Thursday, February 28, 2013

Client of the Month - March 2013

This month’s client of the month is someone I have been training probably longer than anyone, but it has been in the last few months that I have been so impressed with her motivation and dedication, that I wanted to make her client of the month.

I started training Heather Smulyan about 11 years ago just before she got married. At that time, she wanted to look good for her wedding and was motivated. Afterwards, she took a little break, and from then on became somewhat sporadic in her dedication to working out.  One of my favorite stories to tell is when I went to train her at her house and she answered the door eating truffles.  I also love that she used to tell me that her drive for working out (a long time ago) was so that she was strong enough and fast enough to escape a health spa in order to get some donuts. 

In case you can’t tell, one of the other things I really enjoy about Heather is her sense of humor.  We always make each other laugh.  In fact, Heather specifically mentioned the fun and camaraderie she feels when she comes into work out as one of the things she really likes about our studio.  She said, “it’s like going into the beauty shop.”  She likes the way you can catch up on what is going on in everyone’s lives, have a few good belly laughs, AND have a great workout.

I joke about Heather and her lack of commitment to exercise in the past, but the thing that made me want to highlight her story is the fact that in the last 6 months, she has become one of my most regular, consistent clients – and she has been coming usually at least 3 times a week.  She rarely misses an appointment (which was very common in pervious years) and she is rarely late.  Something has changed in her, and I think it is an impressive change.

I asked her what has motivated her to keep with it this time, and she told me it was a combination of different things.  One of the reasons she had stopped coming most recently was because she had hurt her shoulder in a fall.  She was afraid to exercise too much.  But what she found out was that doing Pilates actually helped her shoulder to heal, even after she had been to many doctors in an attempt to get it fixed.  It was when she started working out regularly again that she realized how much Pilates helped get her shoulder back to normal.

Also, as a 40-something year old, she has realized that it isn’t as easy to stay in shape as it was when she was younger. Heather is one of those people who have always been slim, but as she moved into her 40s, she realized it wasn’t easy to keep as strong and “non-flabby” as she wanted.  She has a young daughter and wants to be able to keep up with her as well.  Since re-dedicating herself to Pilates 6 months ago, Heather says she feels much stronger, and more fit and toned.  And even better, she can use her right arm without limitation.

So I asked her, why does she drive by so many other studios to come to Indianapolis Pilates by 15 to Fit (she lives about 30 minutes away) and the first thing she told me was it was because of our instructors.  She loves that they are all well trained and well qualified to be teaching Pilates (something that not every studio can say I am afraid).  Next she mentioned how much fun it is to do, no matter which trainer you have.  They are professional and well trained, but they will also make you laugh.  And that’s a good ab workout too, right?

I am so proud of Heather and how far she has come in her exercise journey since the time I first met her (and started training her). She totally deserves to be March’s Client of the Month! Congratulations Heather!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Client of the Month - February 2013

This month I have chosen a great inspirational person for Client of the Month.  Fran has been a client here at 15 to Fit for just under a year.  She was motivated to try it after her daughter kept telling her to try it.  Her daughter just kept telling her how good it would make her feel and eventually Fran decided she should give it a shot. She did a little research and found Indianapolis Pilates by 15 to Fit and was impressed by our training.  She said as soon as she started it, she loved it and has been a regular client ever since.

One of the reasons her daughter wanted Fran to try Pilates is because Fran has suffered from the effects of osteoarthritis for quite awhile (Fran is 69).  It affects her knees, hips, arms and lower back.  In fact, there was one day when Fran came in to the studio walking with a cane because her knee was bothering her so much.  She went through a careful workout with Georgeanna and when she left, she completely forgot her cane.  She forgot because her knee felt so much better.  I love that story because even in just one workout, it shows the power of Pilates.  Fran told me that since she has started Pilates, she can move easier.  She told me she hops up the stairs now instead of dragging herself up them and she loves that she can play with her grandkids without getting tired out so easily.

Fran has tried working out before at other gyms, and doing things like yoga classes elsewhere.  She was never satisfied at the gym because she would just lose interest.  And because she had no support, no one instructing her, she never felt like she was doing a good job. When she went to other yoga classes, she felt like she didn’t know what she was doing and that she was in fact doing it wrong.  She often felt like she couldn’t keep up. She loved starting here at 15 to Fit because as she put it, we “don’t give you a chance to do it wrong” (maybe that should be our new motto).  Our instructors constantly monitor what is going on and whether it is a class or a private (Fran does both) and make corrections throughout sessions. Fran likes that because she learns to do it the right way and is obviously seeing the results.  You should see her biceps!  She has also lost 25 pounds since March with a combination of eating right, doing Pilates and cardio.  She told me she loves that she doesn’t feel like a walking pillow anymore.

Of course I love that Fran told me that one of the other things she really likes about our studio is our instructors. She tells me that she enjoys the fact that our instructors are so friendly, but also really professional and that we always adjust her workout (and everyone’s) to how they are feeling that day.  We certainly do not want anyone to get injured.  Fran says she completely trusts us, and that means a lot.

Fran says Pilates makes her feel strong and empowered and healthy.  Helping people feel that way is one of the reasons I got into fitness in the first place, and that is also one of the (many) reasons Fran is February’s client of the month! Congratulations Fran!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Client of the Month - January 2013

This is my first repeat client of the month. I am so excited to announce that one of my clients, the Cathedral High School Football team, who I have been training for the last 3 years, have again (for the third year in a row) won the State (4A) Championship for Football!  I’m not going to say Pilates is the reason they have won all three years, but I’m not NOT going to say it either. Check out their winning photo on the Cathedral website. They look so pumped up!

But seriously, I am so proud of these boys—it has been fun seeing them all grow and change the last few years.  I am also proud to say that they have really come around to the importance of Pilates (we also do some yoga as well) in their football training regimen.  Their form has gotten so much better and so has their behavior and enthusiasm for Pilates.  When I first started training them, there was a lot of snickering during our sessions, but now they know many of the exercises very well and understand how much they help them.  I guess they have also figured out I’m not going anywhere so they may as well buckle down!

The boys tell me how much they like the training now—they say it feels physically really good and that it realigns them.  Our workouts usually occur on Saturdays after they have played a game the night before. Sometimes it is hard for these guys to work out certain parts of their bodies, and after a game, their muscles are often tight and sore.  Pilates gives them the right amount of stretching and flexibility training to activate their hips and inner thighs and prevent hip injuries on the field.  In fact, I have been training a retired NFL player for several months as well who tells me how much he loves Pilates because it challenges him in ways he hasn’t been challenged.  Now you know these guys work out a ton, so to challenge someone in new ways that played football for many years is a testament to the diversity of training you can get with Pilates!

As I mentioned, we also do a bit of yoga in most of my sessions together with the team. One of the moments that warmed my heart from this past season was when I told the boys we were going to end with Shavasana (which is the relaxation part of yoga that normally comes at the end of the workout) and one of the boys said, “oh good! I have been waiting for this all week!”  I think our workouts have opened their minds to new ways to train and respect their bodies.  I also loved when they made requests for certain Pilates exercises—like recently several players asked for “side series” (a grouping of exercises done while laying on your side) because they just really like the way it feels.

I am just so pleased with these boys, their dedication to the workout, and their successes on the field.  And hey, if it works for a bunch of football players, you know we can help your strength and flexibility too. No guy can ever tell me again that Pilates is for girls when I am training an entire football team AND a retired NFL player.

Congratulations Cathedral Football!