket money. Without hesitation, my brother and I were enrolled (during our university holidays I might add!) on the next 2012 BASI Mat Course. We had so much fun having our Mom as our lecturer. “Rolling-like-a-ball” seemed a whole lot more complicated and each exercise began to have a new meaning. My mother’s philosophy in life is to follow your passion and make it happen. Having been brought up in a home where health and wellness is the pivotal point of lifestyle, the BASI Pilates journey becoming an integral part of who I am.
While I was at University my realization in the difference that Pilates was making in so many people’s lives motivated me to explore Pilates further. I was working with a vast range of clients: my youngest being three and the oldest being eighty-seven.
Four years of University and one of teaching at a top Private School in the Eastern Cape, led me back to Johannesburg. I returned home to follow my passion and to purse teaching in the world in which I was so familiar. I was once again, the student, and knew that in this journey I would forever be a student.
Working within the studio under my Mother’s “shadow” came with its own set of challenges for us both. I now laugh at the thought: my Mom was my boss, lecturer, examiner, mentor, landlord and still playing the role of Mother. Mom says she was tougher on me than anyone else to make sure that I reached more than my full potential. I am always inspired by my Mom’s vast knowledge, her passion for movement and love to make a positive difference in her clients and students’ lives. I would say that my Mom is my single biggest role model in my life - she has shaped me in becoming who I am today. If I could be half the woman, boss, and mother she is I’d consider myself a success.
My deep desire to spread my wings and to earn my own stripes was encouraged and supported. I’ve enjoyed my working opportunities in several studios abroad - Dubai, France and Italy. Equally, I’ve had the privilege of working locally with Theo van der Riet-Botha for half of last year attending the Mentor Program and redoing the Comprehensive Teacher Trainer Course. I’ve humbly immersed myself into the BASI world as a Pilates client - learning from as many different wonderful instructors - each giving me a deeper mind-body connection, greater awareness of the body and enriching my overall knowledge and understanding.
Almost 20 years later, tagging along on my Mom’s Pilates career and I can truly say that I’m living my dreams! I am currently working with both my Mom and Monique Martinengo who ooze inspiration and quietly play the role of mentorship. When having sessions with them weekly, I am a student in my element soaking up all that there is to learn. As an instructor, I am still integrating my passion for sport into my Pilates journey. I absolutely love my job! As my Mom says, “What better career can you be in when you do what you love and love what you do? “.