JOE’s 10-20-30 was kicking in!!
My wife, of 25 years, passed away in 2007. At that time I was a Second Degree Back Belt in Tae Kwon Do. I was in need of specialized training as my Balance, Focus and Breathing were way off. In 2009, my daughter who also was a Second Degree Black Belt suggested that I join LifeTime Fitness, with her, and perhaps it would fill my personal and training void. Walking through the club one day I happened to see a sign promoting their PILATES Studio. I had done Mat, years earlier, as well as obviously Calisthenics in the MARINES and enjoyed it. I ventured into the Studio, did some reformer and was hooked. Wow the demands placed on my Focus, Breathing, Core and Balance were outstanding. Since I was retired I soon found my self doing five reformer classes a week. My Teacher, Diana, pushed me into Yoga which provided me with the stretching that she wanted me to work on and I grew from there. Reformer Pilates was magical. What better way to exercise than lying down!! That didn’t last long as I found myself back doing Mat along with Chair, Cadillac and Barrel. The more classes I took the more I wanted to take and the better everything got. JOE’s 10-20-30 was kicking in!!
By January 2012 at 70, I was STOTT Certified
Diana suggested I become a Pilates Teacher. Since I liked it so well it could only make me better at Pilates and Tae Kwon Do. And, it would keep my daughter happy since I would be busy and not just sitting at home. I had the time and I had the money so why not. At the ripe old age of 68 she helped me get set up with STOTT in December 2010. I completed all the Training in 2011 and then found Studios to do my Intern hours and by January 2012 at 70, I was STOTT Certified, all Levels and all Equipment, life was Cool. Along the way I made a lot of friends with a lot of great Pilates Teachers who gave me a lot of support and training.
You just have to have the right recommendation.
In 2013 Kathy Stella, of Midtown Athletic Club in Willowbrook, IL, hired me to be a Teacher in their Studio which she operated. I was recommended to her by one of the Maria who I Interned for and now is a huge Melt Teacher. I applied to Midtown three times and got the “Tin Ear”. You just have to have the right recommendation. It’s a very small community. One of the other Teachers at Midtown, was Kady, who I also trained with at the Pilates Body and she recommended me as a substitute for her, at The Wellness House in Hinsdale, IL, when she went on vacation. It was a volunteer position which was great since it gave me an opportunity to give back by Teaching Mat to people going through different stages of Cancer.
“Pilates for Youth” program
Kathy Stella convinced me to do the Balanced Body Bridge Program for Reformer and Mat which opened a new aspect of Teaching Pilates. By June 2014 I was Certified by Balanced Body. Both STOTT and Balanced Body opened visions into other aspects of Pilates and other Teachers I met led me to PMA’s “Pilates for Youth” program as well as Mariska Breland’s “Neurological” course.
It is a complete Win-Win for me
Seventeen years ago I was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis. They knew nothing then and not much more now except that after I retired to the Kansas City area, to be by my daughter and her family, I now know I have The Idiopathic type (means the don’t know what causes it and there still is no cure).
Since the Fall of 2015 I have been a Volunteer Mat Teacher for Turning Point which is part of the KU MedCenter (University of Kansas). That created Turning Point asking me to do Chair Pilates for KU MedCenter’s Cancer Centers. The great part of my Volunteering is that I work with people dealing with all kinds of issues and levels of those issues and not just Cancer patients. They are dealing with Cancer, MS, Strokes, Parkinson’s, Fibromyalgia, Lung, Cardiovascular, etc. situations. Some are actually dealing with it, some are support givers and some are both and/or family supporters. There is no charge for any of classes which is great. It is a complete Win-Win for me because I get to pay back by helping others deal with issues in their lives and I get to continue doing Pilates which is great for my health.
Since then my classes have grown in size.
What is interesting is that I began using Oxygen in the Fall of 2016. Since then my classes have grown in size. It seems to have removed the stigma of having a Teacher who shows no signs of having an issue.
Obviously I no longer compete in Tae Kwon Do but I do Judge Special Abilities rings which keeps me connected and helping others,
I have included photos of some Mat and Chair classes as well as TKD Tournaments as well as an edition of Turning Points’ magazine promoting Pilates and a “Better Breathers Club” brochure, from Saint Luke’s Hospital, which shows they have asked me to demonstrate and explain some Mat exercises that these patients can do to improve their breathing and strength.
I am 74, headed for 75, and would not be doing what I am doing today if it wasn’t for Pilates. My doctor is amazed that I can do all I do with only about 26% of my lungs left, But if it wasn’t for Pilates Breathing and forcing the Oxygen to the lowest lobes, and we all know most people only use the top third of their lungs to begin with, I would not be here helping others become strong enough to face their adversities.
“Joe’s” did the job!
When I am not doing Mat or Chair with my people I am doing Reformer exercises at home. I have had a total hip replacement and both rotator cuffs rebuilt. Thank God for Pilates because so-called rehab fell far short but “Joe’s” did the job!
As I proof read this it was glaringly apparent that there was a lot about me and not so much about the folks I try to help. I apologize for that. It’s merely background base. Those people and the struggles they face are what is important. I sometimes feel that important aspect of Pilates gets lost when I see to many FB “selfies” of hey look at me on the Chair or doing the Star etc. Thank you Mariska Breland! I know you have a vested interest but what you do and how you present is what Joe’s Pilates is all about!!
It is most important to remember: