Aging on Your Own Terms
By Sherri Reed
The diversity of clients never ceases to amaze me. I have worked with men, and women, young and old. Through each client experience I have faced new challenges: researching the unusual health issues, modifying exercises to enable all clients to enjoy and benefit from Pilates. I have been inspired by those clients who simply want to keep their mobility and those who are rehabbing their bodies from injury or disease. However, I want to highlight two of my oldest clients. These two are proof that aging today can be on your own terms.
Richard’s Pilates interest began at Duke University. He and his wife were there taking classes and were introduced to Pilates on the reformer. Upon return to Northern Virginia, they sought out a Pilates Studio to continue their practice. As luck would have it, I was available at the time and day that they wanted to continue. Seven years later Richard and I have two regular sessions a week. Richard is committed to excelling at each new skill I teach him and perfecting those he already knows. According to Richard, he “is convinced that maintaining a healthy weight and good muscle tone is critical to longevity and that the improvements in flexibility and balance that [he] gets from his seven years of Pilates helps [him] fight off some of the inconveniences of aging, especially osteoarthritis.” Richard’s discipline and dedication is a constant reminder to me on how I want to age. It is amazing to me that he will be 73 on his next birthday.
A book is what brought Elizabeth to Pilates. As an avid reader, Elizabeth enjoys browsing book store shelves for possible new interests. In 2005, Elizabeth came across a book on Pilates. After being intrigued by the book and the coffee baristas personal antidote, Elizabeth decided she would try Pilates. Elizabeth is a founding member of the Studio BE community as she as attended classes since the Studio opening. Early on in her practice, Elizabeth was diagnosed with osteoporosis. Although, this can be a frightening diagnose, this did not deter Elizabeth. She increased her attendance and added equipment classes in addition to her mat practice. Today, Elizabeth has reversed her osteoporosis. I marvel at her perseverance and commitment to her health, flexibility and overall wellbeing. Elizabeth is a flexible and strong 71 year old.