My neighbor gave me Pilates tapes (VHS tapes) and it saved me. Ok, so let me explain how Pilates saved me. I was a 29 year old, mother of 2 and going through a horrible divorce. I had been in an emotionally abusive marriage for 5 years and I had finally made the decision to leave my husband after he told me to 'get help' and 'fix myself'. Giving me permission to leave but I could not take or see my daughters until I was 'fixed'. And I was like 'oh hell no!'
I woke up 1 morning and packed up my car with everything myself and my daughters would need for a while. I had no intention of coming back, ever. I drove to my sisters which was about a 12 hour drive with 2 small children. I was on a mission to get as far away from him as possible.
Fast forward a few months. We were staying with my mom and we had been out of state from about 3 months at this time. I was served with divorce papers, not surprised. I then had to make the decision whether I was going to go back to face this person that completely terrifies me or get arrested. Those were basically my choices. So we loaded up the car and went back. I cried and was so scared the entire drive back. We had to stay in a hotel for several days because we had no where to go.
I was so scared through our entire divorce process which took a year and a half to finalize. During this time I was also looking for a job because prior to leaving I was a stay at home mom. To say my level of stress was high is an understatement.
I had developed Thyroid disease, stomach ulcers, anxiety, depression, and lost a massive amount of weight. I was literally wasting away! I felt horrible. I looked horrible. I felt like I was going to die. I had to be on so much medication because I couldn't function without it.
Enter my amazing neighbor who said 'I have these tapes and I think you would like it.' I had no idea what Pilates was but I was willing to do anything not to feel like crap. I took those tapes and I did them everyday. I had 3 tapes that I alternated. I got up early and did Pilates every morning before I had to get the girls up for the day.
I was working in a Corporate environment and they offered Pilates after work. I thought, 'I wonder if this is the tapes I've been doing at home.' And it was! I loved it. I couldn't wait to get to class after work on the days it was offered. After about a year of taking this class the teacher approached me and asked if I would ever consider teaching. I said 'NO'. She asked me for 3 months and every time I said 'NO'.
I realized I was scared. I was scared that I didn't know enough. I wasn't good enough. All those things that my emotionally abusive husband would tell me came back. Then I sat back and thought to myself, why would I NOT want to share this amazing practice that has literally saved my life. Why wouldn't I want others to feel how I feel? I finally agreed to work with her so she could teach me how to teach.
You see after doing Pilates at home with those tapes everyday and taking this class I had changed my body. Not just the external appearance but my internal feeling. I was able to get off most of the medications I was on, put weight back on and no longer felt like I was going to die. All of this from doing Pilates! I had to share this amazing practice with others.
So here I am going on my 13th year of teaching Pilates and I am still loving this practice and that I get to share it with others daily. I owe my life to Pilates and to my neighbor for giving me those tapes.
If you're interested in trying Pilates and see why I'm so grateful for this practice. Here's a link to one of my free classes on my YouTube channel - Hott Mama Pilates.