Reach for Greatness: The Greatest Gift
— Q & A —
If we were to ask you what Pilates means to your Dad, what do you think he would say?
ELAN: If you’re asking my Dad what Pilates means to him, he would probably say it means encouraging people and going all around the world to inspire them and really taking it more as a lifestyle rather than just an exercise program.
So I know that your Dad does a lot of sports and activities outside of Pilates. Can you pick one and talk about how Pilates helps him in that?
ELAN: One of the activities my Dad likes to do is windsurfing. In fact, sometimes he’ll leave during the day and I’ll say to him, “you’re going to windsurf your life away Dad!” He’s like, “I don’t care!” But it probably benefits him endurance wise.
Tell me about the day you went paddle boarding with your Dad.
ELAN: The day that we went paddle boarding, we were in Hawaii and it was just kind of a relaxing day and we felt like going out. We rented a board and we went out and it was really fun! The water was clear and I was starting to snorkel, I thought maybe if I just dunked my head under the water while he’s on the board I might see some of the reefs.
Rael, what do you remember about that day?
RAEL: That day was really special, we stayed right on Lanakai beach, on our way back from Australia. It was just the most relaxing four days ever! It was fantastic being together with my son, Elan and wife, Adelle. That was one of the highlights of the trip, going paddle boarding with Elan and seeing all the beautiful fish and sea turtles.
Rael, what are some of the activities that you love to do with Elan?
RAEL: I love doing Karate with Elan. I love being in that environment together. It’s such a stimulating, nourishing, nurturing environment and Elan’s a lot better than me. He’s a green belt and I’m a proud orange belt. I love really anything we do together! One of the ways we wind down at the end of the day is to get in the hot tub together; it’s something that Elan and I share. We just speak about the day, our problems, girls, and different activities.
Rael, How has BASI Pilates made you a better dad?
RAEL: I’m going to really flip that around and say how has being a dad impacted my Pilates. We used to have someone that used to help us in the house, and I’ll never forget she said, “Mr. Rael since you had Elan your heart has just grown.” I think that’s true, somehow your heart just grows. And I think that in many ways has made me a better teacher, and a better student of life. Elan teaches me so much about life, and those times in the hot tub is where I probably learn the most about him.
And how BASI Pilates has affected me as a father? I think the same is also reversed, being a teacher, teaching others, and especially a discipline like Pilates has taught me patience to be calm in the face of adversity. Having children is always going to have its moments of challenge. I think they both feed each other in a very positive ways.
Elan, what is the best piece of advice your dad ever gave you?
ELAN: My dad has given me a lot of advice over my childhood, but the most important piece of advice is that life is going to get hard, but you have to pull yourself through it and always stay on a positive note. You just have to realize that there is going to be some days that are just not going to be a good, but you have to stick it out and know that it will get better.
Rael, can you equate the BASI Block System to raising a child?
RAEL: the BASI Block System is about progression, it’s about building one Block on top of another, moving one step at a time, building a very balanced session. I think it’s the same with life; there are chapters in life and one build on the other. Before Elan came along, BASI Pilates was like my child. I’ve just seen this incredible maturing of this child that is BASI Pilates, but when Elan came along every else took second place to him.
Being a father is absolutely the greatest gift in life for me and I recognize that it’s probably not for everyone. But certainly for me being a father is the greatest gift in life. And that line “Reach For Greatness” stands before me every day. Everyday get up I look in the mirror and I try to be a better father than I was yesterday, presenting new opportunities and I try and reach for greatness every day!
Elan, so what do you think about taking over BASI Pilates one day?
ELAN: This is a question that my dad has asked me many times, and I have thought about it. Maybe? I really love what he does, the travelling, meeting new people, and maybe in the future, I’ll see.