My friend Emer has a mantra, “What’s meant for you won’t pass you.” and there have been many, many times I hated to hear it pass her lips.
Then, one day, it came true and I attended my first Pilates class. This was in 2008 after the birth of my son. I had had minor problems with my lower back, due to working in the Antique and Art world, but pregnancy, literally, was the straw that broke this camel’s back!
The West of Ireland is not exactly a hotbed for Pilates but I just happened upon a class given by one of the country’s leading and most experienced instructors of the system. From the very first class I was hooked, not only because my back improved almost immediately, but because I discovered and loved the connection mind and body that is Pilates. It challenged me in a way that no other exercise or experience had.
From the start I would refuse invitations if they clashed with my Monday evening Pilates. And I was already wishing I could practice more than once a week.
Although my back was improving I still had to attend an Osteopath, a respected expert in back pain, who recognised and encouraged my enthusiasm for Pilates. At their suggestion I explored the possibility of training to become a Pilates instructor.
Initially, I thought the suggestion was a little fanciful but it transpired that I was the only one who thought so as friends and family encouraged me to do it and rallied to help me, offering to babysit and generally help out, so that I could travel the three hours every Friday evening to attend college for the weekend before returning home, tired but happy, late on Sunday evening.
Dad helped me with the fees (thanks Dad!) and a good friend gave me a bed for the weekend but training in a field that I was unfamiliar with was not easy and I failed my first anatomy exam by 2 percent. But, true to the mantra, I knew that Pilates was for me and I persevered.
Armed with maturity and experience that comes with age and travelling the globe I felt I had the confidence to succeed, even when things got tough. Teaching English as foreign language, horse riding and working with monkeys (don’t ask) taught me a lot about body language, movement and awareness and this was of great help throughout the course.
So it was, with no little pride in myself and after a year of study and practise, that I received my Advanced Diploma in Pilates Matwork, with small equipment and special populations, on my 40th birthday!
A couple of months after graduating instructor retired and my Osteopath began referring patients to me and fortuitously I was able, thanks to my brother, to locate a spacious elegant studio space in the centre of town that became ‘The Coreworks’, my very own Pilates studio.
That was three and a half years ago and in that time, thanks to word of mouth, which is what constitutes viral marketing on the Atlantic coast of Ireland, ‘The Coreworks’ is now one of the leading Pilates studios in the region.
My love and enthusiasm for what I do is genuine and I believe this translates to my instruction in Pilates and is one of the major reasons for my studio’s success.
I found Pilates (or it found me) at just the right time in my life and I have, recently, finally admitted to Emer, that on this occasion, she knew best.
“What’s meant for you won’t pass you”- indeed, it didn’t!
Joanne howard says
I am one of the lucky ones to attend Hilary’s Pilates class and it has changed my life and my lower back also. She’s a super teacher and her passion for Pilates translates in every class. Thanks Hilary
Can you open a studio in Glasgow please. You are an inspiration. I want to join your class.
NOREEN NOONAN says
DEAR HILARY,GREAT PIECE WRITTEN BY YOU WOULD LOVE IF YOU OPENED IN CORK NOREEN